Tag Archives: Fingerpicking

New Uke For Xmas (2019)

If you’ve got a new ukulele for Christmas or are considering taking up playing one, you’ll soon find there are lots of on-line resources to help you, whatever your level:

Day & Summary Day & Summary
01 –  Helmut Bickel – Fingerstyle 02 – New Uke For Xmas – Useful sources
03 – Bernadette’s 30 Day Challenge 04 – Songs & Songbooks – eg MUJ
05 – James Hill’s Ukulele Way 06 – Danno Sullivan – Play It Daily
07 – Cynthia Lin – Tutorials 08 – Phil Doleman’s Two Minute Tips
09 – Samantha Muir – Classical Uke 10 – Ten Thumbs Productions – Tutorials
11 – Richard Hefner – ezFolk Lessons 12 – Stuart Fuchs  – Tips & Tutorials
  • Have a general look around this website, as we pick out a wide selection of our favourite tools & tips, on-line uke lessons, songbooks, chords, music theory, forums, equipment & other website resources. In particular, my musings on what helped me when I first got my uke as a complete beginner may prove a useful summary if you’re totally new to playing.
  • Joining a local group is always a boost – whether you are a beginner, improver or expert player. We’re a very friendly club based in Lewisham which meets every Tuesday for free jamming sessions. Everyone is welcome & we pride ourselves from having members from all over London, Kent & Surrey. We’re back strumming in the New Year from Tue 7 Jan 2020. Contact us for more details.
  • If you aren’t near Lewisham, do check out the Mighty Ukulele for Londonwide gigs, events & UK clubs or Uke Hunt’s extensive clubs & groups listings covering  UK & Ireland; Europe; USA & Canada and Australia & New Zealand for a local group.
  • If you need advice on buying an instrument, Barry Maz has a wealth of independent reviews on Got A Ukulele as well as a schedule of uke festivals and other handy info to help get you started.

Good luck & happy strumming!



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UK Christmas Number Ones – 2003

Michael Andrews & Gary Jules covered this Tear For Fears number, taking their stripped down version of  Mad World from the soundtrack of Donnie Darko.

Here’s Jonathan Lewis of Jon’s Ukuleles with his performance & tabs:

More info on Wikipedia.

PS For those of you wanting the answer to the other UK number one single than Bohemian Rhapsody to contain the word ‘fandango’, it was this classic song.


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UK Christmas Number Ones – 1975 & 1991

The first song to be number one with the same version; the only two-time Xmas chart topper with the same version and one of only two UK number ones containing the word ‘fandango’ (put a comment below if you know the other – or I’ll give the answer in a few days!), Bohemian Rhapsody is arguably Queen’s best-known track.

Sam Laming provides a four-part tutorial (tabs provided from the second onwards):

Part One Part Two Part Three Part Four

Here’s a rendition from Jake Shimabukuro:

More info on Wikipedia.


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UK Christmas Number Ones – 1963

I Want To Hold Your Hand gave The Beatles their first UK Xmas number one & – more importantly for them – was their first chart-topper in the USA. It was also one of two singles rerecorded in German, as  Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand  (the other being Sie Liebt Dich).

There’s a choice of a video lesson from Marco D at Morristown Uke Jam (chords here)  or  Evgenii Grigorev with a  fingerstyle version (tab available on this website).

Tam Duong gives today’s performance video:

More info on Wikipedia.


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UK Christmas Number Ones – 1961

The Academy & Grammy Award-winning ballad Moon River was performed by Audrey Hepburn in the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s as well as featuring in instrumental form. The song is synonymous with Andy Williams, who used it at the start of his TV show for many years.

However, it’s Danny Williams who released the chart-topping single.

Cynthia Lin gives a detailed fingerpicking lesson, complete with free chord chart. Here she plays it as part of her #100DaysofUkuleleSongs project:

More info on Wikipedia.


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Carry On Campanella

A rather pretty style of playing ukulele is campanella (from the Italian for ‘little bell’), a way of picking which allows multiple strings to ring at the same time, creating a harp-like sound.

Jonathan Lewis devotes his site Jon’s Ukulele to campanella fingerstyle ukulele, including some interesting examples of Celtic, medieval, Baroque & folk tunes. He has a number of tutorials on there, including a useful free How To Play Campanella Ukulele guide. Many of his posts and YouTubes include a tab of his arrangement.

Recently he made the following free book available for circulation. It contains ten traditional tunes (some are known by different titles in various regions):

Campanella Ukulele: Ten Morris tunes now available to download for free (or a contribution if you insist). I may expand it at some point in the future but as I’ve been promising to publish the tabs for a long time I decided to release it now.
Here’s the link to Gumroad
Go to my YouTube to hear all of the tunes, there’s a playlist of Morris tunes

1. The Banks of the Dee
2. Brighton Camp
3. Bumpus O’Stretton
4. The Cuckoo’s Nest
5. Galopede
6. Lads a Bunchum
7. The Nutting Girl
8. Old Molly Oxford
9. The Princess Royal
10. Ribbon Dance

Here he is performing Brighton Camp (also known as The Girl I Left Behind Me & Waxie’s Dargle) :


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Fingerpicking Good

As this seems to be the month for challenge series, here’s the latest offering of a free fifteen day fingerstyle course from Terry Carter of Uke Like The Pros. It starts on 1 Nov.

Terry’s lessons are always clearly-presented and informative. He’s been running a number of monthly song challenges on the ULTP forum over the summer, ranging from old standards & pop hits to instrumentals, with prizes such as ukuleles for the best entries. This looks set to be the most thorough, taking people from beginner stage & upwards – covering good technique for finger-picking; introducing seven different picking patterns on alternate days, followed up with seven original pieces to play the next day using the pattern just introduced; including sheet music, tab and backing tracks. At the end of the process there will be a live interactive webinar with extra content.

Further details are in his introductory video. You can sign up here to receive daily updates during the challenge period.

Here’s Terry playing one of his original works, Fingerstyle Meditatio For Ukulele In A Minor, which is the type of piece he will be demonstrating on his course:



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