While the Ukulele is not usually the first instrument that parents reach for when they are looking for a beginning instrument to start their child on but it may be the perfect selection. The Ukulele may not be the traditional choice for many, but that’s half the fun of it. With that being said, continue reading to discover the reasons why you should consider inspiring your child to take up ukulele lessons.
If your child does not play any other instruments, a ukulele is a good introduction to the world of music. Most people find that it is easier to play than most instruments. However, of course, this does depend on the person, as some people have a more natural aptitude for things than others do. Nevertheless, as there are only four strings, most people do find ukulele music lessons relatively easy. Plus, you can easily teach your child with online music lessons, which are especially popular consider the COVID-19 pandemic. If you do this, though, we recommend reading resources such as The ABC of Online Safety to ensure you and your little one stay protected while online.
Another benefit associated with the ukulele is that they are cheap to buy. If you want to take up online piano lessons or guitar lessons, you will find yourself forking out a considerable sum of money. However, this is not the case with this fun and charming instrument.
Let’s also not ignore the fact that the ukulele is portable, meaning you can take it with your child can take it with him or her wherever they go. Moreover, this is exceptionally handy if your child wants to street perform once they get better.
The most important reason of them all to take up the ukulele is because your child will have a great deal of fun. Not only is this a unique and fun instrument to play, but others enjoy listening to it too. There is something soulful and playful about the way a ukulele plays and sounds.
The ukulele is also a social instrument. It is great for a sing-along, and you will find a lot of people that request you to play a little jam at their party, which can be great for your child’s confidence.
So, let’s take a look at some of the different things to know about this instrument:
What you and your child need to know before playing this instrument
Online ukulele lessons for beginners are becoming widely available, as more and more people switch to online music lessons as their preferred way of learning. If this is something you and your young one are interested in, we have three things that you need to know before you get started.
The first thing you need to know is that this instrument comes in four standard sizes, which are as follows, baritone, tenor, concert, and soprano. This is in order of largest to smallest. The size is important because it has an impact on both the tone and volume of the instrument. The most common type of ukulele is the smallest one, the soprano.
The second thing you need to know is that all ukuleles can be tuned differently as well. The most common tuning for those that play the soprano is G, C, E, A. Unlike a guitar, which runs from low to high, the most typical soprano tuning goes high, lower, higher, and then higher. On the other end of the spectrum, the Baritone tends to be tuned like a guitar from low to high – D, G, B, and E.
Finally, you have the option of both friction and geared when choosing a tuner. Geared tuners protrude from both sides of the instrument while friction tuners stick out of the back of the headstock. What’s the difference? Well, the latter is considered the more traditional but can be more challenging to use.
Getting better at playing the ukulele
Ukulele tutorials online are ideal for those looking to enhance their skills. These lessons are not merely suited to beginners; you will find plenty of resources for those that want to advance their skills. No matter what applies to your child, if they are looking to improve, here are some ways to do so:
- One of the best ways to get better at playing the ukulele is to record your child playing. This is beneficial because your child will be able to track their progress and they can spot areas for improvement. Tracking progress is important. It is easy for people to forget how they sounded previously if they do not track it, and so they may not realise that they have actually improved considerably. Moreover, by listening to yourself, you will find it easier to identify the areas that you need to work on.
- It is also a good idea to advise your little one to play slowly when trying to learn something new. No matter how advanced they may be, learning a fresh piece is always something that should be started off slow. By doing this, they will pick up the piece with greater ease. By learning too quickly, a person will learn their errors, which makes them harder to rectify.
- Last but not least, encourage your child not to simply stick with ukulele lessons online. They should play with and for other people. This may seem intimidating, but it is one of the best ways to advance their skills.
Cleaning the ukulele
For your child to get the most out of their lessons and ensure their ukulele lasts for many, many years to come, they will need to care for it properly. We are sure you may have to be on their case to ensure that this is the case!
So, let’s begin with the body of the ukulele. You should use a lint-free cloth that is ever so slightly damp to get rid of any grime on the body. Once you have done this, use a dry clean cloth to polish the body. You can also use a minute amount of guitar polish if you have a ukulele with a painted or gloss body. You do need to be very careful though. Make sure you keep this away from the strings and the fingerboard. If you have strap buttons and tuning pegs made from chrome or plastic, you only really need to use a soft cloth to buff them.
It is a good idea to wipe the strings down after all of your ukulele lessons online. After all, the oils from your fingers will end up on the strings. However, the good news is that they do not deteriorate as quickly as guitar strings do because they are made from nylon as opposed to steel.
Finally, you need to be careful when cleaning the fingerboard. If this has not been painted and is natural, you should not apply any polish. Instead, try a bore oil, but make sure you do not use lemon oil often found in guitar shops, as this is synthetic.
So there you have it: an insight into the ukulele. It is clearly a fun and exciting instrument, and it is always good to learn something different from the norm. Plus, it is not an expensive instrument, which is important for most families considering the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, it is one of the easier instruments out there to learn, so it is a good starting instrument, and then your child can move onto other instruments should they have a taste for music!