In my new Habit Hacks series, I will provide tips to help you maintain an ongoing ukulele practice. For the first #mmhabithacks post, I start with a piece of advice I give my students at the end of every first lesson:
Keep Your Ukulele Where You Can See It
Remember the scene from The Lord of the Rings when Gandalf tells Frodo, Keep it secret; keep it safe? Well, do the opposite of that! This tip may sound obvious, but so many of my students are inclined to keep their ukuleles in their cases. And I get it. A case offers protection, and since ukes are generally sold with a case or gig bag, it seems like the logical place to keep it. But if you keep your ukulele in a case, gig bag, or the box it arrived in, you are literally creating a barrier between you and your instrument, and that doesn’t exactly facilitate easier playing.
Think about where are you most likely to play your uke— on the couch in the living room? while sitting on the floor of the play room, surrounded by your little ones? in bed, after everyone else has fallen asleep? Find a nice place to display your uke close to wherever you’re most likely to play it. My cousin hangs hers on the wall next to her recliner because that’s where she usually plays. One student created a little music corner where she keeps her ukulele, her son’s ukulele, and her husband’s guitar in a room where they hold family jam sessions. And my own method is to have more than one uke— if you keep ukes in the main rooms of your home, you’ll always have an instrument nearby. :)
If you’re a very new player, or if you’re uncertain of where it makes sense to keep it, experiment with different locations and see how its placement impacts your engagement with it. If you need help hanging or displaying your uke, check out these posts:
Where do you play your ukulele? Let me know where (and how) in the comments!
Learn to Play the Ukulele
Learn to play the ukulele with my friendly guide, Let’s Play! The Ukulele Handbook for Beginners.
WHAT'S INSIDE THE BOOK:
The basics: how to tune, hold, and play your uke
How to strum several fun folk songs: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star; Oh, Susanna; Frère Jacques; Down by the Bay; and more!
Popular chords and strum patterns
Fundamentals of rhythm and time signatures
How to transpose songs into different keys
How to play melodies