Learn to play "Silver Bells" Ukulele Version (Christmas Song)

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Print the Lyrics and Chords for "Silver Bells" (link)
Download the TABS - "Silver Bells" Ukulele Picking (All Parts)(.pdf)

Hey UUers!

December is here and that means it's time to grab your ukulele and tune in to the holiday spirit! This year we're bringing you the classic Christmas song, "Silver Bells" on ukulele. Click on the Play Along video above to try it out and if you need a little help learning this on your uke, start with STEP 1 below:

STEP 1 - Chords

There are 4 chords that you'll need in order to play this song:

A(2100), D(2220), E7(1202), A7(0100)

So simply learn to hold each chord and be able to switch between them quickly and comfortably. For more info and practice with these chords, check out the video below:

To make the transitions easier, here are a few tips:

1. Keep your thumb to the side of the fretboard.
All of the chords are simple, non-barred chords, so you don't need to place your thumb behind the neck for support. Just cradle the neck of the ukulele comfortably in your palm for stability. Switch chords by freely moving your fingers around.
2. Use an "anchor" finger.
When switching between D and E7, you can leave your middle finger in place while your other two fingers move to their new positions. And when going from A to A7, all you need to do is keep your index finger in place and release your ring finger.
3. Practice with simple down strums
and focus on the switches. You want to get the chord switches down as quickly and cleanly as possible, so don't worry about your strumming hand just yet.

Once you've got the hang of these chords head up to the top of the page and play along with the Play Along video. Use simple down strums and switch chords whenever indicated. Awesome, you just played the super beginner version of the song!

When you can switch chords right on beat, move on to Step 2.

STEP 2 - Rhythm

The rhythm for this song is in 3/4 time, meaning each measure has 3 beats, giving it a "waltz" sort of feel. Try feeling out the rhythm by naturally moving your hand to the beat, starting simply and gradually adding more complexity:

1. Use a simple "down, down, down" strum
(3 beats per measure, a "down" on each beat). While you're doing that, try strumming slightly louder on beat 1 to give it more emphasis (down, down, down, down, down, down)
2. Add "up" strums in between each down.
Continue to accent the first down strum in every set of 3 beats (down, up, down, up, down, up).
3. Combine steps 1 and 2.
Let beat 1 "breathe" by continuing to emphasize the down, but skip the "up" after it. Follow up with the "down, up, down up" for beats 2 and 3 (down, --- , down, up, down, up)

For a deeper explanation of the rhythm, check out Aldrine's breakdown below:

As long as you stay with the waltz-y feel of the song, you're all good! Play along with the Play-Along at the top of the page to practice the chords and rhythm together. Great job, you just played the intermediate version of this song!

STEP 3 - Picking

If you would like to add a little picking to this song, there's a simple intro riff as well as a middle picking with harmony. Use the following slowed down videos (60%, 80%, and 100% speeds) as well as the "Silver Bells" Ukulele Picking TABS to learn and practice the picking.

Intro Riff:

Middle Picking with Harmony:

If you have an ukulele playing friend or family member, this one is a great Christmas song to play together, because one person can do the main picking and the other can join in with the harmony. Try it out and when you've got it down, play along with the Play-Along at the top of the page.

Enjoy this holiday classic as we round out the year and, as always, if you have any questions or need help with your playing, be sure to Contact us! Have fun UUers, stay safe, & keep strummin'

-UU Staff


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