Margaritaville Ukulele Chords by Jimmy Buffett

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I sort of missed the prime Jimmy Buffett years, but still grew up with his tunes blasting through the yard on weekends. He managed to sell a lifestyle along with his music that really speaks to people (and sells hamburgers at his Margaritaville chain of restaurants!). As far as marketing goes, he’s a genius.

His number one hit in all of its simple glory is, at its heart, a three chord song. Play A instead of A7 and even a beginner can strum along.

To play the picking intro, just use the thumb and index of your right hand together to pinch the strings. The thumb plays the C-string, index plays the E-string. These double-stops add harmony to a simple melody and emulate the steel drum/keyboard line at the beginning of Margaritaville.

Margaritaville Strumming Pattern

The strumming pattern to Margaritaville changes a bit throughout the song to emphasize different beats. But to get started you can play something like:

Intro: D DU UD
Verse: D DU UDU UDU UDU
Chorus: D DU UD

Main thing to remember is that almost all strumming fits on a constant pattern of down, up hand motions – even when you aren’t playing. This is especially true for strumming patterns like this where you are playing back-to-back down strums and back-to-back up strums.

It’s easy to become robotic with your motions, which immediately makes your playing sound unnatural.

Go check out my free lesson on groovy strumming. It will help you a lot if you haven’t heard of this concept before.

Picking Intro

You can rip off the steel guitar/synth intro part by playing the double stops in this TAB:

    D                       G         D
A |-------------------------2-2-2-------|
E |-5-5-5-3--5--5-5-5-3--5--3-3-3-5-3-2-|
C |-6-6-6-4--6--6-6-6-4--6--------6-4-2-|
G |-------------------------------------|

Here’s a great play-along lesson from Ukulele Underground:

margaritavilleMargaritaville
Jimmy Buffett
Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes

Chords and lyrics removed due to copyright concerns. Find an alternate version here.