Beginner Fingerstyle Friendly Songs

rcblu2

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TL;DR: I am looking for my first beginner fingerstyle song. Something I can focus on over the next few months.

I’ll start by saying that I did do some searching first, but I am not really finding what I am looking for. I have been playing 10 months and love seeing myself improve…slowly. I started with very beginner songs and I keep looking for new ones with more/new chords. I mostly strum away, but alway do some finger picking practice. While listening to some Fingerstyle music I thought there might be a common beginner songs. Something that introduces me to the light strum with the picked melody. Anyone have thoughts on good songs to start? Videos would be appreciated. :)

Edit: Tutorials videos are really appreciated. :)
 
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Happy to help, but two questions:
1- do you have prior experience with finger style technique on other instruments such as banjo or guitar?
If not, the past 2 years of uke experience has taught me that Job One is to learn to strum and to cleanly transition between multiple 1st position chord shapes, then progress to doing the same with 2nd and 3rd position shapes.
Only then are you ready to handle fingerstyle because you will then have the appropriate muscle memory to know which chord changes can involve fretting only one or two strings within certain chords.

2- do you prefer true finger style, chord-melody or Campanella (bells)?
Examples of my style:

 
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Songs like "You Are My Sunshine" and "This Land Is Your Land" are good for beginners because the melodies are relatively easy and repeat through the whole songs. Also, "Happy Birthday" since it is short and easy to memorize and you have lots of opportunities to play it.
 
Happy to help, but two questions:
1- do you have prior experience with finger style technique on other instruments such as banjo or guitar?

2- do you prefer true finger style, chord-melody or Campanella (bells)?
Examples of my style:


Thanks for the response. No other experience. Uke is really the only instrument I have played in 30 years. Before that I did some very minor self teaching piano and guitar. I can do a few finger picking patterns at this point. As far as which style, I would say the easier one at first. I assume this would be chord-melody. But really I don’t know, and i hope not to offend anyone.

If all of this is unrealistic then I would love to hear about the musical path I should plan on taking to get there.
 
Thanks for the response. No other experience. Uke is really the only instrument I have played in 30 years. Before that I did some very minor self teaching piano and guitar. I can do a few finger picking patterns at this point. As far as which style, I would say the easier one at first. I assume this would be chord-melody. But really I don’t know, and i hope not to offend anyone.

If all of this is unrealistic then I would love to hear about the musical path I should plan on taking to get there.
My pleasure (truly). Also, get this free app on your smart phone / laptop/ tablet.
1711898568320.png

As reflected in my UUF handle, my prior experience was on 5-string, Scruggs style banjo. I’ve played reentrant soprano uke for 2 years. Even with 4 decades of banjo experience, I struggled with uke finger style until I resolved to first learn the 1st, 2nd and 3rd position chord shapes, to smoothly transition, and to incorporate root notes.

Example of superb transitions by one of my UUF heroes Jim Yates:
Post in thread 'Season 532: All aboard!'
https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/threads/season-532-all-aboard.153986/post-2327655

That one step has made all the difference and the UkeLib app helped tremendously.

Lastly, go to musician and comedic genius Jim Carrey’s vast collection of chord sheets and tab at <ozbcoz.com>. It’s my go-to site because it’s so user friendly and intuitive, even allows you to transpose keys and to custom- format your chord sheet. All free of charge.

I’ll close with one word: Metronome
 
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Or, to keep it simple, just take a song you already can strum and instead of a strum play a pattern: pluck outside strings (G and then A), then pluck inside strings (C and then E).

It is a super easy way to impress people because it sounds so melodic and thoughtful; people think you really know what you're doing.

Of course you can vary the pattern by reversing it or pinching (plucking two strings at the same time) for a beat, or playing an individual string, et c.
 
Or, to keep it simple, just take a song you already can strum and instead of a strum play a pattern: pluck outside strings (G and then A), then pluck inside strings (C and then E).

It is a super easy way to impress people because it sounds so melodic and thoughtful; people think you really know what you're doing.

Of course you can vary the pattern by reversing it or pinching (plucking two strings at the same time) for a beat, or playing an individual string, et c.
Excellent description. You, Ron, have the heart, vocabulary and approach of an experienced and successful instructor.;)
 
The very insightful response from @ripock brought to mind an excellent resource written by Jim Belloff and Fred Sokolow which I would never have owned if not for his kind offer to pass it along.
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There are several ukulele fingerstyle play-along video channels on YouTube. They show you tablature for a song and then play it so you can watch and play along with them. The "Ukulele Time" channel has been mentioned a few times in this forum and it has a playlist specifically for beginners. "Beginner" doesn't mean complete beginner, it still requires practice, but not a lot of technical skill. Look for songs that you recognize then watch the video to see if you could handle that after some amount of practice. Remember that YouTube does allow you to slow down the playback speed if you need to.
 
A good starting place for any beginner wanting to try fingerstyle is:

The songs listed on the website reflect just the melody line (not chord melody). But standard music notation, tablature notation, and chords are provided for each song, giving you some of the essential building blocks for learning fingerstyle.
 
I actually learned this just fiddling around so I had to go out and find a video.

It is an easy song but the important part is using different shapes for the chords which is a must with fingerstyle melodies.

Playing a G (0-2-3-5) and a C (0-0-3-7) a more common D (2-2-2-5) or C (0-0-3-3) that fills in the notes of the melody. Once you understand how creative you can get with chord shapes to pick up a melody note fingerstyle becomes a lot easier. Also this may not take too long to master.

Also I play it with re-entrant tuning.



John
 
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