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Easy chord songs for uke and guitar?

Northerner 21 Sep 12 - 05:53 AM
GUEST,matt milton 21 Sep 12 - 06:11 AM
Northerner 21 Sep 12 - 06:26 AM
GUEST,Easy 21 Sep 12 - 11:08 AM
Northerner 21 Sep 12 - 01:26 PM
Tootler 21 Sep 12 - 05:52 PM
Northerner 21 Sep 12 - 07:33 PM
Genie 22 Sep 12 - 12:46 AM
Artful Codger 22 Sep 12 - 01:39 AM
Northerner 22 Sep 12 - 04:07 AM
Genie 22 Sep 12 - 04:41 AM
AnneMC 22 Sep 12 - 04:58 AM
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Subject: Easy chord songs for uke and guitar?
From: Northerner
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 05:53 AM

I am learning to play ukulele and guitar (going to classes). The teacher provides us with song sheets. These are OK to practise on in class but I wouldn't want to play them at a folk club as they are very hackneyed and uninspiring. I sing British folk songs, currently unaccompanied. I prefer to have the music as well as the chords and lyrics. I do have a few song books as well as searching for material online. Part of my problem is that I sing contralto so I have to transpose material - sometimes awkward chords. It's frustrating. I'm currently looking for good songs that use the C family that I can play on my uke. I don't need the chord diagrams. Any ideas on ways to make this easier?


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Subject: RE: Easy chord songs for uke and guitar?
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 06:11 AM

I've only very recently bought a uke.

(Banjo and guitar are my main things.)

I more or less instantly found that Wildwood Flower is very easy to play on the uke. OK, so it's not a British folk song, but well worth a go. Cue more knowledgable Mudcatters than me weighing in to point out the English origins of this song or something! :) You can play a really simple version of it just alternating strumming the uke completely openly with a chord that's just one finger on the 2nd fret of the C string and first fret of the E string.


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Subject: RE: Easy chord songs for uke and guitar?
From: Northerner
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 06:26 AM

Thank you Matt. I believe I have come across that one on YouTube. I'll check it out. I will check it out. I don't mind singing a few American songs. I can understand the teachers' needs - they have to cater for students from varied backgrounds and they also don't want to be spending too much money. I think they will be quite happy for me to provide them with occasional songs to use in class provided that they are at the right level for the other students. "Yellow Submarine" is fine in class but I am not going to sing it at a folk club...


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Subject: RE: Easy chord songs for uke and guitar?
From: GUEST,Easy
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 11:08 AM

Yes Wildwood flower carter family song very simple 3 chords. I find British Folk on the whole have rather had chords, especially for arthritic fingers like mine. But for Irish Trad, country and some folk, Martin Dardis's site unitedirelandtripod.ie (0r com?) or just put in martin dardis. Most of the songs have been reduced to simple chords for buskers and 3 chord merchants like me. Also Roughstock Country and Classic country have good sites. One English song I'd reccomend is Sammy's Bar by Cyril Tawney, easy chords and always goes down well for me


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Subject: RE: Easy chord songs for uke and guitar?
From: Northerner
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 01:26 PM

Thank you Easy. I'll check these out. Of course the chords may no longer be easy if I have to transpose the music into another key.


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Subject: RE: Easy chord songs for uke and guitar?
From: Tootler
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 05:52 PM

Diane, here is a list of songs I do in C on ukulele all of which you can do in a folk club.

Blowin' in the Wind
Calico Printer's Clerk
Coulter's Candy
Deportees
Sloop John B
Last Thing on my Mind
Mormond Braes
On Raglan Road
Ramblin' Boy
Down by the Sally Gardens
Whiskey in the Jar
Follow the Heron
Four Pence a Day
So Long it's Been Good to Know You
Jovial Beggarman
She Walk's Alone
Green Banks of Grain

PS I'm conscious I have a PM from you I need to reply to. I will try and deal with it soon.


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Subject: RE: Easy chord songs for uke and guitar?
From: Northerner
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 07:33 PM

Hello Geoff. Thank you, I'll check out those songs. I already have the chords for Blowing In The Wind as I play it in class and it's in the right key for me. I had also discovered that Mormond Braes uses similar chords. I need to check whether the songs are in the right key for my voice. My voice is lower than average. I have a good voice but it is not an average voice. I played guitar when I was younger and found that I needed to transpose every song. When you transpose music you can get some awkward keys. Anyway I'll try the songs on your list. Thank you very much!


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Subject: RE: Easy chord songs for uke and guitar?
From: Genie
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 12:46 AM

Here are some forum threads that may give you some ideas, NorthernerTwo chord songs

seeking two chord songs

two chord songs needed


There are also a LOT of three-chord songs.   Most of Woody Guthrie's songs, many country songs, blues, Gospel and folk ballads -- too many to list. But here are a few easy ones:

Goodnight, Irene
Roll On, Columbia (almost the same melody as "Irene")
This Land Is Your Land
500 Miles
Sixteen Tons
Proud Mary
Four Strong Winds
You Ain't Goin' Nowhere
I'll Fly Away
Keep On The Sunnyside
The Frozen Logger
The Gambler (4 easy chords)
MTA (Wreck Of The Old 97)
Paradise (John Prine)
Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream
I Saw The Light
Margaritaville
Come Back, Paddy Reilly
The Wild Rover
Hobo's Lullaby
Green Rolling Hills Of West Virginia
La Bamba
Cielito Lindo
Red River Valley
Kisses Sweeter Than Wine
On The Wings Of A Dove


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Subject: RE: Easy chord songs for uke and guitar?
From: Artful Codger
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 01:39 AM

There are several threads that list good uke songs and "three-chord" songs. I find that even the 3-chord songs really need a few more transition chords or alternate chords to be musically satisfying, but that doesn't sound like a problem for you.

I find the best songs to start with are the ones I already know (that's hundreds completely by memory and tens of thousands that I know the tunes and major chunks of). Browse through your tunebooks and play through your recording collections, paying attention to the songs you like where there only seem to be a limited number of chords. There are also large song compendiums like (dare I mention it?) Rise Up Singing; most of the songs included have only simple chords.

One reason I like ABC notation is that many ABC converters (like the folkinfo.org ABC Converter) support transposition, which includes transposition of embedded chord names. So you can search Mudcat or folkinfo.org or JC's Tunefinder or The Session or abcnotation.org for suitable songs; they all use ABC extensively (or even exclusively), though often the ABCs have only the dots, not any chord symbols.

If you have lyrics in plain-text form with embedded chords, you can try an online transposing utility such as these:
Tab-Transposer: http://tabtransposer.com/
logue chord changer: http://www.logue.net/xp/

To find a chord for ukulele or other standard 4-string instrument (like mandolin), try this site:
ChordFind.com 4-string chord finder: http://4stringchords.com/
Unlike most online chord utilities I've seen, this one can find chords relative to any starting fret position on the neck. It can also "name that chord" given the fingered fret positions.


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Subject: RE: Easy chord songs for uke and guitar?
From: Northerner
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 04:07 AM

Thank you Genie and Artful Codger. I will look through all those. I will also give this thread a mention when I go to my classes this week as there may well be other students who would enjoy finding some easy songs to practise on.


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Subject: RE: Easy chord songs for uke and guitar?
From: Genie
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 04:41 AM

I agree with the Codger.   There are a lot of ways to make a 2 or 3 chord instrumental background more interesting, with passing cords, modulations (e.g., shifting from the major to the 7th in places), doing melody runs, etc.   
In fact, I had been playing Jambalaya for years before I heard someone mention it had only two chords and discovered it actually did. It's so easy to play the melody on Jambalaya, on guitar in the key of G, anyway, that I seldom actually played the full chords, but mainly did Carter-family style melody runs, sometimes hitting two strings at once.   (It might be harder to do that on a uke or in some other keys.)


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Subject: RE: Easy chord songs for uke and guitar?
From: AnneMC
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 04:58 AM

I found heaps of great free downloadable ukulele song books (with ukulele chord diagrams for learners) simply by entering "ukulele booklet + pdf" in a Google search.
Many ukulele clubs have free pdf song books on their websites.
You don't have to print a whole booklet, just choose the pages that you want.
Also the Chordie web site will give you a lot of songs, and you can select to show the ukulele chord diagrams. Also you can transpose at the site.


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