How to Strum a Ukulele – 5 Best Tips for Beginners




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Many people want to learn how to strum a ukulele. You may be one of them, or you might know someone who is thinking about playing the instrument. If you’re looking for advice on how to do it right, this blog post will give you 5 tips that can help improve your technique and make it easier to learn!

Strumming is an essential aspect to consider if you want to achieve that authentic ukulele sound.

The Basics of How to Strum a Ukulele

The first thing to consider is the way a ukulele should be strummed. Generally, you need to use your thumb and index finger for plucking all strings at one time. This can usually be done by tapping each string with your fingers or using an up-down motion on the neck of the instrument. The most common technique seems to involve simply moving from left to right across all strings in order.

Tip #01: Hold Your Ukulele Properly

As a beginner, it’s important that you know how best to hold the ukulele! You want both hands positioned around its body so that they are holding onto two different parts of it. This will give you more control on how to play it properly. Ensure you hold the uke in front of the center of your chest and point toward your left boob.

Tip #02: Tune Your Ukulele

The ukulele is a very delicate instrument and it’s important to know how best to take care of it. One way you can do this, as a beginner, is by tuning your uke – which can be done with the help of an app or website! If you’re using an online tuner just follow these simple steps:

A) Pick up your ukulele

B) String five fingers across one fret

C) Press “Tune”

D) Keep adjusting until each string sounds perfect.

Tip #03: Play Chords

Strumming is not about how fancy or complicated you make a pattern. Since it’s a form of rhythm, for it to be effective, you must ensure it’s consistent and steady. It’s easier to listen to a consistent and steady strumming than a complicated strumming pattern that’s played out of time.

Tip #04: Learn the Patterns

how to strum a ukulele
Image Credit: Ukulele Tricks

The first pattern you should know on how to strum a ukulele is down strums. This pattern is simple but highly effective. When practicing this pattern, ensure you set your metronome, count out loud, and be keen on lining up your down strums with each beat.

The second pattern involves adding up strums between each down strum to make things more interesting.

The third pattern, on the other hand, is a combination of the first two patterns. What you need to do in the third strumming pattern is to insert an up strum on the “And” of beats 2 and 4.

The fourth pattern on how to strum a ukulele that I recommend is similar to pattern number 3, but you need to insert an up strum on the “And” of beats 1 and 3.

The fifth pattern is often referred to as the “calypso strum,” and it’s quite complicated compared to the other patterns. This is mainly because the down strum on beat 3 is removed and you only need to play an up strum on the “And” of the third beat.

ALSO READ: How to Tune a Ukulele – Tips & Tricks for a Playable Instrument

Tip #05: Practice How to Strum a Ukulele Often

It’s crucial to consider often practicing strumming patterns to ensure you get better with time. The downside is that it can be difficult to remember how each pattern goes and things may get mixed up in the process.

If you keep practicing patterns regularly, then you’ll start getting a feel for how they work and how to switch between them more easily. You will find yourself being able to play different songs with ease because of your improved technique as well!

Bonus Tip #06: Learn “Guitar” Strumming Patterns Too

It’s also worth considering learning how certain guitar strumming patterns go at some point. This way, if there are any difficulties when playing these types of chords on a ukulele, this knowledge comes in handy so you can simply swap out ukuleles into something easier such as an acoustic.


I hope this post has helped you learn how to strum a ukulele. With these tips, you’ll be able to play with ease if you implement each of them appropriately and practice often to enhance your strumming skills.

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