The Joy of Christmas Ukulele Songs – Ukulele Sisters

The Joy of Christmas Ukulele Songs – Ukulele Sisters

Do you enjoy playing Christmas ukulele songs? Would you like to share your music with family and friends?

Christmas Music Memories

I remember when Rebecca and I were growing up and taking piano lessons. We had a great big book of Christmas Carols for piano called “The Joy of Christmas.”

In our first few years of lessons, we could play simple two-line songs where we didn’t have to move our hands very much. When we got a little older, we could play some of the harder songs. But it was always fun to play the old songs and see how much progress we had made!

When I was in high school, I could sit down and play the whole book from start to finish. It was such good stress relief. I could also lead sing-alongs and encourage my family members to sing carols around the piano. When I was older, I could make up my own fancier arrangements that fit the mood of the day. It was a wonderful way to engage with my feelings about the holidays and to share them with others.

Now I do that with the ukulele. When I travel to visit family I bring 21 Easy Ukulele Songs for Christmas and my soprano ukulele. It’s so much fun to sit on the couch by the fireplace and lead everyone in singing festive carols for the season!

Sharing Holiday Cheer with Christmas Ukulele Songs

How would you like to be able to do that?

Well, here are some suggestions:

Get our Christmas Book, 21 Easy Ukulele Songs for Christmas, and learn to sing and strum all the songs.

  1. Once you can sing and strum, move on to finger-picking the melodies. Since the songs are familiar, you’ll find that you can do that even if you don’t read music.
  2. Find friends or relatives to share these songs with. Many of our customers have gotten this book for their children or grandchildren. They love to bond over the joy of music.
  3. Play duets with other people. One of you can strum the chords; someone else can play the melody.

Great book, songs include both fingerpicking and strumming info. My daughter and I will be a hit at our Christmas party, we are planning ukulele duets. Thanks.

Jerry Childers

A few weeks ago, I bought three ukuleles for my granddaughters and myself. I found your Christmas book on Amazon and purchased it. I was looking for something that I could do when I visit with my granddaughters. Learning to play an instrument will help them to develop stronger focus, and will give them a new skill. It will also create a lot of fun memories.

Nancy Stary

21 Easy Ukulele Songs for Christmas Has Won Awards

  1.  We are featured on the blog, Uke Like the Pros, as one of the 11 best Ukulele books on the market.
  2. Amazon recently selected our Christmas book as “Great on Kindle,” a designation they got from customer reviews.
  3. Our Christmas book is listed as one of the top-selling ukulele books of all time. Best Selling Ukulele Books

A More Advanced Option

Once you can play and share with others, consider moving on to chord melody. Chord melody is the art of combining both chords and melody in one musical arrangement. We have a course, Learn Easy Ukulele Chord Melody Today, which teaches you the art of playing chord melodies. It uses mainly Christmas music. This course is seasonal. You can buy it for two weeks each year in late November. Click here to find out more and to get your name on the mailing list.

Enjoy “Jingle Bells” in Many Versions

Here’s an example of the progression of “Jingle Bells” from easier to harder versions. When you first learn “Jingle Bells”, try a sing and strum version.

When you’re a little more advanced, try fingerpicking the melody and strumming the chords. This split-screen video shows how these parts might be combined.

If you can play all the melodies and you can sing and strum all the songs in the book, try learning a chord melody version.

What’s next?

I have arranged several more chord melody versions of Christmas Carols. We are always looking at new product ideas. If chord melody versions of Christmas Carols interest you, leave a comment below. We are thinking of offering more chord melodies for sale on our site.

We are also thinking of offering a course in learning to create your own chord melodies. Wouldn’t it be fun to compose and arrange your own music? Let me know if you’re interested in that too.

Wow, chord melody sounds rich and full, with melody and chords at the same time!

But it’s probably too hard for me. Not true!
In this course you’ll learn easy full-sounding music using techniques you know.

Get your course now

How to Play Greensleeves – Easy Ukulele Folk Song

How to Play Greensleeves – Easy Ukulele Folk Song

So you want to learn how to play Greensleeves on ukulele? Greensleeves is a beautiful old, English folk song dating from the 1500s. It has a haunting melody that reminds me of people dancing in the meadows during the time of King Henry the 8th. He was a musician and composer as well as the King of England.

How to Play Greensleeves on Ukulele

The video lessons teach you how to play the rolling lute-like arpeggios.

This first video lesson below shows how to sing and strum the song.

You can also learn to play the melody by reading the melody tab. The video below shows how to do that.

Greensleeves sounds beautiful as chord melody too. If you click here, you can hear a lesson I created on this song at a Facebook Live session.  

I also created a ukulele orchestra arrangement of Greensleeves.

Greensleeves has different words when sung as a Christmas Carol. “What Child is This?” uses the same music but different lyrics. It is in our Christmas book, 21 Easy Ukulele Songs for Christmas

If you want to learn Greensleeves, it’s in our book Beginning Ukulele Songs: Five with Five Chords. We write out the fingerpicking so it is easy for you to figure it out.

So, you’re pretty good at 3-chord songs now. You can do simple strumming patterns. You may even know some other chords. You’d like to take your playing to the next level.

Where do you go from here?

Get your Book now

Red River Valley Ukulele Tutorial and Strumming Patterns

Red River Valley Ukulele Tutorial and Strumming Patterns

Playing along with this “Red River Valley” ukulele tutorial is one great way of passing the time during this pandemic. In these trying times when staying home is recommended, strumming your ukulele and singing along help brighten the mood and keep you busy. “Red River Valley” is an easy ukulele song with only three chords. Moreover, it has a familiar melody that many people know. Although verses for most songs have different melody than the chorus, “Red River Valley” features the same melody for the verses and the chorus.

Don’t forget to check other video tutorials and ukulele lessons on our blog page. And if you’d like to receive free sheet music and ukulele tutorials, subscribe here.

Red River Valley Ukulele Tutorial

Beginner ukulele players will enjoy this “Red River Valley” ukulele tutorial. First of all, “Red River Valley” is a popular folk song with a well-known tune. Secondly, you’ll need only three chords:  C, F and G7.

 

Learn Different Strumming Patterns

In the video, Jenny shows many, different ways of strumming. There’s the simple all-down strums. Jenny plays the first verse with this type of strumming. Next, she plays the chorus with the down-down-up-down-down-up strumming. She even adds some chunking during this part. On the second verse, Jenny strums with a straight down-up-down-up-down-up pattern using just one finger – the index finger. On the third verse, she does the down-down-up-down-down-up strum pattern again, the same one she did on the chorus part but without the chunking. Finally, Jenny also demonstrates some solo ukulele.

A Bit of Song History

The exact origin of “Red River Valley” is not known but historians believe the song was composed in the 1870s. The first identified manuscript of the song has entries indicating “Nemaha 1879” as well as “Harlan 1885.”  “Red River Valley” is also sometimes called “Cowboy Love Song,” “Bright Little Valley,” and “In the Bright Mohawk Valley.”

Members of the Western Writers of America voted “Red River Valley” the number 10 song in their top 100 Western Songs of All Time. Various artists have recorded the song including Woody Guthrie, Bing Crosby, Pete Seeger and Slim Whitman.

“Red River Valley” is one of the songs in our classic book 21 Songs in 6 Days: Learn Ukulele the Easy Way.

Are you struggling with strumming?

With our book and course, you’ll become a fluent 3-chord strummer.

Get your copy now!

What Wondrous Love Is This Hymn Ukulele Tutorial

What Wondrous Love Is This Hymn Ukulele Tutorial

Learn how to play a beautiful hymn with our What Wondrous Love Is This ukulele tutorial! In this video, you will see lyrics, chords, strumming pattern and melody tab on the screen. In these trying times, the message of this gospel song gives hope.

If you visit our blog page, you will see many other videos and tutorials of easy ukulele songs. Sign up here to receive free sheet music and video lessons in your inbox every week.

WHAT WONDROUS LOVE IS THIS UKULELE TUTORIAL

As Jenny shows in the What Wondrous Love Is This ukulele tutorial video, you’ll need five chords: Dm, C, Am, F and G. These are fairly easy chords, C and Am are one-finger chords. You’ll probably need to practice more on just one chord which is the D minor chord (Dm).

In the video, Jenny shows two ways you can play the song. First, she plays sing and strum version. Then she shows how to do a  melody tab version.

 

SONG HISTORY

“What a Wondrous Love Is This” is a sentimental hymn which speaks about the sacrificial love of Jesus. He who “laid aside His crown to bear the dreadful curse” and save His people. The song’s history goes as far back as the early 1800’s. Because it’s a very old song, historians don’t know precisely who wrote the song. Some hymnologists suggest that the song may have been written by James Christopher. But there’s not enough evidence to prove this. Some scholars also attribute the song to a professor named Alexander Means (1801-1883). However, this is also doubtful considering that the first publication of “What a Wondrous Love Is This” was in 1811 and Alexander Means would have been only ten years old then.

Although the author is still unknown, scholars have found that the lyrics of the hymn had been printed in 1811, in two different books. One book was a collection of hymns by Stith Mead called “General Selection of the Newest and Most Admired Hymns and Spiritual Songs Now in Use”. The other book, which featured slightly different text of the hymn, was titled “Hymns and Spirtiual Songs, Original and Selected” by Starke Dupuy.

Do you want to play hymns with confidence?

In our Hymn Kits you'll find something for varied learners, from beginners to a little more advanced.

Get your Hymn Kit today!

If you enjoyed this post about “What Wondrous Love Is This,” you’ll enjoy these related posts:

These posts will show you how to play other hymns on the ukulele.

Positivity During a Pandemic

Positivity During a Pandemic

Right now Rebecca and I are sheltering in place in California and Illinois and we’re thinking about how to keep our positivity during a pandemic. I have a little more time because my school teaching has moved online. I am busy developing online resources to teach orchestra.

It’s a time to think of the positive!

With that in mind, I created the following parody of “Nearer My God to Thee.” With Easter this week, it is time to count our blessings. To be thankful for our nurses and doctors who are on the front lines. It is time to reach out to family and friends. And, it is time to send kindness and good wishes to all.

I’ve also learned some new apps. This video was created in acapella, an app that allows you to easily make split-screen videos. For folks who want to learn to play melodies and chords for a song, recording one part and then playing the other will be a great way to do this. I also enjoy harmonizing, so this was a lot of fun for me.

Our hymn book is coming out soon!

Anyway, since our communities are virtual right now, here’s to making music together with our online tools. The original version of this song, “Nearer My God to Thee,” will be in our new book 21 Easy Ukulele Hymns

Positivity During a Pandemic

We are all stuck at home, what’s there to do?

Celebrate our families, learn something new,

Practice ukulele, be a good friend,

Reach out to those in need, until we meet again.

Families and kids are home, learning online

E-learning’s what we do, in this trying time,

Holidays come this week, over zoom we’ll meet and greet,

Greetings to everyone, send our love to all!

 

 

If you want a copy of the sheet music of this song, please comment below. To read more about the “Nearer My God to Thee,” click here.

 

Do you want to play hymns with confidence?

In our Hymn Kits you'll find something for varied learners, from beginners to a little more advanced.

Get your Hymn Kit today!

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll enjoy these related posts:

These posts will show you how to play other hymns on the ukulele.

A St Patrick’s Day Ukulele Special

A St Patrick’s Day Ukulele Special

How about learning beautiful Irish songs and having some St Patrick’s Day ukulele fun?

Three St Patrick’s Day Ukulele Songs

St. Patrick’s Day is almost here. How much fun it is to learn some Irish songs. Here are links to three favorite YouTube lessons for the upcoming holiday.

MOLLY MALONE

Molly Malone is a beautiful song. It tells the story of a young woman who sold fish in the market in Dublin. She died of a fever. The music sounds Irish with its snappy rhythms. Get sheet music for Molly Malone here.

 

WHEN IRISH EYES ARE SMILING

When Irish Eyes are Smiling is a beautiful tune that tells of the beauty of the early Spring weather. I grew up hearing my dad sing this song to me as a young girl. It is one of my favorites.

 

DANNY BOY

Danny Boy is a beautiful song set to the tune of  Londonderry Air. It is a ballad and could tell the story of a young man going off to war or leaving his country.

 

WRAPPING IT UP

So that’s it, an awesome and novel idea for St. Patrick’s Day. Make it special this time around by learning and singing this beautiful music.

Whatever you decide to do, we at the Ukulele Sisters wish you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Happy Strumming and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Do you want to sound convincing on folk songs? You know basic chords and strumming patterns. And you’re interested in folk music. You’d like to take it to the next level.

Get your copy now!