Some people think that holding an ukulele is easy - you just put your hand around the middle and pluck the strings, right? Well, while it is true that anyone can hold an ukulele and make music, there is a proper way to do it for the best sound.
There are many ways to hold a ukulele. The most common is the classical position, which has the instrument resting on your left leg and your right arm holding it in place. You can also use a standing or sitting position and support it with your thigh or one of your arms. If you're feeling adventurous, try playing while lying down!
In this blog post, we'll show you how to hold an ukulele properly so that you can create beautiful music without any tension or strain. Let's get started!
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Does it matter how you hold a ukulele?
The ukulele is a beautiful and unique instrument, and there are many different ways to hold it. Some people hold the ukulele like a guitar, with the body resting on the thigh. Others hold it in the lap, or even suspend it from the neck using a strap. So does it really matter how you hold a ukulele?
The answer may surprise you. While there is no right or wrong way to hold a ukulele, the way you hold it can affect your playing. For example, if you hold the ukulele too low, you may have difficulty reaching the upper frets. Conversely, if you hold the ukulele too high, it can be difficult to access the lower frets. The best way to find a comfortable holding position is to experiment and see what works best for you.
In addition to comfort, the way you hold a ukulele can also affect the sound of your playing. If you hold the ukulele too close to your body, the sound will be muffled. On the other hand, if you hold the ukulele too far away from your body, the sound will be more thin and tinny. Again, experimentation is key to finding the sweet spot.
So go ahead and experiment with how you hold your ukulele. You may be surprised at how much of an impact it can have on your playing!
How To Hold An Ukulele In A Nutshell
Follow these steps:
- Place the ukulele on your left leg with its back facing you. Rest the head of the instrument against your stomach and use both hands to support it from behind. The strings should face away from you as well, towards them floor or ceiling;
- For a more comfortable grip, use one hand to hold the top part (the soundboard) and keep that arm stretched out while using the other hand to place fingers on five individual strings for optimal control over each string's tone quality. Adjust where your arms are positioned accordingly so they're not too cramped or uncomfortable;
- If playing an open chord arrangement, try shifting some of your weight onto your right foot instead of having all three feet planted firmly in front
How to Hold Your Strumming Arm/Hand
Most ukulele players strum with their right hand while using their left hand to fret the strings. This is a personal preference, but it's best to start off with your right hand on top if you're not sure what feels most comfortable for you.
If your ukulele is one of the bigger-sized models, you may want to place your strumming arm lower than your fretting hand so you can have more space to maneuver.
If using a smaller ukulele, it may be best to place your strumming arm at the same height as where you're fretting on the strings so that you don't accidentally hit any of them with your arm.
Beginners may want to start off by sitting in a chair or standing up before they attempt playing while walking around; this will give them better balance and make it less likely that you'll drop the Ukulele.
Suggested read: 7+ Best DIY Ukulele Kit To Build On Your Own
As mentioned above, you will use your left hand to fret the strings. Here is how to position it:
- Take your left hand and place it over the fretboard so that your fingers are touching the strings but not pressing down on them.
- Your thumb should be resting right next to where you're going to press down with one of your index or middle finger while letting the other fingers rest at a 90-degree angle from each other.
How To Hold An Ukulele For Left-Handed Playing
Left-handed ukulele players can also use the same way as right-handed people to hold a ukulele. In this case, take your left hand and place it over the fretboard so that your fingers are touching the strings but not pressing down on them.
Your thumb should be resting right next to where you're going to press down with one of your index or middle finger while letting the other fingers rest at a 90-degree angle from each other.
Purchasing a specially made left-handed ukulele is an option. But if you don't have the budget for that, it's still possible to play a right-handed ukulele with your left hand.
How To Hold An Ukulele For Standing Play
For standing play, hold your ukulele by the neck to pull it closer. Place one hand on the body of the instrument, and balance it with the other hand under the fretboard. You can also use a guitar strap instead of sitting in order to make playing more comfortable.
Read more: How To Fingerpick Ukulele
How To Hold An Ukulele For Sitting Play
For sitting play, hold your ukulele by its side so that you can press down strings easily while keeping both hands free for bending notes or strumming chords.
Sit in a chair without armrests but with good back support, place an elbow between two legs (legs should be slightly spread), grip your index finger against the palm of the same-side hand (so that fingers are not touching any part of the instrument), and use this as leverage for playing.