Israel Kamakawiwoʻole is probably the world’s most heard ukulele player. His magical performance of Somewhere Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World has been featured in all kinds of media, at all kinds of events, and has been listened to by all kinds of people. This ukulele tab and song chords will help you spin a little spell of your own.
The story goes that IZ booked a recording session at 3am one morning in Honolulu, came into the studio, played one take and left. It was only five years later that the song was put on a record – his best-selling Facing Future.
It’s a quirky performance. He sings the wrong words and melody, piecing together Somewhere Over the Rainbow (made famous by Judy Garland) and What a Wonderful World (first recorded by Louis Armstrong) on the fly. But that’s what makes it special. In the right moment, all you need is a voice and an ukulele to capture a hit.
The Somewhere Over the Rainbow Ukulele Tab
In this PDF is something for most players.
If you’re just a beginner you can sing the words and strum the chords on your ukulele. An intermediate player can pick out the melody and add the harmonies outlined in tab. Advanced players can use it as a springboard for embellishing their own arrangements.
The hardest part of playing this song as a solo arrangement on your ukulele is going to be keeping a convincing rhythmic flow. With the legendary strumming pattern chugging through the whole song, IZ lays down a formidable foundation. You’ll have to find your own way of fudging it while you play the melody.
A great starting place is to always to fill in the gaps with what strumming you can fit. Whenever there is a sustained melody note, jump in with some chords and then get out again in time to play the next piece of the melody.