Lesson Description

If this lesson is too short for you and you would like more explanation, check out the Ukulele 101 course.

In this lesson we're giving you the run down on what to do if you're a brand new ukulele player with a brand new ukulele. This includes tuning your brand new ukulele, learning your first basic strum, and finally playing a few chords.

Login or signup for UU+ to view the full transcript of this lesson.


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  3. I am definitely a beginner and procrastinated long enough and hopefully I’m ready to try and learn this at 69 years old!!!

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  6. Great work on teaching to play the uke. This video definitely motivates one to want to learn this beautiful instrument. Keep up the great work with the site.

  7. 20+years guitar playing, and been building cigar box guitars for a couple years too. Needed to branch out and try something new. Awesome website and great material!! Love your teaching style- and loving my uke!

  8. Excellent job, I read your whole article. This is really useful information. the points you described above are very helpful for everyone. I appreciate your work and knowledge. I will recommend this blog to others, more people will get the information and help. For the best quality information and quick updates, I use a lyrics woow guide. It is also helpful for me Thanks!

  9. it was really a great experience to unleash the new talent and practice with the video as well. really got to know about Ukulele and the basic notes were something more interesting. thank you so much! Playing a uke has been a dream of mine since I was a kid, but always believed it was super hard. but It wasn’t at all.
    regards yourpcsoft

  10. Goodness! I haven’t spent more then 5 minutes on this site and already love it! I think this site could actually help me and that slaps a huge smile on my face. Lol

  11. This is brand new to me! I just got Lohanu amplified tenor ukulele! I have never been able to play an instrument before, but I am determined to play this! I think it has a beautiful sound and really want to be able to play while I sing. Thank you for making this a possibility for me!

  12. Just got my ukulele today… this helped a bunch!! Still need to get my transitions from one chord to the next perfected!! Thanks a lot!

  13. Great lesson but you seemed to tune the 4th string to low G when it seems to be a thin high “g” string? Isn’t it a bit slack tuned like that?

    1. Hey Peter,

      That ukulele is Low G, but you are totally right. If you tried to tune a high G ukulele to low G, you would have a lot of slack on the string. Matt talks about this more in depth in Ukulele Webcam Sessions (Ep.43) – High G vs. Low G. In our Ultimate Beginner DVD (web version) Aldrine uses a high G ukulele to demonstrate how to tune it, we also included some MP3’s to help you tune by ear underneath the VIDEO. Thanks for your question!

      -Kira (UU Staff)

  14. The ukulele E chord is much-hated. But there are several LESS HARD ways to play and still get a great sound. Try this version of the ukulele E chord and give your fingers a break!

  15. G’day from Melbourne Australia, this website is awesome thanks mate I am finally learning to play this right, thanks so much!

  16. I had a lot of trouble and frustration with tuning my ukuleles. I have a tenor that tuned up great and two concerts and one soprano. After months of working on this and searching the internet I have a neighbor who told me it seems my tuner is wrong. I was trying to tune all of them with a LabTech CT-10 set at 440. That was a bad mistake. (Unfortunately I had been dealing with a guitar store and no one set me straight there.) I located my Kala KC02 and set it at Ukulele C. Now all of my ukuleles sound great!

  17. This is simple! Great teaching and fun too. SInce I have been to Maui the last slx trips I have found the ukelele more interesting! Not to mention that Paul McCartney and George Harrison used them from time to time. I liked where they are visiting George at his home and they pull out uke’s for some classic Beatles! If I can master this then maybe I will move onto a real guitar, then bass. Well, lets start with Ukelelel first. Thanks guys!

  18. I just got my ukulele today for my 48th birthday. We are new to Hawaii and will be here three years as an Army wife. So excited to learn this gorgeous new instrument. It should lead to lots of fun, and many laughs, out on the lanai. Thanks for these short and quick mini lessons to get started.

  19. Really great site, thanks! I picked up a cheap Waterman for fun but after taking a few video lessons here I upgraded to a solid-body Kala. Since I seem to be getting pretty good I figured a mid-range instrument was in order! Keep up the good work.

  20. Hey guys, great work on teaching others to play the uke in little to no time. This video definitely motivates one to want to learn this beautiful instrument. Keep up the great work with the site. Happy New Year!

  21. G’day from Sydney, Australia! Thank you so much for your lessons, I am loving learning the ukulele with you! Keep up the good work!

  22. Can i just ask i watched the be up and running in 5 mins out of the box video, i am left handed do i just turn the uke around and tune it the other way or are the strings different would it need restringing altogether? Unfortunately stumped at the first hurdle 🙁 thanx in advance

    1. You could probably still try play it the same way my friend is left handed and she has found it easy enough to learn

  23. 20+years guitar playing, and been building cigar box guitars for a couple years too. Needed to branch out and try something new. Awesome website and great material!! Love your teaching style- and loving my uke!

  24. I play guitar and i just recently went to hawaii to visit some friends so i decided to get a 75$ uke and discovered i couldn’t play but then one of the friends that i was visiting knew how ant taught me twinkle twinkle little star and then i saw this website and it helped a lot. Thanks!

  25. To dineshglitz, a ukulele beginner:

    As a beginner, I too had a lot of questions about how to play the ukulele. Go slow and don’t get discouraged. The best way to have fun while learning is to find a few songs that you would like to strum to (and maybe sing along with) that have only three or four chords. The keys of C and G will probably be the easiest to start with. The standard tuning for your ukulele is G-C-E-A. The C string is the 3rd string and also the thickest. The A string is the first string and is the thinest and sounds the highest.
    For more help and info explore the Ukulele Underground site and then also checkout the Top 50 Ukulele links (Ukulele Underground is at the top of the list) at the following website: http://www.boatpaddleukuleles.com/top50/

    Gil from New York

  26. To Borja from Spain:

    Standard tuning for a soprano, concert, or tenor ukulele is G-C-E-A (Remember it easy with the phrase “Good Cats Eat Ants” …. It doesn’t make any sense, but you won’t be able to forget it!). It sounds like the lesson book that came with your uke is geared towards what is often referred to as Vaudeville, Canadian, or D tuning. Each string is tuned higher by two semi-tones (two frets) which should show up on your chromatic, or D tuning setting, digital tuner as A-D-Gb-B. (Gb is the same note as F#). I don’t
    know why you have the second string noted as bF. A flatted F would be the note E, the same as in standard tuning. Standard ukulele strings can be tuned to either G-C-E-A or A-D-Gb-B. The choice is yours. In the U.S.A. most lessons, chord charts, etc. use the standard tuning. With correct tuning your uke will sound much better once the strings have settled in.

    Gil from New York

  27. im a begginer…i dnt understand g..c..d..e..?? more confusingly wats that G7….where do i get info abt tat..should i buy a book…pls tell me..i have a pact should learn it within a month…

  28. I personally think this a good practice for chords and the good part about you can also slow the video down, if you think it is too fast.

  29. I’m a busy salesperson and really wanted to get back into playing an instrument again. With traveling, a piano or keyboard was not very practical at all! I bought my first ukulele today! Found your website online and am thrilled!!

  30. Hello from Spain! Thanks for the online help. I just bought a uke, but it is a soprano uke and it is supposed to be tuned in A-D-bF-B. I tuned it instead of along my notebook (which came in the box), according to the lesson. My C is a bit itchy and doesn’t sound that good. Should I go back to the soprano ukelele tuning and go along with your lessons, or tune it A-D-bF-B and try elsewhere?
    Thank you anyways, it seems like you make it really easy and enjoyable. Cheers!

  31. All this time I thought strumming was done by the thumb! Even on the guitar! No wonder I was having such a hard time strumming my Ukulele. Such a simple problem with a simple solution. Thank you!

  32. I played the ukulele for basic accompaniment for a year and didn’t do much for the next two years. This week, however, I resolved to get into ukulele playing seriously. How great to learn from Aldrine with all this abundant and well-organized material! I feel lucky to find this website.

  33. Mahalo for your website Aldrine, I’ve alway dreamed of learning how to play the uke…many thanks for the lessons. Love your website, it is now favorite!

  34. Im a 12 year old boy in Lancashire, Great Britain and I always struggled playing the ukulele but after this 1 video I now play like a pro

  35. Goodness! I haven’t spent more then 5 minutes on this site and already love it! I think this site could actually help me and that slaps a huge smile on my face. Lol 🙂

    1. You can actually just tune your baritone ukulele to standard G-C-E-A tuning and follow along with all the lessons. The only difference between baritone and tenor ukuleles (other than size) is the tuning. Baritones are tuned like the bottom four strings of the guitar while standard ukulele tuning is like the bottom 4 strings of a guitar with a capo on the 5th fret. so the chord shapes are all the same, they just produced different chords. If you don’t want to tune your ukulele up, you can watch guitar videos and the chords will be the same.

  36. Hey buddy!
    Loving the lesson! I am 18 and from Australia. I have hands that have been described ones of a 12 year old :/ Always wanted to play a guitar but couldn’t quite do it :S So now with my new blue ukulele, I hope to learn.
    I appreciate these videos! Promise to practise everyday! My fingers are aching haha 😀

  37. Am a very new beginner; still struggling with fat fingers! have benefitted greatly from this website! And waves to Jere. I taught my mom (80) to knit last month. I hope yr Big Surprise goes well!! will now go listen to Pau Carnation!

  38. I am 85 years old. Lived in Hawaii 9 years– 57-66 Have a 1957 Kamaka Ukulele but never have learned to play..So it’s now or never. My son sent me your website, and I am thrilled..can learn in secret and then Big Surprise!!! My favorite Hawaiian song is Pua Carnation. Jere

  39. Ha, ha all you Canuck moms, thought I was the only one…maybe its being stuck in the house all winter long going crazy with cabin fevered kids that strumming the uke takes you to a warmer place for a few moments that seems to appeal to us:) I started playing my kids toy uke so I could play you are my sunshine (my sons favourite), and now I’m a full on uke freak…this site is great…have fun everyone! Strummin’ along in Calgary:)

  40. Thank you very much, i just have my first ukulele last nite at penang world music festival. Try to learn………

  41. Thank you so much! You actually managed to show me – most of youtube can’t – how to strum properly!! THANK YOU!

  42. I used to play when I was a kid. But know I am in my forties, and getting back into it. And being in a wheelchair, it gives me something to look forward to, and that I can do. Thank You for such a wonderful site.

    1. Hey all… I was just given my first Ukulele, spent three weeks on Maui and Oahu… I am also a divorced mom in my 40’s… like Lou I have been in a wheelchair for almost 6 years…. I have a spinal cord injury…

      Looking forward to playing… lots of fun .. happier moments for myself and two kids..

  43. Hey! I’m not the only mom who is attempting to learn an instrument for the first time. This guy is awesome. Happy Strumming

  44. Hello!

    Funny enough, like Juliette I’m another mom up north in Canada… but it’s warmer here on the “Wet Coast” (west coast, haha)! Shout out to my Canadian friends! Whoo!

    I’ve dreamt of playing ukulele since they were taught in school about grade 4… but I moved and changed schools so never go to learn it.

    But 30 years later that ‘itch’ came back, and now – armed with a beautiful uke to play – I’m learning! But what am I missing?! So many things..

    THEN, I came across Aldrine singing and playing “Moves Like Jagger” and was amazed!

    Many thanks for having these lessons available. I can’t tell you how excited I am and how rewarding this already is!

    Mahalo – spread the uke love!

    1. Hugs from Pickering, Ontario!! The ukulele is so fun to learn how to play, but my son still one-ups me with his guitar. Getting there and soon I’ll show him who’s boss!

  45. thank you sooo much! Playing a uke has been a dream of mine since I was a kid,but always believed it was super hard..
    Now because of you,a Mom in cold north Quebec has got herself her 1rst Ukulele!!

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