Learning to play ukulele doesn’t stop with knowing the basic chords and strumming patterns. There are still plenty of new things you can learn as well as improve on.
It can be hard for intermediate players to find a clear direction with regard to taking the next steps to becoming better musicians – especially if they’re doing at-home study without a teacher – so progress can often be at a standstill. It’s frustrating and can make you seriously doubt yourself.
If you find yourself with the same dilemma, we’re here to help. Below are some ideas about the ukulele lessons you can focus on as an intermediate player as well as tips on how to keep improving your skills. Let’s get started!
Read ukulele tabs
Learning new pieces is easier if you know how to read ukulele tabs. Plus points if you can already read sheet music too, because it could make understanding ukulele tabs a whole lot easier. The lines and numbers can be overwhelming at first, but keep practicing and you’ll soon be able to read tabs quickly and easily.
Learn to play barre chords
Barre chords are those that involve using the same finger (index finger) to play more than one string at the same fret. Some of the most common barre chords are C#, F#, D7 and Bb. When playing barre chords, it’s important that each string rings clearly.
It can take time for you to learn how to play barre chords properly and without straining your fretting hand, wrist and fingers, so try out different techniques to see which would be most comfortable for you.
Know chord inversions
You know all the basic chords, but do you know their different versions along the neck? These other chord shapes, or chord inversions, can make a song progression sound more interesting and also make transitioning from one chord to another easier.
Learning about chord inversions requires prior knowledge of the notes on the fretboard, so work on your fretboard knowledge! Take as much time as you need to learn those major and minor scales and your efforts will be rewarded. You will become a more versatile player and be able to write your own songs.
Learn different music styles and improve playing technique
If you have dreams of going pro, you need to be familiar with a variety of music styles and playing techniques. You have to know how to play in the style of the blues for example, and you have to learn to play solos.
You have to really amp up your playing technique. Making seamless chord changes, fingerpicking and serious strumming skills are a must, along with a good mastery of scales. At this stage of your musical journey, you also have to try your hand at improvisations and coming up with your own playing style.
Play intermediate songs
Challenge yourself by playing intermediate- to advanced-level ukulele songs. If you feel like you keep on making mistakes, take a step back and practice the sections you’re having trouble with, then try again. Keep in mind that it’s alright to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. You can check out ukulele tutorial videos for ideas on which songs to play.
Those are just some of the things you can do improve your skills as a ukulele player. To motivate yourself to keep on learning, you can also upgrade your ukulele and move on from your starter instrument. A new, better-quality uke would sound better and make you want to practice more. Consider it as your reward for achieving your beginner goals, and your partner as you move forward in your musical journey. Have fun learning!