How do I play ukulele and SING at the same time?

Do you struggle with singing and playing ukulele at the same time? You’re not alone! Singing and playing any instrument at the same time is tricky - at first. 
I started learning guitar when I was 12 years old. Around the age of 20 I decided I would try to play and sing at the same time. Since I sang in choirs and for fun my whole life, how hard could it be?
Turns out - it was hard! I couldn’t do it right away. In fact, it took 3 months of daily practice to feel comfortable with it. 
3 months might seem like a long time, but for others it can take even longer. So the keys here are PATIENCE and consistent practice. 
Here are a few tips to help:
  1. Start by picking an easy song on ukulele that only has 2 or 3 chords. Make sure it is a song that you know by heart, like “Happy Birthday”.
  2. Before you start singing, practice playing the song on the ukulele until you feel really comfortable with it.
  3. If there are any tricky parts or transitions in the song (for example, switching from F to G), practice those over and over until you’re comfortable with them.
  4. Strum the song very simply and slowly. One down strum per chord is great (but do whatever feels good to you).
  5. Listen to a recording of the song and try playing along (if you’re listening on YouTube, you can slow down the tempo if needed).
  6. When you’re ready to try it without a recording, start by playing the song very slowlyand simply. Hum the melody (tune) in your head.
  7. Then, hum or whistle the melody out loud while you’re playing.
  8. You might also try speaking the words instead of singing them.
  9. Last step: sing the words of the song while playing the song as slowly simply as possible. 
I asked the members of the “Ukulele Lovers” Facebook group for their tips, and here’s what they said:
“Practice small chunks at a time at first. Just keep doing it! When I first started I literally thought my brain couldn't do it. Don't give up! I promise it will eventually come together.”
“Get the playing solid first. Start by humming along the familiar parts. Add in a few words. More humming, more words, eventually a whole song sung and played. Oh, and try to keep going even if you've made a mistake.”
“It took me about 2 years, sing in your head then hum or whistle then try and sing, the strumming will go haywire for quite a while until it becomes automatic.”
“Practice strumming as much as you can everyday. It took me around 6 months to really sing together with the ukulele.”
“Learn the song on the uke first. Then hum the melody while playing. Once you have the melody down, switch to the words of the song. Think of it like stacking layers of complexity.”
“The more at ease you are with the chords & song on the ukulele, the easier it is to sing. So, practice the song on your ukulele until you can play it without looking or thinking about the chords. You may have to simplify your arrangement when you add your voice at first, but, seriously, repetitive practice is the only way. Don’t try to do both at the same time as a beginner, you’ll just get discouraged & frustrated! 😉 Oh, and start with a simple song! 😊”

If you need guidance, support and accountability as you learn ukulele, then check out the "Ukulele Course For Total Beginners"! Our next course starts on March 11th. Click here for all the details!

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