A gem of a melody and chord sequence from 1954, originally in 3/4 but put into 4/4 for Frank Sinatra’s version. This arrangement of mine puts it into Dm (it just fitted my voice better!) and will give you a few new chord shapes to think about…
I’ve based this arrangement on the original Cyndi Lauper version, but there are numerous other excellent versions out there. I’ve moved the key to Em, in an attempt to find a way to play the opening piano riff on the uke. That’s the trickiest bit of the song, although the strumming patterns might give you a few hesitations, as there’s lots of anticipated chords in the chorus.
A lovely lovely song, if you like this sort of thing (which I do). It works best on piano, can be done well on the guitar, but the uke is tough for this one – you can’t just bash the chords out here… So – there’s no chord chart this time – you’ll have to use the tab – but it’s not too difficult – just a little adventurous! There are really only two sections to learn… and we’re in C so the shapes are familiar.
You’ll need Am, C, F and G – that’s it.
Four chords is all you need to play this – and if you’ve been playing for more than a week – you’ve probably already learned them! However, don’t dismiss it as too easy – it’s got palm mutes, fingerpicking, fast lead lines, and *that* superfast strum pattern that Mumford and Sons are known for… hold on to your banjos – here we go…
The original is in E – played on an open-D tuned guitar with a capo on fret 2. If you want to play along with the original using this chord chart, put your capo on fret 4 of the uke. I’ve kept it in C to make it easy to jam along with but it nearly ended up too low for me!
This song has been listened to by 42% of the world’s population. Possibly. Wow.
(PRS for Music – https://www.theregister.com/Print/2009/12/14/merry_xmas_everybody/)
There are a few twists and turns in this – I’ve moved it to the key of C from the original G which is quite a change, but it makes it a bit more straightforward on the uke. You will need some Eb chords and a Gm, but otherwise it’s plain sailing for ukesters familiar with the key of C major. Got to work on your swing strum though.
It’s very nearly Christmas – and although I do love a sad song, this song might make you smile instead (or scream, possibly) – have a great Christmas everyone.
It’s my favourite Christmas song – but Greg Lake says it’s not a Christmas song. Go figure. However, the line “I wish you a hopeful Christmas, and I wish you a brave New Year” resonates with me like no other Christmas song. I recorded this one last year, but who knew we’d need so much hope and bravery for 2020 – not me…
The bit pinched from Prokofiev is simply magnificent and works really well on the uke – it’s my go-to thing to play when trying a uke out for the first time. The chords work well too – they’re very similar to Feelin’ Groovy (although the feel is somewhat different). All the modfied chords LOOK scary, but they’re really quite straightforward. The Bb might stretch a few fingers but that’s as hard as it gets. Who knew a Gadd11 and an Fadd9 could be so easy?
At the very least you can clap along with this one. It’s Muse at perhaps their most radio-friendly, and another song that works surprisingly well on the uke (so long as someone has a bass) – a really strong riff, and great melody and not too many chords make this one a great uke choice.
You will need some sort of bass and rhythm section to make this sound convincing though, as several of the verses are really just drums, bass and melody. However, there are lots of parts to get involved with, including a catchy clapping rhythm, a cool riff, some simple chords (and some more adventurous options), and even a wailing backing vocal – so it can be fun for the whole family!