“Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley

This beautiful song was originally written by Leonard Cohen, but made very popular by Jeff Buckley’s recording of it on his album Grace that debuted in 1994. Rufus Wainright also recorded a version of this song for the movie Shrek in 2001.

The video below is my rendition of this song on the ukulele. I took out a couple verses, but the idea is still the same (scroll down farther to view the chord chart and lyrics).

If you’re interested, just recently, I did a follow up video lesson on the fingerpicking pattern I used for the song.

“Hallelujah” Chords by Jeff Buckley

Tuning: Low G (what's this?)

Intro: C  Am  C  Am

-  C                  Am
I heard there was a secret chord
-     C                  Am
That David played and it pleased the lord
-    F               Fm              C        G
But you don't really care for music, do you?
-        C                  F           G
Well it goes like this the fourth, the fifth
-   Am                 F
The minor fall and the major lift
-    G              Em          Am
The baffled king composing hallelujah

-     F          Am          F           C    G
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelu-u-u-u...

-         C                        Am
Well your faith was strong but you needed proof
-   C               Am
You saw her bathing on the roof
-    F              Fm           C           G
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
-    C              F        G
She tied you to her kitchen chair
-   Am                        F
She broke your throne and she cut your hair
-   G                  Em            Am
And from your lips she drew the hallelujah

-     F          Am          F            C   G    C
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelu-u-u-u-jah

C  Am  C  Am

-      C              Am
Well, maybe there's a god above
-   C              Am
But all I've ever learned from love
-    F               Fm          C          G
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you
-    C                  F       G
It's not a cry that you hear at night
-    Am                 F
It's not somebody who's seen the light
-      G               Em          Am
It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah

-     F          Am          F           C    G    C
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelu-u-u-u-jah

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  1. Mary

    What are your strumming/finger pattern? You did a beautiful job!! 😀

    • Mary, I’m glad you liked it!

      For my fingerpicking, my pattern is pretty much this: pluck the top or 4th string, 3rd string, 2nd string, 1st string, 4th string, 3rd string, and repeat. Each pluck gets a beat if I’m counting in 6/8 (one, two, three, four, five, six).

      When I move towards strumming, I’m pretty much doing just down strums to a count of six, and I sort of accent my strums on beats 1 and 4 by strumming just a little louder to give it somewhat a pulse.

      Really the biggest thing is just locking into that count of six. As long as you’re playing around that, you could pluck about any string and strum side-ways if you wanted to! Well, maybe not… 😀

      • Keithmj

        Thanks for the tip..Keith

    • Sean

      is that a tenor ukulele with a low G or a concert ukulele with a low G ?

      • Tenor ukulele with a low G.

        • Joe

          I just ordered a Makala Dolphin Soprano Ukulele, would this song work with my uke if I put Low G soprano Aquila strings on it? I’ve never played before but am really excited, and your videos and comments have been very helpful already, thank you!

    • Hi Brett I purchased your book but I would like to have the hallelujah in tab format how can I get that?
      Please let me know.

  2. Sammy

    Ive been searching and searching on how to play this song… yours is the BEST one!! Pleeeease if you have the free time, do the tutorial for this… I am such a beginner and am having a hard time understanding the strumming/plucking language!! I really want to get this down so I can play it for my family (sounds kinda lame, but I want to make them cry.. hahaha)

    Any help would be great Brett!!! A close up on the hands or something would be GREEEEEATLY appreciated!! :)


    • Sammy, thanks so much for your kind words. I think it’s a great idea to do a close up video explaining the strumming pattern and picking. I will try to do something in the next week or two. I think you’ll be able to get it down pretty easy. It’s all about counting in six, but if you don’t know where that starts it can be tricky. Stay tuned or subscribe and I’ll have it up here in the very near future!

  3. Jess

    Oooooh, I’m going to be staying tune for this! Brett, this is an amazing cover! I really like your voice, almost a bit haunting, in a good way! 😀 Keep it up, it’s really refreshing to see songs being played on Ukuleles!

    • Thanks, Jess! I’m thinking I’ll be able to get something up next week. I agree it’s cool to different songs being played on the ukulele. Makes it fun and interesting :)

  4. That was absolutely beautiful. I’m trying to learn the Uke. This is the first song I’d like to learn. Boy, it’s tougher to learn an instrument that I thought–especially at 37–not a young kid with infinite patience anymore. You’re site is definitely helping. Man, if you lived in Baltimore, I’d hire you for lessons in a heartbeat. I’ve been to a lot of sites, but this one’s my fav by far.

    • Eric

      Hi Paul! I can relate to your comment. I started to play about six months ago at 25 It was kind of embarrassing to be just starting while my little brother is in a band made up of teenagers who are quite talented. After a while it started to feel more like new world I was exploring. It’s amazing how wonderful musicians can be with people who really want to learn!

  5. The again, watching your hands—don’t think this is a good song to be my first. I guess I’ll have to work up to it….an, you make it look easy.

    • Paul, so glad you dig the site! Learning an instrument definitely requires a lot of patience. No doubt about that. Something I’ve found when I’m working on a difficult song is to structure your practice in small amounts at first. After practicing in small amounts consistently for awhile, you might find things start to come together more. If you haven’t already, I would really encourage you to check out “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”: http://www.ukuleletricks.com/ive-been-working-on-the-railroad-ukulele-chords/

      You might find it a bit easier than “Hallelujah” and it’s a pretty fun one to play. For strumming patterns, you could apply the ones from a lesson I did pretty recently: http://www.ukuleletricks.com/ukulele-strumming-patterns-for-beginners/

      • Thanks Brett–yea, I def. have to work up to ‘Hallelujah’. Thanks for the tips–I’ll let you know how it goes.

  6. John

    Wow! A very good presentation of this piece. Killer vocals and strumming! Nice! Oh, and did I say…WOW!

  7. Jason

    Hey man, absolutely beautiful cover!! I have to agree with the others comments. Yours has to be one of the better ones. I am a beginner also and will love to one day learn this song. You mentioned your picking pattern is 4th string, 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 4th 3rd and repeat… but it looks to me like you’re doing a 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 3rd, 2nd at times. I find it kind of hard to see, maybe it’s just my eyes..LOL! Also, did you leave out the third verse on purpose to shorten the song?? Just wondering. Again great job! I love this site!!

  8. Grandma McQueen

    You’re Great and so filled w/musical talent. Also, I see you are able to pass along musical knowledge to others. Loves, Gram

  9. Livvy

    I always too this instrument to be a joke…I picked one up a couple weeks ago for fun. But then I saw you play and it took everything I thought about it to a whole new level! You’re great! Thank you!

    • Livvy, ukuleles are so fun. I’m glad you decided to pick one up and give it a try! 😀

  10. Virginia

    Besides you being a really talented uke player…you have a very distinctive voice! I would buy your album!

  11. Montana

    Is there a way to print this out? its to long to fit on my monitor and I want to try to play along with you

    • Hey Montana, I would recommend cutting and pasting the chords and lyrics into a Word document or text document. This way you can print it out from there.

      • Montana

        Ahh thankyou, I did just that and it filled up exactly 1 page, worked out great thanks!

  12. Annie

    Aw! That was just amazing. It made me even cry a little in the end. :’)
    So- I love your website! I am from Germany and truly nobody plays the ukulele around here. Sort of frustrating, but then so glad I got to know your website. It is really helpful- I am a total beginner!
    BUT: I got the basic chords down and now I am wondering how to move on and become a better player, e.g. play scales (i dont know if thats the right word, I mean CDEFGAH.
    And where could I find more strumming techniques?
    I would be so happy to find a video from you about middle-advanced techniques and more chords since you did the best job so far!!

    Hope to hear from you!
    Keep playing so well!!

    • Annie, I’m glad you like Ukulele Tricks! I do have a strumming video for free that you can find here:


      Earlier this year, I also released an entire video lesson course called “Ukulele Strumming Tricks” all dedicated to strumming and playing a lot of different songs. It’s set up in a step-by-step way, so I look at the foundations of strumming first and then gradually get more and more difficult as the course progresses. There is over 25 lessons and 180+ minutes of video. I can’t possibly sum it all up here so you can check it out:


      Let me know if you have any other questions. Enjoy! :)

  13. Josh Perrin

    Really love your site, very clear and concise tutorials thanks a million! I have a quick question. I’ve been learning this song on my baritone ukulele and I really like your note you throw in between chords, but I can’t figure out what it would be on the baritone. Could you help?

    Thanks in advance

    • Josh, I’m glad you’re liking the lessons. :) The passing note that I’m playing between the C and Am is a “B” note. It’s just a walk down from a C to an A. I try to voice the C major chord so the C is in the bass as well as the walk down to the B note and A note. Does that answer your question?

  14. Marissa S

    Well you are amazing I can’t make it any more simpler This was the first song I learned with your cover still working on it but it’s coming along

  15. Bill Harris

    Your voice is great and so is your playing.

    Im going to bookmark this website. Lots of good information anvd videos are available here.

  16. Kateeee :)

    Absolutley awesome!
    I’ve just stumbled across your website and now I know how I’ll be spending my summer!
    Are you going to add more songs? :)

    • Definitely want to add some more songs in the future! I’m taking requests if you have any. :)

  17. tonio

    Just beautiful! Thank you!

  18. Excellent! I noticed that this sort of picking pattern seems to work really well for this song when I was noodling about on my own, and I figured someone somewhere must have used it in a cover version, so I went looking and I found this. Sounds great! Thanks a lot for the video lesson, too – I hadn’t quite figured out an efficient way to do the picking on my own. :)

    • Fergus, thanks for your comment and kind words! Glad that my cover provided some inspiration for you. :)

  19. Leslie Hochberg

    Jeez, the uke is perfect for this glorious song. Merci, Brett for making it accessible.

  20. rosie hamilton

    hi brett :) after the fabulous strumming lessons and lots of practise of my favourite songs from there, i’m ready for fingerpicking! i’ve done the blues lessons which were great and i love this song, especially leonard’s version actually (and now yours which nearly made me cry…). a couple of questions….. is it worth it on a soprano uke with high G tuning? do you play the 3 finger C variation all the way through or only in the intro? are there parts where the whole picking pattern is not run through before changing chords (so you change chords partway through, i think there’s one from F to G like that?)? i haven’t been on the site for a while and it’s very re-inspiring to come back and learn some new things from you. such a super great player and teacher! hope you’ve had a wondrous summertime…thanks brett, cheers rosie :)

    • Hey Rosie! Good to hear from you :) I’m glad to hear you like this version.

      You know I have actually been playing this song on my tenor ukulele that’s no strung to a high G tuning and it doesn’t bad at all. It does sound a little different but not so different it can’t work.

      There are some parts I believe where I switch C variations. I like to do this for different songs in some part to get a different voicing.

      I’m not sure I understand your third question. There is a part of the song where I don’t go back to the intro chords but right into the second verse after the first chorus. My encouragement would be to experiment with different arrangements and see what works best for you. :)

      Also, my summer was very busy (lots of weddings and traveling), but it was very good! I’m glad that we’re getting into fall. I feel like things are settling down a little bit more.

      Hope you’re doing well! :)

  21. rosie hamilton

    oh and p.s it is absolutely so great to hear the uke sounding so sweet and grown up and not dinky at all :)

  22. Sharon Stone Gibson

    Loved it! Thank you so much for sharing your talent. 😉 Keep it up….you inspire me!

    • That’s very nice of you. Keep up the good work yourself 😉

  23. Camilo Moore

    Hey bret, just wanted to let you know that ive learned all my songs from this site. you make this song look so easy and simple. haha im still working on my plucking patterns though. you are amazing at the ukulele and i hope i can learn more songs from you :)

    • Hey Camilo, thanks for your kind comment! It makes me really happy to hear how Ukulele Tricks has been beneficial to you. Keep up the good work! :)

  24. MJ Kohler

    Hey Brett! I’m what you would call an advanced beginner so I’m still trying to figure this beautiful instrument out. I appreciate the time you give into this website and your posts! I just wanted to thank you for helping me advance through my studies(: Great job!
    P.S.I’m teaching my friend how to play and teaching her some of the great tricks you’ve taught me.
    Thanks again,

    • Hey MJ, you are welcome! It’s my pleasure. What’s awesome to me though is that you’re teaching your friend how to play ukulele too. Keep it up! :)

  25. Jake Tobiyama

    A very novice question. I always wondered how one played the chords and finger picked at the same time?

    • Practice. :) Songs that combine strumming and fingerpicking are sometimes classified as “fingerstyle.” Sometimes in a fingerpicking song you’ll strum some chords. Do you have any examples of a song that does this? Perhaps, I can look at it for a future lesson.

  26. Hope Cummins

    Hi Brett! Love, love, love your website. I’m just a beginner but I’m learning so much and you taught this song so well I can actually play it! I do have a quick question. On the last Hallelujah where you’re ending, you seem to throw in a couple of extra notes. What are they? thank you so much!!!

    • Hi Hope, for the part where I go up into my falsetto, I am playing:

      C Am F Fadd9 Am F Fadd9 C

  27. Anna

    i love this song soooo much, and i just bought a baritone ukulele yesterday(i play guitar as well) and i’ve playin it none stop. my goals is to learn this song now as fast as possible! any tips?

  28. Sophie

    Wow great job!
    i have one question, though: how do you play the “the fourth, the fifth” part? do you give each chord its own stanza of plucking, or do you change chords in the middle of the stanza? Thanks for your help! 😀

    • Hey Sophie, you are right that for that measure, I switch half way through to the next chord. :)

  29. Jesse Haywood

    How do you do the low G tuning? I clicked the link but couldn’t seem to find it.

    • Hey Jesse, for low G tuning, I’m simply tuning my top G string down an octave. I use a special low G tuning string set that includes a wound low G string. If you just try tuning your G string down with normal strings, you will probably find you won’t have enough tension on the string to hold a pitch.

  30. andrea

    Compliments for the website and the lessons from Veneto-Italy


  31. Nathan

    Wow from all your help with this song i’m really was confident in learning this song and so that i can sing it on my aunts b-day she really wants me to.So im thank you for your help Brett

    • That’s awesome, Nathan! You’re welcome.

  32. rachel

    hi Brett!
    so will this song still sound the same if i keep my standard tuning? thx!!!! =)))

    • It’ll sound a little different but it will still work!

  33. alex kay

    I would be so nice if you could make tabs for this instead of just playing the chords

  34. Thanks so much for sharing this. So excited to learn my first ukulele song. I think that I have found my favorite instrument :-)

    • Hey Melany, thanks for your comment. You’re welcome! Welcome to the world of ukulele! :)

  35. greg b

    i think it sounds better in the low g tuning but. standard sounds equally cool

  36. Amy

    Brett, You are super talented on both vocals and the ukulele – thank you SO much for taking the time to do all these tutorials. I am a music therapist and just had your website reccomended to me. I look forward to using my new skills in sessions with my clients. I am going to be reccommending your site to others for sure!! Thank you again!!

  37. karen

    Hi Brett, for some reason I can only see patches of your Hallelujah cover. The vision goes green…it is the same on you tube. Is your cover on any other site? I would really like to see the whole version.
    Keep up the good work by the way…great site.
    Thanks Karen

    • Hey Karen, that sounds like a YouTube problem. Unfortunately, I cannot control that. :( I would check to see if your web browser is up to date and to make sure your version of Flash player is up to date as well.

  38. Toni Gurden

    First of all, I have the standard tuning, and I’m not sure if the fingerpicking will sound as good – what do you think?

    Secondly, if you were going to strum the whole way (I’m not picking up the fingerpicking like I’d like to but I’ve been experimenting with this song) would you use the same pattern you did at the end all throughout? Or would you vary it after the first couple verses.

    Thirdly….well it’s not really a question, but a big ‘ol thank you for putting all the effort you do into this website!

    • Whenever I play this song in standard tuning, it works, although it does sound different. It doesn’t sound bad or anything, but it is different. I’d say that if I had to choose I’d rather play this song in low G tuning, but it’s not worth the trouble to change your strings and tuning just for one song.

      This song is all about dynamics. Because of that, whenever I play this song, I wouldn’t hesitate to just do down strums the entire time. What makes the song sound great though is really being dynamic about those down strums. I find that I tend to get louder with my strumming as the vocal line goes higher and more intense in the melody. There’s the constant up and down motion through the song. You really have to feel it! :)

      I’m glad you’ve been enjoying all the stuff, Toni! You ask really great questions that I know will be helpful to many others!

      • Toni Gurden

        I’m trying to really get my money’s worth. 😀

        I’ve done a lot of work on chords and strumming, but now I’m trying to focus on dynamics. Left to my own devices I will always play a song too loud and too fast. I’m so used to reading music for the piano, clarinet, flute, etc, and it has all the answers right in there – I’m not used to figuring it out on my own! LOL

        Hallelujah is a great song to use to practice dynamics, so that’s going to be my next big “job.” As well as learning I’m Yours from your online course, adding dynamics to Dream a Little Dream, perfecting my finger-picking of Amazing Grace….I better get practicing! Maybe I’ll share some more of my videos so you can see what a great help you’ve been. 😀

      • Toni Gurden
        • Dang! Sounding great! Your picking is sounding nice and steady, and your strumming is being played with good feel. Well done :)

          • Toni Gurden

            Thanks! 😀 😀 😀

  39. Jess

    Hi Brett, Im a beginner on the Ukelele:) I absolutely love this arrangement for this song:) Thankyou so much, keep up your amazing work!!

    • Hi Jess, welcome to the world of ukulele! Thanks for your kind words. Glad you enjoy the song.

  40. Lucy

    Is it necessary to retune the Uke for this? Because i’m worried my string might break if i do (using G C E A at the moment)

    • Hey Lucy, I wouldn’t recommend retuning just for this song, since to play in low G, you really need a string set that has a wound low G string to keep the right tension on your strings. Next time it comes time to change your strings, you might get a low G string set and try using low G tuning for awhile.

  41. Fran Ditzel-Friel

    You played this with such sensitivity and feeling, it brought me to tears. You’re not only a great teacher/mentor, you’re a marvelous musician and performer. Thank you for the great inspiration. I hope to someday play and sing this even half as lovingly.


    • Aww, Fran. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the video. It’s great to have you apart of the Ukulele Tricks community!

  42. Hi Brett! You rock! Thanks for sharing your talent in performing AND teaching! I was wondering about the finger picking–do you always start beat one of a 6/8 song with the G string, regardless of what note should technically be the bass note of a chord? For example, if you are fingering a C the normal way, would you begin your strum on the G string or the C string? (Obviously, if I start on the C string, I run out of strings, and have to pluck some of them twice….) Or when you are fingering an F, you’d still start the strum with the G string, rather than starting down on the actual F? Thanks so much for your help!

    • Hi Heather, for this particular song, I keep the same pattern all the way through regardless of the lowest note in the chord. In some fingerpicking patterns, I’m a bit more intentional about using the root note of the chord as the lowest note, but I find that the ukulele doesn’t really carry enough low end to make that much of a difference. Great question!

  43. Thomas

    Hi Brett,

    Great version of the song. I’m wondering if you can explain what you were doing with the picking in some of the chord changes that happen halfway through the picking sequence. It first happens with this at the start of the corus; well it goes like this the fourth, the fifth the minor fall the major lift.

    Thanks in advance!


    • Hi Thomas, for the chords that switch half way in a measure, I only play the first half of the fingerpicking pattern for each chord.

  44. eliot

    when i tune down the G string it goes out of tune after the first few chords, is there any trick to keeping it in tune. i have a good uke that stays in tune well when tuned in standard C

    • Hi Eliot, please ensure you are using a low G string set. This includes a wound low G string which allows you to keep tension on the string to prevent it from going out of tune.

      • eliot

        thanks Brett,.. a beautiful rendition by the way.

  45. Stephanie

    Thanks! I love your videos and you’re always a huge help. Quick question… I’m playing this on a soprano without the low G and the passing note from Am back into C doesn’t sound right. Is that because I’m not using the low G string? It doesn’t sound right and I can’t seem to figure out what Im doing incorrect. I guess I could leave the passing note out but it’s not as fun =) Thanks again!

    • Hey Stephanie, the low G difference is probably what you are hearing. You have a good ear. You are probably doing it just right. :)

  46. paul

    HI!!!! just wanna say this is the best site i have found by far…Keep up the GREAT work!!
    Im just starting to play the uku and have all the simple chords prefect,im trying to learn this song now,ive got the picking sorted out but have issue? do i play a 6 count for every chord change?

    • Hi Paul, most of the chords receive a six count, but some chord changes happen on the 1st beat and 4th beat of the measure (“the fourth the fifth”).

  47. Barbie

    You play the song beautifully…

  48. Keithmj

    Hi Brett..Still learning from you. Now I can play along with you without problems. When you do the intro if I am correct you are not using the C chord in the first position but the second position or 5433 and sliding to the Am is this correct? also on the picking pattern you said you use 432143 but it sounds like 432123. I took my soprano Lanikai and changed it to low G, works great..Can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

    • Hey Keith, it’s great t ohear from you! You are correct that I’m playing the C chord in a different position at the beginning of the song.

  49. Danielle

    I adore this song and am sooooo happy that its posted here in a way thats so easy to understand. I havent quite gotten the plucking pattern down yet, so i’ve just been strumming but it still sounds fantastic!! Thank you so much!

  50. Danielle

    What does the double row mean for example
    That David played and pleaded The Lord
    F. Fm
    G ⬅

    • Hi Danielle, try expanding your browser window. IT sounds like the text and chords is collapsing to a new line.

  51. Chris

    When you come to the part in the song “the fourth the fifth” which uses the chords F,G. You you change your finger picking a little… It’s as if you don’t complete the run for either chord… I’ve tried to figure it out, but it never sounds the same. Maybe it’s because I’m using a hi G as opposed to the low G you used. Could you clarify what you do at that point in the song.

    • Hi Chris, at this point of the song, I’m playing the first three notes of the sequence of the fingerpicking pattern for each chord.

      • Joanna Townend

        Dont suppose you could show us this as well? Or is that giving all you secrets away. Im a bit stuck on the section too

  52. Brian

    Brett, I’ve just put together my Xmas present – a DIY ukelele, actually mostly built (glue neck to box, paint, add bridge strings then play!).

    Then I found HALLELUJAH and your website. Awesome.

    I am, though, having difficulty with the F to Fm change. Any hints?

    • Hi Brian, that sounds like a pretty cool Christmas gift! The F to Fm is a tricky change. It’s tough because your required to change the position of both of your index and middle fingers. The only tip I can give you is to keep practicing the chord change separate from strumming. You’ll see improvement with time.

  53. Shira

    Hello my name is Shir and I am 11 years old. I loved your video. You are a great ukulele player and you have amazing pitch. I just started playing a few days ago but thanks to this I have almost learned all the chords to this song. Now I can accompany my self singing! Thanks

    • Great job, Shira! I’m glad to hear about your success. Keep up the good work!

  54. Shirley

    Love this version with the picking! Although I can play it, I find that I often get a “clunk” on the 2nd position C. Any hints? Fingers more upright? Curve more? Or just play 1st position? Thanks for sharing and helping fellow ukulele lovers.

    • Hi Shirley, when you’re playing the 2nd position C, pluck each individual string to see if you can see what string isn’t ringing out clearly. Then, experiment with moving your fingers and increasing pressure on the strings to get them all to ring out. It’ll take some experimenting to see what works best. At the same time, you could still play this song in a normal first position C chord and have it sound pretty nice.

  55. Scott

    Awesome awesome awesome. It’s a real privilege to listen to you cover this song. Question: when you play the Fm, are you using variation #1 in the ukuleletricks.com chord library? It almost looks like you are using this variation but adding your ring finger on C string 2nd fret.

    • Hi Scot, yep, I’m using variation #1. I think it looks like my ring finger is pressing down on the string when it is actually just hovering over top of that fret.

  56. Ashley

    Whats the strum pattern for this song Dx I get so lost when it comes to figuring out the strum pattern for any song …

  57. Joan

    Brett, I really enjoy watching your videos and especially this one. I’ve been practicing my uke and baritone uke a lot lately and your videos have really helped me learn the basics. Thanks for the great job! Keep it up.
    Joan Smith
    John 3:16

  58. Sill

    Hi Brett,
    I am a folksinger, songwriter, a slight musician, and have a cd out. I found your site through a web search within the half hour and already posting. I am so glad I did! Have bookmarked it already. I am sure my daughter Pearl will find it very helpful. She and I have gone on You Tube to listen to the different versions of Halleluiah so she will find it amazing to hear your version… My daughter Pearl asked for a soprano ukulele for her birthday, October 6th. Just got it in the mail. :-)
    She is turning 17. Since she plays saxophone, she already reads music, so I think she could get sheet music to learn song melodies. Would this work? Which ukulele is comparable to the piano melody notes? I am sure I should have thought about this before buying a ukulele for her. but she really wanted the soprano ukulele. My son age 12, has an interest in learning ukulele also. Would tenor be a good sound to harmonize with the soprano? I am 60, play guitar, but as some chords are getting a little hard to hold, I see that a ukulele may be an option…. :-) I have an alto voice. Which ukulele do you think will be best suited to play along when I sing? You are Fabulous! Thank you for sharing your time and talents! :-)
    Your New Fan,

    • Hi Sill, it’s great to hear from you! How exciting!

      The soprano ukulele will work great. Since she can read music, she might be interested in the fingerstyle ukulele. I know Roger Ruthen’s classical arrangements are great for this, which might interest her:


      Soprano, concert, and tenor ukuleles are typically tuned the same (g-C-E-A), however, because a tenor ukulele is bigger, it tends to have a larger, warmer sound, which can “layer” nicely with a soprano ukulele. In terms of singing voice, it doesn’t matter which kind of ukulele you get since it’s always easy enough to transpose the chords of a song to suit your singing voice (I have a lesson on that you might check out). Coming from your guitar background though however I would recommend a tenor ukulele tuned to low G tuning. This means the top g-string is tuned down an octave to a G below middle C. This harmonizes well with the soprano. You can learn more about low G tuning here.

  59. Jen

    Hey Brett,
    I’ve been so grateful for your website! Anyway, I’m working on learning 6/8 timing and strumming with the down, down, down, down pattern. Do the vocals always correspond to the timing? I keep getting of track when I play along- seems higher tempo on phrases like “tied you to”. Does this make sense?

    • Hi Jen, I see what you’re saying and it’s a great question. You’ll find that a song’s vocal melody does not always correspond or line up exactly with the strumming. More often than not, a song’s vocal melody is subdivided within the song’s strumming rhythm and tempo. This makes it sound like you are singing at a faster tempo for that line “tied you to” but really you are subdividing the length of the notes you sing within that strumming. This starts to get confusing as I explain it more, so the best thing to do is to keep practicing. Singing and playing at the same time is a common challenge (even for seasoned ukulele players) that takes time.

  60. Lieneke van de Griendt

    Hey Brett, what happened to your videolesson of the plucking to hallelujah? It doesn’t show anymore.

  61. peter

    Hey Brett, that’s terrific.I’ve gone from being ukelele poor ( ie none) to ukele rich (ie 2). I bought an electric uke on Amazon at what seemed a bargain price then my brother gave/lent me an acoustic one he bought and never uses. He plays in a band. So i’m following your lessons and i’m at the sore finger stage. I like the idea that you can take them around anywhere. How long before i could play that, i think it’s only 6 ? chords. Also if you have the right adaptor could you take an electric uke around and plug it in hifi’s, PA’s or whatever. I know it’s all about matching impedances but is it something you’ve done. Cheers and thanks again.

  62. frank

    Nice job. is that Fm right? I tried adding E7 instead of Em…. its pretty nice and close to the Jeff B. version. Plus this riff on chorus (bit Jeff too)…..

    -0—0—0– -0–0—0–
    -0—3—1– -6–3—0–
    -0—0—0– -0–0—0–
    -0—0—2– -0–0—1–
    F Am
    Hal le lujah, hal le lujah…. etc….

    • Thanks, Frank! I definitely took some creative liberties and opted for the Fm. In Jeff Buckley’s version, I don’t think that he uses this chord. You could definitely substitute different chords as you’ve done. Great job using your ear.

  63. Mickey Hoessler

    Hi Brett,
    The cord change fourth line in the song,”the fourth, the fifth” is listed as F to G. Your video, which is great I might add, appears to show a different cord other than G. The same for the change at “kitchen chair” Hoping you could clear up my confusion. Once again Brett, really well done.

  64. Jen

    Hi Brett,

    Stumbled across your version of this song. It is absolutely stunning!


  65. Miranda West

    Hey, so I just have a quick question, and I’m not sure if someone has already asked it, but how many times do you strum each note before switching to the next? I am still learning how to play (teaching myself, maybe not the best option) and am still slightly confused. I can do the strum pattern, and I know the chords, but knowing when to switch notes is what I find hard.

    • Hi Miranda, at the top of the comments, see my reply to Mary. This song is counted in six. Typically, chord changes happen on the 1st beat of the measure, but there are places in the song where chords change on the 4th beat of the measure as well.

  66. geakfreak

    great great cover, really like to play this 😀

    But can you do some rock covers ?

  67. Mike

    Hi! First, thanks for the video, it’s really helpful, that said, I’m really confused by the Fm chord you’ve added in here. The melody for the line “But you don’t really care for music, do you?” goes, A-A-A-A-A-A-G-G-F-G-G. How does the Ab of the Fm fit in? Are you not plucking the Ab? Or is this a stylistic choice?


    • Hi Mike, indeed, the Fm is a stylistic choice. I’m fairly certain the “normal” version of this song plays a G chord where the Fm is. To play the Fm, I position my fingers on frets: 1013 (from top to bottom string). The Ab falls on the 1st fret of the top g-string.

  68. Sarah

    Lovely cover of a beautiful song :)

  69. SmileyUkulelePlayer

    Beautiful, but a lot of the words are missing. The lyrics are very inaccurate. It confused me, but I just continued to play the pattern.

    • This song has been covered and rearranged in a variety of ways over the years. This is just one version and by no means all of the verses in Leonard Cohen’s original arrangement.

  70. Milena

    Hey, congrats on your page and tutorials in ukulele, i love this song, and i wanna play it on my ukulele, but i’m having trouble with the tunning… right now my ukulele is tuned –> G C E Aas usual
    but i’m having truble because the G chord doesn’t sound good in this song, i’m not sure if you can help me, i hope so


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