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BLUE SKIES by Irving Berlin – Taught by “UKULELE MIKE”

August 11, 2011

PLEASE NOTE: My UKULELE BASICS DVD is available for purchase.  For more info email me at:

I think maybe I was kinda channeling Rod Stewart when I performed his song. . . ha ha ha. . . Actually I was getting over a really bad cold. . .For most of my life I’ve been a HUGE fan of Irving Berlin.  Typically most songwriters or composer have a peak period of creativity then drift off into other activities in their musical careers. . . Not so with Irving Berlin. . . His music spans over 5 decades . . . Starting way back in 1913 with Alexander’s Rag Time Band and going strong even into the 60’s.  One little bit of trivia about Irving Berlin is that he had limited piano playing ability so he had a special piano created that with a switch of a bar he could transpose to any key he wanted.  He would have an assistant sit next to him and transcribe what he was composing onto notation paper.  In his early days one of his assistants was a young budding composer named George Gershwin.  I don’t think Berlin ever played the uke but I swear this song BLUE SKIES is a sure fit for the uke. . . The wonderful transition of chords going through that delicious A+ or also called A augmented chord is a sheer delight.  The chords just seem to fit naturally under the fingers while playing this song on the ukulele. Irving Berlin was a shrewd businessman.  In the tin pan alley days most composers were on contract to various publishing companies to churn out new pop songs for the market.  In Berlin’s case he would not only be the composer but eventually he even started his very own IRVING BERLIN MUSIC COMPANY. . . So he didn’t have to split royalties with the publisher. . . as HE was his own publisher. In this tutorial at one point I mention a Bm6 chord when in fact it should be a Bbm6 . . . Easily played by barring the first 3 strings of the first fret.  Below is the complete score with melody, lyrics and ukulele chord fingerings. . . Enjoy. . . and “HAPPY STRUMMING” – Mike Lynch



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