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?

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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.

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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.


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.



“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 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 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 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.



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!

How to Play Silent Night Ukulele Chord Melody

How to Play Silent Night Ukulele Chord Melody

Learn how to play the chord melody of another Christmas song with our Silent Night ukulele chord melody tutorial. If you’re bored with the sing and strum method of playing the ukulele, trying the chord melody method is a great challenge to take.

Have you watched someone play a ukulele and convey both the melody and accompaniment of a song without actually singing and thinking it was really cool? You can learn to do that too. Or if you simply don’t want to sing and want to play the ukulele to do the singing for you, then playing the chord melody is the best option for you.

What is chord melody?  A chord melody combines both the melody and the accompaniment such as strummed chords into a single arrangement that one person can play. The following video tutorial shows Jenny teach how to play Silent Night ukulele chord melody.

If you’ve missed the videos on Jingle Bells ukulele chord melody, check them out here. You can also subscribe here to receive sheet music and get notifications of new ukulele lessons.

Silent Night Ukulele Chord Melody

To play the Silent Night ukulele chord melody, Jenny demonstrates how to use three techniques – pinch style, single pluck method and standard strum. Learn them all in this ukulele tutorial.


Chord Melody for the Rest of Us

You’ve probably watched and admired videos of the ukulele greats playing chord melodies.

And you thought, “Wow, that is really cool! I wish I could do that but it’s probably too hard for me.” Well, weep no more.

We’ve created a brand new course to give you everything you need to know to get started playing chord melody at an easy level. If you can play the songs in our books, you can learn easy ukulele chord melody with our new course.

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

Silent Night – Three Interesting Trivia

Here are three interesting trivia about the song Silent Night. We think these are also great reasons why you should learn how to play Silent Night ukulele chord melody.

  • most popular Christmas song

In an article published December 2014, Time declared Silent Night to be the most popular Christmas song ever. According to records from the U.S. Copyright Office from 1978 to 2014, Silent Night has more than 700 copyrighted recordings. In comparison, Joy to the World, which was the next song on the list had nearly 400 recorded versions.

  • fourth best-selling single of all time

As previously mentioned, Silent Night has over 700 recorded versions. Bing Crosby recorded this very popular Christmas carol in 1935. Crosby’s version is ranked the fourth best-selling single of all time with an estimated sales of 30 million copies.

  • message still resonates two centuries after it was written

In 1816, an Austrian priest named Joseph Mohr wrote a poem about peace, hope and Christ’s birth. It was written in German and entitled Stille Nachte. Two years later, Franz Xaver Gruber set this poem to music. Silent Night was first sung on Christmas Eve of 1818. More than two centuries later, people all around the world still sing and perform this famous Christmas song. Its simple message resonates to this day and transcends culture and religion.

Check out these other popular easy ukulele tutorial videos…