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Ukulele Tab: Learn To Play Morning Has Broken On Your Ukulele

Aug 17, 2007
An ukulele is used mostly to play chords to songs. But you can also play melodies. Today you will learn to play Morning Has Broken on your ukulele.

"Morning Has Broken" is a Christian hymn. It has often been erroneously attributed to Cat Stevens, who recorded a popular version of the song.

Here is the first verse:

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the world

You don't need to read sheet music to play this song on your ukulele. Instead we will use tablature.

Tablature is a form of musical notation, often with numbers and letters, which tells the player where to place their fingers on a particular instrument rather than which pitches to play.

We will use a form of ukulele tab that is correctly displayed on article sites. You will find the more common ukulele tab notation on my site with guitar tab, ukulele tab and free sheet music.

The four strings on your ukulele is numbered from the one with the highest pitch which is called the first string.

The first string is the one nearest your feet when you hold your ukulele to play. It is normally tuned to an A.

Let't take a look at the first ukulele tab and lyrics in the song Morning Has Broken:

Morning has broken, like the first morning

03 02 32 31 51 21 01 32 01 21 01 32

Now it's time to learn to read this ukulele tab. The first number in the pair tells you what fret to press down and the second number what string to play.

The first note 03 tells you to play on the open third string which means that you play the string without pressing down any fret.

32 means that you press down a left hand finger on the third fret of the second string and play the note.

This type of ukulele tab doesn't tell you the length of the notes. If you sing the lyrics you will probably feel how to play the notes so you will recognize the song.

Itīs time for the next ukulele tab:

Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird

03 23 02 32 01 32 02 03 23

I suggest that you use your left hand index finger to press down the notes on the first fret, your middle finger for the second fret and your ring finger for the notes on the third fret and in this song also on the fifth fret.

Of course you might find it easier to use your left hand index finger for pressing down all notes.

However in the long run you will probably find it easier to play melodies if you get used to this more sophisticated fingering.

The next ukulele tab comes here:

Praise for the singing, praise for the morning

32 02 32 31 01 32 02 03 03 32

By now you know how to interpret ukulele tab so I don't need to help you!

The last line with lyrics and ukulele tab follows:

Praise for the springing fresh from the world

02 23 02 32 01 23 02 23 03

Congratulations! Now you can play Morning Has Broken with ukulele tab!

This type of ukulele tab will work on a guitar too as long as you only use the first three strings as we have done in this melody.

The best thing you can do with this melody is probably to memorize it by learning one line at a time. It is nice to have a repertoire and be able to play melodies anytime and everywhere!
About the Author
Peter Edvinsson is a musician, composer and music teacher. Visit his site Capotasto Music and download your free sheet music and ukulele tab at http://www.capotastomusic.com
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