Learn the Ukulele - A Blog by Heng Chew

a close up of a guitar

Is it my 3rd or 4th ukulele session? I honestly can’t remember but I can remember how much I enjoy the classes! I knew nothing about ukuleles beforehand as the only musical instrument I can play is the piano. Ciara, our lovely instructor taught me everything I know now, although I can’t say that I am a very good student!

It was reading week for most students last week so we did not have our usual class and more than half of the class this week are new so we began by learning the song ‘Budapest’ again. The song only as 3 chords, C ,F and G. C and F are really easy to learn but G can be a little challenging at first. 

          C chord                                   F chord                           G chord

If you're right-handed, hold the ukulele near your stomach, use your left hand to hold the handle and your right hand to strum the strings! There are 4 strings and you hold them down according to the bars to produce chords. 

Ukulele music is very easy to read, unlike other musical sight readings. The sheet is basically the lyrics with chord changes notated on each transition point. There is also a little chart to refer to for chords at the top right corner. Sing or hum to the tune you are playing and change your fingers to the designated chords and you've got yourself a tune!

Everyone successfully learnt ‘Budapest’ in the 1st half of the session then we had a little break with free biscuits, finding out a little bit more about each other. Making new friends is always a fun and exciting process and it's even better when you have good music and free food around! I’m being totally honest here, Ciara sings like a nightingale!

We later learnt ‘I’m Yours’, which consists of 4 chords, C, F, G and A minor. It's fairly simple as it is quite slow paced  but a good song to learn so that you can brag to your friends about being able to play it! After that we attempted ‘Highway to Hell’ which has 4 chords as well, A, D, G and E.  It is as abysmal as the title suggests to me as the tempo is so fast, and D and E chords are so tricky.

But it's alright as I get to take a copy of the music and ukulele home with me to practice by in my own time.Ukulele is such a wonderful instrument that can somehow make anything sound happy, it brightens up my day and chases the gloomy moods away!     

For more information about the ukulele groups, click here.

Lastly, you may follow this facebook page for regular updates on ukulele sessions: https://www.facebook.com/reslifeukulelegroup/     

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