How to keep your motivation and make progress

9 Feb 2015


It’s important to practice if you want to keep getting better at the ukulele, but it is easy to lose motivation, no matter how keen you are.
However, if you can find ways to practice regularly and effectively, you’ll find that you can improve very quickly. Here are some top tips to help you.

Try to practice little and often. 10-15 minutes a day is much better than an hour or two every weekend.

Play along with other people at a ukulele club (or if you can’t do that, why not use backing tracks? Visit to find some). This helps you hear what the song should sound like, and it helps you to keep in time and not slow down on the hard bits!

Of course, you’re much more likely to be motivated to play your ukulele if it’s handy! Make sure it’s nearby and not hidden away in its case.

If you can, set aside a regular time and place to practice. You’ll get into the habit if you always pick up your ukulele whilst dinner is in the oven, for example. You won’t struggle for motivation; it will just become something you always do. Any place will do, but try and make sure it’s comfortable and free from distractions.

Decide on your targets and make a chart! Tick off days on your calendar when you’ve practiced, and mark off your targets when you’ve achieved them. Seeing your progress like this is great for motivation.

This might sound crazy, but don’t practice too much! You may end up getting frustrated and tired, and you’ll find it hard to keep up regular long practice sessions and so you may start skipping them. Try to be realistic and set small, achievable targets.

Here’s another trick that’s worth a try! Why not practice before bed and see if going to sleep afterwards gives your brain a chance to file away what you’ve learned. You may even continue to ‘practice’ while you sleep!

Think outside the box: Sometimes it’s not motivation that’s the problem! Struggling to find a time or place? Practice on the bus or train (there are ‘silent’ electric ukuleles with headphone sockets available that are great for this) or in the office on your lunch break.

Finally, don’t sabotage your practice sessions. Make sure you’re comfortable, not too tired, sitting up straight in a chair that doesn’t get in the way of correct playing posture. And make sure those left hand nails haven’t grown too long, as they’ll make it very hard to get a nice, clear tone!


  • Little and often is best. Long practice sessions with big gaps between them mean that you keep forgetting where you were and what you learned, and you’ll get tired.
  • A ukulele stand is an ideal tool to keep your ukulele handy but safe.
  • Make your practice smart! 10 minutes of focused work on a particular target is better than an hour of flitting from one thing to another.
  • Everyone has trouble with motivation sometimes, just as everyone finds something they get stuck on. You are not alone!
  • Download our FREE Practice Tips PDF and keep them to hand when practising for quick reference. Simply fill in the form in the green box for instant access. (You’ll also receive 9 other useful ukulele PDFs!)

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