First off, the music:
I love this song and I love the fact as a teacher that it cycles you through so many useful chords in a progression that will ‘bless your life’ for use with future songs. This one page PDF of We Wish You a Merry Christmas for Ukulele (and Voice) also contains a nice-sounding fingerpicking pattern that shows off the cool chord progression of this song. Here’s a basic roadmap of the song:
- The Thumb (T) alternates between the 3rd and 4th strings while the Index and Middle fingers (I/M) work together as a unit to pluck the 1st and 2nd strings at the same time. The pattern has three beats: T on 3rd string, I/M on 1st/2nd, and T on 4th string – the pattern then repeats.
- See the score for a slight alteration of the pattern on the words “Happy New Year.”
- An alternate strum pattern is provided for the middle verses of the song. I think it’s a fun contrast to play this part really fast (it brings out the humor of this section).
- On the final chorus you return to the fingerpicking pattern.
It’s all there in the instructions on the sheet music.
This arrangement was created for the Utah Ukulele Circle which meets in American Fork on Tuesday nights. We performed it twice in 2011; Christmas in the Rotunda at American Fork Library and at Heritage Care Center a couple of days later for the old folks there.