When asked the question is a ukulele easier to learn than a guitar the answer must be yes. This is simply because a standard ukulele is smaller and easier for young hands to hold.
A ukulele has only four strings (there as some larger ukuleles with 6 stings, although uncommon and they give a different sound, but there are also guitars with 12 strings) and a guitar usually has 6 strings. You can view a complete range of both guitars and ukuleles at your local guitar shop or an online guitar shop.
So just why are they easier to learn?
Many would say that because of its size and with only 4 nylon strings a ukulele is easy to play compared to a guitar, but a ukulele is not always that straight forward and does have a few difficulties for anyone who tries to learn to play one.
Reasons a ukulele is easy to learn
- Less strings so not so complicated
- Strings are nylon so are much softer and easier to press, strum and pluck than the steel strings of a guitar
- The ukulele is smaller so easier to hold, especially for young hands and weighs much less
- The ukulele neck narrower and the fret board is narrower, so the hands and fingers do not need to stretch and twist so much
- Many of the chords on a ukulele are simpler and you need to only press on one string as opposed to usually 4 strings on a guitar
- Less finger fatigue and usually fewer hand cramps with a ukulele than guitar
- The majority of tunes on a ukulele are much simpler to learn
When you start to play the guitar it can become uncomfortable when playing for a long time, especially if you do not practice having good posture. With a ukulele mainly because they are much smaller and lighter they tend to be more comfortable to hold and play. As they easily nestle in the crook of your arm you can comfortably play a ukulele for extended periods.
There are of course guitars made especially for children and smaller people to help overcome the problems they have because full sized guitars can be difficult for them to use.
The Ukulele can be difficult for beginners because
The bottom string is not like on the guitar the lowest chord, but the second to bottom string is. This can be confusing for those learning the guitar and ukulele.
The other thing that can make playing the ukulele difficult is that while the small size of the ukulele is an advantage for children and those with small hands, it can cause problems with people with large hands because of the difficulty of playing such a small instrument so of course they make larger ukuleles for people who wish to play them
When you go to a guitar shop, you can try all the different types of ukulele they have on display to get a feel for them and you can also compare them against the available guitars they have in stock. It’s generally recognised that a ukulele is easier to play than a comparable guitar, especially for young beginners with small hands and the strings are easier on the fingers because they are nylon.