Amazing Grace Ukulele Chords

amazing grace ukulele chordsLearn how to play Amazing Grace on the ukulele. Take a look at this simple video covering how to play the song. I enjoy this song very much. I know this is a song that can connect with the listener. It certainly connects with me. Hope you enjoy this tutorial. Don’t forget to tune!

Uke Chords for Amazing Grace

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Leaving On a Jet Plane by John Denver

leaving on a jet plane ukuleleLearn how to play “Leaving on a Jet Plane” on the ukulele. It’s simpler than you might think. With only a 2 or 3 chords and a slow tempo you will have this song well played in no time. Take a look at this video to get familiar with the original song. Make sure your uke is in tune and get ready for this fun lesson.

Leaving on a Jet Plane on the Ukulele

Jason Mraz Im Yours Ukulele Chords

im yours ukulele chordsOne of the most popular songs to learn as a beginner ukulele players is “Im Yours” by Jason Mraz. It is perhaps one of the top 10 that one would typically learn first. Maybe its because of the catchy chorus. It has definitely become a classic like “Somewhere of The Rainbow“. Here’s a tutorial on how to play Im Yours on the ukulele.

This article is by ukulele-lessons.com, for more interesting ukulele bits like our easy ukulele songs facebook page.

E Ukulele Chord: The Most Difficult Chord?

e ukulele chordPlaying the E Ukulele Chord is one of the more difficult chords to play the ukulele. Yes, the ukulele is relatively speaking one of the more easier instruments to learn. But this one chord can make things quite difficult. This is why I suggest you spend a considerable amount of time practicing this one chord over and over. You will learn in this article that there are several ways to play this chord. This will prove to be beneficial as you gain experience because it will give you more flexibility when playing your easy ukulele songs. As usual, be sure to know how to tune your ukulele.

How to Play E Major Ukulele Chord

Thanks for reading through this article by ukulele-lessons. You might want to take a look at the 12 basic ukulele chords article for further practice.

How to Play Ukulele Blues

play ukulele bluesWant to add more feeling to your uke playing? Try adding some blues to your ukulele skills repository and things will get interesting quick, fast, in a hurry! I get excited when listening to Jazz, especially from the 1940’s era. This time period is known as Bebop. But anyway today we want to learn how to play blues on the ukulele. So I’m put together this list of very useful videos that will help you learn a thing or two about the blues. Before you move forward, it is important that you tune your uke! Don’t miss out on this important step. So what do you say, are you ready to get started or what!

Ukulele Blues Tutorials

Playing Ukulele Blues with Fingerpicking

I have to admit, playing the blues is incredibly fun. If you enjoyed this post, keep connected by clicking like on our easy ukulele songs facebook page.

Easy Ukulele Songs by Michael Jackson

easy ukulele songs michael jackson
Let’s learn some easy ukulele songs by the King of Pop – Michael Jackson. I’ve always enjoyed his music since I was very young. I even practiced his dance moves with my friends. I don’t dance nowadays, but I do play the ukulele. So let’s take a look at some of his songs played by the uke in these tutorials. Be sure to go over tuning your ukulele.

Beginner Ukulele Songs by Michael Jackson

  1. Human Nature

2.  Rock With You

3. Billie Jean

We hope you enjoyed this article from ukulele-lessons. Check out another list of simple ukulele songs by The Beatles.

10 Easy Ukulele Songs By The Beatles

easy ukulele songsEven if you’re a Beatlemaniac, you might not know that you can teach yourself to play ukulele by playing exclusively Beatles songs! In this article, I’ve gathered 10 Beatles easy ukulele songs that are perfect for ukulele beginners and provided a few tips for learning and playing them.

I’ve also used this article to showcase 10 wonderful Beatles covers from YouTube that don’t get much attention (maybe because 9 of them are ukulele covers, and we’re still a little underground!). At the time of this writing, most of these don’t even have 1,000 views, but I think all of them are worth listening to, both as a way to learn the songs more easily and to get inspired to play more ukulele!

Please enjoy this article, and if you end up recording your own Beatles cover (or if you have any questions!), I’d love to listen… and by the way, for help with chords you can take a look at my ukulele chords guide. It will come in handy as you learn new songs.

Easy Ukulele Songs By the Beatles

1. In Spite of All the Danger

“In Spite of All the Danger” is a great place to start playing The Beatles – after all, it’s where The Beatles started playing The Beatles!

John Lennon and Paul McCartney, then called The Quarrymen, wrote “In Spite Of All The Danger” together in 1958, before the other two slackers ever hopped on the bandwagon.

When you’re first starting on the uke, a lot of your strums tend to be “Down” strums. Adding the “up” strum at a softer volume can be challenging – but because of the strong “Down” presence in this song, you’ll get a feel for how to accent your Down strums and play a little more gently on your Up strums.

The tab is a little confusing after the line “If you’ll be true to me.” What you want to do is play a Down strum on the E chord on the word “Me.” Then, wait one more Down strum before switching to the A chord for two Down strums, then back to the E chord. While you’re practicing, you could say that section aloud like this:

“Me, Down, A, Down, E, Down”

Check out this awesome father-son uke-guitar duo playing “In Spite of All the Danger” on YouTube for some inspiration! But before playing along, don’t forget to tune your ukulele!

2. Tomorrow Never Knows

Written in 1966 and inspired by the Tibetan Book of the Dead, “Tomorrow Never Knows” is one of the most famous and most unusual songs of the 20th century.

There are only two chords in this song, so most beginners won’t struggle with the chords themselves. What’s tricky about this song – and the thing that makes it a great song to learn and practice – is learning to sing more freely over your strumming rhythm. This is a great song for developing the ability to sing a little more independently from your strumming.

The best strategy is to relax. If you’re having a hard time singing along, practice the strumming and singing separately! It’s perfectly alright to practice with a recording to get the timing of the melody in your head. Then, you can practice singing while tapping the rhythm on your thigh or a desk before adding the strumming back in. Don’t be afraid to let loose – being expressive can only help you. You are on the right track, these easy ukulele songs are great for learning how to strum and sing at the same time.

I loved this simple but powerful acoustic guitar cover of the song:

3. Act Naturally

Alright, this isn’t technically a Beatles song (it was written by Buck Owens in 1963). But the Beatles made it famous in 1965 on their album Help!, showcasing the vocal talent of Ringo Starr.

This song feels like it was written for the uke. It’s got a relaxed, folky feel. It’s also a great way to get your inner percussionist involved in your uke playing.

The Beatles had their drummer sing this song for a reason: it’s not as easy as it seems to keep the vocals in time!

Most people who sing this song tend to slow themselves down. You can avoid this by practicing with a metronome, and also by recording yourself. That way, you can play back the recording and hear whether you’re singing the words in rhythm.

I love the way this gentleman acts naturally in his uke cover:

4. Let It Be

“Let It Be” was The Beatles’ last single before Paul McCartney left the band. Today, this song has become part of the Great American Songbook, right alongside other 70s tracks like Mrs. Robinson. This song is one of our favorites here at ukulele-lessons.com!

This song uses one of the most common groups of chords in contemporary music, so it’s a great staple. Its popularity also makes it ideal for practicing expressive playing – once you’ve learned the chords, be bold! Don’t be afraid to experiment – try different speeds, rhythms, or accents to give “Let It Be” your own creative twist.

The young lady in this YouTube video takes the song at her own pace and includes a couple subtle flourishes that make her version unique.

5. Yellow Submarine

If you have three people in a room, you’ve got four interpretations of the 1966 classic “Yellow Submarine.” But when he was asked about the song, Paul McCartney maintained that there wasn’t a special secret meaning to it.

“It’s a happy place… that’s all,” he said. “We were just trying to write a children’s song.”

Without sharp chord changes, this song doesn’t come together well. So, it’s perfect for teaching yourself how to pick up speed and change chords more quickly!

Don’t start at the actual speed of the song (about 105 BPM). Instead, start at a much slower speed, say, 85 BPM. When you have mastered it at that speed, gradually increase your speed by five beats per minute each time.

It’s kind of like lifting weights: doing an exercise properly with less weight is a thousand times better than doing it improperly with too much. If you start at a manageable speed, you’ll get to your goal speed much faster, and you’re less likely to strain your muscles or get frustrated and give up.

If you’re curious about this method or how your muscle memory works, you can check out my article on How To Play the Ukulele Faster!

Here’s another top-notch ukulele cover from someone who seems like he’s having a lot of fun:

6. Eleanor Rigby

“Eleanor Rigby,” also from the album Yellow Submarine, marked a subtle turning point for The Beatles as they moved from being a live pop music group to a more studio-oriented group. Pete Townsend from The Who also cited “Eleanor Rigby” as an inspiration.

Eleanor Rigby is an unusual pop song, particularly because it uses a lot of syncopation. “Syncopation” is just a fancy word that means “rhythms that fall in surprising places.” As you learn the song, you’ll notice that the “strong beats” in the vocal melody don’t always fall right in step with the strong beats in the strumming pattern. That’s one of the things that gives this song such a memorable sound and drives the melody forward.

If you’re having trouble lining your strumming up to your singing, you might not be ready to bring the singing in yet. You need more muscle memory, so that your strumming feels natural! When I learned this song, I practiced the strumming and chord changes on their own until they felt comfortable; then, I added the singing back in.

For inspiration, check out this creative uke version – that also incorporates cello!

7. Obla-di, Obla-da

“Obla-di, Obla-da” is a lighthearted song with a great message. It also highlights the Beatles’ reggae influences, which makes it great for bringing an “island feel” into your playing – very appropriate for the ukulele.

“Chunking” (a.k.a. muting your strings to create a percussive sound, rather than strumming) really adds to the strumming pattern in this song. Here’s my two-step process for making the “chunk” sound:

STEP ONE: Before your strum, rest the base of your palm on the strings near the bridge. While you usually strum closer to the neck, for a muted strum, you want to strum lower on the uke, because otherwise, all the notes could become sharp!

STEP TWO: Strum with your finger(s) curling inward toward the strings, making sure all the strings are evenly muted.

For inspiration, I love this carefree cover from YouTube:

8. Octopus’s Garden

Ringo Starr said he got the idea for “Octopus’s Garden” from his first experience eating squid, which happened in 1968 on a boat that belonged to comedian Peter Sellers. According to Ringo, he had ordered fish and chips, but he was served squid instead – and, in 1969, we got “Octopus’s Garden.”

This song can help you get the hand of faster chord changes: the speed of the strumming doesn’t leave much time for dawdling between chords!

As you practice, try to think of the next chord shape before the time comes to switch chords – so that while you’re playing a phrase, you’re already mentally preparing to move your hand to the new position.

This does take practice, and you might want to practice the strumming by itself before adding the vocal melody. One thing that can help, while you’re practicing, is to actually say the name of the chord on the beat you put your fingers down. This way, your brain is reinforcing the chord change verbally as well as kinesthetically.

I was transported to a summer campfire by this woman’s cover of “Octopus’s Garden”:

9. You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away

“You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” is The Beatles’ tribute to Bob Dylan. It’s also a good way to learn to play something that really sounds like folk music. It’s also a really fun tune to play from this list of easy ukulele songs.

Most of the time, if you tap your foot along to a song, you’ll feel yourself tapping in groups of 2 or 4, with the emphasis on the first tap. But folk music is often felt in groups of 3 – that’s one of the things that makes “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” feel so folky.

Don’t believe me? Try tapping quickly along with the strums of the song. If you pay attention, you’ll find yourself tapping in groups of 3, with the emphasis on the first tap of each group.

As you practice and listen to this song, keep that feel in the back of your mind. It’ll help you bring out the musicality of the songwriting.

Check out this video to hear what I’m talking about:

10. We Can Work it Out

“We Can Work It Out” is remarkable because it was a true Lennon-McCartney collaboration. Even the lyrics seem to reflect that!

For many beginners, this song can be the perfect cumulative project, putting together several of the concepts that the other songs on this list highlight individually.

If you can play this, pat yourself on the back and move on to a different article – because you’re now an intermediate player, not a beginner… and you can create your own Beatles cover!

For now, I’ll leave you with this one:

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Riptide Chords for Ukulele (Vance Joy)

Learn how Vance recorded the song here, you’ll know the inspiration behind Riptide chords.


Am G C (x2)

 
Am 
I was scared of  
G 
dentists and the  
C 
dark
Am 
I was scared of  
G 
pretty girls and  
C 
starting 
 
conversations
Am 
Oh all my  
G 
friends are turning  
C 
green
Am 
You’re the magicians  
G 
assistant in their  
C 
dreams

Pre-Chorus:

 
Am 
Ooh, 
 
 
G 
ooh, 
 
 
C 
ooh
Am 
Ooh, 
 
 
G 
and they  
C 
come 
 
unstuck

Chorus:

 
Am 
Lady, 
G 
running down to the  
C 
riptide, taken away to the  
Am 
dark 
 
side
G 
I wanna be your  
C 
left hand man
Am 
I love you  
G 
when you’re singing that  
C 
song and, I got a lump in my  
Am 
throat 
 
’cause
G 
You’re gonna sing the  
C 
words 
 
wrong
Am 
There’s this movie  
G 
that I think you’ll  
C 
like
Am 
This guy decides to  
G 
quit his job and  
C 
heads to New York City
Am 
This cowboy’s  
G 
running from  
C 
himself
Am 
And she’s been living  
G 
on the highest  
C 
shelf

Pre-Chorus>

Chorus>

C

Am 
I just wanna, I just wanna  
G 
know, 
 
 
C 
if you’re gonna, if you’re gonna  
F 
stay,
Am 
I just gotta, I just gotta  
G 
know, 
 
 
C 
I can’t have it, I can’t have it  
F 
any other way
Am 
I swear she’s  
G 
destined for the  
C 
screen
Am 
Closest thing to  
G 
Michelle Pfeiffer  
C 
that you’ve ever seen, oh

Chorus> x3

C 
I got a lump in my  
Am 
throat ’cause  
G 
you’re gonna sing the words  
C 
wrong.

 

Learn more about Vance Joy’s music here or take a look at Vance Joy and Taylor Swift covering each others songs here

For an overview of basic ukulele chords visit this link.

Easy Ukulele Songs for Beginners

The best way to get started on the uke is to learn how to play easy ukulele songs for beginners.  While there are what seems like an unlimited amount of songs you can get started with, here are a few that will be easy for you to help build your uke skills. From kids of 5 years all the way to around 97 years old, ukulele is a beloved instrument. So get ready and have fun with the following lessons:

 

12 Basic Ukulele Chords for Beginners

basic uke chordsLearning how to play ukulele chords is perhaps one of the most exciting things. The reasons for this is that every song you here is composed of chords. So as you learn a handful of these chords you will be on your way to playing hundreds of songs and even thousands if you wanted to. This article will help you learn how to play ukulele chords easily. I’ve put together clear step by step instructions to help you. I hope to make your journey easier while you learn how to play ukulele chords.

These chords I will show you in great detail really are the most popular and the most common. There are many ukulele chords you can learn, but the reality is that there are a small amount of them that are most significant.

My goal is to save you a lot of time, money, and stress that may come with music lessons. I say this from personal experience. So here you will learn the chords that will help you play over 80% of all ukulele songs.

Learning how to play ukulele becomes a lot easier once you know that there are only 12 ukulele chords you really need to know to play 90% of songs. There are over 100 chords you can learn, but you would rarely need to use more than half of those if ever. So I’ve sifted through many songs to save you time and have come up with a list of the 12 most popular chords you should learn. After learning these chords you will be able to play almost any song you can think of. Oh, and did I already mention learning to play ukulele chords is really exciting?

By the way, be sure to check out the ukulele chords video library. It’s free and an awesome resource for beginners.

ukulele chords

How To Play Ukulele Chords

The Major Chords

1. How To Play C Ukulele Chord

C is the most popular chord of all time. Whether you play piano, saxophone, accordion, trumpet, the C chord is the most common and most played chord. This applies to any instrument you play and pretty much any musical genre. It’s basically the first chord every musician learns at the beginning stages. By the way, this happens to be the easiest to play of all the ukulele chords! Examples of songs that use C: Somewhere Over The Rainbow, I’m Yours, Let It Go, The Lazy Song, Imagine. Before trying this chord, make sure you know how to tune your ukulele.

The most common way to play this chord is simply to place your ring finger on the first string/third fret. The reason for this is that you can easily maneuver if you need to switch to play chords that include notes on the first and second fret for example A chord, or F chord. However, get used to playing this chord with the middle finger also as sometimes it will be a more comfortable position certain cases. For example at the very beginning of Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

  1. place your ring finger on the 1st string / third fret.
  2. Or using your middle finger may be more convenient depending on the song.

2. How To Play G Ukulele Chord

G chord is a hugely popular chord as well. Almost as much as the C chord actually. A lot of the popular songs usually use the C chord and the G chord together. So it’s no surprise that G is the next most popular on the list of ukulele chords. Examples of songs that use G: Somewhere Over The Rainbow, I’m Yours, Let It Go, Imagine. Be sure to see my easy ukulele songs article where you can use this chord often.

  1. place your middle finger on the 1st string / 2nd fret
  2. place your index finer on the 3rd string / 2nd fret
  3. place your ring finer on the 2nd string / 3rd fret

3. How To Play F Ukulele Chord

Similar to the G chord, the F chord is widely used together with C. It is very common to see all three of these chords together. So if you’re getting started on the uke, these are the first three ukulele chords that you should learn really well before learning the rest. Examples of songs that use F: Somewhere Over The Rainbow, I’m Yours.

  1. place your index finger on the 2nd string / 1st fret.
  2. place your middle finger on the 4th string / 2nd fret

4. How To Play D Ukulele Chord

The D chord is another important chord to learn. Remember we went over learning how to play Happy Birthday together? The D chord was used a lot together with G and the next chord on this list. Example of songs that use D: Happy Birthday, Amazing Grace

  1. place your index finger on the 4th string / 2nd fret
  2. place your middle finger on the 3rd string / 2rd fret
  3. place your ring finger on the 2nd string / 2nd fret

5. How To Play A Ukulele Chord

A is the chord used in Happy Birthday right after D. If you get this chord, you’ll be able to play songs like Hey Jude, Hey Soul Sistah and other great classic ukulele songs.

  1. place your index finger on the 3rd string / 1st fret
  2. place your middle finger on the 4th string / 2nd fret

6. How To Play E Ukulele Chord

This one is a classic chord because probably the one you hear when you listen to sad songs like Somewhere Over The Rainbow. This chord is known for giving the sad vibe to songs. Get used to this chord because you will see it very often.

  1. place your index finger on the 1st string / 2nd fret
  2. place your ring finger on string 2, 3, and 4 / 4th fret

7. How To Play Bb Ukulele Chord

The most commonly used flat chord. This one is a must know.

  1. place your index finger and cover the 1st & 2nd string / 1st fret
  2. place your middle finger on the 3rd string / 2nd fret
  3. place your ring finger on the 4th string / 3rd fret

The Minor Chords

The following ukulele chords are just as important as the top 7. These are the minor chords you will see frequently as your learn to play. A lot of songs use these chords to add emotion and feeling. So you will likely see these combined with the top seven major chords we covered already.

8. How To Play Am Ukulele Chord

  1. place your middle finger on the 4th string / 2nd fret

9. How To Play Bm Ukulele Chord

  1. place your whole index finger covering all strings / 2nd fret
  2. place your ring finger on 4th string / 4th fret

10. How To Play Dm Ukulele Chord

  1. place your index finger on the 2nd string / 1st fret
  2. place your middle finger on the 4th string / 2nd fret
  3. place your ring finger on the 3rd string / 2nd fret

11. How To Play Em Ukulele Chord

  1. place your index finger on the 1st string / 2nd fret
  2. place your middle finger on the 2nd string / 3rd fret
  3. place your ring finger on the 3rd string / 4th fret

12. How To Play Gm Ukulele Chord

  1. place your index finger on the 1st string / 1st fret
  2. place your middle figer on the 3rd string / 2nd fret
  3.  place your ring finger on the 2nd string / 3rd fret

Well my ukulele friends, I really hope this article was informative for you. My main goal is to help beginner ukulele players and I’m confident this guide will help you learn how to play ukulele chords and how to become better. Remember that practice makes progress. Take it one step at a time. Learn a chord really well before you go on to the others. I hope you enjoyed this article from ukulele-lessons.com.
Here’s a really helpful video covering common chords.

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