I have no idea how to play the ukulele. I know how to strum but my fingers keep getting stuck and I can't understand how to follow the music, please help!
Hello ChrisMcA, There is a black bar on the home page that has various sections like chord charts, lessons and strumming to name a few. If you are familiar with Youtube there are also tutorials for free. One off the top of my head is The Ukulele Teacher.
I strum with my thumb but most teach to strum with your index finger. My thumb does not get stuck and my finger does.
Go to the chord charts for now and look up the basic chords A, B, C, D, E, F, G The dots are where you put your fingers. You want to press your fingers down close to the frets (bars on the fretboard) so the sound is not muffled when you strum with your other hand. When first starting out I would stick to three chord songs for a while so you can at least feel like you are playing songs. You are my sunshine is a good three-chord song that uses C, F, and G. Just starting out I would also just practice a simple downward strum to start.
You will need to tune your ukulele so go to the tuner under the tools section and turn each tuning peg and strum each string until each string matches the sound on the tuner for each string.
There is a proper way to hold the ukulele. strumming sounds best where the neck attached to the body. Your fingers on the fretboard should be curved with your fingers lined up on the first four frets kind of like the home keys in typing. They will change position depending on the chord. Your thumb should be on the back of the neck across from your middle finger. I like to tilt my neck up at an angle a bit as it makes it easier for me to play.
At some point, you will probably want to learn tabs. They are numbers instead of dots that correspond to the fret on the string the number appears on. they can be either single notes or chords depending if they are lined up vertically or not. A D chord would be 333O O means open and you don't put a finger on that string. You will put a finger on the other three strings on the third fret so you can play a D chord.
Some songs just have letters (chords), Some have numbers (tabs), and some have both (mixed).
There is much more to learn but this will hopefully get you started.
I will often look up the original song on You-Tube to try to work it out. Tabs will tell you exactly how many times to play the note. With chords, you are going to have to work out what the timing is and then pick out a strumming pattern that fits the timing. There is not one right answer for this question.
There are a lot of great videos on YouTube that can help you out.
It sounds like you need to start with small steps and then you can work up to playing the way you would like. I'm partial to Cynthia Lin, but Ukulele Teacher, TenThumbs, Ukulele Mike are all great for starting out.
Cynthia Lin has some nice finger picking songs, including Blackbird.
My first advice to new players: RELAX! Ukuleles don't have teeth! They like to cuddle, not bite!