Let’s learn another Iz song on the ukulele with Jenny’s What a Wonderful World ukulele tutorial. While Louis Armstrong originally recorded What a Wonderful World in 1967, Israel Kamakawiwoʻole included the song in a ukulele medley he released in 1993. Indeed, many other notable musicians have recorded this song which expresses appreciation and gratitude for the world that we live in.
WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD UKULELE TUTORIAL
First of all, we learn what chords are used. We’ll be needing seven chords and these are shown by Jenny in the video: C, Em, F, Dm, E7, Am and G7. Also, we practice the strumming pattern. The pattern follows a D-DU-UDU (D-down, U-up) repetition. Although this pattern sounds better with the song, it can be a bit difficult to combine the chords with the pattern all at once. So if it works better for you, you can start with the simple all-down strums first. When you got all the chord changes easy then you can work with the D-DU-UDU strum pattern.
Let’s check all these chords and strumming patterns in the video of What a Wonderful World ukulele tutorial below:
ORIGINAL RECORDING BY LOUIS ARMSTRONG
Record producer Bob Thiele and songwriter George David Weiss wrote What a Wonderful World for Louis Armstrong who first recorded it. ABC Records released the recording in 1967. It reached number 1 in the UK and Austria. The single also placed in the top ten of music charts in various countries. In contrast, it did not rank in the U.S. Billboard top 100 charts because one of the record company’s executive did not like the recording and opted not to promote it.
Subsequently, the song was re-released in 1988 and this time it ranked number 31 in the Billboard charts. In 1999, Armstrongs’ original version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Moreover, a digital release of the 1967 version has sold more than two million downloads attesting to the song’s enduring popularity.
IZ’S UKULELE VERSION
Israel Kamakawiwoʻole’s medley of Somewhere Over the Rainbow and What a Wonderful World helped to even more popularize the song. He included the medley in his 1993 album Facing Future. Certainly, Iz’s rendition was released with splendid ukulele accompaniment. With his masterful ukulele playing and great vocal range, Iz’s ukulele version of this famous song is truly great to listen to.