‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ Ukulele Chords and Lesson

Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s beautiful rendition and medley of Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World has actually been around since 1993, a few years before his death in 1997. Movies like Meet Joe Black, 50 First Dates, Finding Forrester, and popular TV shows like Scrubs and So You Think You Can Dance has helped draw attention to this song. For ukulele players, it’s become a “must-know” song.

How to Play Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World

In this video, I go through each section of the song and show you how to play it. I also take a look at and explain the strumming pattern and rhythm for this song.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World Chords

Here are the ukulele chords to Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. To learn the fingering for any of these chords, refer to our ukulele chord library. To get chords to other songs visit our ukulele songs page.

Intro: C  Cmaj7  Am  F  C  G  Am  F  Fadd9 F

C  Em  F  C
Oooo, oooo, oooo...
F  E7  Am  F
Oooo, oooo, oooo...

C         Em
Somewhere over the rainbow
F         C
-  Way up high
F       C
And the dreams that you dream of
G          Am      F
Once in a lullaby...

-    C        Em
Oh, somewhere over the rainbow
F             C
-  Blue birds fly
F        C
And the dreams that you dream of
G                     Am    F
Dreams really do come true...

-    C
Someday I'll wish upon a star
G                                  Am   F
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
-     C
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney tops
-      Am           F
That's where you'll find me

-   C         Em
Oh, somewhere over the rainbow
F             C
-  Blue birds fly
F       C
And the dream that you dare to
G               Am   F
Why oh why can't I...

-          C        G
Well I see trees of green
-   F         C
And red roses too
F             C        E7     Am
I watch them bloom for me and you
-     F
And I think to myself
G                   Am     F
-  What a wonderful world

-          C        G
Well I see skies of blue
-          F         C
And I see clouds of white
-       F             C
And the brightness of day
-  E7       Am
I like the dark
-      F
And I think to myself
G                    C  F  C
-  What a wonderful world

-   G
The colors of the rainbow
-  C
So pretty in the sky
-   G                    C
Are also on the faces of people passing by
-   F              C
See friends shakin hands saying
F           C
"How do you do?"
F                C     Dm         G
- They're really sayin,'I, I love you."

-      C      G
I hear babies cryin'
-   F           C
And watch them grow
F                  C         E7          Am
They'll learn much more than we'll ever know
-      F
And I think to myself
G                   Am     F
-  What a wonderful world

-    C
Someday I'll wish upon a star
G                                  Am   F
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
-     C
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney tops
-      Am           F
That's where you'll find me

-   C         Em
Oh, somewhere over the rainbow
F          C
-  Way up high
F       C
And the dreams that you dare to
F      G         Am   F
Why oh why can't I

C  Em  F  C
Oooo, oooo, oooo...
F  E7  Am  F
Oooo, oooo, oooo...

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  1. john

    this is awesome! thank you so much. i really think this will help me with my ukulele playing. your ukulele sounds great. what kind is it? and, what would you recommend for someone just getting started playing ukulele.

    • Thanks, John! My ukulele was actually made by a guitar maker up in Detroit called M. J. Franks. He doesn’t normally make ukes, but he’s started dabbling more in it. It sounds great! Stay tuned, as I plan to create a ukulele buying guide for new players in the near future.

      • Jojo

        I do pluck with thumb,down,up,8th note rest,up,down.what do u think???

        • yeah it was really good i love it but i already now how to play i was just wachhing it was good

        • christian

          I love that. gives a much better sound. Im trying in to out plucking starting on the C string then up down.

      • mom

        ur sexy

      • andrea

        I have a question!

        When playing the intro I noticed it was “pluck down up down up down up”. Rinse and repeat

        Now, when playing the rest of the song, do we continue that pattern? “pluck down up down up down up,pluck down up down up down up”? As in, Say I am playing the first “C” note for TWO counts, is it:

        A) “pluck down up down up down up,”pluck down up down up down up”


        B) “pluck down up down up down up down up down up down up” (only pluck once at the beginning?)

        Cheers Brett, You’re awesome!

        • I dont see da difference apartfrom the2nd 1 looks longer

        • christian

          I believe its a.) Pluck down up down up down up, pluck down up down up down up.

      • mimi

        Cool I am from Michigan thanks for showing me how to play!!!

  2. Tina

    hi, I live in Taiwan and just find out your website. I got my ukulele on OCT 28 and just begin to learn. I like this sound very much and thanks for the lesson. But can you tell me what’s the finger position of Fadd9 ? Cause I cannot find it in your chord library. Thanks a lot.

    • Tina, ahh yes, I haven’t quite added add9 chords to the chord library yet. Hopefully soon. However, you can play an Fadd9 in the following way from top to bottom: 2030. In other words, you put your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the top string or fourth string, the third string remains open, on the second string you place your ring finger on the 3rd fret, and then the bottom string rings open.

      • Ben

        I might argue that the “Fadd9″ in this case is more like an Amin7 chord with no 5th. A C (E) G. Root Third and 7th. Your Fadd9 chord has no “F” and this is a solo piece no bass player to comp the root.


        • Totally. Great point. I see where you’re coming from and that would definitely be a legitimate way to look at it. I love these conversations about theory.

          I think in context an Fadd9 makes more sense just because it’s common in pop music to take a major chord and embellish it with an add9. Plus, if you were playing with a guitar player, or even a baritone ukulele player, you’d want them to be playing that F in the bass (in my opinion). On my guitar, an A root in the bass, although it definitely works, doesn’t quite sound right.

          Of course, those are just my two cents. It would always frustrate me in college when I would lose points in my music theory classes just because I saw things differently. Music theory can be such a subjective thing at times!

        • allie

          My f add 9 is g c f a. Played with just second string first fret, the rest open. If it were an A chord it has a Sharp 5th, augmented, and the 7th. Aaug7.

  3. Zak

    Can you explain the strumming I am finding it hard to figure this pattern out

    • Zak, did you by chance watch all the way till the end of the video above? I explain the strumming pattern and break it down in the video. :)

    • lauren

      hey um i think it would b easier instead of the pluck down up down up down up it would b easier to do a down down up down up down up strum instead…. does it matter???

      • Hi Lauren, you could definitely use that alternate strumming pattern for this song. Strumming is all about keeping good timing and being consistent. Within that timing, you can experiment and use other strumming patterns too.

        • lauren

          Ok thanks!!! i will add some pazaz!!! i almost have the song down just a few chord changes mess me up.. i keep practicing!!! thanks again!!!

  4. Zak

    I didn’t thank you

  5. Jim

    hey great video but what are your strings tuned to?

    • Thanks, Jim! I’m in standard tuning but my G string is tuned down an octave to the G below middle C.

      • Jim

        oh thanks it didnt sound the same but that makes sense. Thanks again, great video it helped a lot.

        • Rebecca

          I tried that tuning but it doesn’t sound right. the string is way too loose ,so that’s most likey why (I have a soprano uke)

          • It’s best to have a special string set that includes a wound low G string. It’ll be hard to get the right amount of tension with a normal set of strings, especially on a soprano uke.

          • Emma

            I recently (today) converted a kid-sized guitar to a uke. I just used guitar strings (3 top nylon strings plus an extra high E string). I had to tune mine to the lower G.

  6. David

    IZ inspired me to pick up the uke, I’m a cellist. I heard this on NPR.
    Listen to the Yoyo Ma of the Uke

    And here’s the npr story of Isreal Kamakawiwa’ole: 50 greatest voices

    Thanks Brett, I’m working with my old tenor uke, my fingers seem too big for the soprano.
    I’m having most trouble holding down the strings to make all fourstrings ring.

    • David, that’s awesome your learning uke. I really like playing my tenor. I have long fingers and sometimes it’s hard for me on a small soprano uke. I actually have had a huge itch lately to learn how to play cello, but I was researching it and looks like it’d be quite a bit of money to get a decent entry-level cello. Hopefully someday!

    • Lawrence Dustin

      David, thank you for sharing these two links.The last one brought tears to my eyes, I like many fell in love with that gentle giant when I heard his voice at the end of Finding Forester. I did a search on the net to find out who sang this beautiful song and the sound did not seem to go with the man. It proved once again that although I do not think that I am prejudiced I often unknowingly do judge the book by it’s cover. I would have never in my imagination have believed such an angelic sound came from that gentle giant. Through many searches over the net there are many interviews and intimate concerts that he shares his thoughts and love for his people. I just can imagine how many people decided to pick up the ukulele to learn that song…..besides me!
      Brett, thank you for teaching us how to play it my friend.

  7. Bob

    Hey nice video! I have a quick question and it might sound stupid but here it goes. So ok I know how to play the chords like C and F and so on but when you give us the lyrics with the chords above it I am lost. Like I am not sure when to play that certain chord and for how long to play it. I know it sounds kinda stupd but if you could help that would be great. I really want to learn how to play this song and any feedback would be much appreciated. Thanks.

    • Bob, that’s a great question! Part of knowing when to change chords is being able to hear the different chords changes. What I generally do is listen to an MP3 of the song and listen for when the chords change.

      Another part of it is understanding rhythm. All songs have a rhythm and time signature to them. This song is in 4/4 so it gets four beats per measure. So you should be able to count “1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, etc.” in time with the song. For this song, most of the chord changes happen on beat one of the measure.

      If the rhythm, time signature, and counting stuff, sounds a bit foreign check out my free ukulele lesson book where I break down rhythm a bit more in detail.

      The best thing to do is to continue working on your timing and counting out songs and then listening to the MP3 or audio file of the song to hear when those chord changes happen. It takes time.

      • Bob

        Thanks alot! That really helped

  8. Andre

    Hello, great lesson. Just one question, are you playing with a tenor ukulele with Low G? It works on a soprano Uke with a high G chord? Congratulations for the site!

    • Andre, yep, it sure can work with a soprano uke with a high G. It might sound just a little different than mine, but it would be the same chords and everything.

      • Andre

        Do you plan to do tutorial videos using a soprano uke? thanks

        • I’m actually looking to buy a soprano or concert ukulele so I can keep my tenor in low G and then have another uke in standard. Need to save up some cash though first 😀

    • Megan(:

      I Have Soprano Uke, I Just Got It And Don’t Know Crap About Uke’s In General. Soo Is The Soprano The Same As Yours?,, I Got It For A Gift I Didn’t Wanna Soprano But Thats What I Got And Im Thankful For Having One 😀

  9. fran

    HI i like that strum pattern but try this one it is really nice
    we play a low g string on the 3rd string (i have a tenor)
    and the pattern is pick the third string then down up mute up down up

    • I like the sound of that! Good idea.

    • Sarah

      Hah, I was just experimenting and that’s the exact same pattern I decided I liked best, too!

  10. Chris

    Thank you for your video. My question is, I noticed the intro seems to be a faster chord transition than the song. If this is correct could you give me some idea of what that timing is. Thank you.

    • You are welcome. The chord changes do happen a bit quicker in the intro. Each chord gets four beats or one measure verses the two measures each chord gets throughout the verses.

  11. jonah

    HI Brett

    I was watching your somewhere over the rainbow video and im trying really hard to get the right sound but its not soundoing the same as you, could it be because of my tuning becausse when I tried low gcea it sounded worse than high gcea when I played, please if you have any suggestions that would be awesome :)

    • Jonah, low G tuning sometimes doesn’t sound very good unless you have strings that are designed for low G. If you tune a regular string set’s G string down, it will most likely not have enough tension. I would say try to play this song in standard tuning and see how that sounds. :)

  12. kelly


  13. Lisa

    this is so great, but there is one line of lyric that is incorrect.

    I hear babies cryin’
    and I watch them grow…

    your lyric says…

    I hear babies cryin’
    and are lost in hope


    Thanks for this great site.

    • Lisa, thanks for the correction! I always though that line read weird. Funny how you hear lyrics in a different way when you listen. Glad you like the site! :)

      • Marv

        Actually, the lyrics are messed up in several places. But don’t feel bad, I found several other web sites where the lyrics were wrong. Here are the correct ones. Aloha all!

        Somewhere over the rainbow
        Way up high,
        There’s a land that I heard of
        Once in a lullaby.

        Somewhere over the rainbow
        Skies are blue,
        And the dreams that you dare to dream
        Really do come true.

        Someday I’ll wish upon a star
        And wake up where the clouds are far
        Behind me.
        Where troubles melt like lemon drops
        Away above the chimney tops
        That’s where you’ll find me.

        Somewhere over the rainbow
        Bluebirds fly.
        Birds fly over the rainbow.
        Why then, oh why can’t I?

        If happy little bluebirds fly
        Beyond the rainbow
        Why, oh why can’t I?

  14. Joshua

    Omg thanks so much! I’ve always loved this song and listened to it all the time! But now I can play it for my family and im really good at it now. Btw great site!

  15. Lisa

    Loved the quick instructions and video. Beginner. Looking to play Over the Rainbow.

  16. Sara


    I am having this song as my isle song for my upcoming wedding in Bali. I have hired a guitarist who is learning the ukulele for the occasion.

    Im changing the song around to have the start into lengthen out for the bridesmaid walk, then the ‘oooh ooh’ for the final bridesmaid and then the vocal begins when I walk down the isle and finishes at ‘lullaby’

    Do you have any suggestions or tips I can pass on to the artist?

    I have also thought of slowing the tempo down a bit to make it a slower walk (not a jog down the isle)



    • Sara, first off, congratulations! I think your idea will work.

      What I see potentially working out best would be to have your player play the intro for the song as it is above, but after the intro, go into the chord progression for the “oooh oooh” part without singing the “oooh’s.” Just repeat the chords for that section while the bridesmaids are walking and then as your player sees the last bridesmaid walk they can start singing the “oooh oooh” part to get ready for you to walk down the isle. You would just want to make sure you practice this in your rehearsal to make sure the timing is right.

      After lullaby, it might work well to go back into the intro chord progression for the song and after it finish on a C major chord. That felt most natural to me as I was messing around with it on my ukulele.

      Also, I wouldn’t worry about slowing the tempo down too much. The song can then start to drag which might make it feel too slow.

      So basically it breaks down like this:

      1.) Play intro chord progression
      2.) Play chord progression for “oooh” part but don’t sing–bridesmaids walk
      3.) Watch for last bridesmaid and start singing the “ooohs”
      4.) Watch for the bride and start singing first verse
      5.) Go back to intro chord progression and finish on a C major chord

      Hope this helps some! Just some ideas. You’re musician might have some ideas too. Have fun :)

  17. David


    I love how you play this song! I’ve gotten to the point where I know all the chords the strum pattern and can transition between them (only struggle with the G). So I’m wondering how to put it together with the lyrics and the main thing I’m having difficulty with is when there are two chords really close together, then also the opposite when they are farther apart (like above where you are the chords and lyrics together) . I don’t know what to do in those situation. Do I do half the strum pattern or whatever. Any help would be great thanks!


    • David, sounds like you’re making some headway on the song! It’s really important that you are counting at first when you are playing through the song. Typically, your chord changes will happen on the 1st or 3rd beat of the measure. One thing that’s really important to do is to just listen through the song very intentionally to try to hear where those chord changes happen. Ideally, you want to count as well so you can hear when those chord changes happen too.

      Just listening will really help. Sometimes I rush into a song and then get to chords where I’m unsure of the timing. It usually helps if I listen to the song a couple more times before I just to play that part. Hope this helps some!

  18. Theresa

    I am trying to teach myself the picking pattern of Iz’s Kaulana Kawaihae off of his Facing Future CD. THE most beautiful song I’ve ever heard. Have you ever broken that one down and have it buried in your archives somewhere?
    Thank you for these tips on SOTR. I’ve been playing it for a few months now, and your tips will really help me fine-tune it.

    • Theresa, I am not familiar with that song! I’ll have to check it out. I’ll definitely keep it in mind for future videos. I’m always looking for good ideas :) Thanks for the comment!

  19. Karen Mathews

    This is so great.
    I have been wondering for so long the partern.
    Do you use mostly your thumb to stum.
    I know a lot of players use thier middle finger but I have never been good at it ..
    That you so much again.

    • Karen, I find myself using my thumb a lot. I sort of use a combination between my thumb and my index and middle fingers though. I tend to use my index and middle fingers for my down strums and the side of my thumb for up strums. For these faster strumming patterns, I like to use my thumb to pluck or brush the top two strings for the first down strum of the measure. All to say, experiment a lot :)

  20. miguel

    I love this song and I’m playing for 3 months and this is my favourite song and how does it make the “Fadd9″ I just can’t find it. :)

    • An Fadd9 is almost identical to an F major chord. You leave your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the top string, but you take your ring finger and place it on the 3rd fret of the second to bottom string. Let the other two strings ring out. Enjoy! :)

      • miguel

        Thank you very much, Brett. I was stuck in this part of the song. :)

        • miguel

          you can now see me playing with father in : http://www.youtube.com/user/basilmar and thank you by the way

          • This is awesome, Miguel! I posted a comment to the video, so hopefully you will see it. I make a lot of music on the ukulele with my grandpa and my father too. Your ukulele playing is coming along very nicely. You keep great time and compliment what your father is playing too. Keep making great music :)

          • AJ Ward

            I`ve seen that video before!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. rosie h

    hi brett, got my first uke 2 weeks ago, found your site and away i go. working on the railroad is sounding not too terrible now and i’m beginning to tackle over the rainbow. really just wanted to say thanks so very much for the incredible time and effort you have put into your fantastic site. thanks to you, here i am sitting in australia, night time, practising my pluck-down-up-down-up-down-up and admiring your sweet playing and voice… hooray! rosie :) ps i think you can somehow set up for people to make paypal donations direct from your site if they want to, might be worth putting out the hat so to speak….a few coins here and there might buy you a new uke eventually!

    • Rosie, thanks for your comment! So glad to hear you’ve found Ukulele Tricks helpful! Sounds like you’re doing an awesome job so far with your practicing. Keep up the good work! :)

  22. Mark

    Cheers. Like the way you broke down the rhythm – definitely what’s having me scratch my head

  23. Ken L.

    PLEASE RESPOND!!! I just started playing the ukulele…but i play the guitar and i am a serious singer. Im performing this entire medley but my question to you is; do these chords work for the guitar too? I know there are obviously chords such as A, Em, and G on the guitar and ukulele but are they in the same key or would i have to transpose to make them work together? THANKS!!!!

    • Yep, these chord work for guitar. You’ll just need to figure out how to play these chords on the guitar. No transposing needed.

  24. connor

    hi, is it possible to play this song on a soprano ukulele, cause i bought one today (cause you have to have a ukulele) and it doesnt sound right. supposedly its in tune so i dont know what else it could be. any ideas? great website by the way.

    • Connor, thanks for the comment. This song will work great on soprano ukulele. My ukulele might sound a little different than yours in the color of the tone. I do have a tenor ukulele, and in this video, I am tuned to a low G tuning. This is where my top G string is tuned down an entire octave. This gives a bit warmer and darker sound to the tone. The song will work great on soprano ukulele though.

  25. Enrico

    Hi, can you guys tell me whats the strumming for this song?. Thank you

    • Enrico, check out the video above. I break down and explain the strumming pattern in it.

  26. marianne

    Hi, I’m thinking about to get a 6 strings uke, which is tuned like a guitar.
    (To learn all the new chords… pfff1) Would the sound differ much from a 4 strings uke?
    Thank you for the nice video.

    • It will sound quite a bit different than a 4 string uke, although it will probably still have a folks chimey sound. When you add two more strings, there will be a bit more resonance and sound being produced. I would love to get a six string ukulele sometime!

  27. Dev

    Thank you very much for providing this lesson. I must say it is interesting to get such a great Ukulele lesson from someone with Sleds hanging on the wall behind you :-)

    Keep up the great work. Any chance you would be able to add IZ’s version of “Country Roads?”

    Thanks again.

  28. bellissimom

    Thank you for this vid and chords, I couldn’t figure out the intro before the oooo’s.

    great ukulele playing and a sweet voice too.

    I’m going to have to transpose this to A or G, I think.

  29. Steven

    Just bought a concert soprano Ibanez uke this Tuesday. Not traditional but it looks way cool. Because I play mando, guitar, plus a few other fretted items, it comes real easy. I think I am going to have to purchase a tenor just for low G tuning cause just not enough tension…I get to within about a whole note and then it goes to pot. Arg. Anyway, thanks for the website – you are a kind person. BTW, the balalaika is tuned EEA. I bet a few russian tunes could be adopted for the uke. Maybe my niche in the market!

    • Steven, I think I know the uke you are talking about. I think it’s a cool looking ukulele! I am in a similar position in that I’ve been wanting to get a concert ukulele to compliment my tenor. This way I could leave the tenor in low G and put the concert ukulele in standard tuning.

      I’ve never heard of the balalaika! Sounds very niche. I just looked it up actually. Watched this video here. Wow!

  30. Sharon

    HI.. I love this website..I am working on Over the Rainbow on my uke.. Everything sounds great until I get to the G chord and it simply does NOT work there.. all the other chords sound great…What on earth am I doing wrong…??? Thanks for all the help you give us.. Sharon in NY

    • Sharon, what’s not working with the chord? Are you having trouble finding a good finger position for it? Is it not ringing out? Does it sound out of tune?

  31. Fabrizio

    Hi Brett, I love the video but I really can’t figure out the strumming pattern. You say it’s pluck, down up, down up, down up, but when I listen to the song it seems pluck, down up, down up.
    Please, help! ; )

  32. Tommy

    Tis is a brilliant song anf it was played wonderfuly :)
    However, i was wondering. For the relationship between the 1,2,3,4 beat and the strumming pattern ( I’m sorry that was terribly worded) does it go something like, 1st beat = pluck top string, 2nd beat = D,U, 3rd beat = D,U, 4th beat = D,U … Or is it something different?

    • You got it!

      • Fabrizio

        Sorry Brett but I think that simply matching 1-2-3-4 and P-DU-DU-DU can be misleading. The rhythm of the measure is not even. I read a reply you posted on youTube, where you explain that one should count 12&3&4&. That would make the pattern PD -(break)UDUDU. Am I wrong?

        • You are right that it can be misleading if you structure your strumming pattern just around down or up strums, but it is helpful to know what your strumming hand is doing. You had the strumming pattern right the first time. If you follow the strumming pattern I demonstrate in the video above, it is P-DU-DU-DU aligned to a count of 1-2&-3&-4&.

  33. Chi

    Hi Brett thanks for the breakdown and the video. I recently bought home a ukelele on my trip to Hawaii and wanted to learn this song first. It’s slow but steady going and I’m having a blast.

    Your breakdown is really helping!

  34. Leigh

    Thanks for posting the chords and video for this song! I recently received a ukulele for my 13th birthday and I have fallen in love with it! I love the sound of your voice- it’s so soothing and relaxing! God bless you!!

    • You are welcome, Leigh! Thanks for your compliments. Enjoy the ukulele. :)

  35. Bob Schuermann

    It appears that you have the Uke tuned with te G string tuned an octave lower thatn normal, is that correct.

  36. Petch

    Thanks so much for your video. It’s really helpful for beginner like me. You’ve done a great job both teaching and playing. Please keep up with your great work! I’ll surely follow you from Thailand!

    • Thanks so much for your comment! I’ve heard from quite a few folks from Thailand recently. I love how the ukulele is bringing all of us from many different parts of the world together. It’s awesome!

  37. Chris

    I have got the cords all down pat. And i have the strumming good. But as soon as i go to start singing it to really put both the strumming and cords into the context of the song my strumming totally screws up and i just cant keep it all going, the whole structure breaks down :( Do you have any tips on how i can kind of put it all together so i can seriously start actually practising the song?

    All the best,
    Chris 😀

    • This is an excellent question Chris. It comes up a lot. I actually wrote a post called “How to Sing and Play Ukulele At the Same Time” that I think you might enjoy. I give some practice tips for how you can get to the point of putting it all together. Feel free to post any questions that come up from that post on that page too!

      • Chris

        One other question. Why did you chose to play the down , down up,down up, down up. Rather then mabey Down, down , up, up, down up? I noticed a few other sites had that kind of a strumming pattern instead. So im just curious if there was a certain reason behind it :)

        Thanks so much :) your site is so great!!


  38. Gina

    Hello, I’m Gina and 21 years old. I just came back from Hawaii on the 20th and my dad bought a ukulele our last day there. It inspired me to want to learn how to play the uke, for me I thought it was too late because I have never played an instrument in my life, just singing. I seemed to pick this up in about 2 days so far and have been practicing for hours at a time trying to get everything down; I have also visited this website non-stop and this is my favorite song to play. It gives off that nice Hawaiian vibe which I love. Just working on trying to be able to change chords without needing to pause for a sec in between. I just wanted to say thank you for this wonderful site, especially for all the new players out there! It has really helped a ton. Thank you :)

    • Hey Gina, it’s never too late to learn how to play ukulele! I’m glad you have decided to pick it up. :)

  39. Jamie

    You should really go on “Americas got talent” or “Canada’s got talent” because you are amazing!!

  40. Thanks a lot for this! I come from a long background on guitar, but recently started picking up the banjo, mandolin, and ukulele (all in the same week!). Needless to say the chords that are so second nature on guitar are not as much so on these other instruments especially when trying to keep up with 3 new sets of fingerings. This song is PERFECT for practice since it hits so many of the major chords and gets your fingers used to switching between them in different ways.

    I’ve been using this song to help me out on all these instruments (though it really does sound best on uke, you can do a pretty neat bluegrassy version on a banjo!). Thanks for sharing the chords! I’ll definitely be giving your site a thorough going over as I learn the uke; I bet this isn’t the only post that will be applicable to the other stringed instruments as well!

    • Chris, I love getting comments like yours! I’m so glad to hear Ukulele Tricks has been useful to you so far. You are gutsy for learning all three instruments in one week. Ha, I am also a guitar player too, so I do know that already playing a stringed instrument gives you a leg up when you try to learn another. Enjoy and have fun! :)

      • Ha, I definitely bit off more than I can chew picking up so many instruments at once! Really the hardest part is keeping the new fingerings separate. If I take a minute to review the chords as I switch instruments, it’s not too bad. Honestly, of the three new instruments, the ukulele has the “easiest” chords (keep in mind, I’m just learning the basic fingerings as of yet), but that in no way means the ukulele is the easiest of the three! Switching strumming styles is a bit tough too, but I’m getting it down on the ukulele– it’s not too hard to go from a folksy style of strumming on a guitar to the “hawaiiny” strumming in, say, this song on the ukulele, but to make it work on banjo, you’ve got to change styles again! Picking on the ukulele still is kind of mysterious to me (for example your version of Hallelujah), Where are those last two strings?! And why is that top string so high?! (Havent’ switched to a low G string yet…)

        To follow up on what I said previously, after going through the free sections of your site, it really is fantastic! I’m so impressed with your personality! You can teach basic concepts with patience and advanced concepts with clarity. You’ve taught me so much about not just the ukulele, but music in general. If I had to make a critique of the site, it would be that you should market yourself more other than just “Brett”– it’s your own great teaching style that makes this site such an asset to beginners and advanced players alike. As soon as I get my next paycheck, I’ll be happy to subscribe!

        I don’t mean to hijack this comment thread with general, unrelated comments, but I also wanted to reiterate what a great song this is for learning any stringed instrument because of the range of basic chords it uses, and also express my gratitude again for your offering so many great resources for free.

        • Chris, thanks so much for your kind words and support so far! That’s really nice of you. You are very welcome!

  41. sam

    ok i am rather new so i might be missing something when is says “fadd9″ Is that just f9 because i can find on any chord sheet a chord that is called fadd9, but other than that i really understood the video thanks 😀

    • Sam, Fadd9 is different than F9. To play an Fadd9, place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the top string and your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the second to bottom string. Let the other two strings ring out completely open. :)

  42. Chaz

    whats a good ukulele for beginners? that will also go well with that song

  43. David

    Well beyond me at present … I’m just started and trying to master ‘working on the railroad’ from your free book.
    But I really enjoyed listening to you play.
    Best wishes and thanks

    • David, that’s okay! I have a feeling you’ll be able to get this song down in the near the future. Keep up the great work.

  44. Brett I think u did an outstanding job on the song and lesson! Thanks for postin and im goin to start workin on it.

  45. Amber

    Hi Brett,

    I guess I just wanted to say thanks for the site – your video for this song is excellent! I bought myself a ukulele on a bit of a whim about a week ago, and it’s the first stringed instrument I’ve ever attempted. I can just sit with it for hours though, probably largely thanks to your excellent tutorial! (well, until my fingers start to hurt – they’re not quite used to it yet..!)

    Thanks again and good work :)

    • Amber, it’s my pleasure. It does take a little bit of time to get the finger soreness to subside, but you’ll get there. Keep up the good work. :)

  46. MJ Kohler

    Hey Brett, once again, huge fan(: I actually am not writing about this particular lesson though. I have a challenge for you! Do you know the song Never Going Back Again by Fleetwood Mac? If not then you might want to look it up; one of the most beautiful songs you will ever hear. My challenge for is to learn how to play this song on the ukulele! Then post up a lesson, a huge favor I know but that would be sooo awesome. Try yuor best, thanks again, Chow.

    • Hey MJ, I’m always looking to post new songs. I’ll keep this one in mind!

  47. Nihal

    Hi Brett!
    I really like this website. I think that your lessons are great, but I can’t understand the chords of this song (i am a beginner :D) and the way you write the song with the chords. I would be really happy if you could help me.

  48. Erin

    Love this song; you did a great job of teaching how to play it Brett! Thanks!

  49. Mouli

    Hi I think someone may have addressed this but I’m not entirely sure but with the strumming is it simply P-DU-DU-DU or is it something different cos I’ve tried that on my uke but it sounds different to the actual version. Is there something I’m missing like is it meant to be grouped differently?

    • Mouli, thanks for your comment. Great question.

      It does sound a little different because this strumming pattern is all about feel. Technically, you could play it strum for strum, but the feel is going to dictate whether or not this strumming pattern sounds like the actual version. There is this constant pulse and rhythm happening which is created by doing all eighth note strums, however, the emphasis of this strumming is on the up strums.

      I think the actual version sounds more like pluck, down up, up, down up, however, there is a down strum happening on the 3rd beat of the measure as a ghost strum to keep that rhythmic pulse going. For example, if you just play pluck, down up, up, down up, it sounds choppy. This is why there is another down strum to make the strumming pattern: pluck, down up, down up, down up. This down strum on the third beat ends up being more like a quiet mute or a slap. However, you still strum this, more as a ghost strum, but again, the emphasis of this strumming pattern is going to be on the back beat, or those up strums.

      Does that make sense? This strumming for this song is actually pretty difficult to play from the standpoint of getting the feel right.

      • Mouli

        Thanks so much, yep that answered my question perfectly. I think my problem is probably getting the emphasis on the backbeat.

  50. Mouli

    also what does it mean to “add 9″? I’ve seen it for a few chords but I don’t exactly get what it does to the chord

    • An add9 is an added 9th to the chord. Technically, there are only 7 notes in a major scale with the 8th note being the octave. A 9th is the second note of a scale. So in an Fadd9, the added 9th would be a G note.

      So you would play an Fadd9 like this on ukulele:


      • Mouli

        I see. So for example would an Aadd9 mean 2002.

        • Close! That’s actually an Amin9. To make it Aadd9 you would need to raise your third up a half step and make it:


          • Mouli

            Sorry yea that’s what I meant: an Amin9 not an Aadd9

  51. Jennifer

    Hey your videos are so helpful how long have u been playing? And any tips for a begginger?

  52. christian

    thank you so much for putting your videos up. Also songs that are written for a guitar do you know how to play them on a Tenor Ukulele?

    • You can always look up the guitar chords for a song and just play those chords on your ukulele.

  53. Hannah

    Hey this is a really great tutorial! But when i sing it its way too low for me to sing is there anyway i can make it a little higher should i change the key or something??

  54. Awesome Now Over The Rainbow Properly Cauze Ive Been Practicing This Song For 2 Years Now >ㅜ<

  55. Neil

    Hi Brett,

    Great tutorial and it was easy to follow and pick up the required chords. I’m able to get the tune right up to the first verse (after the oos) at the moment and I’ve only been on it for 30 minutes!

    One thing I noticed when looking for help in playing SOTR/WAWL is that your chords differ slightly from another person’s (Chris Evangelista) tutorial… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35xvWUXfQTw&feature=related. Not a problem but wondered which set is exactly, or closest-to, the real thing?!

    Also, Chris Evangelista starts the strumming on the 3rd string and then down-up,etc.

    Would appreciate your thoughts on all this!


  56. Ryan

    after you pluck the top string with your thumb. are you strumming with your fingers or just your thumb

    • I’m strumming with my fingers after I pluck with my thumb.

  57. Emmie

    Hi I have just purchased a very cheap ukulele and I have no idea how ot tune it. Any Help would be very appreciated.
    :) Emmiexx

  58. Faith

    Thanks! This helps out a lot! ive been working on it for a couple of days and i think i have it down, i only have a little trouble getting to the Em chord fast enough.

  59. Chuck


    This is an awesome site. I am a new General Music Teacher and being a guitar player, I wanted to learn the ukulele to play songs with my younger kids. Your site made it extremely easy to do so. Thank you for sharing your ukulele skills.

    • Hi Chuck, that is awesome. I learned how to play ukulele from my grandpa when I was just six, so that is a great gift to give your kids. Have fun!

  60. Jesper

    Hello! I am really struggling with the strumming. I got a ukelele for christmas and basically skipped straight to chords and never did much strumming. When I try the pluck DU DU DU it goes much slower, so how could I learn/improve this? Thanks so much!

    • Speed will come with time and practice. The important thing is to practice it at a slow tempo first and try to play it as consistently and steady as possible. As you feel comfortable, gradually speed up the tempo. Using a metronome is a great practice tool for this.

      I wish there was a magic trick, but keep practicing and you will get it down in no time at all! :)

  61. Angelique

    I just got a concert ukulele a few days ago and I’m trying to learn this song. Do i have to change anything to like tuning or chords for the song since i have a concert?

    • While my tuning is low G in the video, you don’t need to change your ukulele from standard tuning in order to play this song.

  62. Ava

    Hi Brett!
    I just got a ukulele for Christmas, and I am slowly learning how to play it and i am so thankful for you because i would be so lost with out your web site. I am trying to learn over the rainbow, but I was not sure about the strumming pattern. I watched you video and i get that you 1st pluck the G string then strum down up down up down up , but when you strum down for the 1st time do you include the G string?

  63. yvonne

    HI Brett,

    Thanks for your website! Great vid too. Your version is the best i’ve found on the net! Keep up the good work on your website.


  64. Merrill Collier

    Which brand / type of special set of strings (to be able to tune G an ovtave lower) do you recommend please for a tenor uke?
    Sincerely, Merrill in Santa Rosa, CA

    • Hi Merrill, I’ve been using Aquila strings and I have been pleased.

  65. CBeall

    Hi Brett, I am trying to play somewhere over the rainbow,am I suppose to strum one complete strum cycle (down-down-up-down-up-down-up) with every chord in the song.? Or are some of the strum cycles cut a little short? Maybe I am just strumming too slow- ?
    Does every new chord change start with new strum cycle …..down down ect?.. or do some chord changes start in middle of a strum pattern?
    Thank you,

    • Hi Camilee, great question! For “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” chords are getting either one or two entire “cycles.” The entire strumming pattern I teach in the video happens over one measure of four beats. Some chords have the strumming pattern played over two entire measures. Some chords are only played over one measure. It’s important to count out loud. Most often, the chord changes happen on the first beat of the measure.

  66. Kirbo

    Great vid dude, especially the strumming sections which hardly anyone explains!

  67. Nicole

    Cheers Brett! Really helped me. Such a beautiful and dreamy rendition. :-)

  68. Randy


    Very new to the uke and your site. Way more help than anything I’ve found! I’m looking for SOtR without the Wonderful World mix. I know I should be able to separate it out on my own, but I can’t get there. I love all the comments and your responses! If you’re able, a little help please. Thanks

    • Hey Randy, no problem. Just want to make sure I understand you correctly. Are you hoping to play the more classic arrangement of “Somewhere”?

      • Randy

        Yes sir, the Iz version w/o the Wonderful World mixed in. It is a great song, but not what I want just now. I’m getting your chords and am working hard on the strumming pattern you show on the video. Too early to say I’m having success with that, but you have motivated me! Thanks!

        • Hey Randy, I would just cut out the sections and verses that you don’t want to play. If you want the more classic rendition of the song, I would search for the guitar chords of the arrangement of the song and then look up the ukulele chords using my ukulele chord library here:


    • Jessica

      I also have a comment simaler to Randy’s, does it sound OK to seperate the two????
      I’m new to this and your help has already landed me a gig!!!!!!! Huge ginormus super thanks!!!!!

  69. Jessica

    With the first part of the song the ooo part does the em start in the middle of the c when you are playing it or is the em a seperate ooo???
    Either way it totally helped but I’m still curious???

    • Great question. The Em is a separate “ooo.” A better way to think about it is that the C major chord gets two measures (each measure has four beats) as well as the Em chord.

  70. eliana

    THANK YOU FOR THIS WEBSITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  71. Jessica

    I love you and you are my inspiration

  72. Erin

    Hi Brett! I love your videos! So I am having trouble with this strumming pattern though. I read someone’s question about it earlier but I am still unsure about the timing as mine doesn’t sound quite right. I have been matching my 1234 counts with the pluck and then the 3 down strums. Could you tell me what part of my strumming should be matching up with what I count in my head? I hope that makes sense!

    • Hey Erin, your count for this song should be 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &. All your down strums will fall on the 1, 2, 3, and 4 beats of the measure. Your up strums will fall on the “&” of these beats or in between your down strums. Does that make sense?

      • Erin

        Yes, perfect. Thank you!

  73. Travis

    hey Brett, this was the first song i learned on the ukulele and may i say you are doing a great job at the tutorials. all of your tutorials have help me i am now either going to play this song or hallelujah for the my schols talent show which do you think i should play by what is your favorite of the two?

    • Hey Travis, that’s awesome. I think you should go with the song that you feel most comfortable with. I will say that generally people are pretty familiar with and very receptive to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” People LOVE this song, and whenever I’ve played it for others, I always get a great response. Best of luck at your talent show!

      • Travis

        Thanks Brett

  74. Kris

    hey do you pluck the top string for each chord?

  75. Thank you so much, Brett! I’ve actually taken the picking pattern you used for “Hallelujah” and used it for this song. I’ve been playing for about a week now and your website has really helped me learn quickly. Thanks, again! :)

  76. Rodrigo

    First of all, thanks!!
    And second, I cannot find the Fadd9 in your lyric/chords. Wich part of the song would it go?
    Thanks again!

    • Hey Rodrigo, the Fadd9 chord is up there, but it’s only in the intro of the song.

  77. RI

    Hey Brett! Im a Beginner at the ukulele like lidgetly just got it yesterday! lol I totally want to lern this song but the problem is im horrible!!!!!! What do you think i should do!? Please help my talentless playing!!! lol

    • Haha, you’ll get there with time and practice! I recommend hitting the “Lessons” link at the top of this page and exploring the different lessons on the website. Practice the chord positions for this song before you worry about strumming. The more comfortable you are with your chord positions the easier it will be to focus on strumming. Also, for now, just stick with down strums. As you get more comfortable, you’ll be able to advance your strumming.

  78. Fraser !

    Cant seem to get Em right :)

  79. Amy

    I’ve recently got a mahalo uke and i get massive blissters!how do i stop it?

    • Hi Amy, take a break for now and wait for your fingers to heal up. It’ll take a little bit of time for your fingers to build callouses. These callouses will allow you to fret the strings without any pain. Be patient, get some rest, and come back to it.

  80. Luana

    I love this! ukes are so easy to play and sound so nice! thank you for posting this

  81. Thomas specht

    I’m still having trouble with the strum pattern i always get lost in the start but then pick it up in the 3 verse. and ive heard of a diffrent strum pattern that was a “calypso pattern” of DDUUDU apposed to your PDUDUDU. help?!?!?!

    • Hi Thomas, that pattern can work too. The most important thing about strumming is to be conscious of the timing or count of a song. As you strum, try to count out loud apart from singing the song: 1, 2, 3, 4, repeat. If you know how a song is counted, you can find a strumming pattern that fits within that count. In this way, a lot of strumming patterns could work for this song.

      For a good lesson on counting and strumming, I would recommend the following:


  82. Kacee

    Hey Brett! I play the Viola and am REALLY interested in getting started on the Ukulele. Do you think I will get confused with the note names and everything if I play both? Thanks! :)

    • Hey Kacee, they are completely different instruments, so there might times where you get confused, but honestly, I don’t think you will have a problem. It’s usually easier to pick up the ukulele if you’ve played another instrument. I grew up playing ukulele, piano, and guitar, and it worked out okay for me. Hah :) You can do it!

  83. Theresa

    Hi Brett,
    Just wanted to say thank you. I had the honor of knowing Iz as a kid and I just know he would be so happy that you are spreading the aloha spirit by teaching people all over the world his beautiful rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. I’ve recently picked up the ukulele after a 35 year break and came across this page today. We are going to Greece on vacation tomorrow, I’ll be taking my ukulele with your chords and advice. As soon as we are back in town, I’ll be joining you! Mahalo and aloha!

    • Hey Theresa, thank you for your kind comment. I’m glad to hear you’re back at playing the ukulele! Keep me updated on how things go for you, and enjoy your vacation!

  84. Cole

    Hi.im trying the DDUUDU STRUMING PATTERN. How do i know when to switch cords??

  85. Evan

    Im not saying the lyric is wrong but the line that goes “I like the dark” sounds better as “I like the night” because it rhymes with “clouds of white”. Again his is out of speculation and may in fact not be correct.

    • Me

      I totally agree that “I like the night” sounds better. However, the actual lyric is “I like the dark.” Sometimes when I’m singing along to this song I say “I like the night” without even thinking, then I remember that it’s wrong. 😛 :)

  86. Caitlin

    Howdy!! I bought my first ukulele with my 16th birthday money a few weeks ago and love it!! I’m a cellist and know very little about this, but I have a question… when I play an Em chord my instrument makes a buzzing sound. How can I fix this?? Is it my instrument or my fingers??
    Thank you!! Oh and that video was great :)
    P.S. I first learned this song on a different site, but I like this version much better!! :)

    • Caitlin

      Also, I’m confused on how many times you play each chord because when I sing along it doesn’t seem to match up with the music??
      Thanks a lot!! :)

      • As you practice the strumming pattern, be sure to count out loud. I’d recommend to tap your foot or clap your hands to the music first to “feel” and find the beat. Once you’ve found the beat, try to sing along top of it. Chord changes typically happen on the first beat of the measure. Before trying to sing the song, try playing through the chords first. For more about counting and strumming at the same time, check out my strumming lesson video here:


    • Hey Caitlin, welcome to playing ukulele! For the Em chord, I would isolate the buzzing string by plucking each individual string. See which one it is and see if you can position your finger in a way to prevent the buzzing. You might need more pressure, or you might need to move your finger right up against the fret (the one closer to the sound hole).

      • caitlin

        Thanks that helped a lot!!!! :)

  87. Natalie

    Hey Brett, so the strumming on this song is a little too fast for how i strum, my hand can’t get where it needs to be in time. I strum with my thumb nail up and my middle finger down while my hand is half open. I’ve been looking for other ways to strum to fix it but all of them don’t suit me. Any ideas?

    • Hi Natalie, keep taking it slow. It’s often easier to play slow without tension rather than coming out of the gate at full speed. As you get more comfortable with the motion at slow tempos, you’ll find that you’ll be able to gradually go faster, while staying loose. Keep practicing and you’ll see improvement!

  88. Victor

    I’m not trying to be a jerk, but I think you should add a single C-chord at the end, because the song is in the key of C and every song should end with the chord of it’s key (or at least that’s what I’ve been taught).

    • Victor

      By the way, the rest of you’re post thingy here is awesome, it really helped me with playing this song.

    • Go for it! :)

  89. Rachel

    Just picked up the uke two days ago. I’ve got most of the chords in this song down, except for E minor… I also sometimes have trouble with getting my chords to ring out slash I actually am semi-making up how to hold my hand with the whole strumming thing. See, I’m a lefty so the fingerings are really easy for me since my left hand kinda listens to my brain. My right hand doesn’t, so I’m struggling with getting a good sound out of my uke.
    Any tips for a newbie? 😀

    • Hi Rachel, congrats on picking up ukulele! Em is a tough chord. The best advice I can give you is to practice chord changes separate from strumming. As you’ve only been playing for two days, you’re brain (and fingers) need time to build up a degree of muscle memory where chord changes become smoother and more natural. You’ll see improvement with practice.

      In addition, practice the strumming separate from chord changes. Just practice the strumming pattern over one chord. Count out loud as you practice and try to get your strumming as consistent and steady as possible. Then, as you get comfortable, select a chord to change to. As you do this, add in more chord changes.

      Like anything in life, practice makes perfect. :) Don’t be discouraged. Keep at it!

  90. Sue

    Hi…I’m a 58 year old grandma with absolutely no musical experience. On the advice of everyone who told me that no one is too old to learn to play an instrument, I finally decided on a concert uke which I bought yesterday. Brett, I’ve been looking over your site, lesson book and blogs and I have great admiration for both yourself and all of those who have benefited from your expertise. I myself am totally overwhelmed! While I’ll be starting lessons soon, I know that I’m going to be referring to your terrific site frequently.

    • Hi Sue, I’m glad you’re picking up the ukulele! If you ever have a question, just post a comment! :) Best of luck to you.

  91. Mildew

    I really like this song! I never understood the strum pattern until i saw the video. Thanks!

  92. cath

    Hi! Thanks for your tutorial! I just started learning Ukulele yesterday and so happy that I could already hear a lovely tune from it. This helped me a lot and I’m actually using your tutorials right now. =)

  93. Will

    Hi, great video. The strumming part was really useful. Quick question, I got my uke as a gift for my birthday today, but I don’t know what type it is. How do I find out?

  94. alfredo

    hey i just got my ukulele during the summer and this seems to help me a lot thanks man keep doing what your doing it really helps others a lot

  95. Brendon

    When are you gonna add more songs?

    • I’m working on it. :)

      • Jeff

        Hi Brett, new to the uke but enjoying it.
        Please advise how to find chord Fadd9 as in intro to “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”
        Many Thanks

        • To play Fadd9:


          Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the top string, and your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the second to bottom string.

  96. Kat

    thanks so much! i just started playing uke yesterday cause my hands are too small for guitar, ive got a cheap soprano uke called kilo, the first song i learned was trouble :) using your website i think

  97. Gail

    Hi Brett! This was the song that inspired me to try the ukulele. After getting a Makala Dolphin Soprano I found your tutorial and I was on my way. I couldn’t do the pick and strum, I wasn’t coordinated enough yet, so I just strummed. Then I signed up for your strumming course and spent a few months working on my strumming. Now I’m back and my strumming skills and timing have improved so much that I can pick and strum this song like a pro. I’m so happy!!! Thank you! Bless you, wishing you all the best in all your endeavors.

  98. Alice

    Hi,I’m from Italia! I can not play this song because i have an soprano uke. Have you got any song for a soprano uke?

  99. KareBear

    I love your voice! You make an album or something. I bet it’d sell!

  100. I love this song! I’ve been practiceing this for so long. Its awesome!!!!

  101. Spencer Bravo

    If you use the finger picking method from “hallelujah” for the “what a wonderful world” part than it sounds pretty good. For some of the parts you need to repeat a chord though.

  102. This will sound stupid, but is there only one way to plain old strum?

  103. Hannah

    What type of uke do you have? Is it soprano or baritone?

  104. Debs

    Hey Brett, thanks for your awesome site; you seem like such a lovely guy! I’m a complete ukulele novice (my husband came home with my first ukulele yesterday as a present!). I’ve been looking over as much music theory as I can re: chords, it’s all pretty confusing to me but I am determined to learn. I found a different Somewhere Over The Rainbow tutorial (with slightly different chords) by Nick Weiss and he said he thought he’d figured out Israel K’s strumming pattern: thumb the top string; up, down, up; bump the uke, up, down, up. What do you think of that? I have memorised your chords because I personally like them better, but I really like Nick Weiss’ strumming pattern and it feels great playing it.

  105. Ian

    I was wondering the very last line, “Why oh why can’t I” does each chord get one strum pattern? or two for each?

  106. lauren


  107. Me

    Hi! Thanks so much for this video and the chords. I just got my ukulele but I love it and have been playing it so much. I’m having some trouble with the first part of the strumming pattern (where it goes: ” PLUCK down up down up down up”). I have trouble going from the PLUCK immediately to the DOWN. I was wondering if I should do the PLUCK on the way up or down. Thanks! :)

    • me 2

      I thing the second would work I tried it out and its really helped me when I try to play it.

  108. Hi, I am getting the song, but can’t sing it well, so wanted to just have fun playing it through entirely. The write up doesn’t seem to match up with the youtube videos of OFFICIAL Somewhere over the Rainbow – Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole. Do you have a video of yourself playing it through entirely to your written lyrics – so we can play along start to end?

  109. Kriskind

    Brett I don’t know the strumming pattern can u tell me ?

  110. Danielle

    I LOVEEEE this!!! It helped me sooooo much!!! I was shocked how easy it was to pick up especially seeing as i just learned all the chords today!!!! I cant play it without looking at the screen yet, but soon i hope i’ll be able to just take my uke and pull it out whenever i want and just play from memory!!! and i loveee this version of this song :)

  111. Madeline

    The notes are easy for me, its the strumming pattern that’s demolishing me. I just can’t figure it out. Can you help me with that?

  112. Danielle

    but what’s the strumming pattern

    • hi

      I think the struming pattern is down,down,up,up,down,up

      • Meghan

        yah that’s how i play it too

  113. hi

    Is that right?

  114. Emma

    What is the rythym for strumming? I cant seem to get it. Thanks!

  115. megan

    o my gosh your so good

  116. Marshal

    wow,thanks for sharing

  117. Meghan

    Hey I was wondering how many times do you play each chord? Cause the intro sounds like you play each chord one time but in the refrain it sounds like you play each chord twice.

  118. Flyingnik

    Later half of the song seems to no longer be in a fixed width font.

    Chords are perfect, thanks!

  119. Travis

    How do you play the Fadd9 on standard tuning?

  120. Ladybug

    This was my first ukelele song. Though i’d challenge myself and bypass TwinkleTwinkle. And I DID IT! Thanks to you! On to my next challenge….what song should I learn next?

  121. poon

    This a very good song it is so nice.

  122. Sofia Fotiadou

    Hi Brett, as you said, the strumming pattern is the hardest part of this song. Thank you so much for breaking it down for us. It sounds so effortlessly and easy whenever I hear the song, or rather medley, by Iz. Have only been playing this for a few days and sometimes I do forget the last up strum but I know I’ll get this eventually. I’ve only been playing the uke for a little over a year now but already I’m able to play so many songs. I love my uke. :)

  123. Jonathan Cohn

    Hey Brett! You have helped me so much start playing the ukulele. Could you do a tutorial of Banana Pancakes. Im finding other tutorials hard to follow :(


  124. Danny

    Don’t know if anyone else caught this but the 2nd chord in the whole song is actually an e minor chord with G in the bass so G E G B.

  125. Dave

    When IZ plays this song, it almost sounds like the chords stop reverberating between the first up down and the second up down part of the strum. When I play it, the sound of the first up down carries all the way til i play the second up down part of the strum. It also sounds like he hits it another time between the two up downs, but it’s muted. Do you know how IZ does that? Is he muting the strings and then strumming them one time between the two up downs? Sorry if my question doesn’t make any sense 😀

  126. justlearning

    this may be a stupid question to some, but i’m completely unaware of what those random hyphens before some lines of the song indicate. are they meaningless, or are they important?

    • Great question. They are meaningless. I had to include them at the beginning of the line in order for the chord letters to “tab” over above the right words.

  127. Laura

    Hi Brett, I’m getting my guitar-playing boyfriend a ukulele for christmas and I’m so so so glad I came across this site – it’s brilliant! I’ve gone from knowing absolutely nothing about ukes to feeling fully confident in picking the right one.

    Just wanted to say after watching the video, your versions of these songs are the most beautiful versions I’ve ever heard! I’d love to hear your version start to finish. This website is making me want to learn the uke myself so you are definitely spreading the ukulele love! Thanks :)

  128. Gioia Acri

    Hi Brett, your video is really helpful but I’m wondering if I’m playing this song in the wrong way just because while I was learning it, without want it, I started using the ‘down down up up down up’ strumming pattern and I like how it sounds anyway… Let me know what you think about it?
    Gioia :)

  129. Lieneke van de Griendt

    Hi ya Brett, how can i get access to your video lessons on Somewhere over the rainbow? The video won’t show if i click on the lesson.

  130. bill

    thanks so much i have been looking at videos of yours and somewhere over the rainbow
    and silent night thanks so much

  131. CYRUS THE V

    you are gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood

  132. Gordon

    What kind of ukulele is this? I see there are 4 kinds, and I’m looking into getting one. Thanks.

  133. Sophie

    Is there a different strumming pattern you’ve used for this song? I’m still having trouble with the one you use in the video. Thanks you the help! you rock

  134. Joshua

    How would I do this on a soprano uke if it is possible

  135. Diko

    This might be a weird question. After many many times of learning how to strum for the song ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’, my muscles (top muscles) between my wrist and my elbow is now sore and painful. What am I doing wrong. Thanks you.

    • Hi Diko, you might be carrying some tension in your strumming hand/wrist/arm. Remember to keep it loose and relaxed. Also, take a break! :)

  136. Ellen Chan

    Brett, Thanks for the great lessons! So glad I found your awesome site! I’m from Canada and just bought a ukulele in Hawaii after vacationing there last week because I always loved Israel’s beautiful version of this song and thought it would be fun to pick up the uke from the homeland and start learning. I can quite get the strumming to sound as smooth as you have it between the pluck on the first note and the strum..When I try, it sounds like a pluck-strum :) ..any extra tips on the thumb-pluck strumming pattern?

  137. Sherry

    Brett, I am a new ukelel owner and want to learn how to play. I saw your two books on Amazon, one Is Ukulele for Dummies and the other is Ukulele Exercises for Dummies. Which would be the best for me to buy? Do you get a commission if f I click on your link on this webpage to access Amazon? Thanks for your help.

    • If you’re looking for a more intensive practice-based book, I recommend Ukulele Exercises For Dummies. I do receive a small commission if you purchase the book from the link to Amazon on this page.

  138. Nikos

    Hi Brett. I just got my soprano ukulele and i’m decided to play that over the rainbow song, it’s just magical. Should i get a set of low g strings, so that my sound is similar to IZ’s? Would it help? Thanks in advance?

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