Why I love the ukulele

Hello readers!

My first ever post on this blog was a basic guide to playing the ukulele, and it has just occurred to me that I haven’t written anything related to it since then. If you’d missed 2016-02-20 14.02.16.pngthat post, you can find it here.

Back to today’s topic, then.

The ukulele is not commonly found today, or at least you don’t really hear of it that much. Those of you who know me know for a fact that I love the ukulele, either because you know me very well or because you’ve seen me carrying it around at school. If it is the latter, I promise you that I do not take it with me wherever I go (school’s just a fun place to jam with it during breaks), and if it is the former, I thank you from now for putting up with another ukulele-related discussion 🙂

I’ve decided to jot down a few reasons as to why I love the ukulele so much. Here they are:

1) It’s portable

Not just that, but it’s small enough and light enough to carry around. As much as I love my guitar, it isn’t always the easiest instrument to walk about with.

2) The sound is bright

They say that you can never play anything too sad on a ukulele, and that’s possibly true.

3) Everyone around the 40s, 50s and 60s played it

Or at least, it was very popular in those decades. Elvis Presley (in Blue Hawaii), George Formby (the ‘grandfather of the ukulele’), Marilyn Monroe, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Paul McCartney … there were so many celebrities who played ukulele.

 

gallery-hawaiian-shirts-e-003 Elvis in Blue Hawaii

4) It’s versatile

You can play all sorts of songs on a ukulele. Iconic guitar riffs such as those from songs like Come Together, Smoke on Water, Something, Here Comes the Sun and Back in Black all sound especially good on one. The intro of Romeo and Juliet is another fun tune to play – Mark Knopfler should have had a go at ukulele.

5) The blues are fantastic on ukulele

I wish I could say that I knew how to play them, but I do happen to know someone who can, and wonderfully so too (especially since he’s never picked up a ukulele in his life before – I guess it’s because he knows the blues on guitar like the back of his hand. If he’s reading this right now, he’s probably laughing 😉 ).

6) Ukuleles are just pleasing to the eye

I think I began to want one after seeing a cover of The Moon Song on YouTube (I had put a link to it in my first ukulele post). When I finally went to buy one I absolutely fell for a mahogany soprano-sized one; I even put my initial at the bottom of its neck.

7) It’s the kind of instrument you’d take on picnics or to the beach

The beach is slightly stereotypical, perhaps, but I think that a ukulele is the perfect accompaniment to a campfire (as in when you’re playing it by the campfire, not actually adding it to the campfire!).

I had seen a video of Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) playing a tiny ukulele by the campfire in the film Journey 2 The Mysterious Island. Look it up; I promise you it will put a smile on your face.

So what do you think of the ukulele? You might think it to be a wonderful little thing; I sure do. If you’d like to add anything to this list, just leave a comment below.

Meg  🙂

Your first ukulele lesson

Hello everyone!

This is officially my first ever blog post, and so I thought that I would start off on a musical note (excuse the pun). Please note that I am not a professional, and only started teaching myself how to play the ukulele a few weeks ago. Anyway, let’s get started:

The ukulele neck should be pointing to your left hand (your left is your fretting hand and your right is your strumming hand). The strings are G, C, E, A from the top-most to the bottom-most.

Another thing you need to know is that the metal lines going down the ukulele neck are known as frets. In order to form chords, you will need to place your fingers on specific strings in specific frets. Below are three pictures showing how to play the G major, D major and C major chords. The four vertical lines are the strings, the horizontal lines are the frets and the black dots show where to place your fingers.

G chordD chordc-chord

 

If you play these chords in the progression (order) of G, C, G, D and strum in the pattern D D UU D U (D : down and U : up) you will be able to play ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ by Van Morrison! The chord progression changes when he sings “And you..” all the way through the chorus. It goes something like this:

 C        D
And you
Chorus:
G                          Em
My brown eyed girl
C                 D
And you, my
G
Brown eyed girl

Other great songs to play on ukulele:

  • ‘Here Comes The Sun’ by The Beatles
  • ‘You’re My Best Friend’ by Queen
  • ‘The Moon Song’ by Karen O
  • ‘Something’ by George Harrison

I came across a cover of the last one, and really enjoyed it. Here is the link:

That’s all for today – hope it helped!

The Little Green Journal