If you’ve ever been to a birthday party, you know that “Happy Birthday” is the ultimate celebration song.
The ukulele is a fantastic instrument to accompany this song using the ukulele Happy Birthday chords because it’s portable and the song is easy to play for beginners.
Whether it’s your own birthday or you’re attending someone else’s special day, this song will be sung at some point in the evening.
If you want to learn how to play “Happy Birthday” on the ukulele, keep reading for our step-by-step guide. You’ll be playing along in no time!
History of the Happy Birthday Song
The melody of the “Happy Birthday to You” song has uncertain origins, but has been around since the late 1900s.
There has been speculation that the authorship of the melody originated as “Good Morning to All,” a greeting song written by American sisters Mildred and Patty Hill in 1893.
Some believe that the first time the words “happy birthday to you” were paired with music was in 1912.
Robert Coleman published the modern “Happy Birthday” lyrics in a songbook in 1924. There were no attributions in the initial appearances.
In 1935, The Summy Company copyrighted the song and credited the Hill sisters as its authors, making it worth $5 million.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of playing the ukulele Happy Birthday chords, let’s go over a few basics of playing Happy Birthday on the ukulele.
The ukulele’s strings are tuned GCEA for this song, which is ukulele standard tuning.
This means that the first string is tuned to G, the second string is tuned to C, the third string is tuned to E, and the fourth string is tuned to A.
This tuning is different from the standard tuning for the guitar, which is normally tuned to EADGBE.
The ukulele’s tuning is easier to play on, especially for beginners! For more information on tuning your ukulele, read our ukulele tuning guide.
Learning the Chords
The first step in learning how to play “Happy Birthday” on the ukulele is learning the chords. Thankfully, the ukulele Happy Birthday chords are fairly easy to play for a beginning ukulele student.
This song is played in the key of C major. The chords in the song are C major, G major, and F major.
These are chords you will play a lot when learning the ukulele, which makes this song good for beginners.
One thing you should be aware of when reading chord tablature sheets is that the chord isn’t often repeated if it stays on that chord for a new line. You can see this in the second, third, and fourth lines, where the new chord changes in the middle of the line.
When learning how to play “Happy Birthday” on the ukulele, it’s important that you know how to strum along with the beat of the song while keeping time with the vocals.
You want to make sure that your strumming pattern is consistent throughout the entire song so that your audience doesn’t get confused by what you’re playing.
However, the strum pattern for this song is even easier than the chords.
You can use the easiest possible strumming pattern for “Happy Birthday”, which is to slowly strum downward at the beginning of the word “birthday” in each line and at each chord change.
Ukulele Happy Birthday Chords
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“Happy Birthday” on the Ukulele Printable
All you have to do is print out the printable version using the Print button above.
You may need to allow popups in your browser settings to display this page.
Then you can print the song and follow along with the chords on the page.
You can use this sheet as a guide and play Happy Birthday on the ukulele for everyone you know!
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to play “Happy Birthday” on the ukulele, you’ve come to the right place!
Learning this song is a great way to get your feet wet with the uke. It’s also a really fun birthday activity to share with someone you love.
Once you’ve got the chords and strumming patterns down, all you need to do is sing along with the rest of the party-goers and you’ll be able to celebrate the birthday honoree!