WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD – Solo Ukulele Arrangement by Ukulele Mike Lynch
“What a Wonderful World” is a song written by Bob Thiele (as “George Douglas”) and George David Weiss. It was first recorded by Louis Armstrong and released as a single in 1967. Thiele and Weiss were both prominent in the music world (Thiele as a producer and Weiss as a composer/performer). Armstrong’s recording was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. The publishing for this song is controlled by Memory Lane Music Group, Carlin Music Corp., and Bug Music, Inc.
I really enjoyed arranging this piece for solo ukulele. I chose the Key of F as it is one of friendliest keys for solo ukulele compositions. Having said that, I must mention that one chord that is fairly essential for the Key of F is the Bb chord and this piece certainly has a lot of them. Since F is so important for ukulele playing its vitally important that ukulele players devote time to mastering this chord. DO NOT avoid the Bb. . . It does have some challenges but they can be overcome. Typically one would play the Bb by pressing down the first two strings at the first fret with the index finger, then place the middle finger one the 2nd fret of the 3rd string then place the 3rd finger on the 3rd fret of the 4th string. As the 2nd and 3rd fingers are place down they often tend to lift the index finger slightly off it’s mission of holding down firmly the first 2 strings. That in itself is an important exercise and one well worth spending time on. It’s important to keep the 2nd and 3rd strings from touching the 2nd string so remember to keep the wrist fairly dropped low to allow those fingers to nicely arch up over the top of the first 2 strings. Watch the latter part of the VIMEO video to get some visual pointers on this. At one point in the song there is a need for getting a high note on the 5th fret of the first string with the little finger so take a look at the tablature below to see how the first string is not fretted to allow for this.
In the following clip notice the accents that are placed above the 1st and 4th beats of each measure. This should be adhered too throughout the piece.
The C#6 chord is used in this piece. Do not be put off by the name. It’s actually a very simple chord. Merely barre the first 4 strings at the 1st fret. Remember the C6 chord is just the 4 strings played open, so barring it up one fret changes it to a C#6 chord. Notice all of the “1s” in the tablature clip before. Those are all held down as a barre chord at the first fret.
Tablature available for purchase $5.39 thru the paypal donate button on the Ukulele Mike website: http://www.ukulelemikelynch.com
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