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Ukulele Tabs: Learn To Play Clementine

Mar 25, 2008
In this ukulele lesson you will learn to play an easy American melody. You will not need to know sheet music but instead you will learn to use easy ukulele tab notation. I will show you how to put your fingers on your ukulele!

Ukulele tablature will help you to put your fingers on the right frets in order to play a melody or something else on your ukulele. The ukulele tab notation I will use in this lesson are based on numbers. Every note is represented by two numbers. The first number telling you which fret to play and the second number indicating the string.

We will start with the first line of lyrics and the corresponding ukulele tablature notation:

In a cavern, in a canyon

12 12 12 03 01 01 01 12

12 means, play the first fret on the second string. The strings are numbered from the string with the highest pitch which will be the bottom string when you play. 03 means that you play the open third string, that is, play the third string without pressing down a fret.

Let us continue with the melody:

excavating for a mine

12 01 31 31 11 01 32

Try to use your left hand index finger to play the notes on the first fret, your middle finger for the notes on the second fret and your ring finger for the third fret. This will maybe feel a bit awkward at first but will help you a lot when you get used to it.

Time for the next line of lyrics

Dwelt a miner, forty-niner

32 01 11 11 01 32 01 12

And his daughter Clementine

12 01 32 03 02 32 12

In the refrain you will use the same melody so you only need to repeat the melody above. I will notate the melody for your convenience:

Oh my darling, oh my darling

12 12 12 03 01 01 01 12

Oh my darling, Clementine

12 01 31 31 11 01 32

Thou art lost and gone forever

32 01 11 11 01 32 01 12

Dreadful sorry, Clementine

12 01 32 03 02 32 12

I guess the best way to learn this melody on your ukulele is to practice one line at a time, learning it by heart.

If you are interested in learning two easy chords that you can use if you want to sing the melody or play it together with someone else I suggest that you use the F-major chord and C7 chord. I will show you the chords by using the same notation as I used previously. The only difference is that you are to strum the four notes after the chord name:

F-major: 24 03 12 01

C7: 04 03 02 11

You can start with the F-major chord as you sing the lyrics and change to C7 when you come to the word "mine". Then you change back to F-major when you come to "tine" in Clementine.

The name of the chords depends on how you tune your ukulele but this does not matter as long as you do not play together with other instruments.

If you want to tune your ukulele according to the chord names your first string should be an A, your second string an E, the third string a C and the fourth string a G.

When you play the chords you can use the same fingerings that I mentioned for the melody.

If you could find someone else to play ukulele together with you I guess you will have a nice time!
About the Author
Peter Edvinsson invites you to download your free ukulele tabs and ukulele lessons at http://www.capotastomusic.com
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