Hilo Greg’s Ukulele for Kids Workshop Mighty Uke Day III •!May 11, 2013 Playing the ukulele is easy and fun! Today we will learn some basics, including three chords which can be used to play thousands of songs! Tune up – it’s important! When your uke is tuned, it will sound great — and so will you! You may need an adult to help with this... The top string (the one closest to your chin) is the G string. The next one is the C string, the next one is E, and the bottom string (closest to your feet) is the A string. If you have a good ear, you can use a piano to tune up. You can also use a pitch pipe, an electronic tuner, and yes, there’s even a free iPhone app for that! When you’re in tune, pluck each string from top to bottom and sing, “My dog has fleas.” Chord #1: C The C chord is one of the easiest and most useful chords. In fact, you can play “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” using only the C chord! To form a C chord, place your ring finger on the A string, right behind the third fret. Now strum all four strings. They should all sound clear. Row, Row, Row Your Boat C Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream C Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream! Chord #2: G7 There are dozens of children’s songs that can be played with only two chords. You already know C, and the other one is G7. I call it the “triangle chord” because you make a triangle with your fingers: middle finger on the C string (second fret), index finger on the E string (first fret) and ring finger on the A string (second fret). Hold tight and strum all four strings! Let’s add the G7 chord to the end of “Row, Row, Row, Your Boat” and hear how it sounds. Hmmm... a lot better! Row, Row, Row Your Boat C Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream C G7 C Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream! Here are a couple more 2-chord songs using the C and G7: The Wheels On The Bus C The wheels on the bus go round and round G7 C Round and round, round and round C The wheels on the bus go round and round G7 C All o-ver town He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands C He’s C He’s G7 He’s C He’s got the whole world in his hands G7 got the whole world in his hands C got the whole, wide world in his hands G7 C got the whole world in his hands Polly Wolly Doodle C Oh, I went down South for to see my Sal C G7 Singin’ Polly Wolly Doodle all day G7 Now my pal Sal is a spunky gal G7 C Singin’ Polly Wolly Doodle all day C Fare thee well, fare thee well C G7 Fare thee well my fairy Fay G7 Now I’m off to Lou’siana for to see my Susyanna G7 C Singin’ Polly Wolly Doodle all day Feel free to add more verses… just use the same exact chords! Chord #3: F Ok, once you have C and G7, you just need one more chord to play almost any folk, country, blues or pop song. That chord is F. The F chord reminds me of steps, so let’s call it the “steps chord.” Place your middle finger on the G string (second fret) and your index finger on the E string (first fret). Voila, the F chord! Once you know the C, F, and G7 chords, you can play just about any song in the key of C. (That’s the easiest and most popular key.) You may decide to stop here or keep working on your own. I recommend Dr. Uke’s web site (doctoruke.com) or Ukulele Mike’s free YouTube lessons. Remember, the most important thing is to have fun and smile! Now, let’s turn the page and play two songs using the C, F & G7 chords. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star C F C Twinkle, twinkle, Little Star F C G7 C How I wonder what you are C F C G7 Up a-bove the world so high C F C G7 Like a diamond in the sky… C F C Twinkle, twinkle Little Star F C G7 C How I wonder what you are This Land Is Your Land (Woody Guthrie) F C This land is your land, this land is my land G7 C From California, to the New York Island F C From the Redwood Forest, to the gulf stream waters G7 C This land was made for you and me Hilo Greg (a.k.a. copywriter Greg Gattuso) is a singer and songwriter based in Ann Arbor, MI. His two albums, Ukulele Jam and Little Songs for Big Kids, are available on iTunes, Amazon and CDBaby.com. For booking and information, call (917) 803-0525 or visit Facebook.com/HiloGreg. E-mail [email protected] Tuning illustration from Jumpin’ Jim’s Gone Hawaiian. Available at FleaMarketMusic.com ©1999 Flea Market Music. Chord boxes by Joe Silver. All songs & lyrics public domain.
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