Last week, we looked at 3 Easy Songs You Can Fingerpick on Ukulele Today. In the spirit of fingerpicking, and now, the upcoming holidays, it’s a perfect time to learn how to fingerpick some Christmas carols.
In this lesson, we’re going to learn how to fingerpick “Good King Wenceslas” on ukulele. This song is perfect for beginners, and if you’ve been fingerpicking for awhile, your family and friends will love to hear you play it this Christmas!
Download the sheet music and tabs for Good King Wenceslas here.
Thanks to PDF Minstrel for sharing the music.
If you’ve never read music before, or if you don’t know how to read tabs, learn how to read music here, and learn how to read tabs here.
Stay tuned. More fingerpicking Christmas songs to come!
Thanks Brett. First let me say how glad I am that you are here on the Internet. I am an accidental ukulele owner. A few nights ago I happened over to Ebay, a place I have never been to before. Well, they had a beautiful F hole ukulele for sale and on whim I placed a bid for $1.04 and gave Ebay the authority to bid for me up to $28.00 Next morning I got a congratulations email saying I had bought the Uke for $20.50. Then I found you. I’ll order your course when I get my next check. I’m an old, retired social security guy.
About the TAB: How do the TAB lines correspond with the strings? An old trumpet player doesn’t know that. Maybe it is supposed to be self evident but I’m not quite certain, so please explain. Kent
Kent, you are very welcome. That’s a great question about tab. I actually just did a post explaining how to read ukulele tabs last week. Check it out if you haven’t already:
Hope this helps!
Whoops! After I wrote the above I went back to my email and found the link that explained the tabs. Why not go ahead and cancel out these two comments by me? Kent
No worries! 🙂 I’m sure other people probably had the same question!
Hey, Brett…Thanks, as always, for what you do to help the rest of us learning ukulele! This level of fingerpicking is perfect for me. My wife and I always look forward to your latest offerings. Enjoy your Thanksgiving. Tony
My pleasure, Tony! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your wife too!
Saw the video wnen you were in New York, you look like you were having a lot of fun. Maybe you can get to Southern California, By the way what state are you in? My wife and I would love to have you as our guest for a vacation.
I am on lesson 11 now and it truly is amazing how,with hard work things are coming together slowly, but I am encourged with my progress. I know you are a christian, we are also, I thank God for puttig you in our lives when I decided to learn to play ukulele. My goal is to play christian songs for various small group bible studies.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving. Rod
Hey Rodney, right now, I’m living in the metro-Detroit area in Michigan. I was actually just out in Los Angeles a couple months ago. I should have said hi! Where in Southern California are you and your wife from? I’ll keep the invitation in mind if I ever get out that way again! That’s very nice of you and your wife.
It absolutely thrills me to hear about your success and improvement with the ukulele so far. That’s so cool. I think the ukulele would be a perfect small group instrument. I’ve been joking with some of my friends here (we play music together at our church) and they keep hassling me to play ukulele sometime. Hah, that would be fun… hopefully some time!
Hi Brett, I just wanted to thank you for all the great ukulele lessons which have certainly made my playing more satisfying. Now if you could only teach us to sing as well as you do!!! Happy Thanksgiving!
Hey John, thanks for your kind comment! It makes me really glad that I could be of some assistance. Happy Thanksgiving to you too!
Soooo great!! Thank you! My husband and I are going to perform this at an upcoming Christmas Party (he sings, I Uke).
You made this super-accessible!
p.s. Good King Wenceslas was written by John Mason Neale in 1853. The sheet music said it was anonymous.
Hey Brett! Thanks so so very much for all the lessons! I just got this Ukulele for Christmas and I can’t believe how quick I’ve been able to pick things up (even never playing a string instrument before). I attribute all my success to websites like this! You’re so very helpful! I never knew that there was such a cool community of ukulele players so willing to help us newbies out! It’s just so great.
I do have one question — when I finger pick this song, I find that my bottom string notes get lost. I think my thumb and my index finger pluck more forcefully than my ring finger, and as a result, you can’t hear the melody as well. Any tips?? I appreciate it. =]
Hi Hayley, so glad to hear you’re getting the hang of things! The problem is described is pretty common and is something that has to be worked at through practice. For whatever reason, the ring finger tends to be the weaker of the fingers. The best tip I can offer you is to think giving a little bit more effort as you pluck with your ring finger, and additionally, practice fingerpicking patterns that make use of the ring finger. In time, you’ll find you have a bit more confidence and strength using this finger.
Hi Brett. England here. Just bought a tenor uke and hungry to play. Very nice lesson thanks. Tonight`s task is to learn it. Cheers.
You’re welcome, Phil! Congrats on the tenor ukulele. Enjoy!
I just bought myself a concert uke and really looking forward to learning on it. After searching the internet for some lessons I came across yours. I definilty will be using your ebook and videos. Thank you so much for sharing your God given gifts with me.
I’m a little confused about the part of the song that has 3/0/ /0, in the 9th and 15th measure. Are all three strings to be plucked at the same time? I’m not sure how to do that and I can’t really tell in the video how you are playing that chord.
I just watched again, and now I see how you pluck the three strings all at the same time! You are using your middle and ring finger to pluck the E and A string and your thumb to pluck the G string. Got it!
You got it, Pamela! Glad to hear you were able to figure this out. Have fun.
Hi Brett. I enjoy your lessons and have a finger picking question. What pattern would you use if the song was in cut time? I was thinking about the outside inside pattern or GACE and just counting 1&2&1&2& does this sound about right? Have a great day.
Hi Keith, I like your idea and how you’re thinking. As you notated, cut time just means you’d count it a little different. As long as you are lining up the plucks with the count, you’re in good shape. The outside-in or inside-out pattern would work great.
Got the Exercises for Dummies book for Christmas and am already digging in! Thanks for the easy to understand lessons ! Cheers to a great New Year!
Hi! Just a beginner here, and really love the fingerpicking portion. Can we have more of that please?
I am loving your lessons! You are indeed a kind man to give up your time and energy to pass on your love of the ukulele to others. It’s much appreciated.
My question is: could you put the names of the chords on to the sheet music please? I appreciate that may be problematic but maybe you could handwrite them on to a paper copy and then scan that?
Keep up the good work!