Issue 148: Ukulele; Eleanor Rigby

Aha, I’ve discovered that this song can be played using F and Am – Easy-easy-peasy-peasy!

You can get the words and the chords here:


First of all, click +5 on the transpose bar. That will put it into the right key.

Secondly, ignore all the variations (unless you are teaching in ADVANCED MODE, which I certainly am NOT!). Just use F and Am all the way through.

You might want to just stick to the first verse…

I taught this today to a Year 5 class who haven’t been playing very long.Product Details

Here’s a brief outline of the process I went through (I had a backing track in F/Am from my trusty “Ukulele for Kids” book). If you don’t have a backing track, then… create your own, maybe? Record some friends singing and playing it?

  • Listen to the track, keeping the pulse quietly
  • Talk about the song and the words, The Beatles etc
  • Listen again, noticing the chords and strum signals
  • Listen again, calling out the chords as they change
  • I then demonstrated on my ukulele chord C (which I call “1-2-3 Easy Peasy C” and tend to use as a starting point for teaching most chords), followed by chord F, using fingers 1 and 2, followed by chord Am (“just unglue finger 1”). I did this a couple of times.
  • I invited children to come forward as see if they could do C followed by F followed by Am – chose about four individuals
  • Give out the ukuleles and let them practice. The children already know to check that the ukuleles sound the song “My Dog Has Fleas” – G C E A – and bring them to me for tuning if necessary.
  • As a whole class, play four C chords. AND STOP. I count them in; 1 2 3 4 C C C C
  • Repeat with four F chords.
  • Repeat with four Am chords. This is probably overkill, but I am also trying to teach the idea of “following instructions” to this class!
  • Repeat with four F chords followed by four Am chords and F chords again and Am chords again AND STOP.
  • We are good to go!  

This lesson worked really well – the children enjoyed the song and were more than capable of singing and playing it.

birds on a branch divider


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