Ukulele Song Lessons

Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys by Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings
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This is a classic country tune written in 3/4 time signature.  The first half of the song is in the key of D and is made up of a I-IV-V chord progression.  Chords used are D, G, and A7.  The second half of the song shifts to the key of E.  The chords used here are E, A, and B7.

Shotgun by George Ezra
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Shotgun by George Ezra is a super simple song requiring just 4 chords that are played in the same progression throughout the entire tune.  Chords required are F, Bb, Dm, and C.

Last Kiss by Pearl Jam
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In this lesson we will be learning Last Kiss by Pearl Jam. This is a great tune for beginners as it consists of just 4 basic chords throughout. The chords are G, C, D, and Em. The strum pattern is simple and the same throughout the tune.

Me And Julio Down by the Schoolyard by Paul Simon
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In this lesson we will be learning Me And Julio Down by The Schoolyard by Paul Simon.  The song consists of just 4 chords, A, E, D, and G.  The challenging part of this song is the rhythm.  There is a consistent 16th note strum pattern with dead notes that creates a percussive sound throughout.  There is also some Time Signature changes going from 4/4 to 2/4.

Lights by Journey
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Lights by Journey is made up of basically 2 parts.  Neil Schon uses a lot of Hendrix style chords putting the 3rd on the bottom of a major chord to create a progression with some melodic lines mixed in.  We will attempt to accomplish this same concept as best we can with the 4 string ukulele.

Malaguena
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In this lesson we will be learning the spanish / flamenco song Malaguena.  The song is played fingerstyle and is made up of basically 2 themes.  The song also gives us the opportunity to improvise a solo using a Phrygian Dominant scale. This musical piece sounds great on ukulele because of the nylon strings.  Learn the scale and sound like a spanish guitar virtuoso!

How Great Thou Art
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The classic hymn How Great Thou Art is a simple chord progression for the most part. Chords used in the key of G are G, C, D, D7, Am, G7, and C#dim7. We will be covering the chords and the melody.

Jesse’s Girl by Rick Springfield
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In this lesson we will be learning Jesse’s Girl by Rick Springfield on ukulele.  Chords required for this song are D, A, Bm, G. F#, B, and Abm.

Lean On Me by Bill Withers
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Lean on Me by Bill Withers is a piano tune in the Key of C.  We are going to learn this on ukulele as close to the piano part as possible. This will require C, Dm, Em, F, and G7 chords

Don’t Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin
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In this lesson we will be learning the simple reggae tune Don’t Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin. To make things a little more interesting for uke, Ashley will be showing you some chord inversions to use. Inversions are playing the same chord in a different place on the fretboard.

Emmylou by First Aid Kit
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In this lesson we will be learning the song EmmyLou by First Aid Kit in the original key of F#. Chords used are F#, A#m, D#m, C and B.

Old Town Road by Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus
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In this lesson we are going to tune our ukulele down a half step so that we can play open chords and be in the original key of the recording. The song is simple only using 4 chords throughout. The strumming pattern is just half notes but leaves a lot of room for your own interpretation.

Shallow from A Star Is Born
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In this lesson we are going to learn the song Shallow as performed by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in the movie A Star Is Born.  The song uses a fingerstyle method throughout.  The fingerstyle part is pretty crucial in the verse. Later in the song a strumming pattern can be applied. We will cover both a fingerstyle and strumming way of approaching the song.

Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell
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In this lesson we will be learning Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi.  The song consists of a I – IV – V (E, A, and B) chord progression for the most part.  The tricky part about this tune is Mitchell’s intricate rhythm playing.  She keeps her strum hand going in an 8th note fashion accenting and muting various strums.

Rocky Raccoon by The Beatles
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In this lesson we will be learning the Beatles’ classic Rocky Raccoon.  Just 4 chords in this one with a simple strum pattern and easy arrangement. The chords, while only 4, are going to played a little different in an effort to get the descending line cliche that happens on the original acoustic guitar. The chords are Am7, D7, G, G7, and C

Meant To Be by Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexha
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This tune by Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexha is a pretty simple tune with 5 chords. Chords used are G, Am, Em, C, and G/F#.

Wouldn’t It Be Nice by The Beach Boys
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In this lesson we will be learning the classic Beach Boys classic Wouldn’t It Be Nice.  We will be covering all parts including the melodic intro which is finger picked.  There are 10 chords used in this song but nothing too crazy.

High Hopes by Panic at the Disco
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Description

High Hopes is a pretty simple tune for ukulele. The song consists of just 2 parts and a simple strumming pattern throughout.  The chords used are Bb, F, Dm, C, Am, A7, and Bm.

Valerie by Amy Winehouse
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In this lesson Ashley will teach you the song Valerie by Amy Winehouse. The song is in Eb and involves some interesting min and maj 7th chords.  The strumming pattern will also be covered

Dream A Little Dream Of Me
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In this lesson we will be learning an old jazz standard from Ella Fitzgerald and Louie Armstrong.  The song is in the key of C and involves advanced chords being the jazzy tune that it is.  Lots of chords in this one, but the strumming pattern is simple.  It lends itself well to the ukulele.

I Will Buy You A New Life by Everclear
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Description

This hard rockin’ pop tune works pretty good on ukulele.  Its in the key of G.  The chords used are G or G5, C, Em, B, and C7

Lovesick Blues by Hank Williams
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In this lesson we will be learning the Hank Williams classic Lovesick Blues.  The song is in the key of F and uses 8 chords, mostly open chords but we do have a Bb barre chord. Watch out for the 2/4 measure that occurs a couple times in the song.

Ohio by CSN&Y
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In this lesson we will be learning Ohio by Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young. The song needs just 4 chords, D, C, F, and Gm7.  The song starts with a riff within the D, C and F chords using some hammer ons while strumming.  From an arrangement standpoint, the song is just 2 parts, verse and chorus.

The Joker by Steve Miller Band
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In this lesson we will be learning the Joker by Steve Miller Band in the original key of F.  The song is just 3 chords, F, Bb, and C. The intro and verses consist of a classic riff / melody line originally played on Bass.  The chorus is a simple arrangement of just the 3 chords strummed.

Don’t Stop Believing by Journey
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Description

Don’t Stop Believing by Journey is made up of 2 different sections, a verse and a chorus.  The song uses just  5 chords throughout, E, C#m, B, G#m, and A.  The verses are relatively simple with a light 8th note strumming pattern.  The chorus section has a bit more challenging rhythm applying chord stabs with dead note time keeping.

Old Man by Neil Young
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In this lesson we will be learning Old Man by Neil Young. From a chord standpoint it is pretty easy. The song is in the key of G so we need, G, F, C, Am7, D and also a Dmin9 for the intro.  The challenge here is going to be getting the rhythm and groove.

Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen
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Description

Crazy Little Thing Called Love is in the key of D. Chords needed are D, G, C, Bb, E, E7, A7, and F  The intro and verses use a D to Dsus4 type riff with a swing feel.  The chorus is played with a triplet feel making the rhythm a bit tricky.

Just A Girl by No Doubt
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In this lesson we will be learning No Doubt’s Just A Girl. The song is in the key of D and we will be examining the main riff and the chord progressions.

Beautiful Crazy by Luke Combs
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In this lesson we will be learning Beautiful Crazy by Luke Combs. The song is in the key of B so it will require a lot of barre chords.  From a strumming standpoint it is pretty simple.

Mary Did You Know
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In this lesson we will be learning the Christmas tune Mary Did You Know.  The song is in Em and uses the chords Em, D, Am, B7, c, and G.  The song is played with an arpeggiated fingerstyle.

Respect by Aretha Franklin
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Description

In this tune we will be studying Respect by Aretha Franklin.  Its in the key of C.  The key thing in grasping this tune is getting the rhythm and strumming pattern.

Don’t Worry Baby by The Beach Boys
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Description

Don’t Worry Baby is a simple tune from an arrangement standpoint.  However, because of the key (E) and the key change up to F# it requires the use of a lot of barre chords.  Great practice for barre chords and learning the theory behind the key change.

All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey
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In this lesson we are going to learn the Christmas tune All I Want For Christmas Is You.  Easy song from the standpoint of chords being in the key of G.

White Christmas by Elvis
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In this lesson we will be learning the Elvis version of White Christmas. The tune is in the key of D and has a repeating 2 part arrangement.  To imitate the Elvis version we have incorporated a riff like pattern in the strumming.  Otherwise pretty straight ahead song.

Deck The Halls
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Description

In this lesson we will be learning a version of Deck The Halls in the key of D.  The only chords used are D, A, E, and G.  The trick here is getting the quick chord changes at the end of some of the measures.

Piano Man by Billy Joel
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In this lesson we will be studying a uke version of Billy Joel’s Piano Man.  The song is in 6/8 and in the key of C.

A Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin
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In this lesson we will be learning A Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin.  The song is in the key of C.

You Were Meant For Me by Jewel
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In this lesson we will be learning a ukulele version of Jewel’s “You Were Meant For Me”. The song is in the key of G and uses C, Cadd9, G/B, D, Amin7, Bm, G, and Em.

Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
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In this lesson we will be learning Wish You Were Here on ukulele! The song is in the key of G so the chords are fairly easy.  We need to know G, Em, C, D, A, Am.  The song is constructed of just 2 parts.  The intro and verses.  The intro consists of a chord progression with little melody lines sprinkled in.  The verse is just a series of chords. Great song and fun to play on ukulele!

Leaving On a Jet Plane by Peter Paul and Mary
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Description

In this lesson we will be learning Leaving on A Jet Plane.  Some new chords you may have not run across yet. Chords are Amaj7, D6, F#m, Bm, C#m, A, D, and E.

Baby I Love You Way by Peter Frampton
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In this lesson we will learn Peter Frampton’s Baby I Love Your Way.  The song is in the key of G.  We have G, C, D, Am, Em,E, and D/F#.  The strumming pattern is pretty consistent throughout the tune with some slight variances in the line cliche in the intro.

Halo by Beyonce
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Halo by Beyonce is a relatively simple tune to play on ukulele because of the easy 4 chord arrangement throughout.  The entire consists of just 1 bar of each of the 4 chords A, Bm, F#m and D.

Remembering Sunday by All Time Low
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In this lesson we will be learning Remembering Sunday by All Time Low.  The song offers the opportunity to learn some new ways to play some chords higher up on the neck.  The strumming pattern is the same throughout the song except for the B section or Pre Chorus that plays straight 8th notes.

Cake by Melanie Martinez
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Description

Cake by Melanie Martinez is played in Fm.  We need to know an Fm, C, Ab, and Db.  To avoid the barre chords you could move it down a half step and start on Em. But the original recording is definitely Fm.

Girls Like You by Maroon Five
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For this tune we need to know C, G, Am, and F. The entire song follows this chord arrangement.  The challenging part of this tune is playing the melodic guitar line on ukulele.

Landslide by Fleetwood Mac
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Description

In this lesson we will learn Landslide by Fleetwood Mac.  The tune is played fingerstyle in the key of Eb. Because of the key the song requires the use of a lot of barre chords up a little higher on the neck.

Maggie May by Rod Stewart
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In this lesson we will be studying the basic chord structure to Rod Stewart’s Maggie May.  The song is performed in the key of D which makes for pretty easy chord fingerings on ukulele.  The chords you will need to know are D, A, G, Em, and F#m.  There are basically 3 sections to the song, a verse, solo section, and intro/outro.

Friend Of The Devil by The Grateful Dead
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In this lesson we will be covering the Grateful Dead tune Friend of the Devil.  The tune actually lends itself well to the ukulele with its heavy stringed instrument sound.  The song was performed in the key of G making for easy open chords on uke.  You will need to know G, C, D, and Am.  The intro, with its descending bass line, will be played fingerstyle.

Just a Friend To You by Meghan Trainor
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In this lesson we are going to learn this ukulele song by Meghan Trainor called Just a Friend To You.  The song is pretty straight ahead with basic chords in the key of C. We will be learning a new version of an Am chord.

Amazing Grace (Chord Melody Style)
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In this lesson we will be studying a chord melody version of Amazing Grace.  In chord melody we play both the chords and the melody requiring some more complicated chord voicings.  The version is played in the key of C

Strong Enough by Sheryl Crow
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In this lesson we will be studying Sheryl Crow’s Strong Enough.  The song involves part fingerstyle and part strumming.  It is written in 3/4 time signature and uses the following chords, D, G, Bm, A, Em, and C

My Sweet Lord by George Harrison
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My Sweet Lord is a challenge on ukulele because of the key that it was originally played in.  To match that key it requires almost all barre chords on the ukulele.  And if that was not challenging enough there is a key change in the song! So we have to learn all these barre chords for the 2nd key as well.  Great song to learn to expand your knowledge of chords on the uke.

Will the Circle Be Unbroken (Chord Melody)
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In this lesson we will be learning a chord melody version of Will The Circle Be Unbroken.  Chord melody style involves playing the chords and melody at the same time.  This can be tricky and challenging but very rewarding when accomplished.  This particular song is a great one to try this style as it is not too difficult and involves a repeating melody pattern. Chords used are just G, C, and D open chords.

Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones
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In this lesson we will be learning Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones.  The song is in the key of G and pretty straight ahead.  Chords used are G, Am, Bm, D and some variations of the D such as sus chords.

Budapest by George Ezra
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In this lesson we will be studying George Ezra’s Budapest.  The chords used are simple open chords G, C, and D.  The challenge here is getting the groove right!

Willin by Little Feat
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In this lesson we will be learning the Little Feat song Willin. The song is in the key of G and uses a lot of different chords.  In the chorus there is some interesting time signature changes.  Chords are G, Dadd11, Em, D, C, Am, and Bm.

American Kids by Kenny Chesney
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In this lesson we will be learning American Kids by Kenny Chesney on ukulele.  The verse is in the key of Em and uses Em, Bm, C, and G.  The rhythm is unique and offers a challenging strumming pattern.  The chorus switches to the relative G major using the same chords.  Great song and fun to play.

Proud Mary by CCR
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In this lesson we will be learning Proud Mary by CCR.  The arrangement is simple and consists of the chords C, A, G, F, D, and Bm.

How He Loves by David Crowder
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In this lesson we will be learning How He Loves by David Crowder.  Just 4 chords in this tune.  C, Am, G, and F.  The song is 6/8 time and we will be covering the strumming pattern as well. Great tune for beginners!

Passenger Side by Wilco
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In this lesson we will be learning Passenger Side by Wilco.  The tune is played in the key of C and uses C, Csus4, F, Am, and G.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps by The Beatles
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We are going to be learning this song in the key of Gm because of the simplicity of the chords on uke.  The original Beatles recording is in Am.  You can play in Am by simply using a capo at the 2nd fret.  There are a lot of chords in this because of the verse being in G minor and the chorus being in G major.

Danny’s Song by Loggins and Messina
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In this lesson we are going to study a ukulele version of Danny’s Song by Loggins and Messina.  Since it is played fingerstyle on guitar in the original version we are going to transpose this fingerstyle as well for ukulele.  We are also going to cover a strumming pattern that you can play in the choruses or even the verses if you choose.  The chords used are D, Bm, E7, A, C, and G.

You Never Can Tell by Chuck Berry
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In this lesson we will be studying the Chuck Berry tune You Never Can Tell.  Just 2 chords in this one, G7 and C.  We will study the intro, the chords, and the melody line. On the C chord we will be applying a Rockabilly style lick.

Madness by Muse
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In this lesson we are going to cover a uke version of the Muse song Madness, a recording made up of heavy synth and bass.  The trickiest part of this tune is the rhythmic element.  The chords used are Bb, Eb, Gm, Fsus4add9, and Fadd9.

Blue Christmas by Elvis
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Blue Christmas is in the key of E and requires the following chords, E, A7, B7, F#7, and A#dim7. The lesson covers a simple strumming version.

Tequila Sunrise by The Eagles
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For this song you will need to know a G, Am, A7, D, Em, C, E7, Bm, and B7.  Some of these are barre chords.  The trickiest part about this tune is the rhythm pattern in the intro and breaks.  But , nonetheless a great song to learn on ukulele.

City Of New Orleans by Arlo Guthrie
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City Of New Orleans is a fairly straight ahead tune but is done originally in the key of F#. This makes it a little more difficult because we will have to use mostly barre chords.  There are 7 chords total and uses a fingerstyle pattern.

Whiskey in A Jar by The Dubliners
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In this lesson we will show you a very simple Irish folk song called Whiskey in a Jar by The Dubliners.  Just 4 chords and a simple strumming pattern in this one.

Perfect by Ed Sheeran
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In this lesson we will be learning a ukulele version of Perfect by Ed Sheeran.  The original recording is done in G# so I have chosen to use a capo to make it easier and use less barre chords. If you do not have a capo you could simply play it in G.  Chords used are G, Em, C, D, Dsus4. Most of the song is strummed until you get to the instrumental transition. This part incorporates some intricate arpeggio finger picking.

With Or Without You by U2
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With or Without You is a simple 4 chord song.  Chords used are D, Dsus4, Bm, and G.  Using a simple barre on the 2nd fret, you can play the entire song without moving positions.  The strumming pattern is a simple straight 8th note pattern.

Hurt by Johnny Cash
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Pretty simple tune with 4 chords. Am, C, D, and G.  The intro is finger picked arpeggios, while the chorus is straight eighth note strumming.  From an arrangement standpoint, it is just 2 parts, a verse and a chorus.

Learning To Fly by Tom Petty
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This is an easy one. Just 4 open chords – F, C, Am, G. The song uses the same 4 chord progression throughout.

Somewhere Only We Know by Keane
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This tune is straight ahead from a strumming standpoint. All down strokes in eighth not pattern.  Since the original recording is mainly piano, its a little tricky transposing to ukulele.  To accomplish this we will be using some sus chords and different barre chords.

Cassidy by The Grateful Dead
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The song is based in E and uses basic chords for the most part. The challenging part of this tune is the opening melody line played fairly high on the ukulele. Fun to play with the mix of chords and single note riffs.

Sound Of Silence (Anna Kendrick)
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In this lesson we will be studying the Anna Kendrick version of Sound Of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel.  The version is virtually the same but is in a different key.  This version uses a fingerstyle technique and some challenging chord fingerings.

Bad Moon Rising by CCR
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Easy 3 chord song. All you need to know for this one is G, C, and D. For arrangement we just have a verse and chorus section that alternate.

One by U2
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In this lesson we will be learning One by U2.  The song is in C and uses 4 basic chords, Am, D, C, and G.  We will be learning a basic version to play during the versus, but also an intro that tries to mimic the guitar played by the Edge.

Silent Night (Chord Melody)
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In this lesson we will be learning a chord melody version of Silent Night. Chord Melody involves playing the melody and harmony together making for one complete piece. In other words “solo”. With chord melody fingerings are often very different and more complicated.

Could You Be Loved by Bob Marley (Part 1)
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In this lesson (Part 1) we will be covering the chords to this Bob Marley reggae tune. The song is in C minor.

O Holy Night
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Learn the chord progression for O Holy Night. The chords are played fingerstyle in an arpeggio fashion. Two simple finger picking patterns will get you through the entire song. The chords are mostly simple beginner chords in the key of C

Could You Be Loved by Bob Marley (Part 2)
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This is part 2 of Could You Be Loved by Bob Marley.  In this lesson we will be covering the single note guitar lines.

Mele Kalikimaka Chords
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In this lesson we will be learning the chords to this Hawaiian Christmas classic.

Mele Kalikimaka Melody
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Learn the melody to this Hawaiian Christmas classic

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow by Carol King
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In this lesson we will learn this classic tune by Carol King as performed by the Shirelles in the 50’s hit.

Hanalei Moon (Traditional Hawaiian)
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There are many versions of this song by many different performers. We will be learning the song in the key of G. It will require 7 chords most of which are open chords.

Kokomo by The Beach Boys
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Kokomo is written in the key of C and uses 8 chords. Most of the chords are open chords. The verse makes use of a falling chromatic line within the chords chosen that creates this “beachy” mood. Very genius arrangement!

Tiny Bubbles by Don Ho
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Learn this classic from famous Hawaiian artist Don Ho. The song is relatively easy but is written in the key of Eb making it require several barre type chords. The song also includes a key change from Eb to E.

Feel It Still by Portugal The Man
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Feel It Still requires knowing some barre chords. In the intro and versus we play a simulated bass line single note pattern. The strumming pattern is relatively simple

Twist and Shout by The Beatles
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Simple 3 chord song. The song is in the key of D and uses the chords D, G, and A. Ashley will be using some different barre chord forms rather than the typical open chords you might be used to.

Hello Dolly by Louis Armstrong
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Learn the old ragtime tune Hello Dolly by Louis Armstrong. There are a lot of chords in this tune. The song lends itself well to the ukulele.

Better Together by Jack Johnson
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The intro to this could be a little challenging with its syncopated rhythm. Once you get past that the song is relatively easy.

Malibu by Miley Cyrus
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In this lesson we will learn Malibu by Miley Cyrus. We will be using a fingerstyle method for much of the song. We have transposed this for ukulele from a live acoustic version of the song. To play the song in the original key it will require a capo at the first fret and knowing G, Em, Bm, Am and C.

Free Fallin by Tom Petty
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Great beginner song for ukulele. Just 3 chords and the arrangement never changes. Chords are F, Bb, and C

Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks
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Learn the adapted ukulele version of this Garth Brooks classic.

Say You Wont Let Go by James Arthur
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In this lesson we will adapt the song to ukulele by playing the 4 chords in a strumming pattern. You will need to know and be able to play some barre chords to play it in the same key as the original recording. The chords used are Bb, F, Gm, and D#/Eb.

Happier by Ed Sheeran
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Just 3 chords needed for this one! Am, F, and C, all beginner chords. I will be showing you 2 ways to play this song. One way that best emulates the original guitar part and one way for beginners to strum along.

Cups by Anna Kendrick (from Pitch Perfect)
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Learn this easy 4 chord tune from the movie Pitch Perfect. It requires knowing just a few easy beginner chords. C, F, G, and Am

Mr. BoJangles by Jerry Jeff Walker
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Try this classic acoustic folk song adapted for ukulele.

Nights in White Satin by Moody Blues
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Nights in White Satin is written in 6/8 time signature and requires relatively simple chord knowledge and strumming capabilities.

24 Frames by Jason Isbell
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24 Frames is a simple song with a simple chord structure. Easy to play on ukulele in the key of G.