Many, if not most, ukulele players start out learning to strum the chords of their favourite songs. I attended a ukulele club here in Bordeaux and that’s how they spent the evening, strumming chords and singing songs, which would have been fine if they hadn’t been so serious about it. Strumming a guitar or a uke is the perfect way to accompany songs – it provides the backing sound without distracting from the words and melody of the singing voice.
But many will soon come to appreciate that there are other ways to play
These exercises are for players who want to learn to play fingerstyle ukulele. They are not for complete beginners, you have to be able to play a bit and be comfortable changing chords. The fourth and fifth exercises are quite tricky – they are techniques used by classical guitarists (and uke players!). I do find it hard to judge whether a piece or an exercise is easy, intermediate or advanced as I’m not really sure what my own level is! You will hear a few mistakes (fret buzzes, missed notes, hesitations)… sigh… well I’ll never be Jake or James but I hope that I can share something useful with you.
here are the links to the tabs:
exercise one (arpeggio up and down)
exercise two (pluck the third and fourth with your thumb and try using different fingers for the first and second)
exercise three (pluck the first string with ring, middle and index – you can do it always with the same finger, but alternating this way is good training for the next exercise, the tremolo)
exercise four (tremolo is rapid playing of the same string by quickly plucking with ring, middle then index)
exercise five (harmonics – pay attention to the last chord (E7) you need to use your index finger to touch the string on the fourteenth – because you are holding the note on the second fret – then pluck with your ring – watch carefully if you’ve never done this before)