View Full Version : What was the first song you could play completely from memory?

12-24-2008, 08:27 AM
Just curious, mine was Mary Janes last dance by Tom Petty.

12-24-2008, 08:48 AM
"Mary had a Little L...???" whats the question now???

12-24-2008, 09:32 AM
"Holes to Heaven" by Jack Johnson. There's a sweet live uke version somewhere on the internets, and it was the first song I figured out. :D

12-24-2008, 09:35 AM
Something by the Beatles thanks to Dominator's excellent tab and video tutorials.

12-24-2008, 09:48 AM
I have nearly learned "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen/Jeff Buckley as my first song to play from memory =) . Now I just need to make it sound good

Howlin Hobbit
12-24-2008, 09:58 AM
IIRC it was "Ain't Misbehavin'" but in a different key than I play it in now.

12-24-2008, 10:03 AM
The picking to Supercali. It was required for our ukulele concert when I was taking lessons at Roy Sakuma's but it was pretty fun to memorize. :D

12-24-2008, 10:06 AM
Might have been Blowing In the Wind or some old Irving Berlin song... maybe an Irish tune. That was 1968 or so.

Fred Miu
12-24-2008, 10:18 AM
Somewhere over the rainbow and flake (by jack johnson) now i barely play those songs anymore :(

12-24-2008, 10:52 AM
That would be the first song I was forced to learn by memory because it was for marching band. It was the opener, and it was simply called Concerto for Guitar. Drum Corps fans may know it by it being the '88 Madison Scouts opener. One of the few marching band arrangements with an important, difficult, and meaningful woodwind line. It was a "welcome to the big leagues, stupid freshman" song.

On uke? That would be the easy version of White Sandy Beach and House of the Rising Sun.

12-24-2008, 11:02 AM
Howlin' Hobbits arrangement of "King of the Road". Still play it 'cause it's one of only about three songs I can play.

12-24-2008, 11:08 AM
I started playing the guitar about 15 years ago and the uke about a month ago, so the first song I had comitted to memory was "Mary" by Sublime (on guitar) and my first uke song was "Red, Red Wine" by UB40. :)

12-24-2008, 11:10 AM
The first thing i played from memory was Something Corporate's - "Hurricane". The only reason i could play that from memory is that basicly everytime i pick up a guitar i play it, that and realisticly its only like 5-6 chords.

12-24-2008, 11:12 AM
mine would be fade away from pau hana! I can play it but i suck when it comes to singing lmao

12-24-2008, 03:09 PM
Elephant Town.

12-24-2008, 03:13 PM
^ A classic!

for me it was Sweet Jane.

12-24-2008, 03:18 PM
On Guitar: it was Please Don't Bury Me - John Prine

Uke: Digga Digga Do - Dorthy Fields and Frankie and Johnnie - Folk song. Had to learn them at the same time for a show at our yearly Professional Development day lunch band back in Feb 07

Man I struggled to learn them by heart. It was hard to learn the lyrics.

Now I hate to play from sheet music. One thing for sure, if you want tolearn a song by heart don't stare at the music, does no good. I think it actually works against you .

I just can't beleive how much easier it is to learn them now. In the last week I've learned: I've Got my Love to Keep me Warm, Jingle Bell Rock, Mekle Kalikimaka, Jingle Bells Hawaiian Style, Ain't She Sweet chord solo, Santa Clause is Coming to Town, Blue Christmas, and We wish you a Merry Christmas.

12-24-2008, 03:38 PM
I'm pretty sure mine was...
First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes.

12-24-2008, 04:21 PM
Happy Birthday in C.

12-24-2008, 04:50 PM
Ahead On Our Way(FFVII song). The first and only song I can play completely from memory. I'm not very good with remembering songs.

12-24-2008, 07:44 PM
Pirate Looks at 40 - Jimmy Buffett

Kaneohe til the end
12-24-2008, 08:27 PM
Surf by Ka'au Crater Boys on the uke from Roy Sakumas.

Guitar was Stand By Me by Ben E King and Put Your Lights On by Santana and Everlast

12-24-2008, 10:39 PM
Future 86 by Bomb the Music Industry

somebody did the chords here, i forget who.

but once i saw that i had to learn to sing and play it.

12-25-2008, 01:51 AM
It was either Gloria (Shadows of Knight version) or Louie Louie (Kingsmen), both learned when I got my first guitar in the mid 1960s. Three glorious chords apiece.

After that came a few rock and roll pieces; In My Room by the Beach Boys, Midnight Hour by Wilson Pickett, that sort of thing. And some Bob Dylan pieces, too. I was in garage band for a couple of years back then, doing mostly Top 40 stuff.

On the ukulele? Hmmm. Songs I didn't already know on the guitar.... Maybe Tiptoe Through the Tulips? Most likely. Followed by When the Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin Along, Georgia on My Mind, Ain't She Sweet, Fly Me to the Moon, and a few others.

12-25-2008, 03:36 AM
5 foot 2 Eyes of Blue:)

12-27-2008, 11:25 AM
Strumming? Dream a Little Dream of Me.
Picking? The Ash Grove -- arranged by Ken Middleton.

And actually those are still the only ones I have memorized.

12-28-2008, 03:56 AM
Tonight You Belong To Me was the first and only one for years until I got a proper uke and learned Baby On Board from the Simpsons and Dream a Little Dream of Me. Those are still the ones I resort to when I cant think what else to play.

12-28-2008, 03:58 AM
The first song I ever learned to play completely from memory was "Silver Bells." I learned to play it on my step-dad's keyboard when I was 6.

My first song on ukulele was "In Case We Die" by Folk Uke. Rich had learned to play it, and it looked so fun that I kept taking his uke away so I could learn to play it too.

I think the first thing Rich memorized was the 12-bar blues. That was so I could jam with him on my harmonica (which is why he got started on the uke in the first place). :cool:

12-28-2008, 04:43 AM
First song ever was probalby Mr. Roboto by Styx for marching band. Learned the song and all the steps on the field.

But first song on the uke was Five Foot Two. It was the only song I ever knew. And I did a pretty good job singing it too!

12-28-2008, 04:18 PM

taught by bob brosman.

i think thats how you spell it lol.

12-28-2008, 06:51 PM
its been a year and a couple days and I havent memorized anything.

12-28-2008, 08:57 PM

12-28-2008, 09:58 PM
I was at a rock and blues jam night, and I asked if I could get up and sing with my uke. I got a laugh when I first got up, I was only going to just muck about and do a couple of verses of hey joe, but change the lyric to "I'm gonna shoot my old lady, I caught messing with my ukulele".
but I was sooo nervous and shaking I couldnt remember anything or play any chords.
so I went into autopilot and played "I cant help falling in love with you"
I only managed to sing three words "wise men say" before the whole pub joined in and carried me thru the whole song. nobody knew I played the uke before that night and now I am known as the guy with the "little guitar"?????

I dont care how bad anyone is at playing or singing, if they have the balls to get up in front of a crowd and go for it, they get my thumbs up

just in case you are interested my profile picture was taken during the above performance



12-28-2008, 11:02 PM
No one laughs at blues on the uke our local pub hangout. In fact, you're a heathen of try such things on guitar.

I forget that when talking to non-uke people, and I get "the smile."

12-29-2008, 01:27 AM
but I was sooo nervous and shaking I couldnt remember anything or play any chords....

Wow. That surprises me. In all your live vids, you seem like you were born to be on a stage.

12-29-2008, 02:36 AM
Wow :) So many good songs!

My first memorized song would have to be "Island in the Sun" by Weezer...

The first 'picking' piece I've memorized would be.... The intro to Sweet Child of Mine by Guns and Roses. :)

12-29-2008, 10:49 AM
Wow. That surprises me. In all your live vids, you seem like you were born to be on a stage.

its all smoke and mirrors,
ive got better since that night, thankfully

12-29-2008, 10:57 AM
From memory 'Happy Days and Lonely Nights' Fred Fisher/Billy Rose - still playing it 20 years later

12-29-2008, 11:36 AM
float on by modest mouse

12-29-2008, 11:44 AM
Weird choice but there it is....

It was that or something by Phil Ochs. :^)

12-29-2008, 03:17 PM
NO LIE! I KID YOU NOT HERE FOLKS! Gently Weeps! no joke i was so determined and only worked on that damn song for about a month! but got it down!

09-19-2009, 09:44 PM
Ka Pua U'i

Took me a little practice to get the strumming (up/down/up/downchuck-after the intro D7/G7/C/G7). One of my favorite song to play AND sing.

Aloha wau ia o`e ku`uipo,
Ku`u lei momi ku milimili,
Ho ka heke o`e o na pua,
Ake ku`u puna ahe ihi po`i nei

09-19-2009, 09:55 PM
Mine was U-S-E-D. Like alot of local-808 bruddahs.:spam:

09-20-2009, 04:47 AM
Ka Pua U'i

Took me a little practice to get the strumming (up/down/up/downchuck-after the intro D7/G7/C/G7). One of my favorite song to play AND sing.

Aloha wau ia o`e ku`uipo,
Ku`u lei momi ku milimili,
Ho ka heke o`e o na pua,
Ake ku`u puna ahe ihi po`i nei

Since galta posted the first verse, here's the rest of Ka Pua U'i (The Beautiful Flower) written by Bina Mossman . . . and a vid of Iz's version (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rj1xd87d5qA). I didn't realize how old this thread is . . .

Aloha wau ia `oe ku`uipo
Ku`u lei momi ku`u milimili
O ka heka `oe ona pua
O ke kupuna a`e hi`i poi nei

Hau`oli ka mana`o ke `ike aku
Kou maka palupalu e ke aloha
He aloha i pili ia ika pu`uwai
Ahe lei hi`ehi`e na ka makua

Puana ka inoa o ku`uipo
Ku`u lei nani lei maka mae
He nohea oe i ku`u maka
E ka pua u`i oe o na lani

09-20-2009, 05:01 AM
Amazing Grace. the easy version by Uke Doc on the Internet.

09-20-2009, 08:03 AM
Ain't She Sweet.

But I wasn't content with learning it by heart -- I made up a few bawdy verses, for example, the following:

Ain't she grand?
You know, she slept with the whole band,
She said one-two-three-four, all together now,
Ain't she grand?

I'll get me coat.

09-20-2009, 10:46 AM
"If I needed someone". Beatles/harrison.

09-22-2009, 05:20 AM
The first song I could play and sing, at the same time, on the uke was "Sweet Pea" by Amos Lee.

09-22-2009, 06:50 AM
piano forte. reason? no words :D Like Aldrine, I am horrible with lyrics

09-22-2009, 07:53 AM
I am so bad with lyrics. The only song I can play front to back with no lyrics sheet is my originals, and only 5 or 6 out of the 15-20 or so.

09-22-2009, 08:02 AM
Amazing Grace

09-22-2009, 08:10 AM
UKULELE: Five Foot Two

KEYBOARDS: Seven Tears by the Goombay Dance Band

DRUMS: Alive by Pearl Jam

09-22-2009, 10:26 AM
why my own composition of course!! other than that my friends uke song "watching you" which is his original...

09-22-2009, 10:27 AM
The National Anthem (USA).

09-23-2009, 12:01 AM
Somewhere over the rainbow (without the lyric)
and it was today :D
i'm new on this thing

09-23-2009, 01:40 AM
Never really learnt a full song ever - i just love playing little riffs of songs.

Saying that I used to be able play these boots were made for walking on the bass guitar - does that count?



09-23-2009, 02:35 AM
I'm terrible for remembering lyrics, I don't think I can perform anything in full without a lyric-sheet infront of me.
Instrumentals though - Alvin Okami's 'Intonation Rhapsody' was the first I could do in full without assistance.

09-23-2009, 02:41 AM
The first thing that I could play from memory on a uke was my own composition.

The second was Peter Gunn. :)

09-23-2009, 08:27 AM
On the uke? My dog has fleas.

10-23-2009, 11:37 AM
Wait in Vain - Bob Marley
just that main riff that everyone seems to recognize.

First time I saw it on youtube I was obsessed with getting a uke and learning that part I still play it today :D


10-23-2009, 12:23 PM
"Little brown jug"
was my first from a song book, i think it's from the 1940's:confused:
three chords perfect!

10-23-2009, 12:27 PM
Ballad of Gilligan's Isle-Ron
Ode to Joy- Jeanne

10-23-2009, 01:33 PM
Build me up buttercup was my first uke song, and while I'm at it, Hallelujah was my first guitar song. :)

10-23-2009, 02:24 PM
On uke? Daniel Johnston's "Funeral Home". Three chords is all you need!

10-23-2009, 02:39 PM
Somewhere Over the Rainbow- Bruddah Iz

Da silent uke
10-23-2009, 03:49 PM
My first song was Oh it is love

Ukulele Buddy
11-16-2009, 04:24 PM
FLOAT ON- by modest mouse cause it was easy:D

11-17-2009, 03:28 AM
1st song ever: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
1st song on Uke: Mighty To Save by Hillsong

11-17-2009, 03:49 AM
On ukulele 'Five Foot Two'
On Guitar (many years ago in a galaxy far away)
Bob Dylan's 'I Want You'
On Harmonica 'She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain'

11-17-2009, 04:37 AM
Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett!

11-17-2009, 05:15 AM
"Ukulele Lady" was my first song.

A song I first heard on The Muppet Show!

11-17-2009, 05:17 AM
Has anyone seen my Gal Was my first. Still play it out at the old folks homes.

11-17-2009, 05:32 AM
Raindrops keep falling

11-17-2009, 07:14 AM
Outside of all the stuff you did in elementary school, a lot of which was very cool, the first actual song was "Born Under A Bad Sign," by Cream in '72. Of course once we figured that out, it automatically meant we knew a few hundred more songs and we did our first "gig" a week later, all blues rock by a bunch of 13 & 14 year olds! Wish I had THAT on a tape somewhere!:rock:

11-17-2009, 07:20 AM
"This Land Is Your Land"

11-17-2009, 12:08 PM
IZ - Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Fun song to learn after I learned how to Chuck it made the song better for me. I learned the hard way to play it for a beginner, hit G then strum chuck in the middle of that hit G again strum then change chords and whatever.

11-17-2009, 06:04 PM
"Don't Look Back In Anger" by Oasis...once I realized I had it, I think I played it for 2 weeks straight just walking around the house, or going getting the mail, or while cooking dinner... :)

11-17-2009, 07:29 PM
Outside of all the stuff you did in elementary school, a lot of which was very cool, the first actual song was "Born Under A Bad Sign," by Cream in '72. Of course once we figured that out, it automatically meant we knew a few hundred more songs and we did our first "gig" a week later, all blues rock by a bunch of 13 & 14 year olds! Wish I had THAT on a tape somewhere!:rock:

If we're talking first song, probably "Hot Cross Buns" or "Mary Had A Little Lamb."

If we're talking first ukulele song..."House of the Rising Sun" (Animals version) or maybe "Wayfaring Stranger" (Johnny Cash version). I knew other songs, but not completely.

The first song I actually played was the "F.U.N. Song" as featured on Sponge-bob Squarepants. lol.