Learn to play "It's Now Or Never" (Elvis) on Ukulele

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Hey UUers!

For the (very romantic) month of February we're bringing you a Uke Lesson from The King of love songs: Elvis Presley with "It's Now Or Never." The song has some simple chord changes, an interesting 1950s strum to learn, and some fun tremolo picking parts. And yes, it is in the key of E, but don't fret! Aldrine breaks down several ways to play the E chord for those who may be a little afraid of it. Like always, you can jump right in by playing along with the "It's Now Or Never" Ukulele Play-Along above and if you need help learning this song, start with any of the steps below:

STEP 1 - Chords

Start by learning these 5 simple chords:

Ukulele Chords:  E, F#m, A, Am, B7
E(4442), E(444X), F#m(2120), A(2100), Am(2000), B7(2322)

Notice there are two ways to hold the E chord. The first is a proper barred E chord, which may look a little intimidating to newer players. However our best advice is to simply try it! Even if you don't get all of the notes cleanly, it's all good. As you can see in the second version of the E chord, you don't even really need to play the note on the A string and it's still an E chord. Try it out and figure out a way that works best for you. Practice switching between the chords and you should be golden.

When you've got the chords down, head up to the top of the page and play along with the "It's Now Or Never" Ukulele Play-Along to practice. If you're ready to add a little rhythm to your chords, move on to Step 2:

STEP 2 - Rhythm / Strumming

Next, add a simple strum to your chords. Start by using simple down strums on the "heartbeat" of the song. After that, add up strums in between the downs, then add an accent on beat 1 to really emphasize it. From there you can add an exaggerated, muted strum on beat 2 using your pinky finger to really create that 1950s rhythm.

Try it out and feel free to strum as simply or as intricately as you want. When you find a strum that works for you, practice it by playing along with the "It's Now Or Never" Ukulele Play-Along at the top of the page. Awesome, you just played the whole song! If you want to learn the interesting picking and fills for this song, continue on to Step 3:

STEP 3 - Picking

Finally, there are 3 picking parts for your to play around with: the Intro Picking, a picking used as "echos" during the Verse, and a short picking during the Chorus. In the video above, Aldrine shows you how to play all three, including a couple of ways to play the tremolo technique needed for the Intro and Chorus picking parts. For those players who can read TABs, refer to the "It's Now Or Never" Ukulele TAB sheet if you need even more help learning these.

When you've learned the picking parts, try them out using the "It's Now Or Never" Ukulele Play-Along at the top of the page and play along with the entire song. Congratulations, now you have everything you need in order to play "It's Now Or Never" on the ukulele!

If you like this one, be sure to check out our tutorial for "Can't Help Falling In Love" by Elvis, arranged for solo instrumental ukulele. Have fun and as always, if you have any questions or need help, just send a message! Keep strummin'

-UU Staff


  1. Thanks aldriene Thats our wedding song when the groom and bride starts the party By having the first Dance
    Be mind tonite tommorro will be to late its now or never( then I would do a little troy fernandes accent 2 strokes down//’ it would sound likekachankchank and I’d end it with my love wont wait.

  2. Love this arrangement. As always, great singing. Fun picking part. Question… what is the stone work behind Aldrine in the video? It looks very old.

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