Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23

Thread: 2 chord songs for beginners

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Coastal SC
    Posts
    1,868

    Default 2 chord songs for beginners

    I am holding a ukulele class at a retirement home. I decided to teach them F and C first to gets folks able to play a few songs quickly. The plan is to teach them G/G7 after they have acquired some strumming and fretting skills. It always seems like G/G7 is the biggest obstacle​ when folks get started. The idea is to get them enjoying the uke before they cross that hurdle.

    Any suggestions on songs folks age 75++ would be familiar with that use the 1 and 5 chords in their key would be appreciated. We played Jambalaya and Dey all asked for you the first class.

    As an aside, one student had self taught herself and was pretty good. She started playing at 92! I stayed after to show her some advanced stuff as she was bored. Said she was born in the 1920s.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Wiltshire, UK
    Posts
    547

    Default

    Well done! I'll be playing some songs at a retirement home myself soon, and contemplating the very real possibility that some of my audience may have played ukulele themselves in the 1930s and be somewhat better than me at it! I also find it strange to think that many of the songs I enjoy playing (from the 1920s and 1930s) might be 'before the time' of anyone in the audience younger than 90 or so.

    Anyway, I digress. The two songs that come to my mind are Clementine (In a cavern in a canyon excavating for a mine...) which can be played with only F and C7, and "Row, Row, Row you're boat" which can be played with just one (C) chord.

    Code:
    In a [F] cavern, in a canyon, excavating for a [C7] mine,
    lived a miner ‘forty-[F]niner, and his [C7] daughter Clemen-[F]tine.
    Oh my [F] darling, oh my darling, oh my darling Clemen-[C7]tine!
    You are lost and gone for-[F]ever, dreadful [C7] sorry Clemen-[F]tine!
    
    Light she [F] was and, like a fairy, and her shoes were number [C7] nine;
    herring boxes, without [F] topses, sandals [C7] were for Clemen-[F]tine.
    Oh my [F] darling, oh my darling, oh my darling Clemen-[C7]tine!
    You are lost and gone for-[F]ever, dreadful [C7] sorry Clemen-[F]tine!
    
    Drove she [F] ducklings to the water, every morning just at [C7] nine;
    hit her foot against a [F] splinter, fell in-[C7]to the foaming [F] brine.
    Oh my [F] darling, oh my darling, oh my darling Clemen-[C7]tine!
    You are lost and gone for-[F]ever, dreadful [C7] sorry Clemen-[F]tine!
    
    Ruby [F] lips above the water blowing bubbles soft and [C7] fine;
    but alas I was no [F] swimmer, so I [C7] lost my Clemen-[F]tine.
    Oh my [F] darling, oh my darling, oh my darling Clemen-[C7]tine!
    You are lost and gone for-[F]ever, dreadful [C7] sorry Clemen-[F]tine!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    1,932

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jimavery View Post
    Well done! I'll be playing some songs at a retirement home myself soon, and contemplating the very real possibility that some of my audience may have played ukulele themselves in the 1930s and be somewhat better than me at it! I also find it strange to think that many of the songs I enjoy playing (from the 1920s and 1930s) might be 'before the time' of anyone in the audience younger than 90 or so
    I'd be wary of the assumption that residents of old folks homes want to hear the tunes your (great-)grandparents liked (anyone who was playing ukulele in the 1930s was likely born sometime between 1910 & 1920!). Most folks in their 80s were teenagers in the '50s. More than likely it's "Rock Around the Clock" they'll want to play, not some old tune of their parents!!

    With that in mind, my recommendation would be two Chuck Berry songs (who was 90 when he died, remember?!!): You never can tell (just C and G7 round and round), and Memphis Tennessee (just G & D - in the original. Easily transposable into C & F).

    2017-75=1942.
    1942+16=1958 - the year 'Sweet Little Sixteen' was released!
    Last edited by redpaul1; 04-05-2017 at 09:14 AM. Reason: Transposition! And sums!
    Argapa custom piccolo | Argapa custom resonator soprano | Rob Collins custom soprano | Kavanagh custom concert | Ashton sop. | Clearwater SB electric concert | Kala PU-SSTU travel sopranissimo | Kala PU-SMH sopranissimo | Kala SSTU-BP soprano | Kala C/MU concert "The Mighty Uke"! | Kala SSTU-C concert | Kala SSTU-T tenor | Korala UKS-310 sop | Harley Benton BCJ100-FMH SB electric baritone | Lanikai S-B Baritone | Clearwater "long neck" baritone | Maholo sop. | Tiny Tangi

    Too Drunk To Pluck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    1,932

    Default

    Also, from 1955/1956*, the Weavers: "Pay me my money down". D & A round and round - but again easily transposable into C & G.



    *Released '56. Recorded live at Carnegie Hall '55.
    Argapa custom piccolo | Argapa custom resonator soprano | Rob Collins custom soprano | Kavanagh custom concert | Ashton sop. | Clearwater SB electric concert | Kala PU-SSTU travel sopranissimo | Kala PU-SMH sopranissimo | Kala SSTU-BP soprano | Kala C/MU concert "The Mighty Uke"! | Kala SSTU-C concert | Kala SSTU-T tenor | Korala UKS-310 sop | Harley Benton BCJ100-FMH SB electric baritone | Lanikai S-B Baritone | Clearwater "long neck" baritone | Maholo sop. | Tiny Tangi

    Too Drunk To Pluck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Darlington UK
    Posts
    603

    Default

    A little tip with the G/G7 thing I discovered in a magazine. Play the G chord with your pinky finger then when you want to go to G7 you simply lift your pinky from the third fret of the E string and place your index finger on the first fret of said string
    You don't stop playing when you get old. You get old when you stop playing

    Tanglewood TU13M concert called Kalea
    Brunswick BU4-B baritone called Kalua

    My Music Blog

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Take Me Back to Tulsa

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Yorkshire
    Posts
    732

    Default

    He's got the whole world in his hands. Good simple singalong tune.

    And how about Dance the night away, the Mavericks?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Torrance, California
    Posts
    89

    Default

    Here's a collection I've used occasionally. Kids don't know/like most of the songs, but senior citizens probably will.

    http://stillwaterukuleleassociation....orkbook_11.pdf
    Ohana SK-35, Kala KA SC Concert, Martin T1K Tenor, Flea Soprano, Waterman Soprano, Stagg Union Jack Soprano

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    294

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Coastal SC
    Posts
    1,868

    Default

    Wow! Thanks everyone!

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •