A few weeks ago, I did a cover of a song written by Leonard Cohen called “Hallelujah” on the ukulele. I’ve received some questions from you all on how to play the fingerpicking pattern that I was using for the song. I thought it’d make a good ukulele fingerpicking lesson. If you want to learn how to fingerpick, or if you just want to know of a way to play “Hallelujah,” then I think you’ll enjoy this video.
There is one thing I’d like to highlight from the video. I talked about assigning each of the fingers on your picking hand to a string. This means your thumb plucks the top string, your index finger plucks the second to top string, your middle finger plucks the second to bottom string, and your ring finger plucks the bottom string.
If you’re new to fingerpicking, this will feel really awkward at first. Before trying to jump into learning the fingerpicking pattern, just practice plucking each of those individual strings. You want to make sure your hand is as loose and relaxed as possible. You also want to make sure it isn’t crooked or bent in any uncomfortable ways. It shouldn’t hurt.
The chord changes in the intro for “Hallelujah” happen pretty fast, so start off slow. If you find yourself getting frustrated with it, it’s alright, take a break. I remember when I first started to fingerpick. It was easy to grow impatient. Don’t worry though, it’ll come.
I’d love to hear your questions and comments. Post ’em below!
Aaaaahhh, I most enjoy!! Thank you soooo much!! 🙂 Totally made my day!!
I was hoping you’d enjoy it! Glad to hear it 🙂
i have always wondered how to play a ukulele and never thought of trying it until now. would you suggest it to a new beginner and say it isn’t hard to play?
I wouldn’t say that. I would say that it’s a fun instrument to learn how to play and it’s very rewarding if you’re ready to put in some time and practice.
Brett Im struggling with the bar in the C cord. My finger wont stay on both strings! it lifts up and doesnt cover the bottom string! any tips?! or any other way i can play C cord without barring? 100% beginner right here!
Hi Nataie, for the C chord, you could also play it by placing your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the bottom string and letting the other strings ring completely open. However, this would make the intro part of the song sound a little different from my version.
For your barre, you might try using your entire index finger to barre all four strings at the 2nd fret. Much like I show in this little lesson giving some tips on playing the Bb chord: http://www.ukuleletricks.com/playing-a-bb-chord-on-ukulele/
Yes I’m 13 and learned i in less than 30 minuets
Brett, Thanks so much I am new to playing and I thought my favorite song of all time would be way beyond me but your lesson makes it seem achievable I changed to Low G specially. Can I ask a question about your choice of Cmaj chord variation? Why it is soooooo difficult and standard chord position (ring finger third fret 4th string) still sounds nice and the chang to A is easy even adding the 6th beat with 4th fret on the top string. Is it wrong to learn it like this and maybe add the C Chord Variation later? I am intrigued as to why you chose that C maj Variation? Thanks and BTW I love the site and your way of teaching 🙂
Ok I get it the passing note works C to Am but not Am to C – Grrrrrr I am going to have to do that tough chord shape 🙁
Hi David, I used this variation mostly because I like how it sounds. Ha 🙂 Sometimes chord positions are a matter of personal preference. The position lends itself well to making the walk up and walk down, so I recommend it, but I suppose you could play the C position like 5003 if you wanted.
Thanks so much. This was very helpful. I feel like I might be able to finally play something popular.
Wow Brett, I fully understand NOW, young Master!! haha.. This is truly wonderful! I keet laughing to mayself every time I would mess a note or try to move from C to A. This is a great challenge that I will master on my own.. one day! This video was very much helpful and thank you for making it! Now, Im back to practicing and hear your voice lead the way!! 🙂
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hit the wrong notes switching between those two chords. It’s a quick chord change, but with some practice, I’m sure you’ll have it down in no time! 🙂 Good luck!
Ooooh, that’s what you meant by 6/8? 😛 I have the standard ukulele that the G is above middle C, and tried to tuned it down, but the G string was a bit loose and it sounded really off. So, I’m not sure if that’s how you did it (which I’m sure it’s not, because your G string didn’t look or sound loose lol, I’m still new at this).
Anyways, I’m grateful that you made this tutorial. It’s been the best I’ve seen so far and extremely helpful! I’m also excited about the 28 pages of ukulele lesson book you have been working on!! Especially about the FREE part!! lol. Keep up the awesome job mister!! ;D
Yep, this a perfect example of 6/8! 🙂 As for the low G tuning, I forgot to mention you do need a special string to do it, and from what I’ve found, low G tuning works best on concert or tenor ukes. My low G string is a wound metal string. It’s quite a bit thicker than a regular G string tuned above middle C. You can buy special string sets that say something like “Low wound G set” or something like that. I oughta create a post here in the future with some recommendations. Good idea!
I’m also very excited to release this lesson book I’ve been working on! I’m thinking sometime early next week I’ll have it all ready for release! Stay tuned 🙂
If I don’t get the proper low G string can I still play with the normal G? Sorry, I’m a newbie! Thanks 🙂
Hey Emma, you sure can. It’ll sound a little different but it will still work.
Thank you for the easy to understand format. Your explanations are clear! This is a song I am already working on and it will sound so much better with the finger picking instead of a basic strum. I had no idea how to get started, so thanks much.
Sweet! I’ve always been surprised by how complicated sometimes things sound but then when you get to breaking them down they actually aren’t so bad. Glad to hear it was helpful and I hope it goes well for you!
I really like the way you did the song, great voice by the way, hopefully I will get half as good as you..I have to learn to play this..Cheers
do you have any other websites
I am really enjoying learning from you.
I would like to know if you used the G C E A tuning on the uku for the finger picking video. I did but it is not in the same tune as you are. thanks!
Danesa, glad you are finding the lessons helpful! I am in GCEA but my G is tuned down to a G below middle C. You can read more about my ukulele here.
Thank you!!! this vid was such a big help : D xxx
Hey Thanks for the vid, I’ve been looking for a tutorial on this song for agges, I was wondering what would you might have to change about this to be able to play it on a baritone uke?
Ruby, you can try to use the same chord positions/fingerings like I am playing on my tenor. Because of how the baritone uke is tuned, it will be in a different key than me, but those chord positions should allow you to do the fingerpicking walk down in the intro of the song on the top string. Unfortunately, I don’t have a baritone uke on hand, so I can’t mess around with it. If I were you, I would experiment with the chord fingerings I am using and see how it sounds. Hope this helps some.
Thanks for the fingerpicking lesson. I just started learning ukulele in December (2010) and was able to follow your advice on fingerpicking “Hallelujah”.
Jackson, that’s great! Glad to hear you’re still going strong. Keep up the good work!
I am 63 years old and have played guitar for many of those.I recently came out of retirement with a couple of mates and started teaching myself Banjo,Mandolin and also a cheap ukulele which I have fallen in love with. It is a Soprano and like you said hard to play with big fingers which I have, never the less I still manage.I have sent off for a Tanglewood Tener and cannot wait for it to get here, after seeing your video.Your sound is fantastic and your style is the best! I will be tuning my tenor with a low G like yours and if it sounds the slightest like yours I will be over the moon.I will keep on watching your videos and would like to thank you, you have really inspired me!
Phil, that’s very cool! I still want to learn banjo and mandolin myself. Some great instruments you’re learning. I appreciate the compliments and I’m glad this is inspiring you. Thanks for the comment! 🙂
Greetings from germany.
3 hours ago i bought a soprano ukulele, one hours ago i found this lesson. Now my fingers hurt, my neighbors are probably thinkin i might have finally lost my mind and i still don´t get it right. Well, never played any instrument in my life but now i got a big smile on my face. Those were 2 wonderfull hours. thanks for this lesson, i really enjoy it. Looking forward to learn more now.
Simon, sounds like the ukulele is bringing you a lot of joy. Glad to hear this 🙂 Keep at it!
Thanks for this, found it excellent! I’m only a beginner too, but picked this up rather quickly!
Very pleased to hear you enjoyed the lesson! Thanks for your comment, Paul!
Ahh…. this song has so many perfect memories attached to it for me. Thank you. I love it:)
Your website is really helping me improve much quicker than I could ever have hoped. I do have a couple of questions about some of your comments regarding low-G tuning. You mentioned on another post that it works best for concert and tenors, but can it work on a soprano? In particular will “Hallelujah” work on a soprano? And if so, what type of string should I be asking for in the music shop? Thanks again for all your help.
Rachel, I’ve never tried a low G tuning on a soprano. It’s not typically done, but you can always try it. What I would be inclined to do would be to get a regular soprano string set, but don’t string up the top G string. Then I would buy a single “wound” low G string. I know some places online and probably even local music stores sell just a single wound low G string. Use this low G string for your top G string.
I’d try this. The only thing you might run into is that the low G string might not fit in the tuning peg of your soprano ukulele. It’s worth a try though. 🙂
I am 64 yrs old and thought it was too late to really be able to learn and entertain myself with the uke. You are now my new best friend. Good lessons, patience and teaching technique. Don’t stop anytime soon OK?
Polly, thank you so much for your comment and your kind words! It made my day. I’m glad to hear you’ve been enjoying the lessons. I’ll be sure to keep going. I got some more stuff up my leave for Ukulele Tricks. 🙂 See you around.
I play Hallelujah on bari, key of G. Heretofore I’d only done a slow strum. So nice to have something new to practice.
Is there a site you recommend for finding bari uke picking patterns? I’ve had no luck googling.
Sage, you’re not the only one to inquire about baritone uke lessons. I really need to get some content up here for the baritone ukulele.
If you haven’t, I would recommend checking out my blues fingerpicking lesson. It’s obviously in a different tuning, but you might get some ideas from the pattern I use.
How sweet you are. Will do.
I have posted this advice somewhere else with Brett.
Why not buy a set of strings for your baritone that have the same C tuning as the smaller ukes?
You can now buy these with both high G or a low G . Then the problem of different chord shapes will vanish. 🙂
In the USA buy from Southcoast Ukulele.
In the Uk, buy from Ken Middleton ( Living Water strings.
Hi Sally, this is the first I’ve heard about this. Thanks for the tip! Gonna check these strings out!
I just purchased your strumming lessons program and can’t wait to get started. Your cover of “Hallelujah” is beautiful and your lesson on how to play it is greatly appreciated. I do have a question on tuning the G string to a lower octave. I have a concert ukulele and when I tuned it, as you suggested, it just didn’t sound right. Any suggestions?
Thanks in advance!
Hey Casey, welcome to the course! It’s great to have you.
Great question about low G tuning… did you buy a specific low G tuning set for your ukulele? When I tune to low G, I have to get a string set designed for low G. Because there isn’t a lot of tension on a G string tuned down an octave, you have to get a set with a “wound” low G string. If you use a regular high G string and tune it down an octave it will sound really weak, flimsy, and have a hard time staying tuned.
I use a low G tuning set by Aquila. I’m sure there are other string makers out there too that make a low G string set. You might experiment with those too!
So far so good, your lessons are excellent, your style and explanations have a lovely pace to them.
Just one little query, in the lesson above you mention that you that you pick the 4th string on the sixth measure to effect the slide between the C and Am.
I’m thinking that the slide is really an individual measure – a 7th if you will?
That way the C finishes on the sixth measure, then the 1 measure slide and then ready for six measures of the Am?
Maybe that’s what you said, or maybe I’ve misunderstood – can you spare a couple of minutes to clear this up.
Thanks for your time.
Hi Michael, great questions!
I think you are confusing a measure with a beat. In a song that is counted to a count of six, like “Hallelujah,” there are six beats in one measure. For the intro, you’re playing each chord (C and Am) for one measure each. For the passing note between the C and Am chord, you play that note on the sixth beat of the measure.
Does that make sense?
Ah, those four strings of acute complexity!
I was confusing a beat with a measure, and I think that you’re saying that the “slide” is made on the sixth beat of each measure.
Onwards and upwards.
Thanks for your attention and your great site.
I don’t know if I’m being a bit daft but the C chord you use for the start of this lesson sounds nothing like yours on my Uke. It sounds too high and I can’t work out where the low key is coming from.
Hi Marcnik, this is because my ukulele is tuned to low G tuning. This means my top G string is tuned down an octave. I use a special low G string set to play in this tuning.
My partner and I have just started learning to play the ukulele and we have tried to improve using a few different website videos but yours are by far the best, Brett! Your teaching style is excellent and your musical skills are admirable. I was going to buy a DVD package from a local player here in Vancouver but your videos have so impressed me I think I will purchase your strumming lessons instead.
Thank you for your kind comments, Erin! It’d be great to see you in the strumming course! 🙂
I am enjoying practicing this song, thanks for posting it. Just one query – when I play some notes, the C in particular, the notes are not clear but muted. Is this this normal or do you have any advice?
Hey Hannah, when strings aren’t ringing out clearly when you play chords, that’s not usually a good thing. What I would try to do is play the position for the C chord to and pluck each individual string. See which strings are not ringing out clearly. If you can isolate which string is giving you trouble, you can usually reposition your finger(s) in a way to get the chord to ring out clearly.
Thanks, your tutorial has made playing the uke so much fun 🙂 Can you please explain why you have used a different c chord from the usual?
Hey L, this is so I could capture that ascending and descending melody in the intro of the song.
Like the others I really think this lesson and your teaching style are fantastic. I’ve been playing the ukulele since mid-September and really want to start finger picking some of the songs I’ve learned. My question about your version of Hallelujah is what if I want to stay in standard tuning? The picking will be the same you said. Any chance you could just do a quick version of this song with standard tuning?
Hey Sherri, you can still play this song in standard tuning. It will just sound a little different because the notes that are played on the top string will be the same but just tuned an octave higher.
Thankyou for amazing tutorials!!…. but was wondering i have small hands and am struggling to reach all the strings on the right fret without brushing strings below and causing the sound to become muted and strange.. any advice? Thankq
Hey Ruth, the best thing to try to do is to isolate which strings you are accidentally muting and seeing if there is a way to position your fingers in a better way. Then, once you figure out that, it usually just takes time and practice to be able to play the chord cleanly and consistently.
The other idea is to look up some chord variations in the chord library to see if there are easier ways to play different chords:
Hi Brett..Thanks again for the lesson..I was wondering if you could show us how to do the finger picking for 3/4 and 4/4 timing? I don’t know of to many songs that use the 6/8 timing..I know one pattern where it is picking the strings 1423..Thanks..Keith
Hey Keith, that is a great suggestion on the 3/4 timing. I will keep it in mind for the future.
I do have some blues fingerpicking lessons that are in 4/4 that I recommend checking out if you haven’t already:
Hey Brett, thanks for posting. I’m curious about your picking pattern for the chords that don’t get a full measure, later in the song. Trying to figure it out by watching your video and messing around, but anything you want to explain would be appreciated.
Great question! It’s real easy. For those half measures… I’m just plucking the top three strings in succession: top, second to top, second to bottom, repeat. Each pluck gets a beat.
I’m essentially taking the whole picking pattern and just plucking the first three strings of the pattern.
thanks, got it!
thanks for the energy you put into teaching your ukulele skills:) It’s great for someone who starts at the knowledge level of zero, to visit your site! Thank you Brett!
Hi! I just got my tenor ukeulele yesterday and having played classical guitar (a long time ago) I was able to pick this up pretty quickly. I like the way you tuned the G string, it adds a lot of fullness. Do you do this for a lot of songs?
Hey Cheryl, thanks for the comment! Right now, I’m back to standard high G tuning, but I really like the low G sound for a lot of songs. It creates an extra layer that sounds really great to me.
Fist of all you soud great, very insperational.
changing from the Am back tio the C is it a bad habit to try get ready for the C before the fist beat by sliding the middl finger down to the forth fret then lifting the middle and placing the ring on the fifth fret, then of cource waiting for the first beat to place the rest of the fingers. since on Am measure you only need to hole the AM down for the first beat? Make sence?
Hi Eric, I would love to help you with your question, although I’m not sure I understand what you are asking. Are you wondering what the best way to position your fingers for the Am chord?
Wow. When I was a kid I played the ukulele, but I never did any more than strum a few chords. I switched to guitar at age 12 and did fingerpicking on the guitar, but it never occurred to me to do the same on the ukulele. I pulled out my old uke, with its 45-year-old strings, and it still sounds OK. Amazing. Thanks for your nice tutorial.
Hey Karen, glad you enjoyed the lesson. It’s amazing how versatile the ukulele is. Never underestimate it! 🙂
Thank for what you are doing. Keep it up, I am terrible with music but you give me some hope.
Hey Don, you are welcome. Keep it up yourself! 🙂
Thanks for this vid and the cover on Youtube. It’s one of the few that have pushed me further on. In bar 3 and 4 the “standard” chord sequence seems to be F G C G. What are you playing instead of the G (bar 3)? Bflat9, E7 or Fm all seem to sound tastier. Also, E7 in place of Em in bar 7 works OK. I’d appreciate any comments.
Thanks for your comment. Before I dive in talking about different chord substitutions and ideas, have you seen the chord chart of this song, I posted here? That chart is exactly the chords I use to play the song.
If you have already seen it, I’m not positive I understand the “bars” you are referring to. From the standard version of this song, I am substituting in an Fm on that third line of the verse. I think that’s the only chord I am substituting from the original. I really like the sound of that.
Man,ive been playing ukulele for four years now and I still havent got it,this is by far the hardest piece ive ever come across,I just dont know how to tune it to G,pls i need help!!!
In order to tune your ukulele to low G tuning, you need a low G string set. More specifically, you need a low G string that is a wound string. This wound string will allow you to get the tension you need on the string to tune it down the octave.
I don’t know how to tune my ukulele… 🙁
Can you tell me the name to every string, please???
Hey Molli, check out this post on tuning here:
HI, I was just wondering if you use the modified C chord throughout the whole song or just the intro??
I mostly use the modified C chord for the intro. You could use it on other parts of the song, but I like to switch back to the other see because it’s an easier chord to play.
Thanks!! This sounds so cool and is a great song. This is a great lesson for me to start unleashing my new fingerpicking skills on the world:)
Carla, I’m happy you enjoyed it!
hey your amazing at the ukelele and your videos are awesome. I’m a 3 day ukelele player and i am really good now. I was wondering if can you post a few more songs the ones on you tube or any other website are not accurate and yours are. thank you sooo much if you can
Hey Borzy, I want to post some more here in the short future. Stay on the lookout! Thanks for your nice words.
thanks Brett your awesome
Hey I was wondering does it still sound really good and like the actual song with standard GCEA tuning or should I tune down the G string when I Play this song? I want it to sound good and not like half as good because of that string. Please let me know! Thank you!
Hey Ethan, if you want it sound like my video, I’m in low G tuning, so you will want to look into that. I think low G sounds best for this song, but if you don’t have another ukulele in low G, it works pretty well in standard tuning.
thank you for this! when you get to the end in your cover what is the struming pattern? like when you stop the plucking. thanks
Hey Kim, it’s just down strums, although I’m accenting the “fourth” count a little bit louder than the other beats.
I’m a 14 year old guitarist and pianist and I recently decided to take up the ukulele. I have found your tips and videos really helpful and I love how you played Hallelujah. I have a soprano ukulele and whenever I try to tune it down an octave, it becomes Really loose and it sounds awful!! I’m guessing I’m going to have to buy a special string? Any advice?
Hey Charlotte, yup, you’re gonna need a low G string set to tune it down the octave. With a low G string, it should be a wound string. This will allow you to get the tension you need. 🙂
Thank you!! 🙂
What is the name of the chord you play between the C and the A minor?
Hey Emily, I would call it a Cmaj7.
Hey Brett ,I am back again after a five month break brought about by a rabid mosquito ,but now I am fit and ready to play ..Brett I really want to tune in to your finger picking lesson on Halluleah but I can not bring the video up ,,What am I doing wrong …..Thanks
Hey Robert. Glad to have you back! Try watching the video directly from YouTube here:
Hey Brett, you are amazing and have helped me a lot.
I started playing ukelele just after Christmas last year.
I started playing to help keep my brain active and to give me something to do after having head surgery in September last year, followed by seizures in October. Playing the uke is the only time I can really faze out and be in my own little world, where those things never happened. And it really has helped me get better.
I find your tutorials definitely one of the best on the net. As you explain what you are doing. And how you are doing it and you go at such a nice pace, especially for some one like me. I hope you keep on uploading tutorials. Especially for more songs to learn.
I was just wondering, that way you done the c chord in the intro, is that carried on throughout the whole song? Or is it just in the intro?
Thanks, Pammy =D
PS your chord library is a life saver!! It has helped me kinda learn this song =)
Hi Pammy, thanks so much for your comment. It is so cool to me that you’ve found some peace with the ukulele. I’m glad my lessons could help you along in your journey.
The way I play the C chord in the intro is just played in the intro. I switch to a normal C chord throughout the rest of the song.
Cool thanks heaps =D
*goes off and plays ukulele*
I have watched some videos where the player seemed to have let his fingernails grow. My question is whether this is meant to be an aid to fingerpicking? Is it a better idea to develop calluses in this regard?
Some fingerstyle players like to let their nails grow out to pluck the strings. However, some people don’t like the tone the nails produce against the strings. It’s often brighter and sharper. In that way, some people prefer plucking with more of the fingertips and letting callouses build up. I find that I use a combination of both. I don’t let my nails grow out very long, but I don’t trim them so short either. This allows me to get some some clarity from the strings without having to maintain super long nails.
Just wanted to say thank you and to let you know how much I have enjoyed the site!!!!
You are welcome, Louis! Thank you for the comment.
I’m just starting out with my uke & this is THE best tute I’ve found, great pace & tips – thanks so much!
I just recently started to learn how to play the ukulele and really love this song but I can’t figure out how to get my G string tuned the way you have it. I also have difficulties strumming. Any tips? It would help a lot, Thanks.
Hey Elizabeth, you need to purchase a “low G” ukulele string set.
Perfect for a beginning fingerpicker! Thanks for your work!
You’re very welcome. Glad to hear it was helpful to you! Take care.
When I play the chord and and try to pick I get a muted vibrating sound. Is it the nylon strings?
Hi Ben, try to isolate the string to see which string isn’t ringing out. Then, try to adjust your finger to allow the string to ring out clear. You might try pressing down harder or pressing down closer to the fret.
Hi 🙂 I literally got my concert ukulele an hour ago and I started with this. It’s still difficult, but at least it sounds recognisable now, just at a very slow pace ha ha 😀 I don’t mind though, it’s all so exciting! Just having some trouble remembering to properly press down the 4th string when playing the C but practice practice practice. Holding the chords down is very painful on my fingers though…any solutions?
Thanks a lot for this!
Give your fingers some time to build up callouses. They’ll toughen up and you’ll be able to fret chords without thinking twice 🙂
Greetings to Brett
First, thank you for having the compassion to help others like myself. Our father taught us how to play the ukelele over 40 years ago using 3 simple chords (I think he referred them as notes) i had no idea what chord they were, and to this day i am none of the wiser. all he said was learn these 3 notes son and you will be able to play any song. I have since found out through our daughter (who i might add has no knowledge of music either but manage to teach young children “kapahaka” without the aid of an instrument – usuallya guitar. she now plays the ukelele not too bad (well i will confess better than her father, she has a greater range of chords then i ever had – been watching you i think Brett
Secondly, i think i will look at buying me a brand of ukelele like the one you have in your video. i think i am going to end up paying my for it then i did for my last guitar. All Good
Thank you again Brett, i look forward to watching more of your easy to learn video’s
OMG! I HAVE A FINGER CRAMP 🙁 My fingers aren’t big/long/strong enough to put them on two strings at once! 🙁 How can I get my finger to stretch and not get cramps when i attempt to do this? 🙁
But overall thanks for the tutorial! 🙂 x
just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed learning this song, and your finger picking lessons. They have made this a “Real” instrument, and not just the childs toy some see it as, if you catch my meaning ?
Thanks, Bill! I catch your drift. I appreciate it.
The video was helpful, but I am struggling with the chords because my hands are too small!!! I have really small fingers so I can’t reach the different frets at the same time 🙁 is there any advice on how to improve this???
Which chords in particular are you struggling with?
i was wondering how do i tune my g string to a lower octave it sounds bad 🙁
never mind bret i read another comment where you said a low g string needs to be purchased even though i cant play this song for now i still love the video
Yep, check out this post I just made on low G tuning for a longer description:
You are super ultra fantastic! one of the best teachers and Ukulele players online. Very clear tutorials. Could you video more tutorials when you are free? 🙂 Eg, Amazing grace finger picking patters and I’m yours (full version), some Christian songs :))
Got some more video tutorials in the works. Hope to be able to post them soon!
Hi Brett, I just wanted to say thank you for doing such a nice thing – it really comes across that you are a kind and patient person.
Hey, no problem.
Hi Brett…I have played guitar for many years but always with a pick…have just started playing the ukelele and the fun of learning to finger pick is teriffic..thanks a lot for the introduction.
All the very best…Graeme, Sydney
P.S…have found a thrving uke scene here!
Thanks for the comment, Graeme! I hear from a lot of Aussies who play the ukulele in the Sydney area. I really want to get over there and hang out with you all sometime!
Just wanted to say thank you so much for your amazing site. You are a great teacher and make it so easy to learn. It makes me not want to put it down. I am so greatful for your time and patients in helping us all learn.
Thanks again :))))
I’ve just discovered your site today and am deligthed! I am a new to the ukelele and your lessons and music are going to help so much! Plus, you have a wonderful voice so it’s a joy to listen to you!
I’m going to try and learn some songs for Christmas!
Happy Christmas to you!
Hey Brett! I was wondering if my Soprano Ukulele will still get an attractive sound without the lower G tuning. What do you think?
Hey Josie, I think for this song a low G tuned ukulele sounds the best, but for most stuff, I prefer the normal high G tuning. It has that classic ukulele sound.
I mean chords.
Hi Bret! I was wondering if you could type down your notes under your video??? I wounder how you play all the other notes…
Another great lesson, thanks Brett. What is the passing chord (did I get that right?) that you’re using between the C and Am? I’m using a baritone uke so the chord shapes are different. Really pleased to hear there’s some baritone stuff on the way too, by the way. Can hardly wait!
Hey Rosy, the chord in between the C and Am is a Cmaj7. The passing note that creates that “riff” in the intro of the song is a ‘B’ note. If you are playing on a baritone ukulele, I would try playing it so that you sound the B-string in some way between those chords.
Hi Brett, I like this, challenging though it is… any chance you could post the tab for it?
Hi Brett! I wanna ask.. how do you know if the chords/tabs are meant to be fingerpick or strum? And I know there’s 2 types of chords which require u(the ukulele player) to sing and another one which will play the song(fingerpick I guess) out of it. Any specific names for it? What is it called?
Hi M, typically chord charts with lyrics are meant to be strummed. If you come across a ukulele tab, if the notes in the tab are stacked on top of each other, that means you play a chord, but most of the time tabs are used for solo fingerpicking songs, sometimes referred to as fingerstyle ukulele.
Hi, so I was looking for tabs around the internet for this song, and yours was great 😀 Thank you for the helpful lessons!
I just got my first uke recently, and I’m trying really hard to get better at it 🙂 It’s a concert uke, and it actually looks a lot like yours! 😀 I’m going to visit this site more often now 🙂
Brett, the tabs for picking this song have been asked about previously, but I don’t see your answer. Have you posted tabs for picking this tune? That would be so helpful.
I’m learning a lot from these lessons.
He actually does. In the video if you watched carefully, he explains the fingerpicking, and the chords he uses that are different from the original. As well as his tuning.
Hi Brett, good tutorials and great stuff on you tube. I’m taking strumming course you offered and doing okay..really love finger picking the best but need to learn the strumming patterns too so I can play with friends. I have some trouble with buzzing caused by my fingertips on some chord changes. Is that because I don’t move my fingers fast enough? I try to practice every day to improve. I have been enjoying the ukulele since April 2012 and wish I had started years ago. Keep up your good work I know you help a lot of people and sharing the gift of music is wonderful.
Hi Rusty, great question. Buzzing can be caused from not pressing down on the fret hard enough, but it can also be caused by the quality of the ukulele. In some cases, if you take your ukulele to a local music shop, sometimes they can perform a “set up” where they adjust the ukulele’s action and file down any frets that a string might be buzzing on. My best advice is to make sure when you fret a chord that you are pressing down as close behind the fret as possible (rather than in the middle of two frets) in order to get the most leverage on the strings. Best of luck!
Hey man. Great video, but i am confused on how to change to a low G. I don’t really understand \.
Belated seasons greetings to you .I was given a cheap soprano uke for my birthday a couple of years ago but couldn’t get on with it, mainly due to having sausages for fingers. Anyway, my daughter saw that I was struggling to fret the chords and bought me a tenor uke for Xmas (some unknown make from China). This has made things much easier but I was wondering if there was any advice you could give bearing in mind that I’m willing to learn but at 72, with arthritic sausages for fingers, I’m not as nimble as I would like.
Hi Grahame, you’re in very good company! I’ve heard from people in their 80s and 90s learning ukulele in the Ukulele Strumming Tricks online video lesson course. The best advice I can give you is to take your time and go slow. With persistence and patience, you’re sure to see improvement. Additionally, for now, I’d recommend just focusing on strumming and chords. That’ll help get you used to some of the regular movements required an ukulele, and from there, you might explore some fingerpicking stuff (like in this lesson).
I’ve done your video course (it is worth the cost, even for a non-beginner — at least one with an equal measure of good and bad habits, for those of you wondering) and have enjoyed your book, but this may be my favorite lesson. Jeff Beck’s version of “Hallelujah” stuck with me from the first time I heard it (K.D. Lang’s is also fantastic), and I really appreciate this clear and relatively easy approach to capturing the sound and feel of the introduction.
I’ve decided to re-string in low G to complete the sound. I’m curious to know your opinion of leaving the low G setup for general playing.
Thanks for the resource.
Hi Stephen, so glad to hear you’ve enjoyed the lessons as well as this song. I find that the low G tuning works great if you just want to strum the chords of a song. I have a concert and tenor ukulele though (which I recommend), so you can get the best of the two worlds.
Yes, having two setups seems like a good way to go once you start playing with different tuning. I’ve been thinking about a tenor. I think I need to up my playing time before I can reward myself that way. Cheers.
I notice you are picking near the bridge of the ukulele , not where you would normally strum.
Could you please confirm if this is the best place?
Thanks very much
Hi Richard, great question and observation. You are right that most of the time it is better to strum around the 12th-14th fret of the ukulele to get a nice, balanced tone from the ukulele. The more you pick or strum towards the soundhole the brighter the tone becomes from the strings. For fingerpicking this song, I wanted a bit of a brighter tone, which is why I fingerpicked closer to the bridge.
Enjoyed your videos. I jut bought a tenor uke and love playing it. Is there difference in sound playing a banjo-lele? I like the look of them and thought I might buy one. Thanks
You have just taught me a new finger picking pattern. Its coming along but slowly.
Im very very new to uke, and love playing the few songs i know!!! Id like to play more, but i just dont get how to know what strumming pattern to use!!!! I can kinde figure out the songs i know, but have no clue where to start on the ones ive never heard. Ive been using tabs, does that make a difference,
Hi Juke, thanks for your comment! It can be hard to make sense of how strumming fits with playing songs at first. As you mentioned, it’s important to have heard a song and listened to it many times before you attempt to play it. Getting the song stuck in your head makes it easier when it comes to strumming the chords for a song.
If you’re interested in improving your strumming, I invite you to join and learn with me in the Ukulele Strumming Tricks online course: http://www.ukuleletricks.com/ukulele-strumming-tricks/
Beautiful arrangement! I may just switch my G back to the low G! You break down the parts really clearly, even the newest newbies could still follow. Thanks!
Excellent, really clear instruction Brett. I’m so glad I found your website. I was looking for info on some good ukeleles to buy and that brought me here. I’m hoping I will be able to order one in the next week and start using your tutorials and free ebook, then I’ll move on to the courses. I’m living in Baja California right now and I see lots of (cheap) ukeleles being sold in shops. Now that I’ve found your tutorials and been inspired, I might just have to grab me one of those to hold me over until a better quality one arrives. 🙂
You not only play well, but you can explain it, clearly, well paced and patient. Those skills don’t always come in the same package. I look forward to more. Thank you.