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For accompanying singing, the soft and mellow harmony of
the ukulele has few superiors. It is a wonderful instrument for
accompanying informal group singing, either out-of-doors on
summer nights or around the fire during a winter evening.
One reason for the ukulele's great popularity is the ease with
which it can be played. It calls for no technical knowledge of
music and is probably the easiest to play of all the stringed
instruments. The average person should be able to strum a tune
or play an accompaniment of rich and harmonious chords after
no more than a few hours of experimenting and practicing.
One thing that is a great help to beginners is that in music
arranged for the ukulele, the chords that are to be played are
usually indicated by fingerboard diagrams printed over or
under the notes. These diagrams will help you to use correctly
the chords described in this chapter.
The Strings and Notes of the Ukulele
The ukulele has four strings, which are tuned to the notes
A, D, F# and B. The strings, together with the piano notes
to which they correspond and the position of the notes in
printed music, are shown in Fig. 17. You will notice right away
that the fourth string is tuned differently from the fourth strings
on other stringed instruments. Instead of being lower in pitch
than the other three strings, it is almost as high in pitch as the
The ukulele is tuned to the piano notes to which its strings
correspond. The method of tuning a stringed instrument is de-
scribed in "Tuning the Violin" in the chapter on "The Violin"