Learning the ukulele in 20 hours?

Since watching Josh Kaufman’s TED talk about how to learn anything in 20 hours, I was curious and inspired. Kaufman managed to play and sing hundreds of pop songs in 20 hours! The trick is to learn four versatile chords in this sequence: G, D Em and C.

I love to read, pick up new skills, experiment and…I have always wanted to learn to play a musical instrument. I don’t have much time, but 45 minutes a day for a month is feasible. Who needs 10,000 hours to be an expert? (a theory popularised by Malcolm Gladwell).

So I put this goal at the back of my mind and waited for the right time to execute it. I almost believe it would never happen since I’ve taken up a few important projects this year which slowly eat their way into my personal schedule.

20140514-192810.jpgLucky for me, Imran of Narmi Adventures came to Colin’s birthday party with his ukulele! I showed him the video and he taught me the said chords and more. He told me quite a lot of things I didn’t know before such as using a digital tuner to tune a guitar, the existence and use of a metronome, definition of beat/rhythm, criterias of a good song, etc.

Rubs, another good guitar player, dispensed some knowledge too. Though most are memorable, they are rather useless…

Me: What kind of ukulele should I get?
Rubs: A six strings one.

Rubs: You need to give more feelings.
Me: I’m more logical than emotional.
Rubs: You’re a girl. It’s good enough.



Anyway, after about 45 minutes of practice, I managed to

  • Identify, memorize and play the four chords (G, D, Em, C)
  • Change chords
  • Strum
  • Learn basics of ukulele e.g names of strings (GCEA), etc.

Though I do all the above quite badly…

If I didn’t watch Josh Kaufman speak, I would have given up, believing I am a music retard. Well, not really. Being a productive person who is sensitive with time, I need to know whether the amount of time I invest is worthy and would truly yield results. I can totally do 20 hours if it means I can play more than a few songs!


Can’t wait till Im and Rubs take me to the music shop to get my first ukulele!