In this ukulele lesson we will use the uke to play a melody. Not many people can play Beethoven on their ukulele but soon you will be one of them. Let's start! "To Joy" is an ode written in 1785 by the German poet Friedrich Schiller.
It is commonly referred to as Ode To Joy. The musical setting is by Beethoven in the fourth and final movement of his Ninth Symphony. I use my own form of ukulele tab for articles like this to be sure that the tabs are readable on article sites. The more common ukulele tab staff notation can be found on my site with ukulele tab, guitar tablature and free sheet music. The string with the highest pitch on the ukulele is usually an A and is called the first string.
This is the string nearest your feet when you play. The first number indicates the fret. The second number after the slash tells you which string to play. Here is the first part of the melody with ukulele tab: 0/1 0/1 1/1 3/1 3/1 1/1 0/1 3/2 0/1 indicates that you play the first string with your right hand without pressing down any left hand finger.
It is called to play on the open third string. We will not dicuss how to play with you right hand. I suggest that you play the notes with your right hand thumb but do as you like. This type of ukulele tab doesn't indicate the length of the notes.
I leave it up to you to figure out the length of the notes. Let's play the next ukulele tab: 1/2 1/2 3/2 0/1 0/1 3/2 3/2 3/2 means that you press down a left hand finger on the third fret of the second string. I haven't told you anything about which left hand finger to press down on the frets on your ukulele. You can of course use your first finger for all the notes.
A more professional approach is to play the notes on the first fret with your first finger, the notes on the second fret with your long finger and the notes on your third fret with your ring finger. It might be difficult at first but if you practice it will be easier for you to find the right notes. You don't even have to look at your fingers to find the right fret if you get used to this way of playing. The next part of the melody is a repetition of the first part: 0/1 0/1 1/1 3/1 3/1 1/1 0/1 3/2 You know what the ukulele tab above tells you by now. The last ukulele tab in the first part comes now: 1/2 1/2 3/2 0/1 3/2 1/2 1/2 A new melody is introduced as a contrast: 3/2 3/2 0/1 1/2 3/2 0/1 1/1 0/1 1/2 3/2 0/1 1/1 0/1 3/2 1/2 3/2 0/3 This ukulele tab version of Ode To Joy will be completed when you play this part of the first melody: 0/1 0/1 1/1 3/1 3/1 1/1 0/1 3/2 1/2 1/2 3/2 0/1 3/2 1/2 1/2 Now you can play Ode To Joy by Beethoven on your ukulele with ukulele tab! Actually you can play this melody with the use of the above ukulele tab notation on a guitar also. The first three strings on a guitar are tuned the same way but not in the same pitch.
I recommend you to learn the melody by heart rather than looking on the ukulele tab so you can play it anytime and anywhere!.
Peter Edvinsson is a musician, composer and music teacher. Visit his site Capotasto Music and download your free sheet music and ukulele tab at http://www.capotastomusic.com