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Four Basic Ukulele Songs for Beginners

Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel How to Play Ukulele Beginners

Many budding musicians began their learning journey with a ukulele. There are several reasons this is an excellent choice for beginners.

For young people, the neck of a ukulele is narrow enough for still growing fingers to manage chords well. The fact that a ukulele has only four strings also makes learning chords a bit simpler and gets the hands ready for stepping up to a full sized guitar. Another plus is that reaching the point where even a novice can play and sing a song is quickly attainable, which makes for a bucket load of satisfaction and pride for the first-time player.


Other winning attributes of a ukulele include:


1. Affordability

2. Portability

3. Easy chords

4. Fast gratification

5. Ukuleles come in three sizes (tenor, soprano, and concert, tenor being the largest).


Basic Ukulele Chords

The strings included on a ukulele are:


1. G-string, which is the top string

2. The C-string

3. The E-string

4. The bottom is the A-string's location.


To form the chords you need for many folk tunes and well-known songs, you can get by with four chords that will suffice for a long, long time.  There are major chords, minor chords, and seventh chords. Once you have the fingering down pat, you are going to be amazed at how many songs you will be able to accompany on the ukulele, but you need to use charts, that generally show with black dots your finger placement on the frets and strings of your instrument. Some sheet music has the ukulele chords named above the music staff to show which chord goes with each bar of the song.


Simple Ukulele Songs

Let's take a look at some standard songs that are ridiculously easy to sing using your ukulele as an accompaniment:


1. Rejoice all you Taylor Swift fans. Taylor's song "22" can be accompanied on the ukulele with only these chords - G, D, C, D.

2. If you're a folk song enthusiast, you can play Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" if you have mastered the G, C, D, but you'll need to learn the Em chord for the refrain.

3. Love Adele? You can play "Someone Like You" with just G, C, and D.

4. Want to become a blues artists? Try "Bring it on Home" using G, C, D.

5. "Happy Birthday" always comes in handy. Check out the sheet music and the accompanying chords.

6.Everybody loves "You are My Sunshine," right? Try it out here.

7. You can even play Israel (Iz) Kamakawiwo'ole's version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" found here.

8. For you, jazz fans, give this arrangement of "When the Saints Go Marching In" a stab.

9. Woody Guthrie's great standard "This Land is Your Land" is fun to sing around the campfire. Here's a version that beginner ukulele players can quickly perform.

The Joys of the Ukulele

Once you get started on the ukulele, you will want to learn more and more. You'll need to understand and then intuitively feel what the strum should be for each song you play. You will need to master the tuning of your instrument and learn the ways you can tell if your strings need tightening or loosening. You'll find yourself listening to music in a different, more personal level, and will know what chords to play just by hearing the song. You'll also want to share your new abilities with your friends and families, and take your ukulele with you wherever you go. That's the point at which you will believe inside yourself that you are, in fact, a musician. And that's where the fun begins.



If you're looking for an affordable and flexible way to learn how to play the ukulele, get in touch with ArtistWorks to find out more about this appealing instrument. You can also get free sample ukulele lessons here.

Purple Bar Ukulele Songs for Beginners



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