Now that your picking hand is working, you need something to strum. Learn the C and G7 chords and how to switch between them so you can play “Singing in the Rain.” Then add the C7 and F chords to play “When the Saints Go Marching In.” This lesson includes a downloadable PDF with basic major, minor, and seventh chords in popular keys, which you can use to play thousands of songs.
Learn to accent strums with a bouncy rhythm, using the folk classic “If I Had a Hammer.” You’ll also learn a new way to finger C and F chords that allows you to play a fun intro to the song. With Lyric/Chord Sheet
Learn the South African song “Siyahamba,” with a down, down-up, _up, down pattern using your thumb for the downstrokes and your finger for the upstrokes. With Lyric/Chord Sheet
Learn the great 1940s pop song “Accentuate (Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate) the Positive,” made popular by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters. It uses a few new chords, including C6, A7, Dm7, and D7, which you’ll play with a relaxed down-up strum that gives the song a loping swing rhythm. With Lyric/Chord Sheet
In this series of four lessons, Marcy gives you some chord drills to help you improve your fluidity when changing from one chord to another. She gives you advice on the most efficient way to change fingerings, using the least amount of movement, and then gives you some drills in the keys of C, F, G, A. You’ll practice your chord-changing skills on the song “Keep on the Sunny Side,” which you’ll play in each of these four keys. With Lyric/Chord Sheets
In this first video, you’ll work on the major chords in the key of C (C, F, and G7). Marcy gives you advice on the most efficient way to change fingerings, using the least amount of movement, and then gives you drills that change from C to F, F to G7, G7 to C, and then C–F–G7–C, so you can practice them on “Keep on the Sunny Side” in C.
Marcy talks about using economy of motion in your fretting hand, finding ways to save effort in your hand so you can play easier and more smoothly. She goes through a few basic chords, getting you used to playing with the least amount of pressure on the strings. Then she shows you how to apply this concept to the chords in “The Hukilau Song.”
Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” is a great song to sing with just three chords in the key of C (C, F, and G7) and a basic strum pattern of down, down-up, down-up, down-up. You’ll also learn how to play a more rockin’ percussive strum using some different versions of the C, F, and G7 chords and how to accent the backbeat by relaxing your fretting-hand fingers.
The song “L-O-V-E” was made famous by Nat King Cole in 1965. You’ll learn to play it with some nice easy swing chords that flow easily into each other.
In this lesson on playing the summertime classic “Under the Boardwalk,” you’ll learn a number of techniques, including damping and the fan stroke, which you’ll use with the down, down-up, _up, down-up strum pattern. You’ll also learn three different ways to damp the strings to get a percussive sound.
The great old song “I Love a Ukulele” was recorded by popular Jazz Age singer Annette Hanshaw in 1930. You’ll learn some new chords and how to play the basic C chord with your pinky so you can play the quick C–Cdim–Dm7 turnaround without moving your pinky.
Learn Bob Dylan’s song “Forever Young” in Bb, which means you’ll learn some more new chords: Bb, Bbmaj7, Gm, Eb, and a new way to play an F chord. You’ll also learn to play it in G, with a few new versions of G, Gmaj7, Em7, C, D, and D7 chords.
In this lesson, you’ll learn the Civil Rights-era folk song “We Shall Not Be Moved.” You’ll use the down, down-up, _ up down-up strum and basic chords in the key of C. Marcy plays it through and then gives you advice on playing the down, down-up, _ up down-up strum with fingers or thumb, and then shows you the chords, along with a couple of variations.
Learn a great song to play with simple chords and a catchy chorus written by Alice Gerrard. All you need to know to play this song are C, F, and G7 chords and you can play it with a simple strum pattern. Marcy is joined by Cathy Fink, who sings the verses of the song and joins Marcy on the chorus. And then Marcy shows you some of the strumming variations she used to play “Get Up and Do Right,” including a rhythmic “chunk” pattern played by damping the strings with the side of your hand, giving you a down-up-chunk-up pattern.
The pop hit “The Glory of Love” was written in the early 1930s. Marcy’s version was inspired by the blues guitarist and singer Big Bill Broonzy. You’ll learn to play “The Glory of Love” with two fingerstyle patterns: the pinch pattern and a finger roll, which alternates the thumb with the fingers in a simple rolling finger pattern.
Guitarist Elizabeth Cotten’s signature song “Freight Train” has become a folk and fingerstyle guitar classic. Learn to play “Freight Train” with a rolling fingerstyle pattern that emulates Cotten’s guitar playing. Marcy explains the pattern, and shows you which picking fingers to use on each string.
Olabelle Reed was one of the finest songwriters in bluegrass and country music. Learn her most popular song, “High on a Mountain” with a fingerpicking pattern in which the thumb plays the fourth string, the index finger plays the second string, and the middle finger plays the first string. You’ll also learn how to play a melodic solo to “High on a Mountain” using the pentatonic scale.
“Sleepwalk” is a classic rock and roll hit from the 1950s recorded by Santo and Johnny. Learn to play the melody of “Sleepwalk” in double stops: two notes at a time. You’ll also learn a cool slide technique.
The old tune “Dixie Bell” is better known as “Bicycle Built for Two” and is a fun tune to play on the ukulele. It’s a waltz in the key of C and you’ll learn to plays the melody and chords with your fingers: chord-melody style.
Marcy gives you a guide to playing chord-melody style on the ukulele using “This Land Is Your Land.” You'll review the C major scale on the top string and then learn the basic melody of “This Land Is Your Land.” Then you’ll learn to add chords to the melody.
Johnny Mercer’s classic “Autumn Leaves” is a jazz standard. In this advanced ukulele lesson you’ll learn Marcy’s arrangement of the chords and melody of “Autumn Leaves” played fingerstyle. Marcy walks you through the chord voicings you’ll use and shows you how to add the melody to the chords.
Learn a chord-melody version of the early jazz classic “Whispering” in the key of D. You’ll learn a lot of new chords, including a B augmented chord, an A7sus4 chord, and a D6/9 chord, among others, so Marcy makes sure you have them down before showing you how to combine the melody with the chords you’ve learned. You’ll also learn how to play a rest stroke when you’re strumming chords with the melody on the second string.
Learn the great song “If I Only Had a Brain” from The Wizard of Oz. It’s a fun song to play and sing and the chords are beautiful, including some new ones: D, Em7, D6, B7, C#m7, and Bm7. You’ll also learn the tune’s signature lick. With Lyric/Chord Sheet and Chord Flash Cards
The song “IM4U” was written for the original Tonight Show, with comedian Jack Paar as host. Paar chose Chicago jazz musicians Marian and Jimmy McPartland to lead his band and they composed this humorous song made up of letters and numbers. Marcy sings it through and shows you the chords you’ll need to sing and play it, including the cool Caug–C6–C7 progression that begins the tune. With Lyric/Chord Sheet
Learn Roy Smeck’s fun ragtimey tune “Rockin’ the Uke.” Marcy shows you how to embellish some chords by just adding or changing one note and the strumming pattern for “Rockin’ the Uke”: fingers-thumb-up, fingers-thumb-up, fingers-up. With Chord Chart
The swing-era classic “Sentimental Journey” makes a great ukulele tune. You’ll start with a position similar to the open G7 position but moved up two frets. This position can be used to play the whole A part in harmony. The second part starts on an F chord and moves up to a D7 chord halfway through, finishing with a cool descending line over the G7 chord.
Learn to play the Beatles’ classic “Can’t Buy Me Love” with a rhythmic strumming pattern. Marcy shows you the pattern by starting with all downs and then adds ups for a down, down, down-up, _ up _ up _ up down, down pattern. She also shows you how to mute the strings after the upstrokes for a more percussive effect. With Lyrics and Chords
This jazz standard was first recorded in the 1930s by jazz greats like Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Spike Jones. Marcy shows you the chords you’ll need to play “Cocktails for Two” in the key of C and then walks you through the entire song slowly, calling out the chords and making sure you understand when they change. With Lyrics and Chords
This great old blues song comes from Memphis Minnie. It’s in the key of C and and has a basic blues progression but Marcy shows you how to get a bluesy sound by playing seventh chords and a couple of other cool bluesy moves. She also shows you how she plays it fingerstyle with a syncopated feel. With Lyrics and Chords
The song “Money, Money, Money” (also called “We Need Some Money”) comes from Washington, DC, “go-go” music pioneer Chuck Brown. Marcy plays it on the ukulele in the key of Eb. She shows you how to play an Eb9 chord with just a one finger barre, and gives you advice on playing barre chords. She also shows you how to play the percussive syncopated rhythm used in “Money, Money, Money” by strumming with your thumb and fingers and damping the strings. You’ll also learn a cool “horn lick” using sliding Db–D–C chords. With Lyrics and Chords