HomeHow To Ukulele

How to play ukulele blues strumming

How to play ukulele blues strumming
Like Tweet Pin it Share Share Email
Unlocking Efficiency and Savings: The Benefits of Amazon Business Prime

The ukulele is a small, guitar-like instrument with four strings, originating from Hawaii in the 19th century. It has gained popularity in recent years as an easy-to-learn and fun instrument for people of all ages. One of the most popular styles of music to play on the ukulele is blues, which is characterized by its soulful and emotive sound.

To play ukulele blues strumming, it is important to familiarize yourself with the 12-bar blues progression, which is the foundation of blues music. This progression consists of 12 bars, each with its own chord, and is used in countless blues songs. Mastering this progression will allow you to play a wide variety of blues tunes on your ukulele.

One way to add flair to your ukulele blues strumming is by incorporating syncopation, or the accenting of off-beat rhythms. This technique can add depth and excitement to your playing, and is a key element in capturing the distinctive feel of blues music. Experimenting with different strumming patterns and rhythms is essential to developing your own unique style and sound.

In addition to mastering the technical aspects of ukulele blues strumming, it is equally important to channel the emotion and feeling of the music through your playing. Blues music is deeply rooted in human emotion and experience, and conveying this through your ukulele playing is essential to capturing the essence of the genre. Pay close attention to dynamics and phrasing, and allow yourself to be expressive and heartfelt in your playing.

Are you ready to learn how to play ukulele blues strumming?

Learning how to play ukulele blues strumming is a great way to add some soulful vibes to your ukulele playing. With its unique rhythm and style, blues strumming on the ukulele can bring a whole new dimension to your music. In the next part, we will delve into the techniques and tips for mastering ukulele blues strumming, so you can start impressing your friends and family with your soulful sound. Stay tuned!

Basic Strumming Pattern

Playing blues on the ukulele involves a distinctive strumming pattern that sets it apart from other genres. The basic strumming pattern for ukulele blues is a combination of downstrokes and upstrokes. To achieve this, you can start by doing a downstroke followed by an upstroke, and then repeat. This creates a rhythmic and bluesy sound that is characteristic of the genre.

Syncopated Strumming

Syncopated strumming is a key element in playing ukulele blues. This involves emphasizing the off-beats to create a more complex and interesting rhythm. To achieve syncopated strumming, you can add a slight pause or emphasis on the upstrokes to create a groove that is synonymous with blues music.

Use of Blues Chords

When playing ukulele blues, it’s essential to incorporate blues chords to capture the authentic blues sound. Some common blues chords for the ukulele include the A7, D7, and E7 chords. These chords have a bluesy quality and are frequently used in blues music.

Adding Sliding and Bending

To enhance the bluesy nature of your ukulele playing, consider incorporating sliding and bending techniques. Sliding between notes and bending the strings slightly can add a soulful and expressive quality to your playing, characteristic of blues music.

Emotional Expression

Blues music is known for its emotional expression, and this should be reflected in your ukulele playing. Focus on conveying emotion through your strumming and chord progressions, adding depth and feeling to your performance.

Practice and Patience

Mastering ukulele blues strumming requires practice and patience. Take the time to perfect your strumming technique and familiarize yourself with blues rhythms and chord progressions. With dedication and persistence, you can achieve proficiency in playing ukulele blues.


According to a survey conducted by Ukulele Magazine, 40% of ukulele players are interested in learning blues music on the instrument.

What is ukulele blues strumming?

Ukulele blues strumming is a technique used to play blues music on the ukulele. It involves a unique strumming pattern and chord progression that gives the music its distinct bluesy sound.

Do I need to be an advanced player to learn ukulele blues strumming?

No, ukulele blues strumming can be learned by players of all levels. With practice and dedication, even beginners can master the technique.

What are the basic chords used in ukulele blues strumming?

The basic chords used in ukulele blues strumming include the I, IV, and V chords, which are often played as 7th chords to give them a bluesy feel. Common examples include the C7, F7, and G7 chords.

How do I improve my strumming technique for ukulele blues?

Improving your strumming technique for ukulele blues involves practicing different strumming patterns, focusing on dynamics, and experimenting with accents and syncopation.

Can I use a pick for ukulele blues strumming?

While some players prefer to use a pick for ukulele blues strumming, it is also common to use fingers for a more dynamic and nuanced sound. Experiment with both to see which works best for you.

Are there any specific tips for achieving a bluesy sound on the ukulele?

To achieve a bluesy sound on the ukulele, focus on bending notes, using slides and hammer-ons, and incorporating blues scales into your playing.

What are some popular ukulele blues songs to practice strumming?

Some popular ukulele blues songs to practice strumming include “Baby Please Don’t Go,” “Key to the Highway,” and “Sweet Home Chicago.”

How can I add embellishments to my ukulele blues strumming?

To add embellishments to your ukulele blues strumming, try incorporating fingerpicking, double stops, and small melodic runs into your playing.

How important is timing and rhythm in ukulele blues strumming?

Timing and rhythm are crucial in ukulele blues strumming, as they help to create the signature groove and feel of blues music. Practice with a metronome to improve your timing.

Should I experiment with different tunings for ukulele blues strumming?

While standard ukulele tuning is commonly used for blues strumming, some players experiment with alternate tunings to achieve different tones and textures. It’s worth trying out different tunings to see what works best for your style.


In conclusion, mastering the ukulele blues strumming technique requires a combination of rhythm, timing, and a good understanding of the 12-bar blues structure. By focusing on the shuffle rhythm and incorporating percussive elements, players can create an authentic blues sound on the ukulele. It’s important to pay attention to dynamics and accents to convey the emotion and feeling of the blues. Additionally, experimenting with different chord voicings and adding in some bluesy embellishments can add depth and character to the strumming patterns. Overall, with practice and dedication, players can develop their own unique blues style on the ukulele.

In summary, the ukulele blues strumming technique is a versatile and expressive way to play the blues on the ukulele. By learning and mastering the shuffle rhythm, paying attention to dynamics and accents, and experimenting with chord voicings and embellishments, players can create an authentic blues sound. With consistent practice and dedication, players can develop their own unique style and express a wide range of emotions through their ukulele playing. Whether playing solo or with a band, mastering the ukulele blues strumming technique can add depth and character to any performance.