In the Solo Fingerpicking eBook – – – – -AMAZING GRACE – Classic hymn arranged for solo ukulele by Ukulele Mike Lynch
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
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
For inquiries about any Ukulele resource, please email Ukulele Mike at TheUkuleleMan2012@hotmail.com