If so, chances are you love your instrument more than you can describe. People who have been playing for years often consider their uke part of them!
But not everyone can know everything about this tiny instrument. In fact, there are plenty of fun facts about the ukulele you may have never even heard.
As a lover of the instrument, you have to make sure you know all that you can. Otherwise, you may never reach your full potential as an artist. Lucky for you, we’re experts on this topic and have combined some of the best fun facts out there. Read on for 11 facts every ukulele player should know.
Flying with an instrument is one of the most stressful parts of being a musician. It is truly daunting to have to wave goodbye to a beloved ukulele as they take it away to the conveyor belt. And despite the concern and complaining by musicians, the airlines are not making it any easier for us.
So here are 15 hands-on tips I learned for flying with a ukulele and keeping it safe!
1. Get a Hard Case
Let’s begin with what should be obvious. If your instrument is valuable, your first step is to protect it in a hard shell case. Yes it is heavier, but that is what keeps it safe from the outside. A couple of bumps here and there are inevitable during travel.
When choosing a hard case make sure it is exactly the right size so that your ukulele fits snuggly. It should not have any space to wobble inside the case as this can damage it. If it does, even slightly, I suggest wrapping a couple of old T-shirts or socks around it so that it is tighter during travel.
Ukulele is not a hard instrument to learn. You know that a child is ready to learn ukulele based on his/her curiosity of the instrument. In my own experience teaching the musical instrument, a four or five-year-old child should be ready to learn to play the ukulele.
So how to teach a child to play the ukulele? The most important aspect of teaching a child to play ukulele is getting them interested in playing it. Once the child is interested in actually playing it, get a uke that is suitable for children. Then start teaching them basic chords, strumming patterns, keeping in mind some songs to learn, such as nursery rhymes.
1. First, make sure the child has a ukulele
To get started the child needs a ukulele. Bring the child to any music store and have him look around and see if there’s any spark of interest with the different musical instrument. Who knows he or she might pick up a different instrument to learn instead of a ukulele while roaming inside the music store.
You could also let the child watch a few youtube videos of any young ukulele players. Ask the child if he or she has a favorite color or specific design that he/she likes.
In any performances, you do not want your listener to cover their ears for you are playing loud with an out of tune guitar. Having a well-tuned guitar and an ability to tune your guitar by ear is very important. So let me give you some helpful tips on how to tune your guitar. Unless you have a “Perfect Pitched Ears” to tune your guitar, you need a Reference Pitch to be able to compare while tuning your instruments: a tuning fork, pitch pipe, piano, or another reliable-tuned instrument. We call it Relative Pitch ears, where you relate a pitch from another pitch.
By the way, tuning your instrument using a digital tuner (visual tuning) is a preferable way during live performances or for quick tuning. Using a digital tuner is another topic we can discuss in the next article.
Before you make any adjustment with your guitar, make sure you have a reference pitch. I used to carry in my gig bag a chromatic pitch pipe or a tuning fork. Now I use a digital clip-on tuner with my guitar, so I can tune it without making a loud sound on stage. The new digital tuner works by picking up the strings vibration and not from the sound signal input. My favorite clip-on tuner is made by D’Addario. It is smaller than Snark and snugs well on the headstock. I do not prefer Snark as I had broken many of them before because it sticks out on top of the headstock as compare to the D’Addario one.
In a gathering with your friends or family, some of them might know how to play the guitar, and some might know how to play the ukulele or bass guitar or maybe there is already a piano player.
Where to begin? Well, playing music with different instrumentation is always a tricky subject. Guitar and ukulele are two different instruments but they can complement each other very well. With this article, I would like to share with you how to play music with a guitar and ukulele together harmoniously.
Now you might be scratching your head and asking hmmm, so “How to Play Guitar and Ukulele Together?”When playing guitar and ukulele together or any instrument, one must always keep the sound in mind. Have a balanced sonic palette or simply balanced sound with your instrument. Even at the early stage of your playing, always be aware of the sound that you are creating or playing. Similar to a painting. No one would appreciate a painting that has no balance in color shades or organization. One might say it depends on the eye of the beholder or the ear of the beholder.
To better understand what I mean about balance in music playing, let me introduce you some simple concept. When playing with two or more musician, one should ask a question like “should I play: louder or softer, higher or lower, longer or shorter, faster or slower, more or less, or not play”. Or probably ask who is playing what? Me or you? Listening to each other’s playing is also essential in achieving a balanced sound.