How to Hold a Ukulele

Simply getting a ukulele for the first time will not let you do justice to playing the instrument in the long run. From learning and memorizing each chord of it to playing it by ear afterwards, a lot depends on how well you can use the instrument to your own advantage. 

However, most people seem to struggle with even holding a ukulele in the first place, and we understand your issue wholeheartedly. After all, this fun and sporty instrument might be similar to a guitar, but the size of it falls nowhere in comparison to one in any way.  

Holding a ukulele in the right way is very crucial, since your method of strumming the chords might be affected by it to some extent. Do not worry about that anymore though, as in this article of ours, we are going to teach you exactly how to hold a ukulele for the very first time. 

Before we get started, we thought of introducing you to some other topics related to ukuleles that you can find here. On, we talk about the best tenor ukulele that you can currently find on the market, alongside its costs and affordability. 

Wondering how much is a ukulele? Don’t waste time in wondering about that too much and simply check out to learn all you need to know about the best tenor ukulele’s on the market, what they cost and what you need to do to get ‘em!

Anyway, let us get into all the stuff you need to know when it comes to holding a ukulele in the right way!

Grab the neck 

Right before you attempt strumming the ukulele or playing anything on it, it is vital that you hold it in the right way possible by grabbing the neck of it. Wrapping your hand around the neck of the ukulele will give you enough grip on the instrument without necessarily ruining the product in the long run. 

Note that all beginners have to start strumming with their right hand, regardless of what their natural dexterity is. This is to allow you to become more flexible and versatile in your playing methods and that will really help you out with other instruments in the future. 

Press to your chest

The second important thing that you need to do is to press the instrument to your chest before you start strumming it. This might feel a tad bit uncomfortable at first, especially if you are an experienced guitar player, but worry not as with time you will be able to get a hold of this position as well. 

When pressing the instrument to your chest, make sure that it is high enough to be right below your collarbones and above your belly. Alongside that, the instrument itself should be parallel with the surface below you so you need to hold it in a specific angle to make sure you get that position. 

Hold with the right arm 

You will want to cradle the instrument with your right arm (similar to holding a new born baby). The very end or bottom of the instrument should come in contact with the beginning of your forearm, as that will give you better hold over the product in general. 

On the other hand, you should be careful to not really put too much pressure on the body of the ukulele as you do not want to be damaging the sound box and strumming area of it. 

Thumb behind neck 

Right behind the neck of the ukulele is where the thumb of your left hand needs to go. Similar to playing a guitar, you will not need to use your thumb to actually strum or hold onto any chord on a ukulele, as it will be responsible for only balancing the instrument on your hands. 

The rest of the fingers on your left hand should be parallel with the ukulele, therefore lying on the front of the neck of it. Do not harshly grasp down on the ukulele. As we keep saying, the key to holding a ukulele in the right way is to be gentle all along. 

Put your fingers lightly on the fret of it and only press down the tips on the chords. You do not need to be as forceful with a ukulele as artists usually are with a guitar. Touching them lightly will do enough to play a loud and clear chord.

Elbows away!

When holding the ukulele, you will want to keep your left elbow away from the instrument as much as possible. This is because of the short distance of the ukulele from your body. 

Having your elbow close to your chest and the instrument will make it harder for you to strum properly, but keeping it a good distance away will allow you better mobility to play. 

Alongside that, you also need to keep the wrist of your left arm straight as possible while playing. This will reduce hand fatigue but also allow you to play as smoothly and clearly as possible. 

If required, you can extend your right arm that sits on the strings further away from the sound box. However, this position change mainly depends on what feels comfortable or uncomfortable to you personally. 

As we mentioned before, you can also learn a great deal about holding ukuleles, what the best tenor ukulele is like and how much is a ukulele in general by checking us out here.

Conclusion That brings us to the end of this article about how to hold a ukulele in the right way! We hope you learnt quite a bit from it and that it helps you when you play the next time as well. Thanks a lot for sticking around with us and good luck with your upcoming ukulele strumming session!

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