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Ukulele for banjo players

Posted by WayneConrad on Monday, December 2, 2019

Some reasons Ukulele is good for banjo players:

  • Ukuleles are inexpensive.  You can keep one everywhere you might want to practice.  I keep one at work.
  • Ukuleles, being small and tough, travel well.  I have one in the car to practice at stoplights or when waiting for someone.  Plus, if you do break it, see above.
  • Soprano and concert ukuleles use reentrant tuning, the same as banjo.  Clawhammer style sounds great on a ukulele.
  • Ukulele strumming patterns transfers nicely to banjo.  I'm not suggesting you strum entire tunes (although four-string banjo players do, so why not five-string players?), but adding some strums here or there adds variety to a clawhammer tune.
  • Ukulele scale patterns aren't that much different than five-string banjo scale patterns, so practicing scales or melodic improvisation on the ukulele aids your banjo skills in those areas.
  • Ukulele jam groups are everywhere and are a lot of fun.
  • Ukulele may be the only instrument that is as intrinsically happy as the banjo.
  • Practicing ukulele chord changes aids left-hand dexterity.

The tl;dr is: Ukulele isn't that different than banjo, and ukulele gives you a way to practice where you otherwise couldn't.


3 comments on “Ukulele for banjo players”

Moose_Roberts Says:
Monday, December 2, 2019 @5:24:03 AM

If I'm not mistaken, ukulele was the instrument Earl Scruggs started on as a youngster.

WayneConrad Says:
Monday, December 2, 2019 @5:37:11 AM

Moose_Roberts I didn't know that. Very cool!

Judith511 Says:
Thursday, December 26, 2019 @6:24:01 AM

Interesting I keep looking at them in the stores. They are inexpensive and light which makes them perfect for travelling. I asked the man at the store and they sell lots of them. Easy for senior lesson groups etc. :)

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