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.

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This blog is where I post any news or new songs (also on the Facebook page). It's worth checking here 
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Games People Play - for guitar and ukulele

Posted on August 5, 2016 at 3:55 AM

This is quite an a old song, written and recorded by Joe South in the late ’60s. It has interesting words, a good clear rhythm and only 3 chords: A, D, and E, so it’s easy to play on guitar, though you need to listen to the recording (it’s on Youtube here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5znh58WITU8 ) to pick up the timing of the words.

 

It’s trickier on ukulele, but if you wanted to sing a bit higher you could play C, F and G chords instead of A, D, and E.

 

Here are the links to the song sheets:

….

for guitar - L.13 Games People Play_A,D,E

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for ukulele - Uke L.17 Games People Play_A,D,E

 


Beginning strumming tips

Posted on July 2, 2016 at 2:20 AM

Whether you are learning to play 'sing-along' style on guitar or ukulele, you will need to learn how to strum a good, steady rhythm with your right hand.

 

 

Strumming rhythms can be harder than it looks when you're not used to it.

 

You need to have a clear idea of rhythm. If you're not used to making rhythms, you can practise tapping along to songs when you are listening to music- with your foot, your hand (or just a finger if you're driving a car at the time!). The more you get your body used to tapping rhythms, the easier it will be to get your hand strumming in time.

...

Lots of people start with just strumming 'down' all the time, in rhythm with the song.

Once you get used to strumming 'down, down, down', etc. with your thumb, and your wrist can relax, you can start flicking the strings as you bring your hand back up between down strokes. It may feel awkward at first, but the more you do it, the more natural it will feel- remember a nice, relaxed action.

...

You can practise just doing rhythms without playing chords or songs at first to get it established, then try some simple songs that you know well. Don't try to do do many things at once to start with, as you'll get discouraged.

...

...

I did a couple of brief videos on YouTube a few years ago when I had a request for help with simple rhythms. Here are the links if you want to have a look (please forgive the singing!):

Tom Dooley - basic strum:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czIUFFuPmTc

Mockingbird (Hush Little baby) - basic strum:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OH81RpPJxQ  

 ...

Keep practising - a bit every day if you can to build up your 'muscle memory', until it comes easily and you can start using your other fingers or a pick, and you can try experimenting with more elaborate rhythms.

 

 

The Boa Constrictor Song for guitar and ukulele

Posted on June 10, 2016 at 8:25 AM

 

This is a really fun song to sing with kids (and just fun anyhow!)

It’s easy to play on guitar or ukulele.

 

Check out the audio clip at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sa48bc0P0XI (Peter, Paul and Mary version) if you’re not sure how it goes.

Here are the links to the song sheets:

….

for guitar - L4. The Boa Constrictor Song_Key G_G,D7,C

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for ukulele - Uke L.2 The Boa Constrictor Song_Key G_G,D7,C

 

 

Dedicated Follower of Fashion (Kinks) - for guitar and ukulele

Posted on June 3, 2016 at 10:30 PM

 

 ...

This is an old Kinks song from the ‘60s. You can find clips on YouTube if you don’t have a recording. It works well on ukulele or guitar, with easy chords especially on uke but fairly fast changes.

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The rhythm is nice and regular, 4/4 time with a stress on the second beat of the bar rather than the first.

...…

Here are the links to the song sheets:

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for guitar - L 9. Dedicated Follower of Fashion_Key C

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for ukulele – Uke L.12 Dedicated Follower of Fashion_Key C

….

There is a YouTube clip of the song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QA5gJ0hZpCc

 

 

 

 

Worried Man Blues - for guitar, ukulele and banjo.

Posted on April 19, 2016 at 4:40 AM

 

  

This song is fun on guitar, ukulele or banjo.

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I’ve done 2 versions- the second version has an extra line in the verse. I’ve put a link to a YouTube clip in the ‘Carter Family’ version.

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In the ukulele song sheets, I’ve substituted E7 for the E chord, as it’s easier to play and either works fine in this song. I’ve also left out the A7 in the banjo Version 2, as it’s not needed and it’s hard to play on banjo.

...

Here are the links for the song sheets:

...

Banjo-

B.L. 11 Worried Man Blues_Carter family_Key A_A, D, E

B.L. 11 Worried Man Blues_Version 2_Key A_A, A, D, E 

... 

Guitar-

L 13 Worried Man Blues_Carter family_Key A_A, D, E

L 13 Worried Man Blues_Version 2_Key A_A, A7, D, E

...

Ukulele-

Uke L.14. Worried Man Blues_Carter family_Key A_A, D, E7

Uke L.14. Worried Man Blues_Version 2_Key A_A, D, E7

,,,

There is a YouTube clip of the Carter family version at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcvWrxrNk4k 

 

 

Take me Home, Country Roads - for guitar, ukulele and banjo

Posted on April 3, 2016 at 8:25 AM

 ...

 

This song has been done on the site before in the key of C, but I realised it wasn’t on the main lists (and the starting note was wrong), so I’ve replaced the original song sheets, made new sheets in Key G and also banjo versions.…

...

Here are the links to all the song sheets:

….

for guitar -

1) L.7 Take me Home, Country Roads in G_G,C,D,D7,Em,F

2) L.17 Take me Home, Country Roads in C_ C,F,G,G7,Am,Bb

….

for ukulele -

1) Uke L.15 Take me Home, Country Roads in G_G,C,D,D7,Em,F

2) Uke L.7 Take me Home, Country Roads in C_ C,F,G,G7,Am,Bb

….

for banjo -

1) B.L.7 Take me Home, Country Roads in G_G,C,D,D7,Em,F

2) B.L.17 Take me Home, Country Roads in C_ C,F,G,G7,Am,Bb

….

There is a YouTube clip of the song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tk4F-sDqF2Q  

 

 

Cottonfields - for guitar and ukulele

Posted on April 2, 2016 at 12:10 AM

 

Classic Creedence, easy and fun to play and sing. I’m not sure where I got the extra verses from, but I’ve included them – and an extra A7 chord which may not be authentic but I think sounds good (leave it out if you prefer).

Here are the links to the song sheets:

….

for guitar -

      L.12 Cottonfields _CCR_Key A_A, D, E7, A7

….

for ukulele -

     Uke L.14 Cottonfields _CCR_Key A_A, D, E7, A7

…..

There is a YouTube clip of the song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4zPEmRufMU

 

Botany Bay - for guitar, ukulele and banjo

Posted on April 1, 2016 at 7:45 AM

 

This song is perfect for a sing-along, if everyone knows the tune. It’s quite simple to play (you can leave out the Em if you wish).

Here are the links to the song sheets:

….

for guitar -

       L 4-5. Botany Bay _Key G_G,C,D7 (Em)

for ukulele

       Uke L.2-15 Botany Bay _Key G_G,C,D7 (Em)

for banjo -

       B.L.3-5 Botany Bay _Key G_G,C,D7 (Em)

….

There is an animated YouTube clip of the song (children’s version by Aussie Kids’ Songs – Key A i.e. capo 2 or play A, D, E7 – no minor chord needed) here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKgXldJb5p4  

There is also a YouTube clip by Gary O’Connor which isn’t a very good recording but I like the sound – especially the banjo – at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2w1lYFKGYQ

 

 

Me and Bobby Mc Gee - for guitar and ukulele

Posted on April 1, 2016 at 7:10 AM

I’ve written out the ‘Kris Kristofferson’ version of this well-known (at least in my generation) song. It’s an easy-to-sing-and play song (just one trickier chord on ukulele), with a nice slow, laid-back rhythm.

There’s a key change after the first chorus (up 2 semitones) so I’ve written it out in Key G with a change up to Key A chords, as this is easier to play than the recorded key of A>B (use a capo on 2nd fret if you want to play in the recorded key).

Here are the links to the song sheets:

….

for guitar

         - L.12 Me and Bobby McGee_Key G-A 

for ukulele

         - Uke L.14 Me and Bobby McGee_Key G-A

….

There is a YouTube clip of the song here: Kris Kristofferson – (capo 2= Key A>B)

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-J7mLyD3yc  

 

"The Shores of Botany Bay" - for guitar and ukulele

Posted on April 1, 2016 at 5:25 AM

 

 

 

This is a traditional Irish/Australian song about emigrating to Australia, with a catchy tune and rhythm. The Bushwackers Band version* is closest to the one I remember, so I’ve based the song sheet on that (though I’ve left out the intro and instrumental break, and it’s in a different key).

I’ve written the song out in 2 keys; you can choose which is easier to sing. Both keys have not-too-hard chords on guitar or ukulele, though some fairly fast changes (uke Level 16 is harder but you can leave out the B7 chord).

Here are the links to the song sheets:

….

for guitar -

1) L.12_Shores of Botany Bay _Key Am; Chords- Am, C, G7, F, Dm, E7

2) L.14_Shores of Botany Bay _Key Em; Chords- Em, G, D7, C, Am, B7

….

for ukulele

1) Uke L.14_ Shores of Botany Bay _Key Am; Chords- Am, C, G7, F, Dm, E7

2) Uke L.16_ Shores of Botany Bay _Key Em; Chords- Em, G, D7, C, Am, B7

….

*There is a YouTube clip of The Bushwackers version of the song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvAtbkDdeyI  

They do it in Dm, so you could play the Am chords on guitar with a capo on the 5th fret (or change the Em chords to Dm, F, C7, Bb, Gm, A7).

 

 

 


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