Learn to play "The Way" by Fastball on Ukulele
A new month has come around and that means a brand new episode of Uke Lessons! This time we're breaking down the 1998 hit single, "The Way" by Fastball on ukulele. Get going at full speed by playing along with the Ukulele Play-Along above. If you need help, begin with any of the steps below:
STEP 1 - Verse Chords
To start, you'll need to learn 4 chords to play the verse:
F#m(2120), Bm7(2222), C#7(1112), F#7(3421)
For beginners, the toughest parts will be switching between the F#m and the other chords, all of them bar chords. For those, be sure to move your thumb to the back side of the neck to support the bar. Check out the video below for more info on how to hold these chords:
When you get these chords down, you have all the chords you need to play the verses! Head up to the at the top of the page and play along with "The Way" Ukulele Play-Along to practice. After that, move on to the Chorus chords.
STEP 2 - Chorus Chords
Next, you'll need 3 new chords in order to play the Chorus:
A(2100), E(4442), D(2220)
Don't forget about your F#m and C#7 chords from the verse though - you'll need those, too! But A, E, and D are the only new chords you'll need to learn to play the chorus, if you don't already know them. See the video below for Aldrine's breakdown on how to play the chorus chords:
Practice these chords and when you have them down, try them out by playing along with "The Way" Ukulele Play-Along at the top of the page. Just get comfortable playing the chords at all the correct times. Make sure you can switch between the chords quickly and efficiently. Once you have that down, it's time to add some rhythm:
STEP 3 - Beginner Strum
Now, let's get your strumming hand involved. Start off with a simple, steady down strum. Do 8 steady down strums each on F#m, Bm7, C#7, and F#m again. Next add up strums in between your down strums. Finally add a little syncopation by removing some of the strums. Watch the video below for Aldrine's explanation of the beginner rhythm for this song:
Nice job! Feel free to use any of these beginner strums to play along with "The Way" Ukulele Play-Along at the top of the page. Awesome, if you can change chords at the right times, and hold a steady rhythm, you can play the entire song already!
STEP 4 - Intermediate Strum
If you're feeling adventurous, or if you're tired of playing the same beginner strums, spice up your rhythm with some advanced techniques. In the following video, Aldrine shows you how you can add rolls, pinky mutes, pinky scrapes, and fingerpicking to make your rhythm a little more fancy:
You definitely do not need to add any or all of these techniques to your rhythm, but learning them and playing around with them add a lot to your ukulele toolkit. Use what works for you and play along with "The Way" Ukulele Play-Along at the top of the page to practice and expand your rhythm skills.
STEP 5 - Riff
During the Chorus, there is a simple riff that happens right in the middle. It's a variation on the E chord and while you don't have to do it, the riff adds a little sparkle to that section of the song. Here's a video of Aldrine, explaining the riff:
Basically, you're just adding a finger down on the A string 4th fret for a nice variation on the E chord. Practice and have fun adding this to that section of the Chorus!
STEP 6 - Picking
Finally, if you really want to make this song complete, there is a picking that you can learn. Aldrine specifically created a picking on ukulele that emulates the guitar picking in the middle and at the very end of the song. Use the following slow down video to learn and practice the picking. Be sure to refer to the TABS for this picking if you need more guidance on what Aldrine is doing.
The picking happens twice and the only difference between the first picking and the last is the final note. Check out "The Way" Ukulele Picking TAB to see the difference (Use ending 1. for the middle picking. Use ending 2. for the outro picking). If you need to make the video even slower, click the little gear icon in the lower right hand corner of the video to select a slower speed.
Great job! Hope you had as much fun playing along with "The Way" Ukulele Play-Along as we had filming and creating it for you. (Be sure to watch the original music video to understand a little of our inspiration). Lots of great chords, strumming techniques, and picking challenges here to play with and practice to help sharpen your uke abilities. Enjoy and if you have questions about your playing, need help with any song, or anything else, simply send a message - we're always here to help you expand and improve! Have a good one UUers, keep strummin'