“Blackbird” is a song by the English rock band The Beatles. It was written by Paul McCartney and originally released on their 1968 album titled “The Beatles,” commonly known as “The White Album.” The song features McCartney’s vocals and acoustic guitar playing.
Chords Used (GCEA Tuning):
Ukulele Tutorial Video
here’s a basic strumming pattern to get you started. Keep in mind that the song is primarily fingerpicked, so this pattern is a simplified version for strumming with a pick or your fingers:
- Down, Down-Up, Up-Down-Up
Here’s how it breaks down:
- Start with a downstroke strum on the first beat.
- Follow with a down-up strum on the second beat.
- Then, do an up-down-up strum on the third and fourth beats.
Repeat this strumming pattern throughout the song. It’s important to maintain a gentle and light strumming touch to capture the delicate and intricate feel of the song. You can also incorporate some muted strums or ghost strums to add dynamics and mimic the fingerpicked style.
Official Music Video
Here are some interesting facts about The Beatles’ song “Blackbird”:
- Inspirational Origins: Paul McCartney wrote “Blackbird” in response to the civil rights movement in the United States during the 1960s. The song’s lyrics were inspired by the struggle for racial equality and were meant to convey a message of hope and empowerment.
- Acoustic Simplicity: “Blackbird” is primarily an acoustic guitar-driven song with McCartney’s vocals. Its simplicity is part of its charm, with just one acoustic guitar and McCartney’s voice carrying the melody. There are no additional instruments or harmonies on the original recording.
- Tapping Technique: McCartney used a fingerpicking and tapping technique in “Blackbird,” creating a distinctive and intricate guitar pattern. This technique involves tapping the strings with the right-hand fingers to produce a unique sound.
- Bird Sound: At the beginning of the song, you can hear the sound of a blackbird singing. This sound effect was created by McCartney and George Martin (the Beatles’ producer) by splicing together various recordings of blackbird songs.
- White Album: “Blackbird” is part of The Beatles’ self-titled double album, often referred to as the “White Album” because of its plain white cover. The album was released in 1968 and featured a wide range of musical styles and experimentation.
- Cover Versions: “Blackbird” has been covered by numerous artists across various genres. It remains a popular choice for musicians due to its timeless appeal and emotional depth.
- Live Performances: McCartney has performed “Blackbird” at many of his concerts over the years, and it continues to be a highlight of his live shows. It has also been featured in many Beatles tribute performances.
- Symbolism: The song’s lyrics use the image of a blackbird as a symbol of hope and freedom. It encourages people to “take these broken wings and learn to fly,” emphasizing the idea of overcoming adversity and finding strength within.
- Recognition: “Blackbird” is often regarded as one of Paul McCartney’s finest compositions and is highly praised for its lyrical and musical qualities. It has received critical acclaim and is considered a classic of the folk-rock genre.
- Cultural Impact: The song’s message of hope and its timeless melody have made it a popular choice for various cultural and social events. It has been used in films, television shows, and documentaries, further solidifying its place in popular culture.
Text Version of Chords
[Intro] G Am7 G/B G [Verse 1] G Am7 G/B G Blackbird singing in the dead of night C C#dim Dadd11 D#dim Em Take these broken wings and learn to fly Dadd11 C#dim C Cm All your life G/B A7 C/D You were only waiting for this moment to arise G C G/B A7 C/D G [Verse 2] G Am7 G/B G Blackbird singing in the dead of night C C#dim Dadd11 D#dim Em Take these sunken eyes and learn to see Dadd11 C#dim C All your life Cm G/B A7 C/D You were only waiting for this moment G to be free [Chorus] Fadd9 Em Dmadd11 C Bb6 C Fadd9 Em Dmadd11 C Bb6 A7 C/D G Am7 G/B Blackbird fly Blackbird fly In to the light of the dark black night G C C#dim Dadd11 D#dim Em Dadd11 C#dim C Cm G/B A7 C/D G Fadd9 Em Dmadd11 C Bb6 C Fadd9 Em Dmadd11 C Bb6 A7 C/D G Am7 G/B Blackbird fly Blackbird fly In to the light of the dark black night G G Am7 G/B C G/B A7 C/D [Verse 3] G Am7 G/B G Blackbird singing in the dead of night C C#dim Dadd11 D#dim Em Take these broken wings and learn to fly Dadd11 C#dim C All your life Cm G/B A7 C/D You were only waiting for this moment G to arise [Outro] C G/B A7 C/D You were only waiting for this moment G to arise C G/B A7 C/D You were only waiting for this moment G to arise
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the basic ukulele chords used in “Blackbird” by The Beatles?
- The basic ukulele chords used in the song are G major (G), A7, G/B, C major (C), and E minor (Em).
- What is the picking pattern for “Blackbird” on the ukulele?
- The picking pattern for the intro and verses typically involves fingerpicking the strings in a specific pattern: A string, G string, E string, A string, G string, E string.
- Who wrote “Blackbird” for The Beatles?
- “Blackbird” was primarily written by Paul McCartney and is featured on The Beatles’ “White Album” (officially titled “The Beatles”) released in 1968.
- What key is “Blackbird” in for ukulele players?
- The song is in the key of G major for ukulele players.
- What is the bridge section of “Blackbird” on the ukulele?
- The bridge section features a chord progression of Am – Am/G – Am/F# – Am/F.
- What technique can be used to create a more melodic and intricate sound when playing “Blackbird” on the ukulele?
- Fingerpicking or arpeggio picking is essential to create the delicate and melodic sound of “Blackbird” on the ukulele.
- What is the significance of the song’s lyrics in “Blackbird”?
- The lyrics of “Blackbird” convey messages of hope, freedom, and overcoming adversity. It is considered a symbolic song of the civil rights movement.
- How is the song structure of “Blackbird” organized?
- The song follows a simple structure with an intro, several verses, and a bridge section. It lacks a traditional chorus.
- Can you play “Blackbird” using a capo on the ukulele?
- Yes, you can use a capo to change the key and make it easier to play. Placing a capo on the 5th fret allows you to use simpler chord shapes like C and Am.
- What is the overall mood and style of “Blackbird” on the ukulele?
- “Blackbird” has a gentle and folk-inspired mood, with intricate fingerpicking patterns that create a sense of intimacy and beauty on the ukulele.
- What is the story behind the inspiration for “Blackbird”?
- Paul McCartney wrote “Blackbird” as a response to the civil rights movement in the United States during the 1960s. It was a call for racial equality and social justice.
- How many verses are there in “Blackbird,” and what do they convey?
- There are three verses in the song. They convey messages of hope and overcoming challenges, symbolized by the “blackbird” taking flight.
- Are there any alternative chord variations for “Blackbird” on the ukulele?
- While the traditional chords are G, A7, G/B, C, and Em, some players may use variations or embellishments to add their unique touch to the song.
- What is the tempo of “Blackbird”?
- “Blackbird” has a moderate tempo, usually played at around 100-110 beats per minute (BPM).
- Can “Blackbird” be adapted for different ukulele sizes like soprano, concert, and tenor?
- Yes, “Blackbird” can be played on soprano, concert, or tenor ukuleles with the same chord progressions and fingerpicking patterns.
- What other Beatles songs are well-suited for ukulele playing?
- Other Beatles songs that are popular among ukulele players include “Let It Be,” “Yesterday,” and “Here Comes the Sun.”
- What is the significance of “Blackbird” in The Beatles’ catalog?
- “Blackbird” is considered one of The Beatles’ iconic and timeless songs, known for its acoustic simplicity and meaningful lyrics.
- Can you recommend any tutorials or resources for learning to play “Blackbird” on the ukulele?
- There are many online tutorials and chord sheets available for learning to play “Blackbird” on the ukulele. Websites like Ultimate Guitar and YouTube tutorials can be helpful resources for beginners.
- What is the origin of the name “Blackbird” in the song?
- The “blackbird” in the song represents a symbol of freedom and hope, referencing the civil rights movement and the struggle for equality.
- What famous rendition of “Blackbird” by The Beatles is known for its intricate fingerpicking and can serve as a source of inspiration for ukulele players?
- The live recording of “Blackbird” from The Beatles’ “Anthology 3” album is known for its beautiful fingerpicking by Paul McCartney and can serve as a source of inspiration for ukulele players looking to master the song’s intricate picking pattern.
In a world of strings and strums so sweet,
A ukulele’s melody, a song complete,
I pluck the chords of “Blackbird” with grace,
A timeless tune, a journey to embrace.
With four small strings, I find my way,
To the Beatles’ classic, I start to play,
The gentle notes, like a bird in flight,
Take me to a place of pure delight.
The C and the G, they dance in the air,
As I fingerpick, without a care,
The E minor whispers, the D7 sings,
Each chord a chapter in the song it brings.
“Blackbird” sings of hope and light,
In the darkest of times, it takes its flight,
With the ukulele in my hands, I soar,
To a place where the heartache is no more.
The words and chords, they intertwine,
A tapestry of music, so divine,
As I strum and sing, I feel the thrill,
Of “Blackbird” taking flight, and always will.
So let me play this song so dear,
On my ukulele, with love and cheer,
For “Blackbird” by the Beatles, a timeless art,
A melody that forever warms the heart.