At the end of the day, the best way to learn ukulele is going to be different for each individual.
It will also depend on various different factors, like learning styles, how much time each day you have to practice, and most importantly, do you already play any musical instruments?
Learning a new instrument, especially the ukulele, should be a fun experience! So it’s important to choose a learning method that works for you.
If this is the first musical instrument you are learning, then it’s going to be even more difficult in knowing which is the best way to learn ukulele for you! That’s why I decided to write this article.
The aim is to help you choose the best method for yourself so that the learning process will be pleasant and enjoyable.
Oh, and a heads up! There may be some courses or products which I recommend for which I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you should you make a purchase. All recommendations are genuine and/or verified by myself!
The Best Way to Learn Ukulele in My Opinion
A bit of background about myself. I started playing the drums when I was 8 and grew up in a bit of a musical family. Since then, I’ve learned keyboard and guitar, played in bands, worked in music shops, and am generally obsessed with all things music.
Because I already knew how to play the guitar, learning to play the ukulele came quite easy.
BUT, the way I learned to play the ukulele was and is the same approach I learn new instruments today (except for 8 years old me learning to play the drums, that was a private lesson once a week!)
And that approach is based on STRUCTURE. Without structure, I’d be lost… Even after all these years, it’s my go-to method.
But Will you say, “How do I get structure?”
Well, in this day of age it’s either through an online course or private tuition. For most instruments, I personally would always lean towards an online course!
That is unless you’re learning a very “niche” instrument, something like the ancient Chinese Guzheng…
Fair enough if you think you can teach yourself through YouTube, it’s totally doable, but I probably wouldn’t recommend it to someone who has never learned a musical instrument before…
Whenever I try going down the YouTube route, I often find myself asking the same three questions… “Am I even doing this right?” “How do I play (favorite song) on the ukulele?” and “What do I learn next?”
I would end up spending more time searching, than learning, practicing, and playing.
Especially for someone learning their very first instrument, it can only be overwhelming searching through thousands of videos. You need a professional to guide you in an organized and structured way.
And that last question is probably the most significant. When learning through a dedicated course or program, you’ll never be asking “What do I learn next?”
Instead, you’ll be following an expertly created learning process that’s been tried and tested, each lesson building on the last and developing your playing ability one step at a time.
Even though I knew how to play guitar, I still chose an online course when I decided to learn the ukulele. Being short on the time, I wanted a step-by-step program where I didn’t have to waste time searching for free lessons or correct chord charts.
Here’s some other benefits to learning to play ukulele using an online course…
- You can choose the style(s) you want to learn
- Easy-to-follow and structured practice plans from professional musicians
- Watch the instructor demonstrate techniques however many times you desire
- Choose when you want to learn and progress at your own pace
- Save time endlessly searching on YouTube
- Cheaper than private lessons
- Most online courses will allow you to ask questions
Which Online Ukulele Course Did I Use?
There are loads of online ukulele courses out there, and I don’t want to recommend a huge list because I’ve only ever used one, and that’s Uke Like The Pros.
You can check out my list of the best online ukulele lessons here.
I don’t know if it’s the best. Like most online courses, they’re usually all quite similar. But I can share a bit of my experience using it.
I actually heard about the course through a friend. He’d heard of Terry Carter through the San Diego music scene. We actually both lived in SD at the time.
Anyways, Terry has a wealth of playing and teaching experience, over 25 years. He’s also worked alongside some big names, the band Weezer and Josh Groban to name a few. As well as, written tracks for Animal Planet, CBS, and MTV.
So it’s fair to say he knows what he’s doing!
One of my favorite aspects of his website and courses is that he offers in-person interaction on a weekly basis, which is really helpful and useful if you have any pressing questions.
On top of that, you have options to purchase individual courses or monthly and yearly membership options, so there’s really an option for all levels and budgets. Even a free 6-lesson mini-course called Ukulele Fundamentals to get started.
If you go for a membership option, there are over 300 lessons to choose from, and around 10 courses catered to different playing levels and styles, as well as new content added weekly.
It really is a good site if you want everything you need to know about how to learn ukulele at your fingertips. His teaching style is great too, relaxed and super easygoing, very suiting for the ukulele!
I would say though that for more advanced players you probably won’t get too much out of it, although the Fingerstyle Ukulele Mastery Course is fairly challenging.
For beginners or even intermediates looking for the best way to learn ukulele or improve their skills, I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending you start with courses like those on Uke Like The Pros!
Also, I reached out to Terry and told him how much I enjoyed his online lessons and managed to get you all 20% of all courses and membership options!
All you need to do is follow the link HERE FOR 20% OFF EVERY MEMBERSHIP & COURSE!
You’re welcome 🙂
Other Ways To Learn Ukulele
Although I personally think taking an online course is the best way to learn ukulele, there are a few other options!
I briefly touched upon it earlier, but you can always try and teach yourself. Although you won’t get the step-by-step learning and practice process as well as the opportunity to ask questions, if you are on a budget, it’s certainly a viable option.
If you are a complete beginner, Andy Guitar on YouTube has a free 10 day learn to play ukulele course. I must say, it’s quite comprehensive and free! Who doesn’t like free things?
Here’s the first ukulele lesson of his course!
Another option is finding a local ukulele group. No matter where you are in the world, I can guarantee there is a local ukulele group in your area.
They’re great places to meet other ukulele players but also experience the satisfaction of making music together. Learning to play the ukulele in a group is also nice because the pressure and attention are not necessarily on you, instead, you play as a unit.
Some ukulele groups focus more on performing than teaching however, which isn’t ideal for complete beginners. If that’s the case, I’d recommend supplementing ukulele groups with online lessons.
Final Thoughts on the Best Way to Learn Ukulele
One learning method I haven’t really mentioned is having private lessons. I personally think for an instrument like the ukulele it’s not necessary and too much of an expensive option.
A lot of times as well, private teachers aren’t necessarily the most flexible towards what you want to learn, and tend to stick to the playing and music styles they enjoy the most.
At the end of the day, there’s no right or wrong way…
The best way to learn ukulele for you might be completely opposite for me, the most important thing is that you enjoy the process.
And take action today. As the wise Benjamin Franklin said, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”