Playing the Ukulele is not as easy as it may seem. The Ukulele’s small size, four strings, and unusual tuning make it challenging to master at first. It seems simple enough to pluck a string with one’s fingers or slide a finger across the strings to create a sound, but many subtle techniques can make all the difference between sounding like an amateur or becoming a master.
Many people are intimidated by the Ukulele because of how different it looks from an ordinary guitar without understanding that it has its own unique set of techniques. It has to be played differently from a guitar because of the lack of a guitar’s frets and the four strings that shoot out from the body. This article will introduce seven elementary “easy” Ukulele strumming patterns to make playing the Ukulele much easier.
List of Seven Easy Ukulele Strumming Patterns
1. The Uke Strum
This is one of the most basic strumming patterns used by most novice players, especially beginners who are just learning to play the Ukulele. This pattern involves striking two strings at once with both fingers or strumming with both hands at once to produce a deep, resonant sound.
2. The Uke Down Strum
One of the easiest strumming patterns available for the beginner Ukulele player and perhaps the most commonly used by Ukulele players is perfect for those who want to learn to play simple songs. This pattern involves striking two strings at once with one’s left hand and down-strumming with their right hand to produce a soft sound.
3. The Uke Up Strum
The opposite of the Uke Down Strum, this sequence follows the same concept as its predecessor but involves two different hands and up-strums, creating a louder sound than its counterpart. This pattern is also ideal for beginners and those who want to learn how to play simple songs.
4. The Ukulele C-C Strum
A variation of the Uke Up Strum, this pattern involves three different strums through the use of one’s thumb on the A string, middle finger on the E string, and with index or ring finger on the G string. These three strings are all plucked in rapid succession to create a C chord in the fourth position.
5. The Ukulele C-G-C Down Strum
A variation of the Uke Down Strum, this pattern is executed similarly to its predecessor but with the addition of a C chord strummed in a lower position. A ukulele player can quickly learn this pattern by switching from the C chord in the fourth position to an A chord in the third position.
6. The Ukulele C-G-C Up Strum
A variation of the Uke Up Strum, this pattern is executed similarly to its predecessor but with the addition of a C chord strummed in a higher position. To perform this sequence, a ukulele player should switch from the C chord in the fourth position to an E chord in the second position.
7. The Ukulele C-E-C Down Strum
A variation of the Uke Down Strum, this pattern is executed similarly to its predecessor but with the addition of a C chord strummed in a lower position and an A chord strummed in the third position. To perform this sequence, a ukulele player should switch from the C chord in the fourth position to an A chord in the third position and then back down to another C chord in that same lower position.
How Easy Is Strumming to Learn?
The process of strumming the Ukulele is not hard to master. The trick is in learning how to do it in a way that fits with the song you are playing instead of how everyone else is doing it. Strumming patterns are even more critical when playing fingerstyle since fingerstyle requires strumming one’s fingers very quickly and accurately if you want your chords to sound crisp and be easily understood by others. Playing with both hands, too, can create some problems for beginners who might be weak with their left hand or unfamiliar with strumming techniques in general. The beginner can get used to strumming patterns quickly if they begin with simple songs that are easy to master. There are many sites where you can practice different Ukulele strumming techniques, buy Ukulele chords and chords sheets, learn new songs, and watch instructional videos of other Ukulele players playing their favorite songs.
How to Read Ukulele Strumming Notation
One of the most valuable things about strumming patterns is that they can be played on any Ukulele. The way a Ukulele is strung determines the alphabet of the notation used to indicate a strumming pattern. Since a standard tuning for a Ukulele consists of four strings, four different notes can be strummed simultaneously. The letter S represents two strings plucked at once, while each number after the S represents one string that is plucked individually. Strumming patterns are written in intervals between intervals in letters and numbers, which indicate where each note will be plucked on the guitar fretboard.
For example, the notation might refer to a strumming pattern for a new song called “I Love You.” The first note of the song is the D note on the third string. This new song has two different parts. The first part begins with a G on the fourth string and ends with an A on that exact string. In between these two new chords is an E on the second string that coincides with a B on the fourth string. In other words, this new song has four different chords in one new song. To indicate how to pluck these notes simultaneously, we would want to strum those four strings at once. We would want them to sound like E, D, F#, and C. Using the above notation, we see that the E would be strummed using the index finger, the D would be strummed using the middle finger, and that the F# and C would be strummed using the thumb. Using this notation system is one of the most effective ways to teach others how to play Ukulele because it shows them exactly where to place their fingers to achieve the desired chord effect.
Strumming patterns are one of the essential elements of playing Ukulele. They allow a player to learn songs quickly and to play them in any key. The use of strumming patterns is helpful for beginners and intermediate players who want to improve their chord playing.