Monthly Archives: June 2014

Fine Arts Camper Requests

Last week I posted songbooks listing lyrics and chords for easy children’s songs, many of which we are playing in ukulele classes at Juneau Fine Arts Camp this month.  There have been some camper requests this past week, so I am posting links for them as promised.

Last summer, Trevor came to ukulele for all 4 weeks. When he returned this summer, he was still strumming the chords to Five Years Time by Noah and the Whale,  almost always at break-neck speed. It is a fun strumming pattern with a mute/beat in the middle that is very appealing to the older kids. Lyrics & chords are available at Ukulele Hunt. This song is a good one for practicing the transitions between C – F – G – F, and is a chord progression that works for other songs, like Twist & Shout, Labamba, Wild Thing, Louie, Louie,and Get Off of My Cloud. Only three chords and you practically have a busking set!

Owen, who is new this year to ukulele, asked me to look up the song Wonderwall, by Oasis. Happily,  the tabs provided on Ultimate Guitar had fairly easy chords (Am,C,G,D, and F), so we were able to give it a go with the 4th -6th graders. In looking up ukulele chords for the song, I happened upon this ukulele cover/tutorial posted by DerMoppelt on YouTube with a neat chord progression using variations on the G chord.

Elena performed and taught us all Speak Now, by Taylor Swift (tabs). A couple other easier pop songs for these guys are:  Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men (tabs);  Somebody That I Used to Know (official) by Gotye (tabs) or a fun ukulele team cover; and last summer’s favorite, Hey Soul Sister by Train (tabs).  These tab links are from, a site with a helpful feature that allows you to transpose up or down by half steps until you find chords that you can play. Of course, the chords you can play are not always in a key you can sing, so choose your poison.

Finally, for Noah, E Huli Makou by David Chung.  This song is included in the 3-chord songbook, but since it is not a familiar one, I am giving a few more resources for those kids who want to keep working on it and parents who want to help them. Chords & lyrics (along with chord charts) are at , and  a translation and history of the lyrics (with a few different verses) can be found at To hear the song and get a feel for the strumming pattern and Hawaiian pronunciation, watch it performed by Kealoha at 808ukejams (note: he  plays the G7 and C7 during “Ke Aloha”  instead of the NC – no chord – pause we have been playing in class.) The kids have all learned the hula to this song, too. You can see them in action on the Fine Arts Camp Facebook Page.

As always, everyone is welcome the Sunday ukulele jams at TK Maguire’s lounge, from 11-ish-1-ish.  Bring copies of songs you want to play, unless you would rather perform solos!

Ukulele Keiki: Juneau Fine Arts Camp, June 2014

The first week of Juneau Fine Arts Camp was a resounding success, with about 30 kids coming to ukulele classes to sing, strum and dance. If you have a child entering Kindergarten through 6th grade in need of fun, artsy things to do during the next three weeks, you should check it out.

FAC wk1

Concentrating on a new chord

In honor of these newest recruits, I am posting 2- and 3-chord songs, many of which we played during camp. Thanks to Amy for turning me on to Songsheet Generator, a program that formats the chords exactly where you want them over the lyrics in a song along with a graphic of the chords at the bottom of the page. The chord graphic doesn’t show up in the songbooks below, but there are plenty of chord charts available online. Many of these songs and more be found on Dr.Uke’s Beginners page.

For those adults who are learning to play and have young children in your lives, you may find this list useful as well. I picked up the ukulele again after a 20-year break so that I could play for my son. He now plays ukulele and guitar with much greater facility than his mother -consider yourself warned!

In addition to the beginner songbooks below, we are going to try something new for the weekly ukulele jams. The 2nd Sunday Jam of each month will be dedicated to beginners and those wanting to work on easier chords and at a slower pace. We meet at TK Maguire’s restaurant in the Prospector Hotel (near KTOO and the State Museum contruction site). If you want to eat breakfast before you play, come before noon. We will play from 11:30 until about 1:30 or 2, or until our fingers get sore.  Of course, all are welcome on any Sunday, regardlesss of ability. And now for the songs….

2-Chord Children’s Songs

3-Chord Children’s Songs

4 or more Chord easy Children’s Songs