Thursday, October 17, 2019

4 Reasons Why Ukulele Is the Perfect Stringed Instrument for Younger Children

Many music-loving little kids aspire to play stringed instruments, such as guitar and bass. However, larger string instruments are generally not recommended for children less than 8 years old because they require a larger hand size and finger dexterity that little kids typically do not possess yet. Luckily, the ukulele is a small, cheap, and easy gateway into more advanced stringed instruments and is a very suitable instruments for children as young as 5 years old. In this month’s blog article, we’ll discuss just how simple and accessible ukulele for young beginners can be.

Stringed instruments are extremely popular in every culture and most musical genres. For any younger student who embarks on this particular musical journey, the ukulele is a the perfect instrument for a few great reasons, especially if you want to eventually move to the guitar as you grow older.

1. Ukuleles Come in Five Different Sizes

The ukulele comes in five distinct sizes. From smallest to largest, they are the pocket ukulele, the soprano, the concert, the tenor, and the baritone. The soprano (pictured here) is the ukulele size and type most commonly used and associated with the instrument. You have lots of options to choose from for the optimum variety to suit your hand size and preference.

A small child can comfortably hold and play the pocket or soprano in the same way that a full-sized adult can hold and play a tenor or baritone. In terms of portability, even the baritone is extremely convenient for traveling on foot, by car, or by plane.

2. Ukuleles Only Have Four Strings

The ukulele only has four strings, unlike a six-string guitar, a five-string banjo, or an eight-string mandolin. This provides a refreshing sense of simplicity, both mechanically and conceptually, to many younger students.
At the same time, the range of creativity and musicality is not limited since most of the chords anyone will ever play only contain three or four notes each.

3. Ukuleles Are Tuned Like a Guitar

The strings are actually tuned identically to the four high-pitched strings on a guitar. This means that as students are learning chord shapes and scale patterns on the ukulele, they are actually learning how to play the same shapes and scales on the guitar.

Many varieties of chords and scales on the guitar only incorporate the four high strings. In fact, many of my ukulele students spend their time learning songs that are written and played with the guitar.

4. Ukuleles Are in the Easiest Key
The four strings are centered around the easiest, most understandable key in all of music, the key of C major. This means that the first time you are exposed to the concepts of a major scale, a key, and how chords are constructed, the focus stays primarily on notes that only come from the white piano keys.

The result is that every note is simply named after one of the first seven letters in the alphabet, and you don’t have to immediately learn sharp or flat notes. This provides a very understandable atmosphere when learning notes, scales, and chords, for the first time.

As a music school staffed with experienced professional musicians, North Main Music appreciates the valuable characteristics and accessibility of this instrument for younger children. We feel that the ukulele is a great first stringed instrument for anyone,but especially for younger kids.

Is your youngster interested in learning ukulele? Click here to learn more about our fantastic ukulele instructors!

This article was inspired by and adapted from this article on