9 Reasons to Learn to Play Ukulele

Mar 17 · 4 min read

Learning a new instrument is usually a pretty big commitment. Between being time-consuming, expensive, and sometimes frustrating, the instrument-learning process isn't a small thing. That's why the ukulele is such an exciting instrument. Unlike other instruments, you can get up and running with a ukulele in no time. Here are some of the top reasons to learn the ukulele right now.

  1. It will put you in a good mood

The sound of the ukulele is synonymous with happiness. In movie scores, it's used in the most joyful moments, and it's pretty much impossible for your mood to not be elevated when you hear it. Learning the ukulele will mean that you have the power of mood enhancement in your hands. Just pick up your instrument and wallah! Why not learn to play a musical instrument that can instantly cheer you and your friends up?

  1. It will sound good right away

Unlike the guitar which usually uses steel strings, the ukulele uses soft nylon strings. Because the nylon strings are easier to push down fully, you will get a good tone right away, as opposed to the guitar where getting a good tone can take years of practice. If you've played the guitar, you know that rattling sound that you get in the beginning when your fingers aren't strong enough to push the strings all the way down. If you want to get a decent sound without years of practice, ukulele is the instrument for you.

  1. You'll make friends

It's a fact - knowing how to play the ukulele will make you popular. If you know how to play the ukulele, you will inspire sing-alongs everywhere you go. You will make camp-fires more fun, make beach days more musical, and bring your family together with the magic of music. This is something that will enrich your life as long as you keep up the skill. Playing the ukulele will not only inspire those around you to sing, but you will want to sing as well. Anyone who is learning to play the ukulele will likely find themselves singing much more than they ever had, now that they can be their own accompanist.

  1. It's great for songwriting

Songwriters all know that the 3 best instruments for writing songs are piano, guitar, and ukulele. These are harmonic instruments, meaning that you can use these instruments to play chords instead of just melody (for example, the trumpet can only play one note at a time - you can't play chords on the trumpet). Among the 3 main harmonic instruments, the ukulele is by far the easiest to learn. If you want to focus on your songwriting without worrying about the steep learning curve that comes along with piano and guitar, the ukulele is your instrument. The way the ukulele is tuned, beautiful chords are very accessible... For songwriters that don't want to put years into practicing guitar or piano, the ukulele is the best instrument to find chords quickly and efficiently, and accompany themselves without having to concern themselves with their skill level as an instrumentalist.

  1. The chord shapes are so much easier than guitar

The way that the ukulele is tuned makes almost all of the chords so much easier to play than on the guitar. First of all, the ukulele only has 4 strings whereas the guitar has 6 strings. Below you can see an example of a chord that is much easier on the ukulele than the guitar...

As you can see, the C major chord on the guitar requires the guitarist to press down 3 different fingers on 3 different frets. The example on the right illustrates the same chord on the ukulele. C major on the ukulele is played with one finger only! The frets on the ukulele are also smaller, so even if you were to play that same shape on the ukulele, it would be easier to reach (not to mention easier to play because of the soft nylon strings). This is not to say that you shouldn't learn to play the guitar. If you prefer the sound of the guitar, the ukulele is no substitute, but if you are looking for an instrument that is easy to learn, the ukulele is the answer.

  1. It's painless. Literally.

Ukuleles have nylon strings which are a lot less painful to push down on. Classical guitars use nylon strings as well, but electric guitars and most acoustic guitars have steel strings, so students have to build up finger calluses in order to get past the pain of learning the instrument. With a ukulele, you can learn without pain from day one. This is one of the many reasons that the ukulele is one of the best instruments for beginners. Many elementary school music teachers have a ukulele unit, which is proof that the ukulele is a great instrument for young children to learn.

  1. It's one of the cheapest instruments

Yes, ukuleles can be expensive. Apparently, the most expensive ukulele in the world is $10,000... so far. So if you want to spend 5 digits on a ukulele, you have that option. But if you're looking for something more reasonable, ukuleles are one of the most affordable musical instruments in relation to their sound quality. You can find a pretty good sounding beginner ukulele for between $50 and $150. If you are really on a tight budget, you can find one for even less, although you should be careful not to go too low or you'll be in danger of a terrible sounding instrument (and that will not inspire you to practice). The affordability and durability mean that you'll feel less guilty bringing to the beach, which is perfect because what better place to play the ukulele?

  1. It's portable

One of the most annoying aspects of being an instrumentalist is trying to travel with your instrument. Every musician has at least one horror story about trying to get their instrument onto a plane (or worse, having to "check" their instrument!) Ukuleles are small enough to be your "personal item" on a flight, and you can even fit a ukulele into a big purse or a backpack. They barely take up any space, so taking a ukulele on a road trip is a no-brainer. They are also light as a feather, so carrying your ukulele around town is no big deal. This might be one of the reasons that people who play the ukulele always have their instrument with them.

  1. It doubles as an accessory

These days ukuleles come in lots of different colors. So why not match your instrument to your outfit? With such an affordable instrument, it's tempting to buy one in every color - especially since many ukuleles come with cute matching color cases. You can express your personality and sense of fashion while expressing yourself through music.


There are certainly many many more reasons to learn to play the ukulele, but in order to find out, you'll have to pick up the ukulele and discover them for yourself.

Cloe Haynes
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