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In the Solo Fingerpicking eBook – – – – -AMAZING GRACE – Classic hymn arranged for solo ukulele by Ukulele Mike Lynch

September 5, 2013

amazing grace solo cover

According to Wikipedia “Amazing Grace” is a Christian hymn with words written by the English poet and clergyman John Newton (1725–1807), published in 1779. With the message that forgiveness and redemption are possible regardless of sins committed and that the soul can be delivered from despair through the mercy of God, “Amazing Grace” is one of the most recognizable songs in the English-speaking world.

Newton wrote the words from personal experience. He grew up without any particular religious conviction, but his life’s path was formed by a variety of twists and coincidences that were often put into motion by his recalcitrant insubordination. He was pressed (forced into service involuntarily) into the Royal Navy, and after leaving the service became involved in the Atlantic slave trade. In 1748, a violent storm battered his vessel so severely that he called out to God for mercy, a moment that marked his spiritual conversion. However, he continued his slave trading career until 1754 or 1755, when he ended his seafaring altogether and began studying Christian theology.

Below is a performance I did of my ukulele solo arrangement on You Tube several years ago:

In arranging this hymn for ukulele I chose to use an arpeggio finger picking style. The musical term “arpeggio” is of course derived from Italian as most musical terms are. It simply indicates that you take a chord and break it up into individual notes running them in some sort of rhythmic or even non rhythmic sequence. This gives is a distinctive “harp” like effect. Since the ukulele is basically limited to only 4 strings, I highly suggest using only the thumb, index and middle fingers to do the arpeggio or finger picking notes. I usually suggest using the thumb on the 4th and 3rd strings. . . Using the index finger on the 2nd string and the middle finger on the 1st string. Take a look at the short clip below of the opening measures of Amazing Grace.

Amazing Grace example 1

Amazing Grace music clip 1

I might add that all of the chords throughout this piece are to be softly rolled. That gives them a broader more elegant feel rather than just picking the notes simultaneously. I start with the thumb and work toward the middle finger.

The full tablature of Amazing Grace is contained in the UKULELE SOLO INSTRUMENTAL eBook 2013 enlarged edition. . . Below is a You Tube video with an explanation of it’s contents.

Note, I also offer my Chord/Melody series. . . Each eBook can be purchased individually or as a Tri Pak at a discount

Chord Melody Series Banner

For inquiries about any Ukulele resource, please email Ukulele Mike at

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Susan Williams permalink
    May 22, 2020 2:54 p05

    Thanks so much! I love this song and I’ve always wanted to learn it!

    • Cynthia Miller permalink
      May 22, 2020 2:54 p05

      Yes! Thank you!

    • Collene Lynch permalink
      June 15, 2020 2:54 p06

      Aloha Susan!
      How are you coming with Amazing Grace?
      It’s a favorite hymn for so many that Mike included it in the Solos fingerpicking book, which you have. So when chord melody playing took off, so many of Mike’s students asked for it in that form as well, so he added it to his Chord Melody Book Two. In fact, many of the songs in those books were a direct result of special requests from people all over the world. 🙂
      I hope you are keeping well, wherever you live. This has been a time to rethink our priorities…and of course, practice our playing!

  2. March 16, 2016 2:54 p03

    Reblogged this on UKULELE MIKE LYNCH – All things UKULELE.

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