Ukulele Essentials for Beginners | Jason Rivera | Skillshare

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Ukulele Essentials for Beginners

teacher avatar Jason Rivera, Composer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

15 Lessons (1h 1m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:30
    • 2. Getting Started

      1:46
    • 3. Ukulele Anatomy

      3:05
    • 4. Tuning Your Ukulele

      7:08
    • 5. Holding Your Ukulele

      2:03
    • 6. Fretting Notes

      2:25
    • 7. Strumming

      5:34
    • 8. How to Read Chord Diagrams

      3:08
    • 9. Learn the C Chord

      3:47
    • 10. Learn the Am Chord and Exercise

      2:44
    • 11. Learn the F chord and Exercise

      3:45
    • 12. Learn the G chord and Exercise

      5:30
    • 13. Learn Your First Song

      6:13
    • 14. Learn Your Second Song

      7:34
    • 15. Tips, Resources and Recap

      5:02
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About This Class

In this class, composer Jason Rivera guides you through the essentials of learning to play the ukulele. The course starts with learning the anatomy of the ukulele and ends with playing two simple songs.

This class is designed for absolute beginners with no prior experience playing ukulele as well as for folks wanting to brush up on the basics of the instrument.

If you’ve been wanting to learn how to play ukulele but have been putting it off because you’re not sure where to start, then this class is for you. The goal of this class is to get you playing songs as quickly as possible. Once you complete this course, you’ll have the basics in place so that you can start learning how to play your favorite songs.

Included in this class are downloadable resources: chord diagrams and sheet music.

In order to take this class, you’ll need a ukulele and a tuner (you can use a free tuning app for your phone or tablet).

In this course, you'll learn:

Basic Ukulele Anatomy: The essential parts of the ukulele.

How to Tune Your Ukulele: How to easily tune your ukulele using a free app.

How to Hold Your Ukulele: How to hold the ukulele properly and tips on posture.

How to Fret Notes: How to produce the best possible tone on your ukulele.

Strumming
: How to strum correctly and get a more even sound from your instrument.

How to Read Chord Diagrams: Clear explanations of what all the symbols on a chord diagram mean.

4 Chords: C, Am, F, G : You’ll learn your first 4 essential chords! We’ll look at the chord diagram for each of them, how to fret the ukulele correctly and which strings to strum.

How to Play Your First Song: This is where you put everything you’ve learned in the class to the test--changing chords, and strumming.

How to Play Your Second Song: You should feel a little more confident by this point in the class and ready to dive into learning your second song.

Tips and Tricks: A round up of all my tips and resources to get you learning to play the ukulele as quickly and easily as possible!

Meet Your Teacher

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Jason Rivera

Composer

Teacher

Hi!

I'm Jason Rivera. I compose music and teach from my studio in Los Angeles, CA. You can check out my music on my website and you can join my email list for updates.

“So good. His soothing voice establishes a real grounded trust. The kind of voice you want to hear in the trenches doing the hard work of making music.” - Philly B, Skillshare Student

“I'd been playing an acoustic guitar for years now. But this class helped me refresh my memory and see points where I'm still messing up. Jason is a gentle guide and is clearly aware of beginners' pain points when they first pick up the guitar. Thank you for sharing these lessons.” - Winta A, Skillshare Student

“Excellent class!!! He... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hello. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Jason Rivera, and I'll be taking you through this beginner's ukulele course. And this class we'll be covering basic ukulele anatomy. How to tune your ukulele, how to hold the ukulele, how to fret notes, strumming, how to read chord diagrams, your first four chords, how to play your first two songs. And lots of tips, tricks and resources along the way. I had been playing and writing music since I was a small child. And I've been teaching music to students ages five enough, including group ukulele workshops and private lessons. Since 2012, I'm a full-time musician and composer. I've written the music for films, trailers, and e-learning courses, and I've played in bands and toward the US since I was a teenager. My goal with this course is to teach you an absolute beginner, the basics of the ukulele and how to play a handful of essential ukulele chord that will help you with learning your favorite songs. And my hope is to make this process fun and easy for you. I want you to start playing your ukulele as soon as possible. Though ukulele is small, portable, and super fun to play. I hope that you enjoy and benefit from this class. Thank you for watching this intro. Now go grab your ukulele and I'll see you in the first lesson. 2. Getting Started: Welcome to this class. This lesson covers a little bit of background and history of the ukulele, as well as how sound is produced on it, and the different sizes of ukuleles that are available. The first thing we're going to cover it is we're going to learn how to pronounce this instrument. This instrument is pronounced ukulele. Ukulele, as it's often said. Ukulele is a combination of two Hawaiian words. Wu, which means flee and Lei. Lei, which means to jump. And it got this name because your fingers look like little jumping fleas when you're playing. The ukulele is an acoustic instrument. So it relies on its body to produce the sound to get started playing, all you need is ukulele and a tuner. Some ukuleles have a tuner built in, but you can also use a clip on tuner or a tuning app. Let's talk about the common sizes of ukuleles. There are four common sizes, from smallest to largest. They are soprano, which is the standard size. The concert size, which is a little bit larger. And also referred to as the alto tenor size, which is the type that I'm using in this class. And lastly, we have the largest size, the baritone. A soprano concert, or 10 or size ukulele will work for this class. And this lesson we covered important background information on the ukulele, like how to pronounce the name of the instrument, how the ukulele produces sound, and the common types of ukuleles. For right now, make sure you have your ukulele with you. In the next video lesson, we're gonna get familiar with the different parts of your ukulele. 3. Ukulele Anatomy: This lesson is about basic anatomy of the ukulele. I'm going to describe the main parts of the ukulele. And I'm also going to cover some details such as the string names and numbers and how to memorize them. There are three main parts to the ukulele. The body, the neck, and the headstock. A little tip that I like to tell my students to remember the main parts is to think of locally as if it were a person with the head and neck and a body. On the body we have the bridge where the strings are anchored to the body. And here we have the sound hole on the neck. We've got the nut, and then we've got the frets. And we've got these pieces of metal. These are called FET wires. This is the first fret, the second fret, third fret, fourth fret, fifth fret, and so on and so forth. On the headstock, we've got our tuning pegs where the strings are attached. And we turn these tuning pegs to tune our instrument. And we have four strings on the ukulele. Each string has a number and a letter name. We count the strings from the bottom up. This is the first string a, and it's the highest sounding string. Then we have the second string, ie. This is the third string. See, this is actually the lowest sounding string. And last but not least, we have the fourth string, g. This is actually the second highest sounding string. So the string letter names are a, E, C, and G. Let's go through those again, a, E, C, and G. To help you learn the strings, you can use a silly phrase. One that I like going from string four to one, is good children eat apples. So let's play through those good children. Apples. In this lesson, we covered basic parts of the ukulele, including the string names and numbers. And I provided you with a silly phrase to help remember the string names, please make sure that you memorize the string names and numbers. It's really important for tuning the instrument, as well as for learning songs. In the next video lesson, we're going to learn how to tune your ukulele. 4. Tuning Your Ukulele: In this lesson, I'm going to teach you how to tune your ukulele. Tuning, especially for beginners, can seem daunting, but it's really easy once you get the hang of it and it makes everything sounds so much better. If this is the first time you're learning an instrument, you might be wondering why you even need to tune. The easiest answer to that question is that you can't play a song if you're not in tune. So make sure to always tune your ukulele before playing. As I mentioned earlier in the class, the ukulele has four strings. In each string has a number and letter name, string one, string, two, string, three, string for. And it's a, E, C, and G. And remember, you can use a silly phrase such as good children eat apples to help remember the letter names, good children, apples. For this demo, we're going to use the Fender Tune app. To tune. The Fender Tune app is free and available for iOS and Android. For your phone or tablet. There are lots of other tuning apps out there that you can try. And you can also use a clip onto her, also known as a headstock tuner. One benefit of a headstock tuner is that it measures vibrations in the wood of the ukulele. So if you're in a noisy environment, you can still tune with accuracy. Something worth mentioning at this point, because it's relevant to tuning or the term sharp and flat. When it comes to tuning, if something is too sharp, it means we've gone too high in pitch and pass the note that we're tuning to. And if a node is flat, we haven't tuned high or tight enough, or we've tuned the string too far down. In other words, the string is to Slack. As a heads up. I've purposely detuned the strings here so that you can watch me dial the tuning in. The strings are attached to tuning pegs. To know which tuning peg you need to turn. Just follow the string up the neck, all the way up to its tuning peg. And you'll see where it's attached. Let's start with the G string, string 4. To tune, you pluck the string that you want to tune and let the tone ring out like this. Now here it looks like my G string is to loose or it's too flat, so I need to tighten it. To tighten strings 43. You turn the tuning peg this way towards the headstock. So I'm going to tighten it by turning the tuning peg this way towards the headstock and eventually we'll get to G. So because I'm already pretty close to g and not so flat, I'm only making slight turns on the tuning peg here. And there I go. I'm in tune. Next, we have the C string, string three. Now I can hear that this string is a little bit sharp, so I need to loosen it. To loosen strings 43, you turn the tuning pegs this way towards the bridge. Okay, so let's dial the, and again, I'm pretty close to being in tune, so I don't have to make really drastic terms on the tuning peg. And there I go. I have my C and to1. Let's move on to the E string. The string is also a little bit flat, so I need to tighten it. To tighten strings 21, you turn the tuning peg this way towards the bridge. So I'll tighten the string up watching the tuner. And as I get closer to being in tune, I make my turns a little bit more slide. And there I go. There's my E. And last but not least, we have the a string. Let's take a listen. Okay, so I can here because I've been playing for a while, that a is sharp, so I need to loosen it. To loosen strings 21, you turn the tuning peg this way towards the headstock. So let's dial this a string in. And there we go, the A's and tune. And now my ukulele sounds beautiful and in turn, over time you'll be able to hear when your ukulele is even slightly out of tune to help you train your year to be able to hear when your ukulele is tuned properly. You can use the phrase, My dog has fleas. So when you strum from string for, through one, if it sounds like then you know the Ogallala is in tune. So I hope you're in tune down. Be sure to take your time when tuning. You don't want to rush through it. For this demo, I use the fender to an app, but you can also use a clip on or headstock tuner. You can also tune to another instrument, such as a piano. And you could also find tuning websites that have reference tones that you can turn to. In this lesson, we covered how to tune your ukulele using the Fender Tune app. And now we know that we can also use the headstock tuner. And we learned a simple phrase to double-check that our ukulele is in two. At this point in the class. I want you to make sure to get yourself a tuner and turn your ukulele. Take your time tuning in if you need to review this video lesson, by all means do so. And the next lesson we're going to learn how to hold our ukulele properly. 5. Holding Your Ukulele: This lesson is about how to hold it Ukulele. I'm also going to cover a few details about how to play with a strap. The ukulele that I'm playing here is a tenor. But this lesson applies to all sizes. The main thing here is that you want to be comfortable. You want to sit in a chair with arm rests, and sit up straight towards the front of your seat. Placed the bottom of the ukulele and your lap and hug it towards your torso. Then you want to drape your arm over the top to help keep the ukulele in place. The main thing here is to make sure that you're relaxed. Then you want to angle the neck out a bit. And you want to tilt the ukulele on the diagonal angle so that your fretting hand is comfortable. You want to make sure you're loose in your hands, your arms, your shoulders, your neck, and your lower back. Two. You can also use a strap while playing, standing up or sitting down. As you can tell from watching this class, I like playing with a strap. There are different types of straps. My strap here attaches to two strap buttons. One on this side on the back of the neck, and one down at the bottom of the body. Some straps clip onto the sound hole. A strap holds that legally they up, which I find more comfortable. Whether you're using a strap or not. The main idea is to always stay as relaxed and loose as possible. In this lesson, we covered some basics of how to hold the ukulele properly. And we talked about a couple of different strap options. So for right now practice holding your ukulele and get comfortable with it. You might also want to buy yourself in a good way. They strap so that you can try it out and see what it feels like. You might find that it gives you more freedom when playing. And the next video lesson we're going to learn how to properly fret notes on your ukulele. 6. Fretting Notes: In this lesson, I'm going to show you how to fret notes on your ukulele. This is a really useful skill to learn because it'll make plain easier and you'll sound better to. As I mentioned during our lesson on anatomy, we have the fret wire and they delineate the frets. So we have Fred 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and so on. When you press down on the string, you want to press down right behind the fret wire. If you press down too far towards the NAT, your note will buzz or not be clear. You also don't want to press down on the actual fret wire itself. Because again, you'll mute your string. You want to press down right behind the fret wire. And you want to press down just hard enough to get the node to bring out clearly. You don't want to waste your energy pressing down any harder than you need to. Another tip that I want to give you here is that you want to arch your fingers when you're playing and play on your fingertips like this. This will allow you to get a better tone for each node. And it will help you from unintentionally muting adjacent strings. This is especially useful when we're playing chords and strumming more than one string at a time. Fretting notes right behind the fret wire and using your fingertips to press down on the string allows you to access the node without applying as much pressure with your fingers. And as you can hear it will help you create a clear and warmer tone. In this lesson, we covered how to fret notes on our ukulele and why it's important to fret nodes properly. I want you to practice reading notes on any strain and on any Fred and use the techniques that I showed you in this lesson. You can play notes anywhere at random on the fret board. The point is just to get used to reading notes in this way. Later on in this class, you'll have the chance to practice these fretting techniques while you're playing courts. And our next lesson we're going to learn about how to strum ukulele. 7. Strumming: In this lesson, I'm going to explain strumming. We're going to start with down strumming. We strung with our thumb. Or we can strum with our index finger. Let's focus on the thumb first. We want to have our hand nice and relaxed, hovering over the body like this. Then with the side of your thumb, you're going to strong all four strings. You can see that I'm slightly moving my arm, but most of the movement is actually coming from my wrist. So you wanna make sure to keep your wrists nice and relaxed. You may also notice that I'm strumming on this section of the neck right here. This section of the neck overlaps onto the body. This right here is the sweet spot for strumming. Also because your strumming over the neck, your fingers are less likely to get caught on the strings, which can happen if you strum over the sound hole. Strumming over the neck gives you a nice surface for your fingers to glide over. Now we're going to up strong with our index finger. So again, you want your hand to be nice and relaxed and hovering over the body. Then we're going to curl our index finger bit and strong all four strings with the fleshy part of our index finger. Just like strumming with the thumb. We're moving our arm, but most of the motion is from our rest. Now let's try combining the two storms downstream with the thumb and index finger. You'll notice that I'm not holding down any frets with my left hand for now. We're just getting used to the action of strumming. So we're going so because we're using the fleshy part of our thumb and index fingers as opposed to using the fingernail both the downstream and upstream them have a nice warm tone. Now we're going to practice a strong that has a little bit more of a crisp attack to it. We're going to gently press our thumb and index fingers together like this. Then let's downstroke with the index finger using the fingernail. Then upstroke with the nail of the thumb. This way using your fingernail and both directions. This is a strumming technique that I use a lot. Again, the pattern is even though both of these patterns I've just demonstrated are down up patterns, the tone quality of each approach is very different. Let me go back and forth between the two so that you can really hear the difference. So we have one try this out. I want you to feel free enough to try and experiment with your own strumming patterns as well. Strumming patterns aren't set in stone. So I want you to feel free to experiment and see where your strumming hand wants to go. In this lesson, we learned some basics about strumming. We started with down strumming with our thumb and up strumming with our index finger, dummy, combine those two strings together. We also learned about where the sweet spot for strumming is. And then we learned another strumming pattern that uses a downstroke with the index finger using the fingernail combined with an upstroke with the fingernail of the thumb. And then I encourage you to experiment with your own strumming patterns as well. Before we move on to the next lesson, I strongly suggest you practice both strumming patterns that I shared with you. In the next lesson, we're going to learn how to read chord diagrams. And that'll be very useful for you as you're learning chords and songs. 8. How to Read Chord Diagrams: In this lesson, I'm going to show you how to read chord diagrams. This is a really useful skill to learn because it will enable you to learn any song you want using chord diagrams. First, let's talk about what a chord is. Simply put, a cord is more than one note played at the same time, a combination of notes. Now we're going to learn how to read chord diagrams. Chord diagrams are really useful since they tell us which frets and strings to play. This makes it really easy to learn chords and songs. Here is a chord diagram. The thick horizontal line at the top as the nut. You can think of it as fret 0. Allow that we have from one thread to thread three, thread four, and so on. The vertical lines represent the ukulele strings on the left side of the diagram, we have string for g, Then we have string three, C, Then we have string to E, and then we have string 1, a, and we have circles with numbers in them placed on specific strings and unspecific Fred's, these tell us where to place our fingers. The numbers inside the circles are the suggested finger numbers to use. Fingers are numbered one through four. The index finger is one. The middle finger is the ring fingers three, and the pinky is 4. Let's take a look at a C major chord diagram. You'll see that we have a circle on the third fret of the first string, and there's a number 3 inside the circle. So we use our third finger to press the string down. You'll see here that's shrinks 234 have owes up above the knot. That means that you play those strings open. You don't press down any frets on those strings. And you strong all four strings at once on the ukulele, that looks and sounds like this. Sometimes in a chord chart you'll see an x above the knot. For example, in the C-sharp minor chord, you'll see that we have an axe above the first string. So we avoid playing that string altogether. String 2 has an OH above the nut. So we play that string open. On string three, frap one. There's a circle with a number two inside the circle. So we use our second finger to press the string down. On string for Froude one, there was a circle with a number 1 inside the circle. So we'll use our first finger to press the string down. And for this chord you only strong strings 234, so you avoid playing string 1. So that chord looks and sounds like this. In this lesson, we covered details of how to record diagrams. Then we learn what the finger numbers of our fretting hand are. Make sure that you download the supplemental materials for this class where I've included chord diagrams for you to review and tomorrow, have a little patience with yourself through this process. Once you get the hang of reading chord diagrams, it will become second nature for you. In our next lesson, you are going to learn your first chord. 9. Learn the C Chord: In this lesson, we're going to learn how to play our first chord, C. Okay, so we're going to learn our first chord, one of the simplest chords to learn on the ukulele, C major. The C chord sounds like this. It's a place. See, we put finger three on the third fret of string 1. Then you strum all four strings. The nice thing about this court is that you only need to press down on one fret to form the court. Practice forming this chord by taking your hand away from the ukulele and then forming the sea again. Again, finger three goes on the third fret of string one. And you strong all four strings. Play this chord, let it ring. And when it stops ringing, take your hand away and shake your handout. Then try forming the sea again. You can self-diagnose to make sure you're forming the court correctly by playing each string one at a time like this. Each string should bring out nice and clear. If string one is buzzing, It could be that you're pressing the string down on the fret wire and not pressing down right behind the fret wire. So just move finger three a bit towards the nut. And then you're producing a nice clear tone. You also want to try and play in your fingertips to make sure that you're not accidentally muting any of the other strings with the C chord fingers three could accidentally be touching string 2 and muting it. You want all the strings that you're planar ring and resonate properly. So you just aren't your fingers a bit. And make sure you're pressing down with your fingertips. Here's a little exercise that I want you to do. Find the C chord and play with a downstroke. Then take your hand away. And we're gonna do this four times. I want you to do this exercise Nice and slow. The important thing is to make sure that you've formed the court correctly and then it's ringing out nice and clear. So in this lesson we learned our first chord C. Remember that I want you to practice this chord by taking your fingers off the ukulele, then try building the sea again. What we're doing with this little exercise is building up our muscle memory so that we can eventually formed a chord shape very quickly. Please don't forget to download the core diagrams that I've included with this class for your reference. And the next lesson we're going to learn the chord, a minor. 10. Learn the Am Chord and Exercise: In this lesson, we're going to learn how to play the chord, a minor. Here's what a minor sounds like. Like the C chord. This court only uses one finger to play a minor. You put the second finger on the second fret of string 4, and then you just play strings 1, 2, and 3 open and strum all four strings. Just like the C chord, you only need to press down on one string. And again, you'll want to self-diagnose to make sure the cord is ringing out nice and clear. So strong one string at a time. Make sure that you're pressing down on string for right behind the fret wire on Fred T2. And do your best to plan your fingertips. This will make it easier to press the string and it will help to prevent you from meeting any other open strings. Okay, Let's take our hands off the neck. And we're going to build the a minor again. I want you to practice learning the a minor shape using that technique. Now I want you to try a little exercise, which is to practice changing from C to a minor. So first find the C chord and strum down once. Then switch to the a minor chord and strong down once. Now let's repeat this three more times. We're not worried about timing or speed with this little exercise. Take your time and make sure you're forming each chord correctly. So in this lesson, we learned that a minor chord and we practice linking the C chord to the a minor chord. Once you've got a good handle on the a minor chord, be sure to spend some time practicing changing from C to a minor. And our next lesson we're going to learn how to play the F chord. 11. Learn the F chord and Exercise: In this lesson, we're going to learn how to play the chord F. This cord, along with C and a minor, are really important to learn because these chords are used in so many songs. This is what the F chord sounds like. This court is different from C and a minor since it uses two fingers. Finger one goes on fret of the second string. Finger two goes on the second fret of the fourth string. The first third strings are open and we strum all four strings. Here's a little tip. If you're playing the a minor chord. To create the F chord, you just need to add your first finger on fret of the second string. Noticing the relationship between the a minor chord, F chord is really helpful. It also sounds really nice moving from one to the other. Just like with C and a minor, you can self-diagnose and make sure that all the strings are ringing out nice and clear. Then you make any adjustments to your fretting hand if you need to. Let's practice this chord by taking our hand often neck, relaxing it. And then try and form the F again. Just like with the a minor chord, you want to use this approach so that you can learn to form the F chord quickly and develop your muscle memory for it. Now I want you to try a little exercise which is to practice changing from C to a minor to F. So find the C chord and strum down ones. Then switch to the a minor chord and strum down once. From there we form our F chord and again strum down once. Let me go back to our C. Now let's repeat this pattern three more times. What I'm worried about timing or speed with this little exercise. So take your time and make sure you're forming each chord correctly. So in this lesson we learned the F chord, and now we've learned three chords and we're building up our vocabulary. Of course, once you're feeling confident with the F chord, be sure to spend some time practicing changing from C to a minor to F. In the next lesson, we're going to learn our fourth chord, G. So let's jump right into that now. 12. Learn the G chord and Exercise: In this lesson, we're going to learn how to play another chord, the G chord. This is what the G chord sounds like. To play G, we're going to use three fingers. You place finger one on the second fret of the third string. Finger three goes on the third fret of the second string. And finger two goes on the second fret of string 1. You play string for open and strong all four strings. This G chord shape looks like a triangle on the fret board. Again, you want to make sure that all the strings are ringing out nice and clear. And you can check one string at a time. Remember to plan your fingertips and make sure your thumb is pointed behind them back. Like this. Like you're giving someone a thumbs up, placing your thumb on the neck. And this way will help you when you're first learning chords. Once you develop more strengthen your fretting hand, you can use a different technique where you wrap your thumb around the neck like this. You'll notice throughout this class that this is how I hold down most courts. For me, this is more comfortable and I can still get a clear note from each string. And sometimes that balance between thumb positions depending on the situation. But if you're just starting out on a ukulele, I would highly suggest that you place your thumb in the middle of the neck and make sure it's pointed up. Like I said, like you're giving someone a thumbs up. Using that approach has helped my students a lot when they're learning new chords. The G is our most complex core that we've learned so far, since it uses three fingers. So please be patient with yourself as you develop the muscle memory to play this chord. Let's practice this chord by taking our hand off the Mac, relaxing it, or shaking it out. And then trying to form the G chord again. Let's try that again. Relax our hand. Form the G chord. Now I want you to try a little exercise which is to practice changing from C to a minor to F to G. So find a C chord has shrunk down once. Then switch to the a minor chord and strum down once. From there, we form our F chord and strong down once. Then we go to the G chord and shrunk down once. And then we go back to the C chord. Now let's repeat this entire pattern starting from the C chord three more times. C, a minor. And then back to C. We're not worried about timing or speed here. So take your time and make sure you're forming each chord correctly. Remember to take your time when learning all of these chords and be patient with yourself. If you're feeling ready, you can also try playing this chord progression with the down stroke that we learned earlier in the class. So you could play down, up, down, up on each chord, and then switch to the next chord. So for example, it could sound like this. So in this lesson we learned our fourth, the central cord, the G chord. Remember to take your time and be patient with yourself when learning are chords. Once you're feeling confident with the G chord, be shortest, spend some time practicing changing from C to a minor to F to G. In the next lesson, we're going to learn our first song. And we're going to use an all downstroke strumming pattern. 13. Learn Your First Song: In this lesson, we're going to learn a simple song that I've written for you to play. This song has three of the chords that we've learned in it. And the courts were using our C, F, and G. We're going to start off with the C chord that we've learned. Remember to place t. You put finger three on the third fret of string one. And you play strings two through four open, strung down with your thumb and index finger together. We want to use that strumming technique that we learned earlier in this class. Our next chord is F. To play F finger one, goes on fret one of the second string, finger two, and goes onto the second fret of the fourth string. The first third strings are open and we strum all four strings. Again, you want to strum down with your thumb and index finger together on F. So we haven't practiced this transition from C directly to F, so we'll have to get used to play in this, the third chord that we're going to play in this song as G. To play G, you place finger one on the second fret of the third string. Finger three goes on the third fret of the second string. And finger two goes on the second fret of string 1. You play string for open and strum all four strings. And again, you strum down with your thumb and index finger together on G. For the strumming for this song, we're going to be playing for downstrokes per chord. So that sounds like this. You play for downstrokes on C. Then we switch to f for, for downstrokes. Let me go back to C. So we play from C to F, four total of four times back and forth. We play for downstrokes on C to four down strokes on the F. And we play that entire progression for a total of four times. So this section sounds like this. Second time. Third time around. Once we've played that section, then we switch to the G chord for four downstrokes, and that sounds like this. Then we start the entire pattern over by going back to our C chord. So let's try to play this together. We're going to play the entire chord progression two times and will end on one final downstroke of see, make sure your ukulele is tuned and let's get started. I'll count you in one 234 time around. Then we add a one final downstroke and see. This is a great song to get used to playing from C to F, and also to work on getting more confident with your struggling. Feel free to rewind this video lesson and play along with me as many times as you need to until playing this song feels really natural for you. Also, please be sure to download and check out the chord diagrams and the chart that I created for this song, for your reference. So in this lesson, we learned how to play our first song. And we might do chord by chord. So you should be all set to play this song. Remember to take it slow at first until you feel really comfortable switching from chord to chord. Congratulations on learning your first song. Keep working on making your core transition smooth for the song. And the next lesson, we're going to learn a second song together. 14. Learn Your Second Song: In this lesson, we're going to learn our second song. And this is another song that I've created, especially for you. We're going to use all four chords that we've already learned in our previous video lessons. So the courts used our C, G, a minor, and F. If you need to review these chords, be sure to watch the previous lessons where I have explained each chord in detail and also be sure to download the core diagrams that I've provided for this class, as well as the core chart that I've created for this song. As I mentioned, this song has all four chords that we've learned so far. And the courts were using our SI, G, a minor, and F. And in order for our strumming pattern, we're going to use all downstrokes. Here's what the song sounds like. We're going to start the song off with a C chord. Remember to play. See you put finger three on the third fret of the first string. And you play strings two through four open. You want to strum down with your thumb and index finger together. Using the strumming technique that we've learned earlier in this class. The second chord that we're going to play is G. Play G, you place finger one on the second fret of the third string. Finger three goes on the third fret of the second string. And finger two goes on the second fret of string 1. You play string for open and strong, all four strings. Again, you strum down with your thumb and index finger together on G. Our next chord is a minor. To play a minor, you put your second finger on the second fret of string for. And then you play strings 1, 2, and 3, open and strum, all four strings are next chord is F. To play F, we're going to build off that a minor chord that we just played. So keep your second finger down on the second fret of the fourth string. We'll just add finger one onto the first fret of the second string. Then the first third strings are open and we just strung all four strings. And again, you want to strum down with your thumb and index finger together on F. For the strumming for the song. We're going to be playing down-strokes on C, eight downstrokes on G, for downstrokes on a minor, and then for downstrokes on F. And we end the progression with eight downstrokes on C. So that sounds like this. We play C for eight downstrokes. Then we switch to G for a downstrokes. Then we play a minor for, for downstrokes. And then we play F for, for downstrokes. And then we end on C for eight downstrokes. And then we start the entire pattern over by staying or that C chord. So let's try to play this together. We'll play the entire core progression three times. And then we'll end on one final downstroke of C, like this. Make sure your ukulele is tuned and let's get started. How can you join? 1234 seconds? And on that final downstroke on C, This is a great song to get used to playing are four chords that we've learned. And also you get to work on getting more confident with your strumming. Feel free to rewind this video lesson and play along with me as many times as you need to until playing this song feels super comfortable. Also be sure to download and check out the chord diagrams and the chart that I created for this song for your reference. So in this lesson, we learned how to play our second song. This song uses all four chords that we've learned. And again, we went cord by cord. So you should be all set to play this song. Remember to take it slow at first until you feel really comfortable switching from chord to chord. If you're completely new to the ukulele, this might take a couple of weeks of practice. Also, remember to try and play along with me during this video lesson that will help to develop your timing. Congratulations on learning your second song. Keep working on making your core transition smooth. In the next lesson, we're going to cover some tips and resources. 15. Tips, Resources and Recap: So here we are at the end of this class. Thank you so much for joining me to close out our course. I'm going to share some tips and resources with you. And hopefully I can give you some extra encouragement to learn the two songs that we've looked at in this class. And on that note, I've come up with a fun and easy way for you to implement what you've learned in this class. And to hopefully give us a chance to interact a bit. I'd love for you to learn how to play at least one of the two simple ukulele songs that I've taught you in the class, use the video lessons in this class along with the downloadable materials that I've provided as references to help you then record audio or video of yourself playing one or both of the simple ukulele songs that I've taught you in the class. And share your link with me. I would be happy to provide you with feedback on it. I chose this as our project for this class because I want to inspire you to start playing your ukulele right away in order to set yourself up for success, makes sure your ukulele is tuned. Download the materials that I've provided for you, and review the video lessons in this class as many times as you need to. Now for a few additional tips. One of the most important tips that I can share with you is to be patient with yourself. Take your time learning the chords and strumming techniques that I've taught you. And don't try and cut corners. If you can stick with learning what I've taught you, you'll be on the path to learning hundreds of your favorite songs. As I mentioned in earlier lessons, if your chords are sounding like they're buzzing, pick each string individually to diagnose the problem in your chord. You're most likely muting strings unintentionally and not pressing down hard enough or not playing on your fingertips. As far as practice routine goes, I found that it's best to practice even for a few minutes every day. You'll see progress this way as opposed to practicing for an hour and then not practicing for days and then picking up the ukulele again, consistency is key with learning the ukulele. So hopefully you can find even five minutes every day to practice. Let's talk for a bit about resources. What we've done in this class is set the foundation for your ukulele playing. We've learned some of the most essential chords and how to switch between them. I've provided you with chord diagrams for the chords that we've looked at in this class. And I've also added diagrams for other very common chords that you're likely to come across when you're attempting to learn new songs. If you need a refresher on how to read chord diagrams, just refer back to the previous lesson where I covered that. If you're interested in learning more songs, you can check out the app and website, ultimate guitar and search for songs that way. That site has a huge catalog of songs. And once you've found the song that you want to learn, you can select ukulele as your instrument and you'll see the chord diagrams. Just be aware that since it's an online community, many of the songs available on there are uploaded by fellow users of the site. But from my experience when looking for a song, it's best to scroll through and look for songs with high ratings. And that will usually be a good way to find accurate courts for a song. You can also do a Google search for songs that you want to learn. If the song that you want to learn has a chord that we haven't covered in this class. You understand how to read chord diagrams now. So just learn any new chords that you need to commit them to memory. If you're learning a new song, make sure you listen to a recording of it. And this will help you get a feel for it. And just take your time learning any new chords and the chord progression. When learning new songs, it could be very helpful to slow the song down. And we're lucky to live in a time where that's super easy to do. The most basic way of doing this is to find the song you learning on YouTube and slow down the video playback speed. Another option that I've used as the free software, Audacity. It's available for Mac and Windows. And with Audacity, you can open an MP3 file and slow the tempo down without changing the pitch of the nodes. If you use a digital audio workstation like Logic Pro or Cubase for example, you can use the time stretch feature to slow your MP3s down. I also recommend that you get yourself a headstock tuner for tuning your ukulele. Make sure that you download the PDF resources that I've attached to this course. And don't forget to try and play along with me during the two song lessons in this class. Also, if you'd like to leave a review for this class, that would be very helpful for me as I create new courses and feel free to send me comments, questions, or feedback. I hope that you feel confident enough with everything that you've learned in this class to take the information and move forward in your ukulele journey. Have fun and experiment. Thank you so much for taking this class with me.