Bluegrass on the Ukulele??!!!

Legend has it that in the pioneering days, ranchers used to sit on their front porches and play the ukulele into the night, singing about the trials and tribulations of the times. No? Well, maybe not, but you can still play bluegrass on the ukulele,  and a bluegrass tune just wouldn’t be complete without the trademark lick at the end of the phrase.

In this video, I will show you how to play it in G and also in C. Please let me know if you can understand how to play it – can you see my fingerings alright? I can upload some tab for this, but let’s see if you can understand it from the video first – I bet you can.

Y’all check it out, alright?

20 Responses to “Bluegrass on the Ukulele??!!!”

  1. billflot Says:

    If I want to use this blues lick on the baritone should I use the same fingerlings and frets or should I try to find those same notes on the Bari?

    • Rhan Wilson Says:

      Great question.
      If you play the same fingerings on the baritone, you would be playing it in the key of D, instead of G. That’s a good key to know how to play as well.

      To play it in G, you can watch the video again, and learn how I showed you how to play it in C. On the baritone, it will translate over to your G.
      Or, here’s the tab:

      Let me know how this works for you!
      Thank you.

  2. Gilbert Says:

    Hi Rhan,

    Could you please write down the strumming pattern for the song (end of the video)

    Thanks again

    • Rhan Wilson Says:

      Hi Gilbert and thanks for commenting.
      I am not sure about which part of this you are talking about. At the very end I am playing the bluegrass “lick” – otherwise, I am just filling in. Perhaps you can give me the exact place on the video you are speaking of – minutes:seconds, and I can hopefully hear where you are wanting help with.


  3. Steve Seiple Says:


    I am a brand new ukulele player, and I love your site and all the helpful lessons. One of the things I am interested in doing is playing some bluegrass music. What chord progression were you using before your ending lick. It looked like G and C, and I presume there was a D in there, but I couldn’t tell from the fingering on the video. If it was D, what chord shape was it? Thanks!

    • Rhan Wilson Says:

      I am so glad you like this.
      Basically, for this lick, I am playing G, C, and D7. For the D7, I am playing these notes: first finger, top string, 2nd fret – and second finger on the E string (2nd from bottom) on the 2nd fret – a pretty basic D7 chord.
      The little rhythm I did was: GGGG CCCC GGGG D7D7D7D7 GGGG CCCC GGD7D7 lick! and end on G!

      That’s not really the best way to relay chord changes, but I hope this helps.

      Thanks for writing.

  4. Linda McPherson Says:

    This is really fun. It took me quite a few times looking and listening. Your explainations and charts are very helpful. Thanks, and I look forward to more lessons.

  5. Jeff / Humble Uker Says:

    I get it you are using the rhythm of the up and down picks to coordinate that rhythm.

  6. Jeff / Humble Uker Says:

    El Rhanbo. Okay this is quite cool. And I can do it BUT I like to torment myself by trying to be precise and count this out. I may be the only nincompoop but I get lost in the counting out the note times. It feels so imprecise. 1e+uh, 2e+uh, 3e+uh, 4e+uh. Sometimes I just try to say the “count” only when I am NOT playing the note, then I get: _ e _ _, _ _ _ _, _ e + uh, Chord e + uh. Since yur’ all about good time perhaps you could give some tips for effective musical counting.

    • Rhan Wilson Says:

      So that you will not torment yourself further, I will include more tutorials on the subject of counting. It’s actually quite fun to work on.

  7. mickey tomlinson Says:

    just spent an hour going thru your tutorials and picked up some info maybe I should have known but never absorbed.
    any chance you can add the names of the notes for this rif.
    I use a low g also.

  8. David Says:

    Rhan, thanks for your recent postings. All good. This bluegrass one is tough though. It took me a couple of views to decide that, first off, you are using a Low-G Uke for this, where as your recent Blues-in-A postings were with a different uke. Right?

    I am still working on the little blues lick ending, and haven’t come close to accomplishing the Bluegrass lick. But, all very much appreciated.


  9. Kathleen Middleton Says:

    I just opened this and played the Bluegrass lick. (I think it is a lick.) Anyway — It was a fun thing to do in the middle of my work day.

  10. Vaughan Says:

    I’m so glad I subscribed to your site. I would hate to miss out on these lessons. A friendly, simple explanation. Keep them coming. Many thanks

Please post your comment or question here:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: