Ukulele 101

VERY IMPORTANT UPDATE: This ebook isn’t being updated anymore. I didn’t think it was needed any more because Ukulele for Dummies is much better and about the same price from Amazon US and Amazon UK. I was going to take it down but, even with broken links, there’s still a load of useful stuff in it. So I’ve made it available for free. If you think it’s worth a couple of dollars you can adjust the price in the cart. Don’t go any higher than $5 or I’ll be mad at you.

- Learn all the things the beginners books leave out.

- Learn to read ukulele tab, understand musical terms and discover new techniques with mp3 and video examples.

- Links to 50 sites with ukulele chords and tabs.

- Advice on which budget ukulele to buy.

- How to adjust your ukulele and playing technique to improve how it sounds.

Please read the Frequently Asked Questions for full information on file formats and downloading. Quick warning: if you’re using iPad/iPhone/Android you can’t download directly to your gadget read this for more info.

When I’ve been looking through beginners ukulele books, I’ve always been a little frustrated about the things they leave out. They teach you to strum and play a few chords, maybe play a nursery rhyme or too, but leave out so many things. These might not be about physically playing songs on the ukulele, but are essential knowledge for people wanting to get the most out of the ukulele such as which ukulele to buy, how to look after it, the best ways to practice. In particular, books rarely even mention all the ukulele related resources that are online.

Ukulele 101 is intended as kind of a Ukulele Beginners Book 2.0. It fills in the blanks that other books leave.

If you still have a blank after reading the ebook, you’ll get a chance to fix that. As well as a pdf, mp3 files and video (mpg) files, you’ll also get the chance to ask me any question you think should be included in this book but isn’t. It might be a term people use all the time, a difficult chord or chord change, a certain technique, something in this book you didn’t understand. I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to answer it, but I’ll certainly do my best.

If you haven’t downloaded one of my ebooks before, please do check out FAQ for more info.

What people are saying:

I just wanted to say 101 things you need to know about ukulele and rag time ukulele E-books are fantastic and I found them really helpful I love the fact you put links as well for what equipment to use and such and links to ukulele tab sites also.

Vincent Wright

I have to Thank You for the excellent material you provide. As a Newbie it is very difficult andfrustrating to weed out the many learning formats available. Yours is by far one of the best I have come across so far. Your ability to keep it simple and organized in a manner to absorb even by a blockhead like myself is testament to your offerings.

Mark Shear

Ukulele 101

Buying a Ukulele

1. Where should I buy a ukulele?

2. Which Size Ukulele Should I Buy?

3. How Much Should I Spend?

4. What’s the best ukulele for under $50?

5. What’s the best ukulele for under $100?

6. What should I bear in mind when buying on eBay?

7. What sort of wood should a ukulele be?

8. I’m left-handed, do I need to buy a left handed ukulele?

9. What’s better geared or friction tuners?

10. Should I buy a banjo ukulele?

11. Should I buy an electric ukulele?

12. What’s a ‘low-G’ ukulele and should I buy one?


13. Does it matter what strings I use?

14. Which strings should I buy?

15. How do I replace strings?

16. How often should I replace strings?

17. Do I need different strings for different sizes of ukulele?

18. Do I need different strings for C-tuning and D-tuning?

19. Can I use guitar/mandolin/banjo strings on a ukulele?

20. How do I make strings last longer?

Ukulele Online

21. Where can I find tab and chords online?

22. Where can I learn chord shapes online?

23. Where can I find ukulele lessons and tutorials online?

24. What ukulele forums are there online?

25. Where can I hear ukulele music online?

26. How can I pick up a bargain on eBay?

27.What ukulele blogs are there?

28. Which YouTube channels should I be watching?

29. Where else can I find ukulele videos?

Making A Good Sound

30. How can I hear how I sound?

31. How should I hold the ukulele?

32. Where should I strum?

33. Can I use a guitar pick?

34. How can I look after my uke?

35. Why won’t my ukulele stay in tune?

36. What should I wear when I’m playing the ukulele?


37. What’s the best portable recorder?

38. What microphone should I get?

39. What software should I use?

40. How far from the mic should I be?

41. How can I put my music on the internet?

42. How can I sell my music on the internet?

Fonts, Software and Other Downloads

43. How can I put ukulele chord charts in word processing documents?

44. How can I make my own ukulele tabs?

45. How can I get in tune with my computer?

46. Where can I get a metronome online?

47. How can I improve my ear?

48. Where can I get ukulele icons?

Adjusting Your Ukulele

49. That sounds scary, should I do it?

50. What is intonation?

51. How can I measure how good my ukulele’s intonation is?

52. How can I improve my ukulele’s intonation?

53. How can I stop my ukulele buzzing?

Ukulele Accessories

54. How can I plug my ukulele into an amplifier?

55. Do I need to buy a tuner?

56. What’s a capo?

57. Do I need a strap?

58. Can I play the ukulele with a guitar pick?

59. Should I buy a metronome?


60. How often should I practice?

61. Do I need to warm up?

62. What’s the most important thing when practicing?

63. How can I play faster?

64. Do I need to use a metronome when I practice?

Chord Charts

65. How do you read ukulele chord charts?

66. Why are there different chord shapes for the same chord?

Tab and Techniques

67. How are strings tabbed?

68. How are notes tabbed?

69. How is a sequence of notes tabbed?

70. How are notes that are played simultaneously tabbed?

71. How are chords tabbed?

72. How are strums tabbed?

73. How are rhythms shown?

74. How is rhythm shown in tab?

75. What are bars/measures?

76. How is fretting hand fingering shown?

77. How is picking hand fingering shown?

78. How are repeats tabbed?

79. What are tremolo strums and how are they tabbed?

80. How are rasguados played?

81. How do you play dotted notes?

82. How do you play tied notes?

83. What are triplets?

84. What is swing time?

85. How do you play hammer-ons?

86. How do you play pull-offs?

87. Can hammer-ons and pull-offs be used together?

88. How do you play slides?

89. How are shift slides different from normal slides?

90. How are slides into and out of a note tabbed?

91. What are all those crazy squiggles on the tab?

92. How are accented notes shown?

93. How do you make dead notes?

94. How do you play trills?

95. How do you produce vibrato?

96. What are grace notes?

97. How do you bend a note?

Easier Chords and Chord Changes

98. What’s the easiest way to play a D chord?

99. What’s the easiest way to play an E chord?

100. What’s the easiest way to change from F to Fm?

101. Your own question.

Please read our Frequently Asked Questions for full information on file formats and downloading.

If you have any questions or problems please email me at or use our contact page.

Warning for mobile and tablet users!

You won't be able to download this ebook directly to your device. You'll get an email with the download link. You can use that to download to your computer and transfer it from there.