just strummin’ along
June 15, 2011 § 3 Comments
Yesterday I learned a few chords and learned how to play “You Are My Sunshine”. Not only is it one of the easiest songs to learn to play, it suits the ukulele perfectly. The hardest part isn’t learning chords but getting the strumming tempos down. I think the ukulele is the perfect instrument for me because I just have to let myself go with it vs trying to master it. It’s kind of like dancing that way for me. When I lived in Latin America I could never learn salsa by taking classes and learning the steps. I had to get out there, make a fool of myself and just start dancing. The great part about a ukulele is that the sound is so fun, you can’t help but just enjoy it. Before you know it, you’ve got a rhythm going.
The great thing about learning an instrument nowadays are all the online resources and apps that help you along the way. It’s so much easier than when I was trying to learn guitar back in college. (No, I didn’t have the internet or anything other than DOS based email then.)
I found this chord chart to get me started with a few simple chords that comprise a lot of simple songs you can learn out there.
You can find chord charts for just about any song online. The next one I want to learn is “Tonight You Belong to Me”. You may recall the rendition from the movie The Jerk with Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters. Here’s that great scene from the movie:
I also like the tutorials from “Ukulele Mike” on YouTube. I used his video to learn “You Are My Sunshine” yesterday. Seems like a happy dude from Seattle. I’m sure the ukulele comes in handy there during the dismal months of the year.
In addition to videos, there’s a great website called ukulelehunt.com that has a lot of great tips. I also downloaded two apps:
Guitar Toolkit ($9.99) works as a great tuner, including multiple instruments. and also has a metronome for keeping the beat. It also has some chords to learn but I prefer another app for that.
UkeMaster ($3.99) has a simple way of laying out all the different chords & you can strum the phone to hear what they should sound like.