The cheapest ukulele is the Fender Twin Reverb. You need a small box like this (1″) to hold the ukulele neck and sustain the strings properly. I personally use my friend’s ukulele for this, but you can also use another instrument if you have it – or you can use a cheap ukulele like this.
How to practice with ukuleles
It’s possible to play most ukuleles quickly and comfortably, but you’ll need to practise with a set of sticks/dollop sticks/etc for this – some do not have a proper handle. Try it with a pair of sticks, just hold down your left hand so that your other hand will not be in the way, and you’ll be able to feel your left hand through the ukulele neck without straining it. To start, practice with some beginner ukulele patterns: one pattern using C (flat, A, B, C) – this will make it easier to feel your left hand through the neck of the ukulele. Start practicing with your right hand, hold it in the same way you hold the ukulele neck.
Next, play some songs you could practice in this form. Try ukulele combinations, learn them solo etc. Be patient – it takes a while to get a feel for them. Make sure you play in A (natural), because if it’s in B (natural), the left hand will be outside the neck so it’ll be hard to play C (flat) and even if you practice in B the fret may not be very accessible to you. Try playing a ukulele by ear, rather than following a pattern. If you practice with your ukulele by ear you’ll learn a lot faster.
How to learn ukuleles
The easiest way to learn more ukuleles is to buy books or CDs, but I strongly encourage you to practice on your ukulele. If you don’t know how to play, or can’t find instructions in the books, you can also learn a lot faster. There are several resources that can help you learn songs, but the only one I have found consistently works is:
How to Learn Ukuleles – by Ian M. Henson (I think these are also the books that Ian used to practice at school). He has recorded videos on how to practice on an ukulele
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