Harmonize This

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Basic chords are easy to strum on the ukulele, but playing a tune in the chord-melody style presents a whole new challenge. In chord melody playing, most of the tunes’ notes are harmonized in the chords, giving you a melody line that moves along with your chord accompaniment. Being a serious chord-melody style player requires a boatload of chops—just look at Lyle Ritz or Ohta-san for proof, but with this primer, you can begin playing a familiar song using chords you probably already know how to play. The following lesson offers two possibilities for harmonizing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” into a fingerpicked arrangement that will quickly have you playing the song’s melody and the harmony.