How to play Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Here’s Jenny’s lesson on how to play Over The Rainbow  as covered by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.

Click here to download a pdf of the lyrics and chord changes:

Over The Rainbow

The decision to record a cover of Somewhere Over the Rainbow was said to be a last-minute decision by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole’ (Iz or Izzy) and his producer Jon de Mello. But what a great decision it was! Iz’s version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World holds the distinction of being the longest-leading number one hit on any of the Billboard song charts, having spent 185 weeks at number one on the publication’s World Digital Songs chart.

It reached #12 on Billboard’s Hot Digital Tracks chart the week of January 31, 2004 (for the survey week ending January 18, 2004). It passed the 2 million paid downloads mark in the USA by September 27, 2009, and then sold 3 million in the USA as of October 2, 2011. And as of October 2014, the song had sold over 4.2 million digital copies.

The Hawaii state flag flew at half-staff on July 10, 1997, the day of Kamakawiwoʻole’s funeral. Hiskoa wood coffin lay in state at the state capitol building in Honolulu. He was the third person in Hawaiian history to be awarded this honor, and the only one who was not a government official. Approximately ten thousand people attended the funeral. Thousands of fans gathered as his ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean at Mākua Beach on July 12, 1997. Scenes from the funeral and scattering of Kamakawiwoʻole’s ashes were featured in official music videos of “Over the Rainbow” released posthumously by Mountain Apple Company; as of July 2015, the two videos as featured on YouTube have collectively received over 198 million views.

Because of his skillful ukulele playing and incorporation of other genres, such as jazz and reggae, Kamakawiwoʻole remains a very strong influence on Hawaiian music.

Are you a ukulele beginner?  Click here for a free 9 video course to get you started fast!

Not sure how to read tab?  Want to get started playing melodies on your ukulele?  Sign up for our FREE STUFF here to get a FREE 7 video course on how to read tabs.

When you’re ready, our new book Easy Ukulele Songs: Five with Five Chords  will take you further into the wonderful world of tab and fingerpicking melodies.  It’s available as an ebook or a print book on Amazon.

Happy Strumming!

How to Play The Lion Sleeps Tonight

lion sleeps

Click here to download a pdf of the lyrics and chord changes:

The Lion Sleeps Tonight


Are you a ukulele beginner?  Click here for a free 9 video course to get you started fast!

Not sure how to read tab?  Want to get started playing melodies on your ukulele?  Sign up for our FREE STUFF here to get a FREE 7 video course on how to read tabs.

When you’re ready, our new book Easy Ukulele Songs: Five with Five Chords  will take you further into the wonderful world of tab and fingerpicking melodies.  It’s available as an ebook or a print book on Amazon.

Happy Strumming!

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Theme from the Addams Family

Jenny has created another fun lesson video in time for Halloween.  The sing and strum part of the song is very easy – only three chords – our old friends, C, F and G7.

But you can add a dash of Halloween excitement with the fun fingerpicked intro.

Here is an image of the intro.  Click to make it larger.

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Notice the numbers in the middle of the staff.  These are the finger numbers to use as you play the cute little lick.  The tab shows you what strings and frets to use.

Click to download a pdf of the intro, chords and lyrics: Addams Family

Not sure how to read tab?  Want to get started playing melodies on your ukulele?  Sign up for our FREE STUFF here to get a FREE 7 video course on how to read tabs.

When you’re ready, our new book Easy Ukulele Songs: Five with Five Chords  will take you further into the wonderful world of tab and fingerpicking melodies.  It’s available as an ebook or a print book on Amazon.

Happy Strumming!

Amazing Grace for Ukulele

Here’s a video lesson on one of the all time great American spiritual songs.

Amazing Grace uses these five chords.

grace

Click to download ukulele tab for the melody of Amazing Grace :  Amazing Grace

If you love this song, check out Easy Ukulele Songs: Five with Five Chords. 

You’ll learn “Amazing Grace” plus four other great ukulele standards.

Jenny, I Got Your Number

Jenny Peters had a great summer bike tour trip. And of course she brought her ukulele along with her. She learned this fun 80’s pop song because her fellow bikers kept singing it to her!