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Thread: What was your first song you played?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Kaneohe, Oahu


    Let It Be for me. The four chords C, G, Am, F are work for hundreds of songs, so it seemed like the right amount for me to bite off (first timer at 60, haven't touched a musical instrument since the Carter administration before last month, and even back then, I was not at all proficient at anything), while also being useful for later songs. I especially like the version of Let It Be in this tutorial at Ukulele Cheats, which has a nice 3-string finger-picked transition from F to C that made it feel like I'm playing the actual song. A lot of simplified tutorials shave off the bits that are most distinctive, but this guy Vasko really tries to recover and rearrange them.

    One bit that tripped me up, though. This song is loooong. I really slowed myself down by insisting on playing it all the way through. The good news is that it was simple to learn and felt really satisfying to have my wife spontaneously start singing as I was getting the hang of it...but I don't have an organ or electric guitar solo or Ringo or a voice like Paul's that made it so compelling to hear the whole thing all the way through.

    Then I remembered all those Sunday mornings in church as a boy (in the lowest of the low Protestant churches) where we only sang the first and fourth verses of Amazing Grace and all the other hymns, and all of a sudden, I got my life back. LOL All I REALLY need to get what I personally need out of Let It Be is first verse, chorus, one more verse (sometimes second, sometimes last), do the chorus twice, then on with my day. LOL

    But it feels crazy good to have started with a song that has meant a lot to me for 50 years, and to have it immediately recognized by someone randomly walking into the room, even without me singing it. Which in the scheme of things, probably made it easier to recognize. LOL

    Second song was Knockin' On Heaven's Door, four chords again, not only short, but NICE AND SLOW, and an excuse to learn the G and D chords. Another nice tutorial from Ukulele Cheats.

    Same thing in both cases. It sounds like a real song, real fast, lays the foundation for lots of other songs, and I don't need to worry about lyrics while I'm also learning chords and strum patterns and such.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Blaine, Washington


    For the guitar it was the Peter Gunn theme back in 1958. On the uke was probably Sloop John B. There are thousands of 2 chord songs. Kansas City is a two chord song I think.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    East Midlands UK


    On the uke it was probably 'Five Foot Two' as I always wanted to play that!
    All power and respect to you Concert,Tenor and Baritone players, but Soprano is what does it for me every time! (And my beautiful Sopranino!)

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA


    At the beginners' table at the ukulele club. I got my introduction to the uke using their loaner instruments. (I found I really liked the tenor size.) They showed us how to hold it. How to strum it using either index finger or thumb, and 4/4 and 3/4 time.

    The first song they taught us was Frere Jacques using only a C-chord for the entire song.
    Then it was Singing in the Rain using F & C7 chords.
    Followed by My Darlin' Clementine, The More We Get Together, and You Are My Sunshine using C, C7, F & G7 chords.

    I did the beginner table 3 times before I ventured out into the group of 50 or so members using my brand new Fender tenor ukulele. They were quite welcoming and helpful to the newbies.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Nashville, TN USA


    First song I learned to play on ukulele was 'Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho'. It was the first song on the learn-to-play-ukulele-today DVD that came with my first uke.

    The song has two chords: C minor, and G7.
    If music be the food of love, play on! -Bill Shakespeare

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2020


    You Are My Sunshine. I found myself watching Andy Guitar’s 10 day beginner uke course on YouTube late at night. After a week of doing this, I thought playing the uke was something I could do, so I bought one. I just rewatched the day 1 video. It’s fun to see how far I have progressed in a short time. It helped me remember when G major was “hard”. The good news, you’ll master it; the bad news, there are many more challenging chords! It took months to master some. Still, the challenge is part of the fun.
    Last edited by RMT; 08-07-2020 at 02:53 PM.

  7. #17


    Jambalaya (2 chords) and then Lion Sleeps Tonight (also 2 chords)

    It's good to pick something you know!


  8. #18
    Join Date
    May 2013


    This Land Is Your Land several years ago. Nice easy "down-up" strum.
    Kamaka HF3, Tenor
    Martin S1, Soprano
    Ko'olau C1, Concert
    Flight TUS-35

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2013


    I think it was Love me Do which has 2 chords in the verse. Or it might be Horse with no Name. My version had Am and A7 only.

    Ohana Tenor TK50 MG - solid cedar top
    Red Soprano Mahalo
    Kala Waterman
    Green Kala KA-CEM Exotic Mahogany Concert (Low G)
    Purple Bugsgear Soprano
    Tan Bruko Soprano

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    West Midlands GB


    First song I ever played (strumming chords and singing) was "Little Brown Jug - the first song in my tutor book, about thirty years ago.

    First 'grown up' song I memorized was "Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea".

    Most challenging song I've memorized is "I'm Through With Love".

    John Colter

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