Ukulele 101 | Diego Gualda | Skillshare

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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

    • 1.

      How I ended up playing the ukulele


    • 2.

      Uke's anathomy


    • 3.

      String theory: mechanics of sound and tuning


    • 4.

      Advanced tuning... or sort of


    • 5.

      Really, really, really basic strumming


    • 6.

      Happy chords :) Sad chords :(


    • 7.

      The plot thickens: more chords, more fingers


    • 8.

      Four chord songs: class assigment first pitch


    • 9.

      Yet another minor chord


    • 10.

      Advanced strumming (sh*t just got serious)


    • 11.

      Keys, bars and more ukebabble


    • 12.

      Oh, the dreaded assignment


    • 13.

      Bonus track #1: Arpeggio


    • 14.

      Bonus track #2: Just Google it


    • 15.

      Bonus track #3: 12 bar blues


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About This Class


UKULELE –also known as ukelele, or hawaiian guitar, or the happiest musical instrument ever made– is just so much fun. Inexpensive, portable, great for singing along your favorite songs or even joining a band. This class is an introduction to the basics of the instrument, the begginer's strumming tecnique and a set of chords that will enable you to play quite a few songs... and explore even more. 

You do not need previous music knowledge to take this course, though you will certainly need an instrument for practice and for the class project. For those with experience with guitar, bass, banjo, violin, viola, cello, citar, cuatro, cavaquinho, balalaika –well, pretty much with anything that has a few strings– this will certainly be a funny experience.

The class project will consist of playing and uploading a video of a specific song. For those willing to go a little further, we will set tuning and tempo so that different videos can be edited into one.

So enroll and enjoy. Welcome to ukeland.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Diego Gualda

Music, stories and comedy


My name is Diego and I'm mostly a guy who gets paid for telling stories. Journalist, novelist, comedian, composer willing to share a few things I've learnt out there.

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1. How I ended up playing the ukulele: and everyone. My name is the Evo. And when I was a kid I wanted Teoh. Thank you, but my mom wouldn't buy. So I ended up most of the guys in my generation learning to play guitar. Later on, I tried with base but finally fell in love with this little fellow called You Cool any. This is a beautiful instrument. Gas. It's tiny and portable and inexpensive, and that's a fun. Most of all, you could add. It's lots of fun. So I hope that through these videos you get the basics on this instrument. Welcome. 2. Uke's anathomy: Hey there. Welcome to a first class called Anatomy. Off the ukulele. Ukulele is mainly divided in two parts. One his body. On the second part is the fretboard, which is where the strings are. Where you actually play over the body, You strong. You play on the fretboard force ching's. The strings are uncorked to the to the body by physical bridge. And then along the fretboard, there are the steal metallic pieces that divide the world into spaces. Practical frets for its are counted from left to right, and strings are counted upwards. So string number one is the lower one. On the end of the fretboard, you will find headpiece, which has the tuners. That is a mechanical device used for tuning the instrument, but about how to tune We're gonna talk about in our next video. 3. String theory: mechanics of sound and tuning: way before getting into the art of joining an instrument. I would like to explain a few things about the mechanics off, while most everything that has strings string south flexible and when you block the string vibrates. The preparation echoes inside the body of the instrument that this amplifies the volume off . The sound tuning is given the strings assert intention to acquire a very specific sound for specific No. Okay, strings have different thicknesses, different lengths depending on the instrument and, of course, different degrees of tensions. The shorter the thinner, on the more tense a string is the failure Is the beach off the sound cable. When you stop on the fretboard and then you block this train, what you're actually doing is making the stream shorter. That's why I closer to get to the body, the South. The pitch of the sound is even fire. That's basically how this thing works. Okay, when you're enough putting your fingers on the fretboard, Europe playing the strings open. No ukulele has one specific note for each open stream. This is a hey see and G G is one uptake higher as a difference with a retired on bass guitar, other kind of instruments. So these are the sounds you have to look forward to me for turning. You can use another instrument this reference, for example, the piano. Or you can tune with an electronic tuner. There are different types of electronic tuners. You can also find ups for your mobile phones. For tuners, use a night bus or Ah, knife, phone or even a Mac, and you're using a rash man tuner car section off garage band for tuning. There is also another way off Jinyan instrument that is using just your perception chest your good hearing, but it's sort of advanced, and we're gonna talk about that. 4. Advanced tuning... or sort of: in our last lesson, we were talking about how to tune a ukulele using on electronic tuner. I know we're gonna do it without the electronic tuner to get started, we need to get referenced a note. To get a reference, we need to use another instrument such as a piano. We can also use a tuning fork if you find him. You see, um, workers continue for or you can use the dialling tone off a telephone than usually is an A . So what, you happy, eh? The first train you need to choose the second string. If you tap on the fifth fret on the second string. You should also get a day. So you complain a on the first I go there based on your friend. It's out of tune. They sound the same. How it's too due to the third string one topping on fourth fret you should get a e. He is the same sound as the second string. So then again you can compare So me This is not any during the cell, just the same fortune in the fourth string. If you talk on the second fret, you will also get in a so you can compare with your reference on the first string different out of tune again, some of the same, it's too. 5. Really, really, really basic strumming: ways of playing. The most unusual is called picking, and it's like what the guitar does when you have a guitar sword. This is speaking. Sorry, Mr Captain, for that. Another way off. Playing the ukulele is the arpeggio. That is when you cool different strings in a specific sequence like this. But the most usual way of playing is struggling. Strumming is what you used to keep a rhythm and to accompany yourself maybe while singing it's the role of the second guitar in about the most basic strumming technique. Consists off using only your middle finger going going up like this while rhythm guitar is played with a great part of your whole arm. And when the bass guitarist played only with fingers you clearly displayed from the wrist, so you should relax your wrist and just start trying. Donna, you will get some practice to get this going to do it right, relaxed, using the middle finger on going down and up. It's not the only way of strumming many experience Ukulele players also use the thumb going down the family and a combination of some middle finger here. I'm only going somebody a little fever down But you can also combined down enough. Start with the basic strumming practice until you feel comfortable and then start experimenting on combinations. Having some controversy among you. Will any players about you say big? Usually this is considered a sin. Very serious scene will burn in hell, where everybody plays the channel in the past stuff for using a pick on the ukulele. Truth is using a big damages. The strings. Your strings will last less time if you use a P, but you get a completely different sound out of Europe using a big It's even fun for Peking so you will not burning. Help use it at your own risk, but most of all have finally hearings. 6. Happy chords :) Sad chords :(: So what are cords? Course are combinations of notes that when Blake simultaneously, please, so just do we're going to get into the theory off how this system or why doesn't work. Let's just take a leap of faith and accept that a certain combination of certain notes sounds good combinations received names, for example. If you play, see Jean, all of them at the same time. This combination is called C major. Now why sickle major? Because there are two types of courts major ports and my let's say there are happy cords and sad, happy courts and SAT scores, which combined give songs certain texture. Now, when you play guitar or you lady courts are such figures that you do certain positions that you place with your fingers on the front board, we're going to start with the most symbol off all courts for ukulele, which is C major. Do you see Major, you just kept a tough with one finger in the third threat off the first string. Now you already know the basic strumming so good a finger on C major and just start practicing a second court. Gonna learn today is a simple see major but it's a minor chord, and it's called a minor. To play a minor, you have to tap with one finger only on the second. Fret off the fourth strength. Now the tough part Play C major Well, bling shift to a mine, this shifting back and forth from one court to another. It's a kind of coordination that requires practice, so just start doing it. There are off course, more complex courts that required to three anyone four fingers, but we're gonna get to that later. 7. The plot thickens: more chords, more fingers: you know, last video, you learn to courts that were way too simple because they involved just Wolfinger these worse see, And a mine. Today we're gonna introduce two new courts that are a little more sophisticated. The first of them. What a challenge. It has two fingers and exactly this two fingers. To play an F court, you have to place your index on the first fret off second quarter and your middle finger on the second fret off the fourth string. This gives you an F court. Now they have been bringing around with shifting courts from sea to a minor. We're going now at the half court to this. So this is how it should be. Oh, now let me show you a trick to make things is here. If you used this finger to play your sequence, then it's extremely easy to shift to the next finger for the A minor. If you play the a minor with middle finger, then it's very simple to add the index for any now. Our next court is much more sophisticated because it requires three fingers. Tredici cord. You need to place your index on the second fret off the third string. Then place your middle finger. Second fret the first string and friendly ring finger on the third Fret off the second string. There you go. Now, this won't be easy, but you have to train play. See, my just give you a lot of practice goes on. Naturally, Once you've mastered this progression of ports, there are like 1000 suns. You with it. But we can I think about that on our next. 8. Four chord songs: class assigment first pitch: way. Just see the basic can protect first just for me Way that was playing with only four course I see a minor f No, This is the first pitch for your of course. The same with four points you have learned so far. And using basic strumming we're gonna play classic Stand by me Goes with this thing way. No way Now you try yourself at home. 9. Yet another minor chord: Now that we're solid on four chords, let's have one more called to widen range and be able to play some more sophisticated things. The next court is called E minor and explain it like this. Your index finger goes on the second fret off the first string. You're middle finger goes on the second string on third print and your ring finger goes from the third friend off the third string. It's like a little staircase. Yeah, sounds like this. This e minor allows things like this. No, sir, if without Mr Marley. 10. Advanced strumming (sh*t just got serious): So far, we have learned the most basic of strumming, which I stand only with one finger index or middle. And it goes down and up before you have practiced. This not probably your fingers short from striving, but there are more sophisticated striking patterns. I'm gonna show you a few of them, which involved the first more sophisticated. It's trying. Time goes twice don't words with some and once down wards with one fever like this off course, you can speed it up. Oh, you could make it more interesting having a second down wards trunk with the fever like this. Now this gets heavier. What about going down? I know with finger down, I know there are probably There are probably hundreds, thousands strong bottoms. The only trick is just relax. Let your hand flow enjoy how Let's 11. Keys, bars and more ukebabble: There's a very complex concept in music, which is called Harmony. Explain harmonies far beyond this course. But let's just take a leap of faith and assume that harmony allows to you to group horns so that they feet, they sound good close to each other. So far, we have been learning some courts and are in harmony and the key off. See? No. But now let me show you around. The fool hard. When you see Major most simple corns, you're really no see that this is a whole The minor three minor is played with your index on the first fret off second string with your middle finger. On second, fret off. First train on your ring finger on the second floor of the third Street. This is my Then comes. You might You are right now. You know, G. You already know a minor you already know. And for the last part of this harmony, we're gonna have a whole new concept which is difficult, which is placing your finger off Sabar. The bar is when you press the whole finger across every string. This is difficult. It's reports practice. This will sour preppy. Okay. No, the last chord on the from Seiki is called B flat before displayed by placing a bar for Fred number one on strings 123 then placing your middle finger on the second fret third string and your ring finger. Third, fret before stream. It is difficult. This is going to require a lot of practice, so the whole see major round goes if a minor, no breakfast and enjoy. 12. Oh, the dreaded assignment: Hey there. So we're almost finished with you. Cool. Anyone? One and introduction to this beautiful and funny instrument. So to finish this course, you will have to do your assignment. I have already advanced what the assignment is about. It's going to be playing and maybe singing along. Stand by me with a basic or advanced running and with four basic courts. And if you want your version of stand by me, maybe remixed with others used something to measure your temple and played on 100 and 20 beats per minute. Something like This way has come star these days. Way, way, friend, Your friend Just stand. Stand by me. Stand by me. Stand by. Yes, thank you very much for joining. It's being lots of fun. Do these videos on well dressed cup of bodies tracks down there so enjoy life and injury pain 13. Bonus track #1: Arpeggio: bonus track number one during this first very basic course and you really, we have been talking about strumming about, just going through all the strings at the same time. There are other ways of playing on the introduction video we talked about picking on. We also talked about arpeggio, which is plucking the strings one by one in different butters. Things like this, you can use very different our pigeon patterns. This'll force required practice gas. It has a very difficult coordination on the right hand. Maybe sometime in the future we might have an advanced course with all the details on how to do these kind of things. 14. Bonus track #2: Just Google it: bonus track number two. So now that you've learned the basics, just google your way through this instrument. There are plenty off tutorial seeing YouTube, another places where you'll find tips on how to play many of your favorite songs. You will also find some books lyrics with the courts to real, and we have just bean over a few very basic chords. Try new ones, moving new ones, look at the diagrams and try to place your fingers in those weird spiders. Off course on you have lots of fun. Welcome to a better world now that you know how to play you. 15. Bonus track #3: 12 bar blues: if you ever playing rockabilly if you ever played the blues, you know exactly what this is. This is a 12 bar blues progression, but the big question is. Can 12 bar blues or rock and roll be played on the tiny pretty You pull any off cars that can. You only need three courts to play this progression in a And at this, two of the three course are very simple. First course is a major seventh on, displayed by placing only one finger on the second fret off the third string. A major seven second court is a two finger cord. It's called the major seventh. Explain with your index on the second fret of the fourth strain and your middle finger on the second fret off the second Street. BC steam mangers Haven't third cortisone Even more complex, it has three fingers involves your fingers. Your index goes on. String number four, number one middle finger on string number three number two and your ring finger on for a number two. String number one, this is E major seven. So now you have the three quarts. You can start playing professional now. If you're brave enough, you can try plane with the six on the seventh of each court. Something like this Nobody knows. Just think. Just missed off course. There are hundreds off blues and rockabilly songs you can play with these few chords and this profession. So just refuse this with wait for sentry My friends views about you Gotta go, Daisy. She almost dropped crazy. Got Daisy. She almost tried too crazy She suit He's good. I like that. Smooth without bam boom. You shake my nerves and you rattle my brain Too much of love It's driving me insane You from a wheel Water three gracious great balls of fire I love love You came from mine Fine ness gracious Great balls. If I got it right Maybe jumping one My chop it talk Gotta hear it again today This just young by my mother told son Always be a good boy with I shot a man in Reno Just watching you roll I got this guy Chris is running around like a big toe, Little man radio blasting goes way rock