How To Hold A Ukulele

Have you ever heard someone talking about how a ukulele is a musical instrument for nerds? If so, don’t believe a single word of what was said.

Whoever you heard commenting about a “nerd component” when it comes to the ukulele was completely off target!

The ukulele (otherwise referred to as a “uke”) has recently exploded in popularity — even for folks who are the coolest of the cool!

Ukuleles have a long and fascinating history.

And quite simply, they are enormously fun to play in great thanks to the uke’s small size and, most importantly, the crisp and lovely sounds the instrument unfurls when it’s used to strum out a song.


Learning how to play the ukulele is not difficult at all. So go ahead and start taking those uke lessons you’ve always wanted!

But first things first: it’s a smart idea to become familiar with how to properly hold a ukulele before your lessons even begin.

No problem there! Check out these easy to follow tips for the correct way to hold your very cool uke:

Learn Good Ukulele-Holding Habits Now — to Keep Bad Holding Habits Away Forever

  • Strive toward the most comfortable uke-playing technique for YOU. A ukulele can be played either sitting or standing. Take a test-drive with your uke before your playing lessons begin and find out whether sitting with the uke or standing with the uke is more suitable for you
  • Whether you ultimately decide it’s best for you to sit or to stand, either way the instrument must be held close against your body in order to play the uke the right (and most musical!) way. Many ukulele players use a special strap to hold the instrument in the right position against the body. However, there are also many uke players who prefer to not use a strap. In the non-strap playing mode, your forearm is used to properly secure the instrument close to the chest

Holding Your Ukulele When Sitting Down

  • It’s best to choose a chair without arms. When learning how to play your uke you don’t want anything getting in the way of your strumming. An armless chair will also help you begin proper playing posture
  • No slumping allowed! You want to knock the socks off your future listeners, and yourself, so sit up nice and straight at the edge of your chosen seat while you are learning. Once you become a more seasoned uke player, you can then move back further into the chair if you prefer
  • Be mindful. Always keep your shoulders relaxed and remember to breathe nice and easy. Your uke will happily follow your proper, and relaxed, body-sitting ways. And the results of the instrument’s sounds will become even more astounding!
  • Sitting with your legs crossed is a very common uke-playing position for many ukulele instrumentalists. It is vital to your music playing success to be comfortable and relaxed. Try different sitting positions with your uke in hand and discover which sitting position works best for you.     

Holding Your Ukulele When Standing Up

  • Make sure that while standing to play your uke, you evenly balance your weight on both of your feet
  • While standing to play the instrument, get into the important habit of tilting your neck up a bit (but not too much!)
  • When holding your ukulele while standing up, remember that the instrument always needs to be held close to the body for the most superior play and sound experience. Your uke needs to be positioned directly against your chest’s center, and the instrument’s sound hole should be positioned right next to your chest center
  • Be careful not to let your amazing uke fall down! When standing to play, wrap your strumming hand very firmly across the body of your ukulele, keep the instrument close to your body, and hold the uke solidly by utilizing the inside part of your elbow. This important holding technique will allow you to keep the strings in the proper down position while allowing full range for your strumming hand (in a way that won’t let your uke fall out of your hands when you begin to play the instrument)
  • How to hold the neck of the ukulele while standing? First, do not hold the instrument as powerfully as you would when you steadfastly cradle the ukulele with your fretting hand. The uke’s weight should be simply laying against your strumming arm and your chest center. In no time, you will be feeling more and more comfortable with the ukulele neck-holding process while in a standing position. Practice and take the time you need to become accustomed to holding up your ukulele with your strumming arm. It’s a good habit that will improve your proper holding form and, ultimately, build up your uke-playing fun and success!

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