Monday, March 29, 2010

No Way ! Crochet Ukulele's ?

I found these on
Can you Believe it ? Crochet ukes!



Plus, you can not only buy the crochet stuffed animals, but buy the pattern as well. Check out the links below for both.

Buy the pattern

Buy The Uke

And Remember:
Stay Tuned

Sunday, March 28, 2010


This song pretty much made my day from the beginning. Just simply enjoy it.And if you like it enough it.

Just don't take any hints from their fashion sense.

Stay Tuned

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Finger Picking Tutorial

This week I had a request from a friend about how to finger pick properly. So i figured I would post a simple Ukulele finger-picking technique along with some tips and tricks to make your picking faster and sound better too.

The beautiful thing about the Ukulele is that it only has four strings. This makes it really easy to begin playing, and although it can make some difficult progressions on guitar nearly impossible on the ukulele, for the most part, four strings is a good thing. Especially if your trying to learn how to pick.

  The Simple Pattern
The pattern your going to learn is the 1-4-2-3 pattern, and the simplicity of this one is going to blow your mind. But first things first. You're going to want to drop your right hand (assuming your right handed) down directly  above the sound hole. This is really where it should be anyways, but many Ukulele players tend to strum higher up on the fret board because of the small size of the instrument.  This will help you pick at the strings more easily because the strings are farther away from the ukulele here. Your left hand will be making chords of course, just like it would be if you were strumming.

The thing to remember with the Ukulele is that the strings are numbered from the bottom up, so the smallest (bottom) string is number 1, the next largest is number 2, and so on. 
With the 1-4-2-3 pattern you will pluck the strings in the order of the pattern to complete it.
 This is the case with all picking patterns and learning this now will help you a lot if you ever want to read and play Ukulele tabs in the future. 

For most picking patterns you will only need your first three fingers and as a general rule, your thumb owns the top two (G and C), your pointer finger will pick the next one down  (E), and your middle finger will pick the bottom string (A). I usually float my ring finger in the air and let it wiggle around how it likes while I pick, and my pinky finger tends to push down against my uke for support, but this is really just my personal preference and you may do it however it is comfortable.

If your playing the 1-4-2-3 pattern properly while the ukulele is open (no chord is being made)  you should be playing the strings in this order A-G-E-C. This wont sound pretty without a chord to pick, so a simple C chord is fine for learning.  Once the pattern is complete you just repeat it to sound the chord. To pick the chords of a normal song, you would change the chords of the song just like if you were strumming, and maintain the picking pattern with your fingers.

Put very simply, To play the 1-4-2-3 pattern, start by plucking the bottom string with your middle finger, then pluck the top string with your thumb, pluck the second string from the bottom with your pointer, and  finish by plucking the third string from the bottom with your thumb to end it. Repeat as necessary

 Okay, I know your not going to want to hear this, but the most important thing to need to remember in order to get good at picking is to practice, practice, practice. Simply picking slowly while you watch some TV, or setting aside twenty minutes or so for practicing a day will help your speed tremendously, and if you get frustrated, just play something else, and come back to it later.

If your have any questions  leave a comment below, and I'll help you out.

Stay Tuned

Thursday, March 25, 2010

How to pick strings for your Ukulele

There are certain qualities you should look for in ukulele strings. In order to find the ukulele strings that are right for you ,there are a few things to decide.

To Low G or not to Low G
Traditional ukuleles are tuned to  GCEA, however the strings don't go from low to high like a guitar. Generally speaking the C string is lower than the G string (no pun intended). This gives the instrument that Hawaiian tropical feel that tickles your ears. It is possible to buy a set of strings in which the G string is lower than the C. It doesn't really change to sound of the instrument but some people don't like it because it takes away from the traditional feel. I really like the Low G and its the only way you can play lead, or solo if that's what your into.

Gut or Nylon strings
 If gut sounds gross to you should. Gut strings are produced from the intestines of sheep. Again, these are regarded as traditional, but to be honest, they suck. They're super susceptible to the heat and are very difficult to keep in tune. They do sound good, but they are rapidly being replaced by nylon or other synthetic strings. 

The other most popular string material , Nylon, is quickly monopolizing  the string industry because It's cost effective,  resist to heat and has good tone.You really cant go bad when purchasing Nylon.

 This can sometimes be misleading. The more expensive strings are  not necessarily better. I have seen strings from about $3 to almost $15, but have been happy with strings only about $7. Some strings may even come packaged long enough to string your Ukulele twice. It all depends.

My Top Three

3. Ko'olau Gold Series       
I got these strings as a gift one year. They have a strange yellow coloring that is unappealing because of how they look on my uke, but its worth it for their sound. They supposedly have perfect pitch and are used in professional recording. The small string gauges tend to pull through the bridge of my Uke's so it helps to sneak up on the right note when tuning.

2. Hilo- Low G Wrapped C
These strings are kind of strange as far as regular strings go. They have a Low G string, but also a normal C string that is wrapped in a thin metal cord. They make the ukulele mellow and give you some more volume. The best part is they are only about $5

1. Aquila- Nylgut Low G
By far, these are my favorite  strings. They are synthetic gut-type strings that are still resistant to heat, have almost perfect tone, and come in sets of Low G and High G. They will run you  about $7,but its well worth it.

Stay Tuned

Okay here is the dilemma

When I first started  playing Ukulele I went to the local music store,  Herreid Music and I bought the cheapest ukulele they had, a baritone Hilo, because why would I drop a hundred dollars on an instrument that I wouldn't like after a month or two?

To me this instrument sounded fine, was the perfect size, though not anymore, and was in my price range. I was definitely happy with my purchase, but after upgrading to a more expensive, and better sounding Flea ukulele I learned that my forty dollar baritone sounded like those souvenir ukuleles you get in Hawaii. It was plain awful. I couldn't believe I put up with it for so long.

Now just to be clear, Hilo's instruments have tons of potential. I have played some beautiful sounding Ukes made by Hilo. Its mostly my fault anyways. I was naive and didn't play the instrument to make sure it had a sound body, and a good tone before I bought it. But what if I did have a good ear for music?

Most people I know that play the Ukulele have started out playing cheap little instruments. Some almost gave up the Uke because their $15 Ukulele would never give them the perfect sound they wanted, no matter how hard they practiced. This bothers me because I think the ukulele has  the mellowest sound of all the stringed instruments. And some never get to hear the potential.

So help me out here... Is it better to buy a cheap Ukulele early, and put up with its sound to make sure you like it? Or should you save up and buy a Ukulele that will stand up to  the name that the little instrument has made for itself ?

Stay Tuned

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The First Song

Its only right that the first song I post here is one of my favorites. It also helps that this is one of the easiest songs that I know on the ukulele. You're all familiar with Maroon 5 right ? Well, they have a rockin little jam called Sunday Morning, and believe it or not, it flows really well on four strings. If you haven't heard it check it out on You-tube below

Now for the chords.
The chords change in the song, at the exact same time the keyboard moves to the next chord,so if you are having trouble with the changes just re-listen to the song. The changes are illustrated by the placement of the chord letter above the word that the changes falls on. If your singing the song, you will know where the chord changes based on what word the chord is above.

Sunday Morning Chords

Oh, and just so there is no confusion, the tabs at the bottom of the page are for guitar. When I transposed the chords from guitar to ukulele, the tabs didn't change. 

Stay Tuned


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A New Begining

So this is it. This is my first blog post. The first of many I hope. Am I supposed to open up with some content ? Like a picture...Something about ukulele perhaps? I don't know.  Maybe later today.

Stay Tuned