Today’s technology provides us with a myraid of tools to help you learn ukulele, right at your fingertips. While we all used to have tuners, metronomes, paper songbooks, and chord charts we can now access all of that with the device in our pocket. Below you will find a some of the very best apps on both iOS and android to jumpstart your ukulele journey.
The Ukulele App
If you’ve ever searched ukulele on Youtube, you can be sure that you have run across John ‘The Ukulele Teacher’. This app is a great toolbox for ukulele players no matter the skill level. Included are a chord library, tuner, strumming patters, common progressions, and scales. One unique feature that sets this app apart is the ability to spell notes on the fingerboard and have the app tell you exactly what chord you are playing. Additionally, you have access to over 400 lesson from John himself right in your pocket!
Learning Ukulele in 7 Days
A great beginner application to jumpstart your musical journey ‘Learning Ukulele in 7 days’ contains 7 lessons to start you out on the right track. These lessons all include play along tracks to jam with and at the end of the week you should be strumming along to 6 song tunes! The app’s usefulness doesn’t end there as it includes both a chord finder as well as a tuner that will last you for years to come.
left your uke at home? No worries, you can always have one in your pocket with ‘real ukulele’. Great for learning on the fly, this app allows you to strum and pluck notes on a ukulele right on your phone. Additionally, it has a large database of chords and tabs to play along with and even allows you to route the audio to other apps to record your playing.
‘Yousician’ is a great online tool, not just for ukulele players, but anyone interested in learning an instrument. This app is a comprehensive learning tool that has not just play a long songs, but individual lessons created by real teachers. Yousician’s unique interface allows you to visualize the entire fretboard while playing along with a song with a bouncing ball denoting rhythm. You can slow down all of the exercises to go along at your own pace. This app teaches a variety of techniques from plucking and strumming, to hammer-ons and creating melodies. The app has a vast free library as well as a premium version to unlock much more.
‘Ukulele Companion’ is, much like its namesake, a great companion to your favorite tiny instrument. Containing an expansive library of over 1900 chords, a built-in tuner, metronome, as well as a virtual instrument to play. What is unique about this app is that it allows you to experiment with alternate tunings and tailors the chord library for each, really opening up the possibilities. Also available in the paid version are a plethora of drum tracks to practice along with to really get your groove going.
‘iUke’ is one of the best apps for self study on the ukulele. Not only does this app have a vast library of songs along with rhythm accompaniment so that you’re never playing alone, but also short tutorial videos showing you how to finger and play each chord. This app allows you to slow down each song to practice at your own speed as well as transpose chords and melody to suit your voice. Not only that but ‘iUke’ also enables you to record your playing and post directly to social media.
A virtual ukulele application for Android ‘My ukulele’ allows you to keep a pocket sized version of your fretboard in your pocket. This far from just a novelty but a true practice tool. This app give you both standard and banjo ukulele sounds, as well as the ability to play chords up and down the neck. The sounds increased in velocity the harder that you strum or tap, and also allows you to isolate single notes only while working on melodies.
‘Ukulele Toolkit’ contains just about everything that you could possibly need to assist in your ukulele practice. Included are a tuner that is precise within .1 cent that also plays the note to help train your ear, a metronome with variable time signatures, a chord library, scales, and so much more. In addition to all of this the app includes a library of common chord progression, transposable to all keys using the circle of fifths, renaming chords based on capo positions, tap tempo to find the time as well as a special mode for the left handed ukeists among us. For when you are getting performance ready the app also has a built in drum machine that allows you to practice playing with accompaniment. There isn’t much left out in this one!
Ukulele Tabs and Chords
‘Ukulele Tabs and Chords’ offers one of the most comprehensive song libraries for the ukulele. Included in the app are well over 100,000 chord sheets and tabs for just about any song that you can think of. Once you find that tab that you are looking for, you are able to edit and tailor each to your own specific needs and even save for personal use offline. For performance you are able to set the app to auto scroll along with the song as well as transpose each chord into a key of your choosing. If this wasn’t enough there is also a built in tuner, chord library, and 20 common strumming patterns!
Despite its seemingly simplistic name ‘Ukulele Tuner’ does so much more than provide a tuner for your instrument. This app includes most of the standard alternate ukulele tunings: D, Low G, Canadian (Low G up a step) as well as Baritone. If you prefer to tune by ear the app has a built- in reference pitch adjustable from A440 as the standard.
What I truly love about this app is the visualization of the tuning which almost looks like a tape measure with notes on it giving great feedback on how far you truly are away from the target pitch. In addition to being a great tuning application ‘Ukulele Tuner’ also offers a fairly comprehensive chord library of root position voicings.
All of these applications are fun, functional tools that can assist you in your ukulele journey. The vast majority of them are free, with in-app purchases, so that you can get a taste of what they offer before spending your hard earned money. With all of these options available we have no excuses not to practice!