Cathy's Chords - songs for guitar & uke

Lyrics and chords to old folk songs and favourites from the 50's on. 
Learn-to-play acoustic guitar and ukulele tips for beginners... and some banjo as well.

First  Guitar songs  – Level 1- 2 Easy Chords (D, A7)

            

 

There are hints on how to play these  chords on the First Song sheet below:

Click on the  titles of the songs below  to open/download the .pdf file.

* June 2011: I've started to add links to YouTube clips of the songs on this site ... see my LINKS page.  Note - the clips may not be exactly the same version or key as my song sheet, but if you listen you'll get the tune and the idea of the rhythm etc. Some clips may show a guitar player so you can see the strumming pattern.

 

First Song- 2 Easy Chords- D, A7- with learn-to-play hints:  ROCK MY SOUL 

The strumming pattern for Rock my Soul can be a simple down-stroke, ONE,2,3,4, ONE ,2,3,4.

Don't know the song? Look at my LINKS page for a link to a YouTube clip of this song. Note- the clips may not be exactly the same version or key as my song sheet,  but you can hear the tune and rhythm.

 

 

 Second Song- 2 Easy Chords - D, A7- MOCKINGBIRD

- slow changes, easy to play

The strumming pattern for Mockingbird can be a simple down-stroke, ONE,2,3,4, ONE ,2,3,4...

I have made a short video clip to show the strumming style for this song. It's at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OH81RpPJxQ . Warning- this is very basic, and I am NOT a singer! 

Don't know the song? Look at my LINKS page for a link to a YouTube clip of this song. Note- the clips may not be exactly the same version or key as my song sheet,  but you can hear the tune and rhythm.

   

 

 

  Third Song - 2 Easy Chords - D, A7- TOM DOOLEY  

 - another slow song with few chord changes 

The strumming pattern for Tom Dooley can be a simple down-stroke, ONE,2,3,4, ONE ,2,3,4...

I have made a short video clip to show the strumming style for this song. It's at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czIUFFuPmTc .  Warning- this is very basic, and I am NOT a singer! 

Don't know the song? Look at my LINKS page for a link to a YouTube clip of this song. Note- the clips may not be exactly the same version or key as my song sheet,  but you can hear the tune and rhythm.

 

   

 

Fourth Song- CLEMENTINE   (Oh My Darling Clementine)   Level 1

  - slightly faster changes, but still the 2 easy chords.

The strum for Clementine is ONE, 2,3, One ,2,3...      

                    

 Don't know the song? Look at my LINKS page for a link to a YouTube clip of this song. Note- the clips may not be exactly the same version or key as my song sheet,  but you can hear the tune and rhythm.

 

ANOTHER LEVEL 1 SONG:                          

 

BANANA BOAT SONG (DAY-O) - Level 1 - D, A7     

-  Look at my LINKS page for a link to a YouTube clip of this song.

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First  Guitar songs  – Level 2-     G Chord

When you can comfortably change between D and A7, it's time to add in an extra chord. The G chord is a bit of a stretch, but you can just do the one-finger version at first (just don't play the lowest/thickest 2 strings).

When you feel OK, give the "normal" G a go. (There's a couple of other versions also, including a bar chord, but you can learn those later on). Here are the two easier versions of the G (G major) chord: 

                                

Level 2 song: WHEN THE STARS BEGIN TO FALL

This is an old song, recorded by the Seekers. It has a nice, easy melody and  lots of repetition, so you can practise your chord  changing. There are just 3 chords- D, A7 and an occasional G. Keep an even strum with your right hand (down up down up etc...)

Don't know the song? Look at my LINKS page for a link to a YouTube clip of this song. Note- the clips may not be exactly the same version or key as my song sheet,  but you can hear the tune and rhythm.

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Level 2 song: THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT - D, A7, G

This version is the one I remember from the radio. The chord changes aren't too fast. You can use the easy A7 and G chords if you like, or you can try the 3-finger G and the half-bar A7* (see chord charts on the song sheet).

*If you play the half-bar A7, you'll probably want to pull your wrist back a bit to make it easier to press your first finger down across the "top"(highest pitch) strings. 

This is also a great song to play round with when you get a few voices together- so practise your guitar accompaniment, then get a few singers together, and have fun!

Don't know the song? Look at my LINKS page for a link to a YouTube clip of this song. Note- the clips may not be exactly the same version or key as my song sheet,  but you can hear the tune and rhythm.

 

JOHN BROWN'S BODY/MINE EYES HAVE SEEN THE GLORY - Level 2              - D, A7, G

              I've put the 3-finger G chord on this sheet, so you can practise it -

                take the songs nice and slow to start with.

June 2011 - I haven't been able to find a good music clip of this song on You Tube yet...still looking...


  

HAPPY BIRTHDAY - Level 2 - D, A7, G -

this song needs a capo to sing when playing this easy version.  

I've also put the F chords on this sheet, for confident guitar players.

 

 Other songs you may know at Level 2:

 

LITTLE PETER RABBIT - Level 2 - D, A7,

THERE'S A HOLE IN MY BUCKET - Level 2 - D, A7, G

SILENT NIGHT - Level 2- D, A7, G

LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL - Level 2 - D, A7, G - Dubliners version; Youtube link included on PDF  

... also check the Guitar Songs - Levels page for more

 recent songs at this level! 

 

            First  Guitar songs  – Level 3-   D7 Chord

 The D7 chord usually goes with G. If you make a G chord with 3 fingers, as above, your fingers are making a large triangle.

 

 

To change to D7, you just have to contract your fingers to a smaller triangle, sliding your 3rd finger back a fret, and bringing the other two fingers in to make the D7 shape, as below. Make sure you don't lift your fingers up more than you need to- this should be a smooth change.

To change back to G, open out your fingers again, sliding your 3rd finger back to the 3rd fret. Here's the diagram for D7* (notice how it's different from D):

* Note- This chord is called  D7 ( or "D seventh"); it is actually a dominant seventh chord, and includes the flattened 7th note of the D scale (i.e. C). This makes it sound a bit "off" so that when you go back to G, it sounds "resolved" (see How to make Chords for more info.)

Here's a song with just G and D7. Some of the changes are close together, so play it slowly till you get used to the changes. The timing is 3/4, so you need to strum ONE two three, etc:

                                                                    

The STREETS of LAREDO Level 3 - G, D7

 

LORD OF THE DANCE -Level 3 - G, D7

 This is a simplified version of this song, but it still sounds good-it's a great tune. You can experiment with good, strong right hand rhythms, e.g. ONE, 2&3&4...  on the main part, then just down strokes on "dance said he".

 

DOWN IN THE VALLEY -Level 3 - G, D7

 This song is a good, easy pace with only 2 chords- G and D7. Practise changing easily and smoothly between the two chords: your fingers are making a triangle for G, and when you change to D7, slide your 3rd finger back to the first fret and draw your other 2 fingers in to make a smaller triangle. To change back, just slide your 3rd finger back to the third fret, opening out the triangle.

The rhythm is 3/4, so you strum ONE two three, ONE two three, etc, with the stress on the ONE (i.e. the  first beat of each bar). I have indicated the bars following each chord change-  / means another bar of the same chord.

I’ve only written the chord changes in the first verse- as there are only 2 chords, you should be able to get the pattern of changes and hear when you need to change on the other verses (this is a good skill to develop, so later on you will be able to work out your own accompaniment to songs "by ear").

 

Other songs you may know at Level 3:

 

SHORTNIN' BREAD - Level 3 - G, D7

the MOUNTAINS OF MOURNE - Level 3 -  D, A7, G, D7 (Simplified - based on Irish Mist version)

 

... also check the Guitar Songs - Levels page for more

 recent songs at this level! 

 

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