Often when we think about learning ukulele music, we might imagine soft strumming to accompany vocals. What are less common, but still very rewarding to learn are chord melody arrangements!
In her course, Chord Melody for Ukulele: Module 1, Marcy Marxer helps you take your first steps into playing the song’s melody over your ukulele chords.
Here are 8 free ukulele lessons from the course. For the full course, check out Marcy Marxer’s Chord Melody for Ukulele: Module 1 on TrueFire!
C Major Chord Scale Lesson
Here we go. We’ll use the entire fingerboard starting at the nut.
C Major Chord Scale Practice Session
Now let’s practice playing the C Major scale with closed-chord form together.
Are You Sleeping in C: Overview
The first chorded melody style song we’re going to play is “Are You Sleeping” or “Frère Jacques” in the key of C. This song only has one chord so it’s a great way to get started with chorded melody.
Are You Sleeping in C: Playalong
“Are You Sleeping” playalong: Play slowly with me and our friend the metronome. We’ll play through the song 3 times. Here we go. Chorded melody only gets better from here. Move on to the next lesson for a song with two chords. That’s twice as many.
F7 Chord Scale Lesson
The F7 chord scale. Hold down the F7 chord in 1st position. The frets are 2, 3, 1, 3. The b7 note is Eb, which is one whole-step below the root. In this position, we can play strings 2, 3 and 4 and use a rest stroke to let the root note ring just like we did with the F major chord. Add the 2 or G two frets up. The 3 is open on the 1st string. Play the 4 by using a small barre at the first fret. Play the F7 with the 5th on top. Go to the position that adds the 6th note. The frets are x, 3, 5, 5. An optional fingering would be frets 2, 3, 5, 5. This fingering gives us two A notes in the same octave on the 4th and 2nd strings.
From the 6th on top, we go to the F7 with the b7 on top. The F7 with the root on top will be two frets up from there. The barre is on the 8th fret. Add the 2, Go to the position we used before for F7 with the 3rd on top, and slide your pinky up one fret to add the 4th note of the scale. Going back down: 4, 3, 2, 1, b7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1. Play through this lesson as many times as you like and move on to the playalong.
F7 Chord Scale Practice Session
The F7 chord scale playalong. We’ll talk it through the first time and then play it through two more times. Root, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, b7, root, 2, 3, 4. And back down, 4, 3, 2, 1, b7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 or root. Remember that you can slow down or speed up this playalong with the metronome that’s included in each lesson.
The Saints in C: Overview
“When the Saints Go Marching In” is a happy song often played by New Orleans jazz bands at funerals. Luckily, it works well at jam sessions of many genres. It works well on the ukulele, too. Enjoy!
The Saints in C: Playalong
In the words of the great Tommy Jamin, “Oh, yeah!” It’s time to join the band and play “When the Saints Go Marching In”. Remember that you can speed up or slow down the practice session by using the TrueFire software included in this course.
Digging these free ukulele lessons? Check out Marcy Marxer’s full course on TrueFire, Chord Melody for Ukulele: Module 1.