Playing a musical instrument is all about playing songs, whether they're your own songs or someone else's song. The late jazz guitarist Joe Pass once said, "Nobody goes around whistling chord progressions."
Learning songs on a relatively easy to play instrument like ukulele is a lot of fun. The ukulele is the social instrument of the new millennium.
Each song has a downloadable chart, either hand written or prepared using a professional music software notation program. Example chords are shown for songs with simpler basic chords.
Links to the songs lyrics, videos and related song information are included.
Here are a few featured songs.
Has TAB Has Lead Sheet Has Play-along Track
- A Child is Born
- A Foggy Day
- All My Loving
- All of Me
- All The Things You Are
- Autumn Leaves
- Beer Barrel Polka
- Black Orpheus
- Blue Bossa
- Blue Skies
- Blues in G
- Bogus Song
- Brown Eyed Girl
- Call Me
- Classical Gas
- Danny Boy
- Don't Get Around Much Anymore
- Eleanor Rigby
- Feliz Navidad
- Finding Love
- Fly Me to the Moon
- Giant Steps
- Girl From Ipanema
- Happy Birthday
- Heat Wave
- How High the Moon
- How Insensitive
- I'll Remember April
- Inspector Gadget
- Irish Washerwoman
- Joy Spring
- Kelle Belle
- Light My Fire
- Midnight Cafe
- Mixolydian Play-along Tracks 1 and 2
- Mixolydian Play-along Tracks 3 and 4
- Moon River
- My Favorite Things
- Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
- Oh! Susanna
- Old MacDonald Had a Farm
- Pink Panther
- QuickStart Progressions Blues Track 1 - Shuffle
- QuickStart Progressions Blues Track 2 - 12-8
- QuickStart Progressions Blues Track 3 and 4 - Rock and Light Rock
- Red River Valley
- Sailors Hornpipe
- Satin Doll
- Shiny Stockings
- Site Membership Songs
- St. Thomas
- Stairway to Heaven
- Star Spangled Banner
- Summer Samba
- Super Mario Bros - Main Theme
- Super Mario Bros - Underwater Theme
Additional Chord Lead Sheets
The chords to additional songs can be found in my following books.
Exploring Jazz Chords on Ukulele takes the chords from A Guide to Advanced Chords on Ukulele and the lesson Core Chords, The Big Six and explores them using songs from the standard jazz repertoire. Songs include: All of Me, Autumn Leaves, All The Things You Are, Days of Wine and Roses, There Will Never Be Another You, Back Home In Indiana, Someday My Prince Will Come, Have You Met Miss Jones, Summer Samba, Sweet Georgia Brown, Yesterday, and Only A Paper Moon.
A Guide to Blues Chords Progressions on Ukulele From A to Z starts with a basic three chord, 12 bar blues and progresses up to a sophisticated jazz blues with multiple chord substitutions..
Each example includes detailed accompanying text explaining the principles behind each progression and its chord substitutions.
All examples are shown in C and G tuning. Suitable for Soprano, concert, tenor and baritone ukuleles. Get through this book and you'll have a solid jazz chord foundation to build on.
The book pages include audio examples of each progression or song played on ukulele.
All PDF downloads of my books are priced at $4.95
It's the melody and lyrics that can have a copyright, not the chords or even the title of the song.
As such, I'll make every effort possible to only show the lyrics or melody to songs that I have permission for or that are in the public domain. I'll provide links to sites that have the lyrics and let them fight it out with the lawyers.
A published arrangement to a song, even a public domain song can have a copyright.
Why No Lyrics?
Unless you are singing and already know and have the lyrics memorized to the song. Chords over lyrics are no help to you and most beginners if you don't already know the song and it's melody. You have on idea when to change chords, you might hear the change – but that's too late. Even knowing the lyrics, you might not have time to switch chords. You need to know ahead of time when to change chords and how many beats each chord lasts. This is critical for playing ANY song. It actually allows you to learn songs you have never heard or are only vaguely familiar with.
You can copyright the lyrics and the melody of a song. My "TAB" or songs, as presented here, make every attempt to not violate copyrights of the song owner and only present a road map of each song. With a very minimum of music knowledge you can read these or any chord chart. Charts and songs are presented for education purposes only.
Every song that is NOT in the public domain has links to lyrics. Preferably I can find links to the original copyright holders site. If not I'll link to one of the many lyrics sites available online and let their lawyers fight it out.
To prove public domain status in the USA, you MUST find a published copy of the song with a copyright date of 1922 or earlier. Most PD works have arrangements under copyright protection, and new arrangements must be derived from a PD source. PD status is determined by the laws of the country where the music is used. (from the PD Info site)
Reading Chord Charts
A chord chart (or chart) is a form of musical notation that in addition to writing out non-embellished melody, describes harmonic and rhythmic information. It is the most common form of notation used by professional session musicians playing jazz or popular music. It is intended primarily for a rhythm section (usually consisting of piano, guitar, drums and bass). In these genres the musicians are expected to be able to improvise the actual notes used to represent the chord and the appropriate ornamentation or counter melody.
A Roadmap through a Song – Your roadmap through a song includes – the landmarks, traffic signs and directions to from one place, the beginning of the song, to another, the end of the song. For a song that would be the key and modulations, the sections, type of chords, codas, repeats and the music signs used to determine you path through the song.
A Chord Chart is simply these directions. It contain the chords and form of the song to play. I might not contain directions on where to put you fingers, chord diagrams or where to play any particular note. Depending on the intended final use of the chart it can as simple as the chords to completely written out instrument part for a recording.
All it should contain are the chords and form of the song. The lyrics are for the singers. Chord diagrams are for beginners who might not have a chord vocabulary of chords to cover all the chords in a given song. TAB serves a different function and is not needed in a chord chart.
Depending on the song, my chord charts might contain any signature licks and riffs for that song. These will be in standard notation on the chart. I'll provide TAB for ukulele players separately. Using standard music notation allows ANY musician that can read music to play the song on any instrument.
My Take on TAB!
TAB, short for tablature - Wikipedia states: "An alternate usage of the word "tab" is common on the internet, where it can also refer to conventional chord symbols (for harmony), or note names (for melody)."
(Curt Sheller) This a departure from what has been traditionally known as TAB. There a lot of sites on the internet, especially ukulele sites popping up that claim to be TAB sites. These are mostly sites with the chords and lyrics to songs, with or without chord diagrams. Not really "TAB", but I guess we're stuck with an expansion of the definition of TAB.
TAB, short for tablature is a form of musical notation using numbers and letters on a staff that that corresponds to the number of strings of fretted string instrument. Theses number tell a player which fret to place their fingers on rath
click on below link for complete lesson.
Reading Ukulele TAB - Alternate Notation
Lesson Code: UL22
Published: January 2, 2005
Updated: January 2, 2005
- Hapa Haole Songs - Lyrics to Hawaiian songs written in English between 1916 and 1978
Site is not longer being updated - but is a good resource for lyrics.
- HUAPALA, Hawaiian Music and Hula Archives
- Mele.com Hawaiian Lyric resources
- A Compilation of Sing-Along, Folk, & Rock Guitar Songs (with chords and lyrics) - link
Can be transposed to any key.
- Doctor Uke
provided by Doctor Uke for his students and/or patients. They are to be used for educational and/or medicinal purposes only.
Sheet Music Links and Information
A lot of these links are to public domain sheet music.
- Ukester Brown's Collection of Internet site for vintage sheet music and recordings. - link
- Digital Tradition Folk Music Database - link
- Indiana University - Sheet Music Collection - link
- University of North Texas Music Library - link
- University of North Texas Music Library Special Collections - link
- The Sheet Music Consortium - link
- The Folktunes Archive - link
- William & Gayle Cook Music Library > Collections - link
- World War II Songs From The Belfer Audio Laboratory And Archive Syracuse University Library - link
- The American Folk Song Collection - link