Fingerpicking “Children” Songs

Cherlene

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Have a new practice partner that will happily hang out and let me practice as long as I wish. But only if I sing as well as play… My current selection of age appropriate songs is nonexistent, and would rather she did not sing rowdy sailor songs on the playground as her first words. As that is my only book with lyrics, everything else I have is instrumental only.

Anyone have suggestions for where to find children's songs that are more difficult to play? Every time I look end up am finding only the “easy songs for kids to play”. The fact that I still need tabs makes the search a little harder as well.
 

donboody

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Have a new practice partner that will happily hang out and let me practice as long as I wish. But only if I sing as well as play… My current selection of age appropriate songs is nonexistent, and would rather she did not sing rowdy sailor songs on the playground as her first words. As that is my only book with lyrics, everything else I have is instrumental only.

Anyone have suggestions for where to find children's songs that are more difficult to play? Every time I look end up am finding only the “easy songs for kids to play”. The fact that I still need tabs makes the search a little harder as well.
I do free kids shows and I would love such a resource. I do not have one right now.
 

bbkobabe

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Try the internet! I worked out some of the songs from the movie Encanto, which are both beautiful and challenging. Try Dos Oroguitos... It has a really sweet melody, and all of the kids have heard it! Move on to We don't talk about Bruno...

There is also a FUNNY SONGS section in Rise up Singing and Rise Again! if you have access to those books... Lots of age appropriate choices for your playground audiences!
 
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Jim Yates

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Here are a couple I have played with kids. Sorry there's no tab, but chords and lyrics:

SKINNAMARINK - I'm not sure who wrote it, but Sharon, Lois & Bram popularised it.

[C] Skinnamarinky [Cdim] dinky dink [C] Skinnamarinky [Cdim] doo [C] I [Cdim] love [G7] you
[Dm] Skinnamarinky [G7] dinky dink [Dm] Skinnamarinky [G7] doo [Dm] I [G7] love [C] you [G7]
I [C] love you in the [C7] morning and [F] in the afternoon
I [D7] love you in the evening [G7] underneath the moon

[C] Skinnamarinky [Cdim] dinky dink [C] Skinnamarinky [A7] doo [D7] I [G7] love [C] you

THE VEGETABLE SONG (THE BARNYARD DANCE) Carl Martin

It was (F) late one (C) night by the (F) pale moon(C)light, all the vegetables (G7) gave a (C) spree;

They (F) put out a (C) sign said the (F) dancing's at (C) nine and (D7) all the admissions were (G7) free,
There was (F) peas and (C) greens and (F) cabbage and (C) beans; it was the biggest crowd you (G7) ever did (C) see;
And when (D7) old man cucumber (Db7) struck up that (D7) number you (G7) should have heard those (Gdim) vegetables (G7) scream
Oh the (A7) little turnip top was doin' the backwards flop the (D7) cabbage did the shimmy, she (Db7) couldn't (D7) stop
the (G7) little red beet (Gdim) shook its (G7) feet and the (C) watermelon died of the cockeyed heat;
(A7) little tomato, agitator, (D7) shook the shimmy with the (Db7)sweet po(D7)tato
And (F) old man (Fmi) garlic dropped (C)dead of the (A7) colic
(D7) down at the (G7) barnyard (C) dance this (A7)morning.

(D7) down at the (G7) barnyard (C) dance.
 

SurferJay

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If you know C Major, F Major, G Major & A minor you can likely play any kids song that exists.

If you want to take it up a level work out the melody separately then add them together for a finger style composition..
 

man0a

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She asked for instrumental fingerpicking songs and everyone responded with sing-along songs. I guess that is usually what happens when people ask for help with fingerpicking.

Here is the easiest set of fingerpicking tabs that I know of. Many of them are traditional children's songs (short melodies that are still recognizable at slow speeds). Once you teach the kids the basic melodies for these songs, you can add fancier techniques around the basic melodies
https://www.capotastomusic.com/ukulele-sheet-music/tabs.htm
 

Cherlene

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Thank you for all the help! I now have a better idea of where to find fun age appropriate songs. Was also useful to find out that I can have either sing-a-long style or more interesting to play, but not both for ready made sheet music.
 

ploverwing

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She asked for instrumental fingerpicking songs and everyone responded with sing-along songs. I guess that is usually what happens when people ask for help with fingerpicking.
I didn't realize there was a distinction. I fingerpick all of my singalong songs - I turn them into arpeggios, I can't stand strumming an entire song. I also try to figure out the melody line and try to incorporate that if I can (but not always successfully). I take anything with chord progressions and find a picking rhythm that works well. I apologize @Cherlene I should have specified that. Lara Markowitz on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/c/LaraMarkowitzMusic/videos) has some beautiful fingerstyle arrangements for many popular songs; you may find some that work for your requirements? If you do, you can become a Patron on her Patreon site and get access to a lot of stuff.
 

Cherlene

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I didn't realize there was a distinction. I fingerpick all of my singalong songs - I turn them into arpeggios, I can't stand strumming an entire song. I also try to figure out the melody line and try to incorporate that if I can (but not always successfully). I take anything with chord progressions and find a picking rhythm that works well. I apologize @Cherlene I should have specified that. Lara Markowitz on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/c/LaraMarkowitzMusic/videos) has some beautiful fingerstyle arrangements for many popular songs; you may find some that work for your requirements? If you do, you can become a Patron on her Patreon site and get access to a lot of stuff.
All good, I did not explain well what I am looking for. My problem is that strumming songs get boring fast, but I am really bad at improvising/seeing the extra notes not on the page to embellish. Using arpeggios instead of strumming is a really fun way to add to a song!! Will have to try that as well as check out that YouTube channel.
 

ploverwing

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All good, I did not explain well what I am looking for. My problem is that strumming songs get boring fast, but I am really bad at improvising/seeing the extra notes not on the page to embellish. Using arpeggios instead of strumming is a really fun way to add to a song!! Will have to try that as well as check out that YouTube channel.
Oh my goodness, yes, strumming gets boring SO FAST (for me). I found that out pretty much week 2 of my ukulele journey. Yes, there are a lot of amazing strum patterns, and they sound incredible when done well, but I much prefer fingerstyle, personally. I do find that strumming in a jam session, though, is the way to go, since I'm still not there yet to grab an appropriate fingerstyle if I'm struggling with just forming the chords.
 

Cherlene

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Oh my goodness, yes, strumming gets boring SO FAST (for me). I found that out pretty much week 2 of my ukulele journey. Yes, there are a lot of amazing strum patterns, and they sound incredible when done well, but I much prefer fingerstyle, personally. I do find that strumming in a jam session, though, is the way to go, since I'm still not there yet to grab an appropriate fingerstyle if I'm struggling with just forming the chords.
YES!! Very much so!! Listening to others play/using the intricate strum patterns sounds really amazing. When I do it is fun to learn, then back to boring because I am still doing the same thing over and over and over again. Glad that I am not the only one that feels this way.
 

ploverwing

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YES!! Very much so!! Listening to others play/using the intricate strum patterns sounds really amazing. When I do it is fun to learn, then back to boring because I am still doing the same thing over and over and over again. Glad that I am not the only one that feels this way.
No you are not the only one. It's one reason I'm learning to play classical style.
 

Jim Yates

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She asked for instrumental fingerpicking songs and everyone responded with sing-along songs. I guess that is usually what happens when people ask for help with fingerpicking.

Here is the easiest set of fingerpicking tabs that I know of. Many of them are traditional children's songs (short melodies that are still recognizable at slow speeds). Once you teach the kids the basic melodies for these songs, you can add fancier techniques around the basic melodies
https://www.capotastomusic.com/ukulele-sheet-music/tabs.htm
I only looked at three of those tabs, but none of those were finger-picking arrangements. They tabbed the bare melody.
Cherlene said that she presently only played instrumentals, but would like songs with lyrics.
 
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Cherlene

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This lady has been helping children for a long time and even has some content in the Smithsonian.

Also look up Marcy Marxer and Cathy Fink
Had not heard of any of those artist before! And that also solves the finding cds geared at kids that I would not mind listening to once let alone 1,000 times.
 

ploverwing

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Had not heard of any of those artist before! And that also solves the finding cds geared at kids that I would not mind listening to once let alone 1,000 times.

For kids music that doesn't get overwhelmingly nauseating, the Ranky Tanky album is truly a gem; we listen to it still, and my daughter is now 12. We sing a bunch of songs off of it, too (although I've not yet tried to turn any of them into ukulele practice, I've lately been considering Tom Petty's Wildflowers). I've also always enjoyed Caspar Babypants music (same thing - it's fun to listen to without being exhausting). It may be worthwhile to check out your local library: we would peruse their CD section, borrow things that looked potentially interesting, then return them. If we liked them (like Ranky Tanky), I'd purchase a copy for our use. I also really enjoy the Rough Guide to World Music series for kids. Again, fun music, interesting to listen to on repeat; plus, if you get your listener interested in world music, it's really easy to slip in music that's not specific to kids but that has similar sound. My daughter really enjoys Mali blues, kora, Arabic, folk music from Europe, Carribean beats ... all because we listened to these Rough Guides when she was younger, she's open to (and interested in) a lot of different styles now.
 

Jim Yates

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My kids (now 46) enjoyed LPs by:
-Ken & Chris Whiteley's Junior Jug Band,
-Pete Seeger's story songs (The Foolish Frog, Abyoyo),
-Cathy Fink, Duck Donald & Peter Paul Van Camp
-Fred Penner
-Shel Silverstein
-Sharon, Lois & Bram
-Eric Nagler
-Paul Caldwell & Brad Halls- New Kids On The Block (Brad and Paul were using this name before the famous boy band)

New Kids On The Block.jpg
One of the kids on this cassette is Sue Passmore, 1/3 of The Good Lovelies.
 

Cherlene

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Why I did not think to ask fellow musicians for suggestions on good children’s cds before I have no idea! We will have lots of good choices now. Much appreciated!