Is Learning Ukulele Easy if You Know Guitar?

You might get a little bored from only playing guitar thus far and you’re looking to pick up another instrument. Ukulele might be the right one for you.

Ukulele is a fun instrument to play and not hard to learn, especially when you already play guitar.

If you want to pick up the ukulele after guitar, here are some tips to help you get started.

Is Learning Ukulele Easy After Guitar?

Knowing how to play guitar before you learn the ukulele makes it easier to learn the ukulele. In a lot of ways, the ukulele is the same as a guitar. Except it is a lot smaller and only has 4 strings. But they’re in de same instrument family of “Stringed-Instruments”.

The feel and sound of a ukulele are different enough from a guitar to still make it fun and exciting to learn if you already play guitar.

Is The Ukulele Similar to a Guitar?

Yes, the ukulele has a lot of similarities with the guitar. The ukulele is built the same way as a guitar but smaller.

  • They both have a body that is similar shaped.
  • They both have a neck attached to the body with frets on it. (Unlike a violin for instance.)
  • Than some strings across the body and neck.

Although the ukulele and guitar are built in almost the same way, they sound completely different.

Playing the ukulele is also very similar to playing guitar, both instruments can either be strummed or fingerpicked.

Learning the ukulele will be a lot easier for guitarists that have been playing the guitar for a while. But there are some key differences to keep in mind, like the ones below.

How is Playing Ukulele Different From Playing Normal Guitar?

Size Is a Huge Difference

The ukulele is a lot smaller than a regular guitar. This can be a good thing. If you’re looking for something that is easier to carry around, the ukulele is great for that.

If you are looking to play sitting down or if you have small hands, the ukulele might be better for you than a regular-sized guitar.

Usually, a ukulele is anywhere from 11 to 21 inches while a guitar can be as big as 40 inches.

They Sound Different

The ukulele gives this very bright and higher-pitched sound that makes you feel like it’s summer.

While a guitar, partly because it’s a lot bigger, gives you this full and louder sound which sounds a lot more mellow than a ukulele.

The Strings On a Ukulele Are Different

The ukulele only has 4 strings on it compared to the usual 6 on a regular guitar. This also makes the ukulele easier to play especially if you already know some guitar!

They are also tuned differently. The standard tuning of a ukulele is G-C-E-A while that of a guitar is E-A-D-G-B-E.

Learning How to Play The Ukulele

Like with any other instrument, the best way to learn how to play ukulele is by practicing often.

Get a good beginner’s ukulele book or go on youtube and look for some tutorials.

And practice, practice, practice!

If you are serious about learning the ukulele, Taking some lessons might be worth it for you! This way you can get a very structured approach to learning the ukulele and you can ask questions when you get stuck on something which will flatten the learning curve a bit.

Or if you know someone that plays ukulele, ask them whether they wouldn’t mind teaching you a bit about it.

Can You Play Normal Guitar Songs on The Ukulele?

Yes and no. There are some things to keep in mind when playing a song on a ukulele instead of a guitar.

Yes, songs that are meant to be played on a guitar, you can also play on a ukulele. But no, the chords will be completely different so it’s not exactly the same.

And obviously, the song will sound different when played on a ukulele instead of a guitar.

Also, you can’t play a complicated guitar solo on a ukulele, but if you’re looking to play a song with a few basic chords you should be fine!

Can You Play The Ukulele With a Guitar Pick?

You can use a guitar pick on a ukulele which will make it sound a bit louder and give you a bit of a different tone, your ukulele will sound a bit more like a guitar.

This might be good if you’re playing with other instruments because it will make the ukulele fit in a bit better with other instruments and makes it easier to play.

If you want to keep that real ukulele sound. You should buy some ukulele picks, those are either made of felt or rubber which will produce a mellower, not a sharp sound.

How to Tune a Ukulele?

Tuning a ukulele is very similar to tuning the guitar.

The standard tuning for the ukulele is G-C-E-A and becoming more common nowadays is drop D tuning which means you tune it with low E string to D instead of E, making it easier to play certain songs.

Here is a video explaining how to tune a ukulele:

Tips For Buying Your First Ukulele

When you’re buying your first ukulele, keep in mind that a ukulele will be easier to play the smaller it is.

So if you are looking for something that is really easy to carry around and play then go for one that fits well into your lap like a soprano or concert uke.

Otherwise, you can go with a tenor ukulele which is the most common type of ukulele.

Trying out some different sizes before you buy might be good so you know what size fits best for you!

Also keep in mind that there are some very cheap ukuleles, but these usually have a very poor sound quality and are not as durable as a bit more expensive ukulele.

So you might end up spending some more money on a good ukulele that will last you a long time!


Now that you know that learning the ukulele will be a bit easier if you already play guitar, you can start learning how to play the ukulele!

The ukulele is a great instrument to learn even if you haven’t played any other instruments before, it has a nice sound and there are lots of songs that you can play on it.

Thanks for reading!


MasterClass – Ukulele vs. Guitar: Differences and Similarities Between Them