Learning a new instrument can be a exhilarating way to flex your creative muscles. The tenor ukulele, a two- to eight-stringed instrument, provides a deeper tone closer to the sound of a high-tuned acoustic guitar. The eight-string ukulele functions similar to a 12-string guitar. It still has the standard four strings of a tenor ukulele. The main distinction is that each string is doubled up with an extra string, which provides a thicker and more melodic sound as you strum.
Tuning the Ukulele
Place the instrument on your lap in the upright playing position, with the fretboard in your left hand.
Turn on your electric tuner and place it on a flat surface about 8 to 12 inches in front of you. Pluck the top string and look at the tuner to see which note registers.
Turn the string's tuning key to the left to tighten and increase the string's pitch, or to the right to loosen the string and lower the pitch. Do this to adjust the pitch until the tuner reads "G" on the screen. Tune the next string to "G" as well.
Repeat this to tune the next three sets of strings to C-E-A in consecutive order.
Playing Basic Chords
Use your left hand to play the "G" chord. Place your index finger on the second fret's third and fourth strings, your ring finger on the third fret's fifth and sixth strings, and your middle finger on the seventh and eighth strings. Strum the chord with first and second strings played open.
Play the G minor chord. Press your left hand's index finger on the first fret's seventh and eighth strings. Place your middle finger on the second fret's third and fourth strings. And press your ring finger to the third fret's fifth and sixth strings. Strum the chord with the first and second strings played open.
Play the G7 chord. Press your index finger on the first fret's fifth and sixth strings. Press your middle finger to the second fret's third and fourth strings. Finally, press your ring finger to the second fret's seventh and eighth strings. Again, strum the chord with the first and second strings played open.
Count in a "one, two, three, four" rhythm pattern. In musical terms these would be considered quarter-notes, and the timing is called a 4/4 time signature. Strum each chord in this rhythm, changing chords as you strum.
Tips & Warnings
- Purchase a metronome to help improve your timing as you practice chord changes.
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