Have you been looking for a rewarding activity for your child during the pandemic? Hoping to learn a new skill yourself, while working and learning from home? Do you have a uke, but want to learn the ukulele string names and chords?
Whether you’re a parent of a budding young musician or wanting to learn yourself; learning the ukulele is a fun, accessible, and rewarding choice.
Uke is an excellent first instrument for anyone to learn, but it is especially suitable for young children to due to its small size, which makes it perfect for little hands. What’s more, even parents with little or no musical experience can help their child through the the first steps of learning this instrument! You just need to know a few basics.
So, what’s the very first thing you should know before you can play ukulele? Well, the ukulele strings names of course!
There’s no need to be intimidated by the ukulele! Just learning the string names and some basic chords can get you started. In this post, we’ll explain what each string is called, as well as teach you a few common chords.
With a little practice, you’ll be strumming along to your favorite songs in no time. Ready to get started? Let’s go!
What Are the 4 Strings on a Ukulele?
The four strings on a ukulele are tuned in fourths. The string names on ukulele are as follows:
This makes the ukulele one of the easiest instruments to learn how to play. In fact, many people who have never played an instrument before can pick up a ukulele and start strumming chords within minutes.
If you’re looking for a fun and portable instrument that you can take with you anywhere, the ukulele is a great option (once you master those string names for ukulele, of course). Sign up for ukulele lessons here and learn all the benefits of taking ukulele lessons by watching the video below. You’ll learn the ukulele string names you need to know and so much more:
What Are the String Names on a Ukulele?
So what are the names of the ukulele strings? Below, we’ll take a closer look at the name of strings on ukulele so you can get started playing ASAP.
Unlike your standard guitar that has either six or twelve strings depending on the style, the ukulele has just 4 strings. Starting from the string closest to your chin and going in the direction of your toes, the names of the strings are G, C, E, and A.
Let’s take a look at a tried and true way that you can remember those ukulele string names; a simple acronym: Good Charlie Eats a Lot.
Good Charlie Eats A lot?
An easy way to remember the ukulele string names is to commit to memorize the acronym, “Good Charlie Eats A lot.” The first letter of each word stands for a ukulele string name, so as long as you remember the acronym, you will know the string names and their order forevermore!
Now, repeat after me: “Good Charlie Eats A lot,” “Good Charlie Eats A lot,” “Good Charlie Eats A lot.” “G C E A” “G C E A.” “G C E A.” Good!
Memorizing the string names is the first step towards playing chords, reading chord charts, ukulele tabs, and understanding sheet music. If you’re feeling creative, you can also make up your own acronym for memorizing the string names, or work with your child to create an acronym that’s most memorable for them.
Now that you have learned the string names, you’re ready to learn how to play your first chords.
The Most Useful Chords on Ukulele
Many popular songs can be played using just four useful chords. In fact, by learning just four essential chords, you’ll suddenly have a repertoire of hundreds of great songs. That means that as an absolute beginner, you will want to make sure these are the chords you learn and practice first.
C Major Chord on Uke
The C major chord is one of the most useful chords to know on the ukulele. Not only is it a very common chord in many popular songs, but it’s also simple to play! When holding the ukulele, find the third fret (a fret is a marker on many string instruments that helps you find where to place your fingers to get the correct tone from the instrument.)
Place the tip of your finger on the “A” string in the third fret and press down; then, strum all four strings together. Congratulations, you have just played your first chord!
F Major Chord on Uke
The next useful chord to learn is the F major chord. If any guitarists are reading this blog, I know, you are all cringing right now- F major on guitar is notoriously difficult for beginners! Thankfully, the chord is much simpler on the ukulele.
To play it, place your middle finger on the second fret of the G string and press down. Then, take your pointer finger and place it on the first fret of the E string and press down. Strum all four strings together and congratulations, you have played your second chord!
G Major Chord on Uke
G major is the third chord every beginner needs to learn. To play it, place your middle finger on the second fret of the A string, your ring finger on the third fret of the E string, and your pointer finger on the second fret of the C string.
Strum all four strings; make sure all of the strings ring out clearly and none of your fingers are muting the other strings, and you are good to go!
A Minor Chord on Uke
Our final useful chord is perhaps the simplest of them all- A minor. To play it, place your middle finger on the second fret of the G string and strum all the strings. Great! Now that you know four of the most useful chords on the ukulele, you can learn and play a whole host of songs!
Now That You Know the Ukulele String Names & Basic Chords, What Can You Do With Them?
Below, you’ll find a few of the many easy beginner songs you can play using C major, F major, G major, and A minor. Some songs will have all four, and some songs will only have two or three of these chords. All of these songs can be played using some combination of them.
- I’m Yours by Jason Mraz
- Baby Shark (You’re welcome, parents! LOL)
- The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens
- Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen
- Let it Be by The Beatles
- You’re Welcome by Dwayne Johnson (from the movie Moana)
- Stay With Me by Sam Smith
Ukulele Strings Order
There is no one “right” way to string a ukulele. The most important thing is to use the type of string that is best suited for your instrument and playing style.
With that said, there are a few general guidelines that can be helpful when choosing the order of your ukulele strings. For example, many players find it helpful to put the thicker strings on the bottom, as this can help to balance the sound of the ukulele.
Others prefer to reverse the order, putting the thickest string on top, as this can make it easier to reach the higher notes. Ultimately, it is up to you to experiment with different string orders and find the configuration that works best for you.
Are Ukulele Strings All the Same?
If you’re new to playing the ukulele, you might be wondering if there’s any difference between the various types of strings that are available.
After all, they all look relatively similar, and they’re all made from thin strands of metal or nylon. However, there are actually several important factors that you need to consider when choosing strings for your ukulele. The first is the material that the strings are made from.
Nylon strings are typically softer and easier on the fingers, while metal strings offer a brighter sound. The second factor is gauge, or thickness. Thicker strings are louder and have more projection, while thinner strings are easier to fret and bend.Finally, you’ll need to decide on a string tension.
Looser strings are easier to play but don’t stay in tune as well, while tighter strings are harder to play but hold their tuning better. Ultimately, the best type of string for your ukulele will depend on your personal preferences and playing style. experimentation is key to finding the perfect set for you.
Ukulele String Names: Get Started Learning Them All Today!
And there you have it. You’ve learned the names of the ukulele strings, the four most useful ukulele chords, and a few songs you can learn to play along with once you have mastered those four chords. Happy strumming!
Though it is often considered a toy instrument, the ukulele can be played seriously and has become increasingly popular in recent years. If you’re just starting out on the ukulele, you might be wondering what all those strings are called. Hopefully, this post has cleared things up to you.
Have you tried any of these chords? What tips do you have for beginners trying to learn the Ukulele? Share your thoughts in the comments below. We would love to hear from you! In the meantime, sign up for ukulele lessons – and happy strumming!