New to Ukulele? Read This!

When I got my first ukulele, I was completely clueless. This was in those dark, long forgotten days before the internet had been discovered. I didn’t even realise that the strings weren’t supposed to go thickest to thinnest and restrung it.

But you can save yourself from the social disgrace I experienced. I’ve put together a free mini-ebook covering the basics that every first time uke owner needs to know. Here’s what it contains:

Five Things to Know
Five Chords to Learn
Five Patterns to Strum
Five Songs to Play
Five Websites to Visit
Five Things to Get Free
Five Things to Buy
Five Videos to Watch
Five YouTube Channels to Subscribe to

You can download it free by clicking here:

So You Just Got Your First Ukulele (PDF)

And get playing by following the beginner ukulele lessons.

If you’re not new to ukulele but know someone who is feel free to pass it along. It has a Creative Commons license so distribute it as you wish.

Merry Christmas. See You in 2020

Merry Christmas, Chanukah Sameach, Io Saturnalia, Feliz Natal and Happy Holidays! (If you’re into that kind of thing.)

That’s it from me for this year (other than the ebook for new ukers). I’ll be back at the end of January 2020 (year of the Hawaiian D7).

If you’re after some Christmas music and you’re as Spotify user here’s my Christmas Ukulele playlist. Or, if you’re sick of Christmas music, my playlist of ukulele selections from 2019.

If you can’t stand to be without a steady stream of uke, I’ll be posting seven second ukulele lessons on Instagram and bits and pieces on Twitter.

Christmas UkeTube 2019

Watch on YouTube

It’s here. With cheer. It’s the same every year. It’s the Christmas UkeTube.

Tracklist
Tripping Lily – Santa Will Find You
The Mad Tea Party – Oh Shit, It’s Christmastime!
Mariah Carey, Jimmy Fallon & The Roots – All I Want For Christmas Is You
Eliel Carvalho – Jingle Bells
Vinícius Vivas – White Christmas
The O’Pears – Bleak Midwinter / River
Memphis Ukulele Band – Holidays Ain’t the Same (Without You)
Kamakakehau Fernandez – Christmas Luau
Gracie Terzian – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Leftover Cuties – Christmas Time Is Here
Jonathan Lewis – Christmas Eve Reel

Santa Baby (Tab)

Santa Baby (Tab)

I couldn’t let the festive season pass without another addition to my jazz odyssey. This time the Christmas classic written by Joan Javits and Philip Springer in 1953 and made popular by Eartha Kitt.

I used the intro and turnarounds to stretch out a bit and throw in some fancy chords and chromatic notes. I would definitely recommend playing around and coming up with your own ideas for those sections.

The fingerpicking is all over the place. So do whatever feels natural to you.

If you’re interested in more Christmas tabs, check out my Christmas ebooks.

Links

Buy it on Amazon
More Christmas tabs and chords

Ukulele Christmas Quiz 2019

Time for the annual Uke Hunt Christmas quiz time-waster. The rules are as retro as ever.

– Grab a pen and paper
– Display knowledge.
– Check the answers here (no peeking).

If you’re reading by email or feed reader you may need to click through to the post to see everything.

Name the Chord

What chord are these? (All the chords are either major, minor or 7. Nothing more complicated than that.)

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Name the Brand

Click the photo for a bigger version (it’ll help)

6.

Photo by Al Case

7.

Photo by Charles Mims

8.

Photo by pwkpwkpwk

9.

Photo by Charles Mims

10.

Photo by SPEC Group

Name the Cover

Who first released the songs these ukulele orchestras are covering?

11. Calderdale and Huddersfield Ukulele Group

.

12. Bolton Ukulele Group

.

13. Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

.

14. Ukulele Orchestra jako Brno

.

15. Ukulele Orchestra of India

.

Name the Celeb

Which celebrity is displaying their uke?

16.

a) James Corden
b) Jimmy Fallon
c) Jimmy Kimmel
d) Jimmy Saville

17.

a) David Crosby
b) Steven Sills
c) Graham Nash
d) Neil Young

18.

a) Adam Driver
b) JJ Abrams
c) Oscar Isaac
d) Andy Serkis

19.

a) Dua Lipa
b) Selena Gomez
c) Rebecca Black
d) Hailee Steinfeld

20.

a) Lupita Nyong’o
b) Letitia Wright
c) Angela Bassett
d) Maz Kanata

Name the Lyric

Which songs – oft covered on ukulele – are these lyrics from?

21. So you’re a tough guy / Like it really rough guy / Just can’t get enough guy / Chest always so puffed guy

22. There are places I’ll remember / All my life, though some have changed / Some forever, not for better / Some have gone, and some remain

23. And I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know

24. And let me see what spring is like / On a-Jupiter and Mars / In other words, hold my hand / In other words, baby, kiss me

25. I’m falling / In all the good times I find myself / Longing for change / And in the bad times I fear myself

Check the answers here

Past Quizzes
Ukulele Quiz 2018
Ukulele Quiz 2017
Ukulele Quiz 2016
Ukulele Quiz 2015
Ukulele Quiz 2014
Ukulele Quiz 2013
Ukulele Quiz 2012
Ukulele Quiz 2011
Ukulele Quiz 2010
Ukulele Quiz 2009

The Ramones – Merry Christmas (Chords)

The Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)(Chords)

A dead simple Christmas song that’s easy to bash out any time. Like most Ramones songs, it’s mostly a three chord affair (you can replace the G with G7 if you want to make things even easier). Although they do get dangerously avant-garde in the chorus with a minor chord and a 7 chord.

The only tricky part is the chord-slide in the intro from Bb to C. If you’re not ready for that yet, you can just replace the whole thing with a C chord.

I highly recommend giving Helen Love’s high-energy cover a listen too.

Suggested Strumming Pattern

Main strum: d – d – d u d u

Intro: One down-strum each for the first three chords. One down-strum on the Bb chord, then slide up to C and finish the bar with three down-up strums.

From there, do the main strum on the C and dudu on the F and G. For the final C-F-C-G do two down-strums per chord.

Verse: Like most of the intro, main strum on C, two down-ups each on F and G.

Pre-Chorus: Same again with the end of the intro strum for the C-F-C-G.

Chorus: Main strum once per chord for the first three lines. Then four lots of down-up each on the last line.

Outro: Same as the verse but just one down-strum each for the last three chords.

Links

Buy it on Amazon
More Christmas tabs and chords

UkeTube: Lola Marsh, Everly Pregnant Brothers

Watch on YouTube

Tracklist
Lola Marsh – What Am I
Everly Pregnant Brothers – 69 to Rovvrum
Corey & Kalei – Autumn Leaves
Sandy Weltman – St.Louis Blues
The Blue Dahlia – I See Trees Differently
Wilfried Welti – Tedesca dita l’Austria
Taimane – Directions
Sho Humphries – Love You!
Herman Vandecauter – Country Gardens On rajao
Nao Otsuka – Ukulele Ambient, Improvisation #02

Friday Links: Fleabags, Frozen Ukes and the Original Bass Ukulele

Olivia Colman and Phoebe Waller-Bridge hooked up to cover Portishead’s Glory Box for Children in Need. The charity album also closes with a ukulele version of Madness’s It Must Be Love.

Catch up on this year’s ukulele releases with my Ukulele 2019 Spotify Playlist.

Window Shopping
Custom uke with wave art by Eddie Vedder.
Breedlove private reserve tenor.
1920s Conservatory Soprano Ukulele
The original bass ukulele.
Kiwaya Seilen SLS-275HV.

On Video
Circuits and Strings builds Kristoff’s ukulele from Frozen.
Laura Currie documents her tour of China with the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.
Maso Rivera rocks out on a tiny cuatro.
Playing ukulele on a flight.

New Releases
Emisunshine and the Rain’s Family Wars.
Might Never Happen from Phil Doleman.

Billie Eilish – idontwannabeyouanymore (Tab)

Billie Eilish – idontwannabeyouanymore (Tab)

I don’t think any ukulele player has had a bigger year than Billie Eilish. She’s been all over the shop and her debut album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? and 2017 EP don’t smile at me have both been selling by the bucket-hat load. I’ve already done a few tracks from the album, so today I’m doing one from the EP.

I’m using one finger per string picking all the way through this arrangement. There are many chnks in the song which can make it difficult to get your fingers back in position. I’d recommend not doing a standard chnk and instead muting the strings with your fretting hand and bringing each finger down on the string it’s plucking. That should leave them in the right position for picking.

The tab is pretty long thanks to the second verse and second chorus being slightly different to the first. Both are a little trickier second time around. I don’t think anyone would notice if you just played them the same both times.

Links

Buy it on Amazon
More Billie Eilish tabs and chords

Bonus: everything i wanted (Tab)

Bonus: All the Good Girls Go to Hell (Solo Tab)

Christmas Tabs and Chords 2019

We’re about a month out from Christmas so time to start polishing up the festive tunes and learning a few new ones. Here’s a rundown of everything Christmassy on the site.

Christmas eBooks

I’ve written 3 collections of easy Christmas tabs: How to Play Christmas Ukulele, Christmas Ukulele 2 and Christmas Ukulele 3.

You can pick up all three for the price of 2 by buying the whole Christmas Trilogy at once.

Chords

12 Days of Christmas
2000 Miles – The Pretenders
A Christmas Duel – The Hives and Cyndi Lauper
All I Want for Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
Chiron Beta Prime – Jonathan Coulton
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Darlene Love
Christmas for Cowboys – John Denver/Ballard C Boyd
Christmas in July – Jonathan Coulton and John Roderick
Cold Outside – Julia Nunes & Wade Johnson
Fairytale of New York – The Pogues
Fuck Christmas – Eric Idle
Give the Jew Girl Toys – Sarah Silverman
I Wish it Was Christmas Today – SNL/Julian Casablancas
It’s Cliched to be Cynical At Christmas – Half Man Half Biscuit
iPod X-mas – Hello Saferide
Let It Snow
Lumberjack Christmas/Christmases Past – Sufjan Stevens
Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight) – The Ramones
Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade
No Christmas – Zee Avi
Present Face – Garfunkel and Oates
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
Run, Run Rudolph – Chuck Berry
Santa Baby
Santa Will Find You – Mindy Smith/Tripping Lily
Silver Bells – She & Him
Somewhere Only We Know – Keane/Lily Allen
Space Christmas – Allo Darlin
Suddenly it’s Christmas – Loudon Wainwright III
The Christmas Song – Weezer
The Christmas Song Song – Rocky and Balls
White Christmas
White Winter Hymnal – Fleet Foxes
Winter Wonderland
Year End Letter – Garfunkel and Oates
You’re a Mean One Mr Grinch

Tabs

All I Want for Christmas is You – Mariah Carey
Away in a Manger
Carol of the Bells
Christmastime Is Here (from Charlie Brown)
German Christmas Carols
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Instrumental)
Jingle Bell Rock
Jingle Bells
Little Drummer Boy
Mele Kalikimaka
Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence
O Christmas Tree (Single Note Version)
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Silent Night (Harmonics Version)
Silent Night (Single Note Version)
Sleigh Ride – U900 / The Ventures
Various – Wilfried Welti’s Musikalisches Naschwerk für Solo Ukulele
We Three Kings
White Christmas
Winter Wonderland

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