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Hey UUers!

Summer in Hawaii is a wonderful time - filled with parties and festivals, Hawaiian music is always in the air. This month on Uke Lessons, we bring you one of the most popular traditional Hawaiian songs: Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai (The Plants of the Sea). This one is a musical staple for hula dancers everywhere and if you're lucky enough to attend a hula performance in Hawaii, it is more than likely that you'll hear this song.

In this lesson you'll learn a simple version of this song with chords, strumming, and a nice picking pattern that you can play during the vamps (turnarounds) between each verse. But because it is so widely performed, there are many different ways to play this song. In fact, when we filmed the Play-Along video for the song, Kaleo (vocals and guitar) and Randell (bass) did a few things to make this song even more authentically Hawaiian, so for all of you UU+ members, be sure to check out the video below for a breakdown on some additional tricks to make your Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai even more Hawaiian-sounding, as well as a recut Play-Along video to practice with.

A big MAHALO to Larnelle Brezee, Kaleo Cummings, and Randell Jiminiz for helping us out with the hula and music for the Play-Along! Have fun with this one, all you UUers - ALOHA and keep strummin'

-UU Staff


  1. Beautiful tune, beautifully done. What more can I say? Pretty easy tune for strumming the chords. Trying to get the wife up to par with playing along. Wonderfully done video!!! My appreciation to all contributing. Mahalo from this wahole.

    1. Sorry, can’t spell Hawaiian. The word is haole, not wahole, whatever that might mean. Wish I could learn the language. Maybe my word is a combination of wahine and haole, meaning what I married.

  2. Very nice job on this one! I’ve always been impressed with the quality of your lessons and they keep on getting even better. I especially enjoyed the added bits for UU+ — it’s nice to have the option of playing it as a more basic song for beginners (especially for those new to Hawaiian music) but also have the option to add more authentic flavor to it as well. Also, nice explanation of where the vamp chords come from, I particularly like that way of explaining where the II7 chord comes from (as the V7 of the V7).

    Mahalo nui,

  3. Thumbs up to Kaleo, singing was great! and Larnelle, hula was expressive! and Randell, bass carried the song!

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