Why the Ukulele and not the Guitar?

Many people have tried their best to learn to play the guitar, yet failed miserably. Filled with the rage of not being able to learn, and the jealousy towards those who can play – many of us have ended up giving up on trying. I have personally attempted to learn the guitar a shameful amount of times; I tried different approaches; got different people to teach me. Yet, my fingers just would not allow me to move as fast as I needed to.

 Fear not, fellow small, frigid-fingered friends. After the several shameful attempts and giving up, I finally got myself on eBay and bought myself a beginner’s ukulele. And never again did I have to feel sad about not being able to play the guitar.

Here are a few reasons why I believe that the ukulele is better and easier to play than the guitar:

 Número uno – Personally I find the guitar a bit too massive for my liking. Whenever I keep a guitar on my lap and try to play it, I find myself having to stretch my entire upper-body as if I am trying to read the bottom of the floor. Yes, that was a slight exaggeration, but it does not make it any less true. Which is probably why I found it so hard to multi-task. When I try to play a chord, stretching my head all the way down while trying to strum just made it seem like I had no musical coordination in me. Yes, I know there are smaller guitars (I tried one of those too), but I never found them to sound the same as the bigger ones.

 Now, as far as the ukulele is concerned, it is much smaller. It is more convenient when it is on your lap. I can sometimes go all the way up to the neck of the uke while strumming without any struggle. It is also really easy to carry around. I can put my uke into its case and fit it into my luggage if I’m travelling on an airplane. No extra hand luggage needed to be carried around at the airport, folks, and that is always a convenient thing.

Número dos –  The chords for the ukulele are in comparison much easier than the guitar. This is because the ukulele has only four strings, as opposed to the normal acoustic guitar that has six. Majority of the time, you only have to use three fingers for three strings. Plus, you hardly ever have to skip one too many frets to make chords. What I found hard with the guitar was that I had to use too many fingers, and move my fingers around too much when it came to playing the chords. I have really short, frigid fingers. Which is why being flexible enough to be able to play the chords was not my forte.

And finally, número tres – There is no denying that the ukulele sounds cuter, and somewhat more calming than the guitar. At least for me. I like my acoustic music. In addition to that, the quieter, calmer sound of the ukulele fits my taste and idea of what good music is.

That being said, the guitar is still one of those instruments that I sometimes wish I could play. When I have those moments, I just pick up my ukulele, play it away, and be grateful that I can at least play something. So for those of you who want to learn to play an instrument that is comparatively easier, a ukulele is the one for you.

Nafla Ali Firag

Image courtesy of Ukulele Tutorials

I live for 90s alternative rock and Robyn's "Dancing on My Own".

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