How to Play Somewhere Over the Rainbow on Ukulele

by Frederik Nielsen, Mar 15, 2020 . 4 min read

How to Play Somewhere Over the Rainbow on Ukulele

The voice of Hawaii, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, blessed us with his cover mashup of Somewhere Over the Rainbow and What A Wonderful World.

Anybody who’s somebody with a ukulele knows this song. In fact, it might be the first song people learn when they get their hands on a uke.

So if you don’t know it, now is the time to learn it.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow Ukulele Chords

Have you ever noticed how many colors there are in your average, run-of-the-mill rainbow? That’s how many chords you’ll need to play Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

The seven chords are Am, C, D, Dm7, Em, E7, F, and G.

That may seem like a lot of chords for such a simple song, especially considering that the typical pop song only has three or four chords.

But they’re quite easy to remember once you get the hang of it, and there aren’t any barre chords to struggle with either.

Practice the chords now for free with Ukulele by Roadie 

Somewhere Over the Rainbow Ukulele Strumming Pattern

If you’re a novice ukulele player, then you should start with a simple down-up-down-up (DUDU) strumming pattern until you’ve mastered the chord progression.

However, if you want to imitate the great Iz, then you’ll need to get a bit more technical.

Start by plucking the low G string at the first bar, rather than strumming the whole chord. Then move on to a pattern of down-down-up-up-down (DDUUD).

Iz uses a lot of dynamics in his strumming, so you’ll have to listen closely to how he does it if you really want to nail his playing style.

Practice the strum patterns now for free with Ukulele by Roadie 

Somewhere Over the Rainbow Ukulele Song Structure

The song structure for Somewhere Over the Rainbow is fortunately quite straightforward. You have an intro, two verses, and an outro. It doesn’t get simpler than that.

Practice the song and lyrics for free with Ukulele by Roadie 

How to Play Somewhere Over the Rainbow on Ukulele

Conveying all these details is always a bit harder in written form than with visuals and audio.

Fortunately, there is a great app out there that will teach you in no time… and it’s free! Ukulele by Roadie is the first and only app that listens to you practice and guides you with customized feedback. This app will help you hit the perfect chords, keep a tight rhythm and eventually play the song in full. Solid. It is a fast and easy way to learn, practice and master the ukulele while having fun in the process.

There are also lots of video tutorials that can help. Here’s our favorite:

Ready to play?

You now know how to play one of the most popular songs on ukulele! If you know of any other songs you’d like us to cover, then drop your suggestions in the comments here below.

If you’re ready to play, then download our free ukulele app available on IOS and Android.

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