How To Have Proper Positioning With The Ukulele
Having problems with hand soreness or finger cramps after playing the ukulele? It is most probably due to the fact that you are not holding the ukulele properly. This is included in the many challenges that beginner ukulele players are bound to face and we are here to help solve this problem!
For most beginners, holding the ukulele in your hands may feel awkward and uncomfortable at the start. This may lead to issues such as spending a very long time to find a comfortable position to hold the ukulele instead of spending the time to practise your chords.
To start off, let's get to know the different parts of the ukulele.
Different parts of a ukulele:
Next, let's learn how to properly hold a ukulele.
How to pick up a ukulele:
1. With the ukulele facing outwards, wrap your fingers around the bottom of the neck, above the sound hole.
2. Loosely stretch out your hands with the ukulele and retract it such that the ukulele lies on your chest. Note that the ukulele should be rested at around your chest level, not any much higher or lower.
3. Generally, the head of the ukulele should be tilted up, but some of you may prefer to hold it such that the neck is parallel to the ground. That is still acceptable but what should not be done is tilting the head of the ukulele down. The reason is that it may cause a strain in your wrist when playing the ukulele.
How to hold a ukulele when standing up:
1. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and follow the above steps on how to hold the ukulele and where to place the ukulele.
2. When strumming the ukulele, your head should be tilted down a bit.
How to hold a ukulele when sitting down:
When you are sitting down, you would want to relieve the weight of the ukulele. Make sure to sit up straight and try not to bend your back.
1. Cross one leg over another to increase height and let your ukulele rest comfortably on your legs.
2. Use your right arm to hug the body of the ukulele and support the body while using your left hand to support the neck of the ukulele.
How to strum the ukulele:
If you are strumming with your thumb, put your strumming hand into a loose fist and bring it towards the ukulele as shown in the picture.
If you are strumming with your index finger, similarly, put your strumming hand into a loose fist first and stick out your index finger.
Note that your strumming finger should be around the area where the neck meets the body of the ukulele. This is the most optimal spot with the best combination of sound produced and comfortability of strumming position.
How to place your fingers on the frets:
1. Your fingers should be almost parallel to the frets when you are playing the different chords.
2. Your thumb should be behind the neck of the ukulele.
We hope that the above-mentioned tips have been useful for you. Now that you have mastered the skills of holding the ukulele in the proper positions, you may want to learn how to transit between chords easily and efficiently by attending ukulele workshops!