A Song to Commemorate Juneteenth - Free PDF Download with Ukulele Chord Chart and Lyrics

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In honor of Juneteenth (June 19th, a day that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States), I thought I’d share one of my very favorite American folk songs. “Take This Hammer” is a song to sing when you’re feeling fed up, down and out, or ready to break free from something that’s weighing you down. Lead Belly’s recording is probably the version that’s imitated the most but, like many folk songs, “Take This Hammer” has been covered by hundreds of artists, so it’s always interesting to listen to multiple versions and hear how differently artists can interpret a song.

In the audio clip above, I’m playing “Take This Hammer” on a tenor ukulele with a low-G string in the key of A with A, A7, D, and E7 chords, paired with a strum you can learn from a YouTube video by TenThumbs Productions. How will you play it?

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I’m Melissa Stevenson, an ukulele teacher, and author of Let’s Play! The Ukulele Handbook for Beginners. On the Musical Mama blog, I post practical and inspiring tips for beginning ukulele players, free music-themed downloads, and video tutorials to make learning to play the ukulele as straightforward and fun as possible. Let’s play!



A note about my blog:

The content I post is free and available to all, without advertising or paywalls. If you’d like to show your support for what I do, please buy my book! :)

 

Track Your Progress with My Weekly Play Log (Free PDF Download!)

Track Your Progress with My Weekly Play Log (Free PDF Download!)

Even when I’m having a good run of playing my ukulele daily, I can feel a little disorganized. I was pondering this last night, then realized I would feel so much better if I was simply tracking my playing and making notes of what I was working on. It sounds incredibly obvious to me now, but it was a big a-ha moment at the time!

I used to maintain practice logs when I took piano lessons as a kid, but haven’t used one since. And since so many uke players are learning how to play on their own, I thought creating a weekly play log might be a helpful tool for me to share here on the blog. So here it is!

I hope this Weekly Play Log helps you:

My Favorite One-Chord Song for the Ukulele

My Favorite One-Chord Song for the Ukulele

In this video, I share one of my very favorite folk songs, Li’l Liza Jane. It can be played as a one-chord song, and its beautiful melody and playful lyrics make it a really fun one to play and sing. One-chord songs are great for beginning ukulele players who are still getting comfortable making chord shapes, strumming, and singing at the same time, but they're also great if you're working on a new skill such as a more complex strumming pattern, fingerpicking pattern, or riff.

Free Printable: Ukulele Binder Cover Pages

Free Printable: Ukulele Binder Cover Pages

Yesterday I suggested you put all of your song printouts and handouts into sheet protectors and stick them in a three-ring binder. Today I’m offering four free printables to help you keep your music organized and looking pretty. There’s a beach scene (for your island music), a geometric option (for your modern tastes) , a watercolor floral design (for pop music), and a beautiful meadow (for your folk tunes).

How to Organize Your Chord Sheets and Songbooks

How to Organize Your Chord Sheets and Songbooks

Close friends and family members know that I love to tidy. I read organizing books for fun, I enjoy cleaning out closets, and I get energized by finding new homes for the things my family no longer needs or uses. An organized life makes for an easier life, and an organized music system makes for easier playing. There’s nothing more annoying that trying to find a lost song sheet or not being able to find your beginner’s handbook!

Make playing your ukulele easier by taking a little time to organize your materials with these tips for organizing your printed chord sheets, songbooks, and digital files…