3 Easy Ukulele Songs Kids Can Play With Just 2 Chords

3 Easy Ukulele Songs Kids Can Play With Just 2 Chords

3 Easy Ukulele Songs Kids Can Play With Just 2 ChordsAre you ready to learn how to play the ukulele? Try these fun, 2 chord songs from music teacher Teresa Y. to get started.

The ukulele is one of the easiest instruments for students of all ages to pick up and play. Make fast progress and get hooked on the ukulele with these simple 2 chord songs in the key of C. Even kids will be able to play these 3 easy ukulele songs!

Easy Ukulele Songs with 2 Chords

Chord diagrams for C and G7 are all that you need to get started. Here’s a guide to understand these diagrams: 1=left hand index finger, 2=middle finger, 3=ring finger. Voila! For now, make simple down strokes, or “strums”, on the beat using your right index fingernail or thumb pad, whichever feels better. Don’t forget to tune your ukulele to make these chords sound great!

2-Easy-Ukulele-Chords-for-Kids

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

First up, this super-simple version of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat only requires one switch from C to G7 and back to C. Bonus: it has a positive, peaceful message. So sweet and light, but actually deeply wise! The slashes after chord names show you where to strum.

ROW, ROW, ROW YOUR BOAT

C        /       /             /

Row, row, row your boat

/           /              /            /

Gently down the stream.

/            /            /            /

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,

G7      /        C        /

Life is but a dream.

One Big Tip for Fast Success

If you’re a beginner, start with just the C chord. Pat the beat on the body of the instrument when it’s time for the G7 chord. Kids like the percussive move, and it teaches them to do something different for a certain number of beats and then get back to C. After C sounds good (press harder until it does), add G7 to the mix. Here’s another song you can play:

London Bridge is Falling Down

Next up, “London Bridge is Falling Down.” Its quicker tempo and multiple verses reinforce successful strumming and chord changes. G7 shows up regularly this time, so get ready for some extra practice. Remember that learning an instrument isn’t something you can “cram” for. It’s all about repetition, which makes the magic of skills development happen. Thus the importance of creating an environment in which regular playing time, even just 15 minutes at a time, is satisfying and fun.

LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN

C           /              /         /

London Bridge is falling down,

G7       /         C       /

falling down, falling down,

C           /              /         /

London Bridge is falling down,

G7     /      C        /

my    fair  lady.

Build it up with silver and gold…

Gold and silver I have none…

Build it up with needles and pins…

Pins and needles bend and break…

Etc. There are countless versions and verses.

Three Blind Mice

Three Blind Mice is another perennial favorite. Its carving-knife drama is memorable and even scandalous to 21st century kids. Remember you can always go back to patting the instrument for a bit when transitions are challenging. If you’re singing along, your purposeful and expectant pause for the next chord will prompt you to go for it.

 THREE BLIND MICE

C        /        /        /

Three blind mice,       

/         /        /        /

three blind mice,

G7     /             C      /

see  how they run,      

G7     /              C     /

see   how they run.

C         G7         C           /

They all ran after the farmer’s wife,

C               G7              C           /

who cut off their tails with a carving knife.

C           G7              C                  /

Did ever you see such a sight in your life

C      G7     /        /

as three blind mice. 

(There are lots of variations on the next-to-the-last line. Did you ever see… You never did see… Choose the one you like best.)

So there you have it – 3 easy ukulele songs that will get you making music fast. Now that you’ve got these easy ukulele songs down, find some more tunes to play on the uke in this ultimate list of ukulele songs.

Want to expand your skills even more? Look for a ukulele instructor near you, or online, to start adding more chords to your repertoire.

 Teresa YPost Author: Teresa Y. teaches many subjects, including ukulele, singing, piano, and beginning drums in Northridge, CA. A multi-instrumentalist from a young age, she enjoys working with students of all ages. Learn more about Teresa here!

 

 

 

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7 Ukulele Strumming Patterns for Beginners

ukulele strumming patterns

No matter where you are in  your ukulele lessons, learning different ukulele strumming patterns will help you improve your technique and your sound. Here, ukulele instructor Willy M. goes over some basic strumming and fingerpicking patterns…

Welcome to picking on the ukulele with Willy. In this lesson, we will learn how to insult, berate, sting and verbally abuse your ukulele! Just kidding! We’re going to talk about ukulele strumming patterns. We’ll also cover picking techniques and strumming basics that will help you make beautiful music with your ukulele.

Ukulele Strumming Techniques

One of the first things that people ask with any stringed instrument is: “How do I strum?” This seems like a simple question until you’re actually holding the ukulele in your hands and wondering: “Should I use my thumb? My fingers? Should I use a pick?”

These are important questions, but once you find the answers, you’re hit with even more questions like: “Do I strum fast, or slow, up or down, or down and then up?” Or, “am I supposed to strum only down or only up?” “What about finger picking? How does that work?”

To eliminate confusion, let’s take a look at some of these questions. First, let’s tackle basic strumming technique, then we’ll delve into different ukulele strumming patterns you can try on your own.

Playing the Ukulele With a Pick

I’m a fingerpicker. I started out on the guitar, and then moved to the mandolin and ukulele after learning a lot of my technique on the guitar. So I apply guitar principles to the ukulele. These techniques are actually very helpful, and can keep you from developing bad habits that can hurt your wrists and fingers.

First of all, if you decide to use a pick, you should learn how to hold a pick correctly. Make sure that you don’t hold it too tightly. Your pick should be held firmly between the thumb and the first finger, and your hand should not be cramped up (you don’t need to have a death grip on the pick). In fact, proper technique is to hold the pick with a firmness that you or a friend could gently tug the pick from your fingers, but not so loosely that you will drop the pick when you play.

Now, what type of pick should you use? That all depends on the sound you want to hear. I recommend going to your local music store and purchasing six types of picks. First, buy the thinnest type of pick that they have. Then, buy the thickest one, and then the one in between. Then see if they have a felt pick (if they don’t, they can probably order one for you). You may also want to pick up a set of banjo picks (either metal, plastic, or both). Then after you pay, take a quarter or dime from the change, and add that to your pick collection. Brian May, lead guitarist from the rock band Queen, used an English Pence with a milled edge to get interesting sounds out of the strings.

Give all of these picks a try, and see which ones work for you. This collection of picks should give you plenty to experiment with, and will help you figure out if you like using picks, or if you’d rather do without them and use your fingers.

Fingerpicking

If you’re going to use your fingers, I recommend keeping the fingernails on your fretting hand trimmed. If you want, you can let the ones on your picking hand grow a little longer, or use acrylic nails (like James Taylor and Phil Keaggy). I keep both of my hands trimmed short when I play, and use the pads of my fingers. Try some different things and see what works for you!

When you finger pick, keep your hands loose, and try not to allow yourself to get stressed out as you play. I know that learning something new requires a lot of concentration, but you don’t want to get in the habit of playing stressed; you will experience pain, discomfort, and in extreme cases, develop problems like carpal tunnel syndrome and ulna nerve damage.


 

Ukulele Strumming Patterns

Once you break it down and think about it, ukulele strumming isn’t that difficult. You have down strums, up strums, and palm-muting techniques. If you apply these three principles, you get a wide variety of rhythmic variation that you can use to play songs.

The key to being a good rhythm player is to learn to strum in time to the music. Practice slowly at first, and then speed up as you get better. Also, try strumming in ways that you think accentuate the beat of the song. Ask yourself: “is what I’m strumming adding to or taking away from the drum section in this song?” If there are no drums, ask yourself: “is my strumming rhythmic and steady, and does it fill in where the drums are missing?”

Palm muting is a fun exercise to practice when you’re strumming. Place the bottom part of your hand across all the strings, lightly. Roll your hand and use your pick to strum across the strings. You should hear a “plunky” sound. This is a common guitar technique that’s used by the Cars and other ’80s rock bands. It sounds very interesting on the ukulele; it gives it a “pizzicato” sound.

Here are some ukulele strumming patterns to help you get started:

Down – Up – Down – Up




down up down up

 

This simple pattern is the most basic, and can be strummed to whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, or even eighth and 16th notes. Just consider that each type of note you strum to will either make it sound slower or faster.

When you strum a whole note, you will count to four before you strum the next up whole note. If you’re using eighth notes, you will strum eight times in each measure.

 

 

Down – Down – Up

down down up

This pattern allows you to rest on the last beat of a four-count measure. Or you can play it as a waltz-time kind of feel.

 

 

Down – Down – Up – Up

down down up up

 

This is another popular, easy pattern.

 

 

Down – Up – Down

down up down

 

This is also called a triplet pattern. Triplets are clever devices that allow you to cram three notes into the space of two!

If you’re repeating this pattern, it will go like this: D – U – D, D – U – D, etc.

 

 

Up – Up – Up – Up


up up up up

 

This pattern gives you a bright, jumpy sound.

 

 

Down – Down – Down – Down

ukulele strumming patterns

This pattern is the opposite of the last one, and it has a more authoritative beat.

 

 

Down – Up – Up

down up up

 

This can be another triplet pattern, or three beats and a rest.

Keep trying various combinations until you find some that work for you.


 

Ukulele Picking Patterns

Finally, let’s look at ukulele fingerpicking patterns. With these patterns, you don’t need a pick. You can use one if you’d like, but most people throw out the pick and use just their fingers.
Now which fingers should you use? Well, you have four strings, so you probably won’t need your pinky. This leaves you the option to finger pick with your thumb by itself, your thumb and forefinger, your thumb, your forefinger and middle finger, or your thumb, forefinger, middle, and ring fingers.

I personally tend to finger pick with just my thumb and first finger, though occasionally, I will throw in a banjo roll with my first three fingers. You need to try what works for you, but here are a few patterns that you can experiment with to see what feels comfortable.

For these patterns, you should know how to do some basic rolls on the ukulele.

Forward Roll

Place your fingers over the strings (lightly). Use your thumb to control the G and C strings. Use your thumb to alternately pick the G and C.

Use your index finger to control the E string, and use your middle finger for the A string. The pattern goes like this: thumb – index- middle.

Backwards Roll

This is the forward roll in reverse: middle – index – thumb.

For these picking patterns, I will give you the strings and you can try the different fingerpicking methods. You might want to practice these patterns by holding down a chord that you’re familiar with and then picking along.

G, C, E, G, C, E

This is basically a forward banjo roll.

G, G, C, E, A

This is a modification of the forward banjo roll.

C, E, G, A

A four-string variation of a Travis-style roll.

C, C, E, G, C

Another type of Travis roll.

C, C, E, G, A

This is basically a forward roll.

C, C, E, G, A, E, C

A forward-backwards roll.

A, E, C, G

A backwards roll.

A, A, E, C, G, C

Another backwards roll, but ends on the tonic.

G, A, C, A, E, A

Similar to the picking in the classical Spanish song Malagueña.”

G, A, C, A, C, A, G

This is another variation of the previous pattern.

You can also try these fingerpicking patterns with just your thumb and first finger, or your thumb and middle finger. Then, try them again with your thumb, first finger, and middle finger. Then, try them all again with your thumb, first finger, middle finger, and ring finger.
So there you have it; a bunch of rolls, patterns, fingerings, strums, and rhythms that should help you get started strumming the ukulele!

Willy MPost Author: Willy M.
Willy M. teaches guitar, ukulele, and mandolin lessons in Winston Salem, NC. He’s the author of the Dead Man’s Tuning series of mandolin songbooks, and is a former member of the American Federation of Musicians. Willy has been teaching for 20 years, and his students have ranged in age from young children to folks in their 80s. Learn more about Willy here!

Photo courtesy WFIU Public Radio

If you need some more help with strumming patterns, make sure to ask your ukulele teacher!

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How to Say “I Love You” in Different Languages

How to Say I Love You in Different Languages There are countless ways to say “I love you” in different languages. While the feeling of love is universal, every culture and language has a unique way of expressing it.

How many other ways are there to express your love to someone? For starters, here are eight unique ways to say “I love you” in different languages.

Now, let’s look at even more ways to say “I love you” in all these other languages besides English, as well as some of the cultural traditions and celebrations of the most beautiful emotion there is – love!

How to Say “I Love You” in Different Languages

How to Say “I Love You” in Spanish

How to say I love you in Spanish

In English, we say “I love you” to our significant others, family, and friends. However, many other languages have variations of the phrase for different situations. For example, in Spanish how you would say “I love you” depends on who you’re addressing.

Spanish Love Phrases

Te quiero – “I love you” or “I care for you.” This phrase is mainly used among friends and family to express affection in non-romantic relationships.

Te amo – “I love you.” This is a more serious way to express your love. Use this phrase to express your love for a romantic interest or spouse.

Spanish Traditions

Culturally, love can be expressed through various rituals and customs. A newer tradition has taken hold in the Spanish city of Seville.

Here, lovers will say “te amo and then symbolize their love by fastening a padlock to the railing of the Isabel II Bridge, and then throwing the keys into the Guadalquivir river below.

Saint Jordi’s Day on April 23rd, the anniversary of the patron saint’s death, is the closest thing to Valentine’s Day in Spain. According to the legend of Saint George, Saint Jordi killed a dragon to save a princess, then plucked a red rose which sprouted from a rose bush on the spot where the dragon’s blood spilled.

It’s a tradition on Saint Jordi’s day for men to give their loved one a red rose, while women give their men a book.


How to Say “I Love You” in French

how to say i love you in french

It’s been said that French is the language of love. Here are some ways to express your affection in French.

French Love Phrases

Je t’aime – “I love you.” This is the strongest way to express your love to someone in French.

Je t’adore – “I adore you.”

Je te desire – “I want you.”

Coup de foudre – Although this translates literally to “a flash of lightning,” this is the French phrase for “love at first sight.”

The French often add terms of endearment to their love phrases, much like we might say “I love you, sweetheart.” For example in French, “Je t’adore ma cherie means “I adore you, my darling.”

Just remember, the possessive adjective has to agree with the gender of the term of endearment.

French Traditions

Just like couples in Seville, the French have a padlock tradition of their own. Lovers flock to the Pont de l’Archevêché, leave a lock to symbolize their love, and throw the key into the Seine river below. This ritual signifies that the couples’ love will last forever.

While the holiday’s true origins are unknown, many people believe Valentine’s Day started in France. Every year on the weekend that falls closest to Valentine’s Day, couples travel to the village of St-Valentin. Some guests have a romantic weekend getaway while others renew their wedding vows.

More: Flirting in French: 25 Head-Turning Phrases You Need to Know


How to Say “I Love You” in German

how to say i love you in german

Much like Spanish, the German language has different levels of saying “I love you” depending on the depth of feeling and the relationship with the person being addressed.

German Love Phrases

Ich habe dich gerne – “I have love for you” or “I care for you.” This is a less serious declaration of adoration.

Ich liebe dich  – “I love you.” This phrase is a more serious pronouncement of romantic love.

Du bist die Liebe meines Lebens – “You are the love of my life.” This is the strongest declaration of love in German.

The Germans are extremely efficient when it comes to love! Men are expected to ask the women for a date and to pay. When a man arrives to pick up his date, he must bring flowers and if she lives with her mother, he must bring her flowers, too.

Finally, tardiness is unforgivable. If you’re running late for a date, you might as well not show up!

German Traditions

Valentine’s Day in Germany is a newer celebration (post World War II), and is generally considered an adult holiday. While you will find the normal gifts and keepsakes you’d find anywhere else, in Germany many of these items also include a pig, which is considered a symbol of luck!

More: Common German Phrases and Etiquette Tips for Dining Out


How to Say “I Love You” in Italian

how to say i love you in italian

Along with the French, Italians are known for their romantic expressions of love. In fact, whether it’s an operatic aria or simply whispering sweet nothings to your lover, many people think the phrase “I love you” is best voiced in Italian.

Italian Love Phrases

There are over a hundred ways to say “I love you” in Italian!  Italians have specific ways of saying the phrase to parents, friends, family members, and of course, a romantic interest.

Here are a few examples. Remember, the English translations are not always literal.

Ti adoro – “I adore you.”

Ti voglio bene – “I care for you” or “I want the best for you.”

Ti amo! – “I love you”

Ti voglio tanto bene – “I love you so much.”

Sei tutto per me – “You are everything to me.”

Senza di te non posso piu vivere – “I can’t live without you.”

Sei il grande amore della mia vita – “You are the love of my life.”

Italian Traditions

Italians have a romantic vision of love and finding “the one,” unlike many cultures where speed dating and matchmakers reign supreme. Men tend to be very complimentary and chivalrous, opening doors and paying for dates, even asking if it’s OK to kiss. Women respond by laughing at a man’s jokes or making clever comebacks when they’re interested. Flirting is an art in Italy and the many ways to say “I love you” prove it.

More: Useful Italian Phrases and Tips for Dating


How To Say “I Love You” in Arabic

how to say i love you in Arabic

The Arabic language has one common variation of “I love you” depending on the gender being addressed.

Arabic Love Phrases

Ana Uhibbuka – “I love you”

Habib Albi – “Love of my heart”

Enta Habibi – “You are my love”

Arabic Traditions

Arranged marriages (arranged by the parents with the children’s consent) are still common in some Arabic-speaking countries. In many Arabic-speaking countries, religion and culture strictly discourage dating prior to marriage.

Similar to other countries, there are several celebrations leading up to a couples’ wedding ceremony including an engagement celebration in the bride’s home, a party to celebrate signing the marriage contract, and Henna night where the bride-to-be and her female friends draw Henna tattoos and enjoy refreshments and dancing.

SEE ALSO: How to Say “Cheers” in Different Languages


How to Say “I Love You” in Mandarin

Say I love You in Chinese Mandarin

Mandarin Love Phrases

Wo duini ganxingqu– “I’m fond of you.”

Wo ai ni – “I love you.”

Wo ai nǐ shengguo yiqie – “I love you more than anything.”

Learn even more Mandarin love phrases here.

Chinese Traditions

According to a blog on dating from YoYo Chinese, Chinese men start thinking about marriage much earlier in the relationship. Despite this intention of dating to marry, they may still take the relationship slowly, and a large number of Chinese couples live and work in different cities.

The Qixi Festival falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month and is a celebration based on the legend of Niu Lang and Zhi Nu.

According to Chinese legend, a supernatural fairy, Zhi Nu, travels to Earth to marry her love, Niu Lang, a kind-hearted farm hand. This upsets the God of Heaven and Zhi Nu is forced to return to Heaven.

Niu Lang travels to Heaven with his children (thanks to the help of celestial cows) in search of his love. The Queen Mother creates a river to separate Zhi Nu from his love.

Niu Lang and Zhi Nu were allowed to reunite only on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, hence the double seventh festival.

The Qixi Festival is celebrated with gifts for loved ones, romantic dinners, and special dates.


How to Say “I Love You” in Japanese

Say I love you in japanese

Japanese Love Phrases

Daisuki desu – “I really like you.” This can be used among friends or playfully between couples.

Aishiteru – “I love you.”

Watashi no isshoo no koibito – “You are the love of my life.”

Japanese Traditions

Arranged marriages are still common in Japan, in fact, approximately 10 percent of all marriages are arranged.

Yui-no is a dinner to celebrate a newly-engaged couple, where the bride and groom-to-be exchange gifts

Japanese weddings often take place in Shintô temples with Japanese architecture like stone dogs and water pavillions. Wedding celebrations have evolved in Japan, and in addition to Shinto traditions, some couples also incorporate Western traditions (like a white wedding dress) in their ceremony. Learn more about Japanese wedding traditions here.


How to Say “I Love You” in Korean

korean

Korean Love Phrases

Sarang hae – “I love you.”

Jugeul mankeum sarang hae – “I love you to death.”

Dangshin-eul geu eotteon geot bodado deo saranghaeyo – “I love you more than anything.”

Learn more romantic Korean phrases here.

Korean Traditions

Along with the national holidays, in South Korea the 14th of each month is a fun, unofficial holiday. In Korea, women give men chocolate as a sign of affection on Valentine’s day. Generally, men will reciprocate this gift and give women chocolate on White Day (March 14th).

There is also Black Day on April 14th, where singles celebrate their lack of a serious relationship. Single friends come together to eat jajangmyeon (black noodles), and wish each other luck in finding that special someone in the coming year.


 

Say I Love you in All Different Languages

 

Now you know how to say “I love you” in many different languages. You also learned about a few different cultures and how they each have their own unique ways of celebrating love, dating, and relationships.

Want to impress someone special, or search for your true love in a faraway land? Learning to speak another language is a great way to do so. Try out the free online language classes at TakeLessons Live to masters the basics of a foreign language and improve your conversational skills.

Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!