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Ukulele Lesson: Amazing Grace Instruction

Feb 25, 2008
In this lesson you will learn to play Amazing Grace on your ukulele. I will instruct you on how to play the melody and you will also learn to use an easy form of ukulele tablature.

It is very common to use the uke as a chord instrument to singing. Many ukulele chords are easy to play and the sound from strumming chords on an ukulele are very nice to hear.

It is not as common to play melodies on the uke but it is really quite easy to do. In this ukulele lesson I will show you how to play Amazing Grace with an easy instruction on how to place your left hand fingers on the frets and on which strings to play.

I will also use an easy form of tablature notation that will help you find your way around your ukulele guitar. Guitar tablature or guitar tab is very common on the internet. It is a notational system with six lines representing the strings on a guitar and numbers on the lines indicating which frets to press down.

On some sites you will find ukulele tablature which works the same way. The only difference is that ukulele tabs have four lines as an ukulele usually has four strings.

In this lesson I will use a special form of ukulele tab notation that only uses numbers. I call this notation number tabs. in this notation every note is notated with two numbers. The first number tells you which fret to play and the second number which string to play.

In order to use this tablature notation and my instruction you have to know which string is the first string on your ukulele. The first string is the bottom string on your uke when you play.

No it is time to play Amazing Grace. I will show you the lyrics to the melody one line at a time and the corresponding number tabs below the lyrics and supplemented with an instruction on how to play the notes.

Here is the first line with ukulele tab and instruction:

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound

03 12 01 12 01 32 12 23 03

Play the open third string (an open string is a string you play without pressing down a fret), first fret second string, open first string, first fret second string, open first string. Then play third fret second string, first fret second string, second fret third string and finally the open third string.

That saved a wretch like me

03 12 01 12 01 32 01 31

By now you probably understand the ukulele tabs I use so I will omit the instruction. Let us continue with the next lines of lyrics and ukulele tablature notation:

I once was lost, but now am found

01 31 01 12 01 32 12 23 03

Was blind, but now I see

03 12 01 12 01 32 12

Here are some final suggestions as you try to learn the melody:

1. Learn the melody by heart working on one line of the melody at a time.

2. Try to use your left hand index finger to play the notes on the first fret, your middle finger to play the notes on the second fret and you ring finger to play the notes on the third fret.

3. Experiment with the notes 03 23 02 12 32 01 11 and 31 and try to create your own melodies or figure out easy popular melodies by yourself.
About the Author
Peter Edvinsson is a musician, composer and music teacher. He invites you to download your free ukulele tablature sheet music at http://www.capotastomusic.com
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