Happy Helpful Guide to the Ukulele – Step 10: Songs

Step 10: Songs

Step 10 is the culmination of our Guide, teaching you to play “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. Congratulations on completing this learning journey! We chose this song because of it’s universal appeal and recognition, in addition to it being a beautiful sound on the ukulele. Bernadette takes us through the strumming pattern for “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and offers a variety of playing techniques to wrap up your 10-Step experience.

By now, you have learned all the chords and strokes needed to play what is the most popular ukulele song of all: Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Wonderful World Mash-up.” This song has become what Fur Elise is to the piano. Israel (or
Iz for short) sings it in the key of C, using just eight chords: C, Em, Am, F, Am7, G, G7, E7. There are many versions freely available on the Internet — some use F9 instead of F.

The tricky part is his strumming. T4 means to pluck the single 4th string with your right thumb. All this requires is to replace your 4th or G-string with a low-G string, which is thicker than what’s on there now. However, this is a detail that’s not required to execute the song.

The strum pattern you need is T4-, DU, xu, DU

  • T means thumb. T4 means strum the single 4th string.
  • Hyphen – means air stroke (let the strings ring but don’t strike).
  • Small x means mute. To find the song sheet online, search for the title in quotation marks followed by “ukulele PDF” or just follow along with Bernadette!  You have all the skills needed to play it now.

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