How to Play Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” on Ukulele

by Rodrigo Sanchez, Mar 29, 2021 . 4 min read

How to Play Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” on Ukulele

Today we’re gonna learn how to play Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” on ukulele. Bruno Mars wrote and produced Grenade with six other writers, as part of his debut album Doo-Wops & Hooligans.

Interestingly, this song was completely re-arranged and re-recorded two days before its release. This last minute decision proved to be a smart one, as this song became one of Mars most popular releases and a worldwide hit. Grenade is Bruno Mars’ third number one hit and a fan favorite. This song also is a great one to learn on ukulele. It is simple enough for anybody to learn and can be a nice addition to your repertoire. Here is how to play Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” on ukulele.  

Harmony

Grenade features a simple harmony that employs basic uke chords. Take advantage of our very own ukulele app to help you with your learning process. The progression here is Dm, Am, A7, Bb, F and C, with a Gm for the bridge. For the Dm, place your index finger on the second string first fret, middle finger on the fourth string second fret and your ring finger on the third string second fret. 

To change to A minor, place your middle finger on the fourth string second fret and leave the other strings open. For A7 place your index finger on the third string first fret. To play Bb, bar the first three strings on the first fret with your index finger, place your middle finger on the third string second fret and your ring finger on the fourth string third fret. For F major place your index finger on the second string first fret and your middle finger on the fourth string second fret. Finally, for C place your ring finger on the first string third fret. The G minor is played with the index finger on the first string first fret, the middle finger on the third string second fret and the ring finger on the second string third fret.    

Form

Grenade features a typical verse-chorus pop form. It starts out with an intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus. The verse features two bars of Dm, followed by two bars of Am. The last time around, the last Am becomes an A7 chord that leads us back to another 8 bars of verse. However, this second half of the verse ends with a Bb and A in the last two bars, the rest being identical. 

We then go to the chorus with the progression Dm Bb F C. This is repeated 3 times to then conclude the chorus with the progression Bb Bb C C F A7 Dm C Bb A A. The second half of the choruses is the most challenging part of this song. This ending leads us back to the intro and then verse. Finally, after the second chorus, we’ve got the bridge. The progression there is Gm Dm Gm A. This is followed by an outro that is the same as the intro.

Strumming pattern

The easiest way to play this song is to use a continuous downstroke pattern. This pattern will help you learn the form and progression. Once you have that down, you can then work on more complex patterns or even employ some arpeggios. The most important thing is to know the chords and learn the form of the song well. 

Learning how to play Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” on the ukulele can be a fun process. This song is still an easy one, but with a more complex chorus than most. Perhaps it can be the song to learn after you master a few easy ones. It is a fun song and you can learn it in a week or less if you dedicate daily time to practice. Leave us a comment with other ukulele songs you’d like to learn. 



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