Parents and kids ukulele – Their first song

Kids ukulele – Once parents and kids have found their instruments, the kids ukulele, and learned the basics of tuning and holding them properly in parts one and two of this article, they’re ready to start playing.

Parents and kids ukulele - Their first song

What’s a Chord or Home Ukulele Chords

Playing the kids ukulele usually involves strumming chords to accompany a singer. Basically, home ukulele chords are notes that sound good together. Each string on the kids ukulele produces one note, but when strummed at once, the four notes create a chord. The trick is pressing the strings down in the right spots so the notes harmonize with each other.

Play a C Chord on the Kids Ukulele

The song Frere Jacques is rare in that it only has one chord; a C chord. To play a C on the ukulele, only two fingers are needed.

Before talking about where to place those two fingers on the kids ukulele, parents may want to review the second part of this article in which the strings’ names and the correct way to hold the kids ukulele was covered. From that article, parents and children will remember the open strings produce notes of D, G, B, and E, And while holding the uke on their laps, the D string should be closest to their head, and the E string should be closest to their feet.

Another quick thing parents will want to cover with their children is the uke’s neck. Frets are the metal bars, and they’re spaced out along the ukulele’s fret board. The nut is the white bar below the tuners, and the first fret, is the metal bar that comes right after.

With this information, parents should be ready to teach their kids a C home ukulele chords. They can help their child press their left pointer finger on the B string before the first fret, then add their middle finger to the D string before the second fret. Fingernails need to be short enough to press the strings all the way to the fret board.

Once parents and children have their fingers in the right position for a C home ukulele chords, they can use their right hand to strum the strings. Their fingers will be slightly curled toward the palm so their nails hit the strings on a down stroke.

Common Problems in Making Chords on the Kids Ukulele

kids ukulele

Listen to the chord. If the notes aren’t harmonizing, parents and kids can first check their fingering and try again. It takes a lot of practice before fingers find chords naturally.

Another problem might be a slightly out of tune string. Parents can check the ukulele’s tuning and give it another shot.

Do certain strings ring out while others fall away with a plunk? This happens when a finger dampens the sound of a string that isn’t pressed quite firmly enough to the fret board. The strings ringing out are the open strings. With a little practice to develop finger strength and coordination, all four strings will sound the same. This will take some time to perfect.

Is one string buzzing? This may be happening because a finger is pressed a little too close to the metal fret. If the buzzing keeps up even after adjusting hand position, parents can visit a guitar store and ask them to take a look at the ukulele’s action. The strings may be too close to the fret board.

A First Song for the Kids Ukulele

Now, parents and kids are ready with a C chord for their first song: Frere Jacques. Below are the words in the traditional French and translated in English.

Parents and kids can sing along while strumming a C chord with downward motions of their right hands. They’ll get a loud sound by strumming above the sound hole.

home ukulele chords

For now, parents should teach their child to strum only on the downbeats, or the beats they’d naturally clap on. The syllables for the down strokes are noted in all caps. Keeping a steady rhythm will be tricky at first, so parents will want to hold off on more complicated strums until both they and their child are comfortable with the downbeats.

Frere Jacques

(To find the first note, make a C chord and pluck the B string the pointer finger is pressing.)

FRE-RE JAC-QUES,

FRE-RE JAC-QUES,

DOR-MEZ VOUS?

DOR-MEZ VOUS?

SONN-ez LES ma-TIN-es,

SONN-ez LES ma-TIN-es,

DIN, DIN, DON!

DIN, DIN, DON!

ARE YOU SLEE-PING,

ARE YOU SLEE-PING?

BRO-THER JOHN?

BRO-THER JOHN?

MORN-ing BELLS are RING-ing,

MORN-ing BELLS are RING-ing,

DING, DING, DONG!

DING, DING, DONG!

Congratulations to the ambitious parents who’ve just learned and taught their children a new song on the kids ukulele. When both they and their kids have mastered a steady rhythm with the C chord, they’ll be ready for the fourth part of this article introducing songs that change from C to G7.

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