UD#34 The Magic of Chord Melody (SILENT NIGHT)

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UD#34 The Magic of Chord Melody (SILENT NIGHT)
from Ukulele in the Dark
w/ Guido Heistek


This week we are talking about chord melody. Here is a little video of me playing through a chord melody of Silent Night. First I play a fairly stylized version with a finger-style treatment. Then I walk you through how I usually approach teaching a simple chord melody arrangement of the song. These are the usual steps:

1. Learn the melody
2. Learn the chords.
3. Put the chords and melody together.

Here’s the video:

Here are a few notes to help you along.

1. Learn the melody by ear if possible:

Here’s a recording of the melody of Silent Night:

The melody of this song can played using this version of the C major scale:


The lowest note is the open C note. The highest note is the F note on the 8th fret of the A string.

Practice the scale a few times and then see if you can transcribe the melody for yourself. It starts like this:


See if you can figure out the rest by ear. Use the recording as a reference if you like.

Here’s the answer sheet: CLICK HERE

2. Learn the chords.

In the video above I walk you through figuring out the chords to Silent Night by ear. The song can be harmonized with three chords C, F, or G7. In the answer sheet to step one I have put little brackets where a new chord is needed. See if you can fill in the correct chords. More info on this in a past newsletter here:


3. Put the chords and melody together!

This is the cool part. Once you’ve learned the melody and the chords you can try and put the two together. I use my thumb to strum the simple chord melody in the video. I show how I let my right thumb come to rest on the note after the melody note. This keeps it from ringing and obscuring the melody. Below you can see some tab for the first two bars of the song. The X marks where my thumb comes to rest on the A string to keep it from ringing.


CHORD SHAPES- When the melody goes up the neck of the uke we get to use  the G7 shapes that we learned last week! Here is the tab of the chord melody (click for a printable version):

I hope you enjoyed this week’s newsletter. Chord melody is by far my favorite thing to do on the uke. I hope this newsletter has given you a taste for it. I will talk about fingerstyle patterns and how to apply them to a chord melody in future lessons. Also, I plan to do another newsletter that goes further into how to create your own chord melodies.

I’ll be taking a break for the holidays. I will start newsletters up again at the beginning of January.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. I started

All for now,



Please share!

P.S. I am regularly adding new lessons to Ukulele in the Dark. Please subscribe to my mailing list below to receive every lesson right when it comes out. Be sure not to miss a thing!