Note: This is a guest post from Brett McQueen of UkuleleTricks.com.
One of the most enjoyable ways to make music on the ukulele is by fingerpicking the melody of a song you would normally sing.
If you’ve always wanted to learn how to fingerpick the ukulele solo, these songs are a perfect place to start, even if you’re a beginner.
Today you learn three well-known easy one-string ukulele songs to get you started with solo fingerpicking. You have the sheet music and ukulele tab showing you exactly what notes to play each song.
Before you begin, you’ll want to make sure you know how to read ukulele tab, as this will be the easiest way to learn these songs.
Let’s take a look!
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Learn to play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star on the C-string of the ukulele – also known as the third string.
Tip: Use the nail or tip of your thumb to pluck the notes of this song on the C-string.
The biggest challenge playing this song is the big jump from playing the open C-string and then jumping up to the 7th fret as shown in the first measure. Hover a fretting hand finger (like the index finger) over the 7th fret of the C-string as soon as you start playing the song to be ready to go for that jump!
Now you learn to play Happy Birthday on the E-string of the ukulele – also known as the second string.
Interestingly, you could play this song on the C-string too (or any other strings for that matter), although it would sound in a different key. I recommend learning it first on the E-string and then try playing the song on the C-string to hear the difference!
You Are My Sunshine
You learn one more song You Are My Sunshine on the bottom A-string – also known as the first string.
Like the previous songs, you could play this song on any of the other strings using the same tablature. After you learn this song on the A-string, try your hand at playing it on other strings.
Remember solo fingerpicking songs like these take longer to learn than a song you would normally strum. Take your time and enjoy the process of learning these songs. It’s all part of the fun of fingerpicking the ukulele!
Brett McQueen is a lifelong ukulele player, author of Ukulele Exercises For Dummies, and founder of Ukulele Tricks a website teaching over 10,000 students how to play ukulele.