Every so often, a song comes along that becomes a cultural icon, loved by people the world over. These moments of genius are few and far between, but once in a blue moon, we get a track that is truly something special. A tune that inspires and moves everyone it touches.
The Beatles were responsible for quite a few of those, possibly more than any other band ever. But there’s one amongst them that stands out. One that never fails to get everyone singing along.
Let It Be
Sure, it may have been played with a full band back in the day. But it sounds pretty awesome on a ukulele, too. So, read on and learn how to play Let It Be on ukulele.
Of course, The Beatles need no introduction. But where did the idea behind “Let It Be” come from? What was the inspiration?
Mother Mary comes to me…
Though credited to Lennon-McCartney, John wasn’t a fan of this number. Although, to be fair, he wasn’t a fan of anything to do with Paul at this point in his career. It was Paul who was mostly responsible for this song. You see, The Beatles were having problems, and tensions were high. During a night of troubled sleep, the answer came to him in a dream.
Sadly, Paul’s mother had passed away when he was just 14 years old. But that night, she appeared to him whispering words of wisdom: “it’ll all be alright, just let it be.” Paul awoke the next day inspired, sat down at the piano, and began to write.
It was an instant hit. Respected critic John Gabree even described it as “the best thing musically that McCartney has done.” And to this day, it is still regularly included in lists of the greatest songs of all time by a wide variety of media.
Ukulele Chords for Let It Be
Don’t worry, “Let It Be” is a pretty simple song to play on the ukulele. With a little effort, you can work it out in no time. You’ll need four chords for the verse and the chorus. They are A minor, F, G, and the first chord we all learned, C. Later on, you need a couple more, but let’s start with these for now.
The verse starts with C. That’s one finger on the first string at the third fret. And remember, the first string is the one at the bottom of the soundhole, furthest away from your face.
We can work it out
Next, move onto G. That’s the first and third strings on the second fret, plus the second string and third fret. Then it’s an easy A minor, with a finger on the last string at the second fret.
From there, put another finger on the third string at the first fret to play the F chord. And that’s the first line done. After that, it’s just another C, G, and F, before finally landing back on C.
Still confused? You need an awesome ukulele chord book such as this one. Containing more than 300 chords and easy-to-read diagrams, it’s the perfect way to learn ukulele basics or to level up if you’re a seasoned player.
You know it ain’t easy, you know how hard it can be…
You can add some extra chords at the end of the first few lines just to make it sound more impressive. However, these are a little trickier, as you need to move quickly, and the finger positions are quite different. If you want to give it a go, then you’ll need to learn E minor and D minor.
E minor uses three fingers and three frets. It’s the first string at the second fret, the second string at the third fret, and the third string at the fourth fret. D minor is easier, with the third and fourth strings at the second fret and the second string at the first.
Phew! Anything else?
Then there are just two more chords you need. Put one finger on the first and second strings at the first fret, another finger on the third string at the second fret. And the last finger on the fourth string at the third fret. This is a B flat, and it’ll come in handy when you get to the verse.
Finally, learn the A chord. This is a basic one. Pop a finger on the third string at the first fret and another of the fourth string at the second fret.
Playing Let It Be on the Ukulele
Repeat after me…
Kick things off with that C, G, A minor, and F chord progression. Follow that up with C, G, F, and C. You can also pop the E minor and the D minor in between the F and C if your hands are fast enough. Repeat the whole thing, and that’s the verse covered.
For the chorus, you’ll need to start on the A minor. That’s followed by G, F, then C. From there, it follows the same pattern as the second part of with verse: C, G, F, C (with those E and D minor chords if you want).
Again and again…
The song continues with that progression throughout. The verse follows the chorus, follows the verse follows the chorus. But then we come to the bridge.
Start with the F, then to E minor, D minor, and C. Now, this is where that B flat and A come in. Play them, and chase them up with the G, F, and C.
While my uke gentle weeps…
After the bridge, there’s a solo. If you want to play this, then just follow the same pattern of chords as the verse uses. Play it twice before returning to that anthemic chorus. In a nutshell, that’s how to play Let It Be on ukulele.
To do this song justice, you’ll need a top-quality instrument to play it on. This Fender Fullerton Jazzmaster Ukulele is a perfect choice. Its classic rock n roll look combines with a rich, full tone to give it some real old-school cool vibes.
Patterns for Playing Let It Be on Ukulele
Little strummer boy…
Strumming is the easiest way to play Let It Be on the ukulele. Follow a down, down, down, up pattern, and it’ll sound great. And remember to play those fast-changing E and D minors one simple downstroke each.
As we all know, fingerpicking is much harder. But it also sounds more impressive. Try starting simple before progressing to more difficult combinations.
The Beatles For Fingerstyle Ukulele has everything you need for beginning to pick. With a massive 25 songs to choose from, it holds helpful diagrams and clear explanations of how to fingerpick your favorite songs on the ukulele. It even contains lots of fun facts for expanding your musical knowledge, handy for the next time you’re at trivia night!
Interested in the Ukulele?
We can help you find just what you want. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Tenor Ukuleles, the Best Baritone Ukuleles, the Best Bass Ukulele, the Best Electric Ukuleles, the Best Ukuleles for Kids, the Best Ukuleles for Beginners, the Best Concert Ukuleles For Beginners, and the Best Lanikai Ukuleles you can buy in 2021.
And don’t miss our handy guides on Famous Ukulele Songs You Can Learn, How to play “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen on Ukulele, How to Play Ukulele, and How to Tune a Ukulele for more useful information.
How to Play Let It Be on Ukulele – Final Thoughts
“Let It Be” will remain in the hearts and minds of people for generations to come. A song such as this never goes out of style, and it’s always great to hear new and creative interpretations of it. The humble ukulele is an ideal pairing for playing a stripped-back, nothing-to-hide version.
So, have fun with it. There are so many different ways of playing Let It Be on the ukulele. Try alternative strumming patterns or different finger combinations to find a unique style that suits you.
So, happy strumming, folks.