“Dream a Little Dream of Me” was written in 1931 Gus Kahn, Fabian Andre and Wilbur Schwandt.
As this is a jazz song, it naturally contains some more complex chords than a typical pop/folk song, so this could be an issue for newer ukulele players.
Even the easier versions might have difficult chords for a beginner.
So I’ve included several versions and tutorials for the song here so that you can pick the one at your skill level and desired key.
Easier Version in C Major
Here’s a version of “Dream a Little Dream of Me” in C Major using relatively simple chords.
The chords used to play this version include C, B7, Ab, G7, A7, F, Fm, A, A6, and E7.
In roman numerals, these would be I, VII7, VIb, V7, VI7, IV, iv, VI, VI6, and III7.
Here’s the shapes for GCEA ukulele tuning.
[C] Stars [B7] shining bright [Ab] above you [G7]
[C] Night [B7] breezes seem to [A7] whisper “I love you”
[F] Birds singing in a [Fm] sycamore tree
[C] Dream a little [Ab] dream of [G7] me
[C] Say [B7] “Nightie-night”and [Ab] kiss [G7] me
[C] Just [B7] hold me tight and [A7] tell me you’ll miss me
[F] While I’m alone and [Fm] blue as can be
[C] Dream a little [Ab] dream of me [C]
[A] Stars [A6] fading but [E7] I linger on, dear
[A] Still [A6] craving your [E7] kiss
[A] I ‘m [A6] longing to [E7] linger till dawn, dear
[A] Just [A6] saying [G7] this
[C] Sweet [B7] dreams till the [Ab] sunbeams find [G7] you
[C] Sweet [B7] dreams that leave all [A7] worries far behind you
[F] But in your dreams [Fm] whatever they be
[C] Dream a little [Ab] dream of [C] me
Here’s the image version of the above chords for easier printing, sharing, etc.
And for the baritone players, here’s the chords for the above in Baritone ukulele tuning (DGBE).
Intermediate Video in D
This intermediate version contains lots of chords which may be difficult for beginners, but the chord shapes are explained with the exact fingering so it might be worth the challenge.
The beginning of the video starts with showing all the chord shapes used.
It then goes into the strumming patterns used.
For the intro it starts with a DDDD (down, down, down, down) strum pattern, with a pump technique used to dampen the strings after each strum to create more of a choppy effect.
Then moves into a syncopated island strum which is DDU UDU.
The more complicated strumming techniques can be replaced with your preferable simple strum until you feel ready for them if desired.
The video then moves into the main tutorial going through the song section-by-section with the chords and various tips and instructions.
Finally, there’s a play-along of the song in its entirety.
The ukulele in the video is a GCEA (high G) tuned tenor.
Easier Video Version in C
This version is similar to the written out one above in C major, but slightly more difficult.
If you’re interested in playing the song in C, you can try both versions and see which you like better.
The ukulele showed is a soprano tuned to high G tuning (GCEA).
Easiest Version in C (Video)
This tutorial specifically avoids any bar chords, making it probably the easiest version in this collection.
It starts with a quick demonstration, then moves into a breakdown of the chords used for each section.
A GCEA (high G) concert ukulele is used in the video.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” and who originally performed it?
- “Dream a Little Dream of Me” is a classic song first recorded by Ozzie Nelson and his orchestra in 1931. It has been covered by many artists over the years.
2. What are the basic chords needed to play “Dream a Little Dream of Me” on the ukulele?
- The basic chords for this song are C, G, Am, and E7.
3. What is the chord progression for the song?
- The chord progression for the song is typically C – G – Am – E7 for most of the verses and chorus.
4. What is the strumming pattern commonly used for this song on the ukulele?
- A simple strumming pattern like “down-down-up-up-down-up” works well for “Dream a Little Dream of Me.”
5. Can I play this song fingerstyle on the ukulele instead of using a strumming pattern?
- Yes, you can play this song fingerstyle, picking the individual strings to create a softer, more melodic rendition.
6. Is it possible to transpose the song to a different key on the ukulele to match my vocal range?
- Yes, you can transpose the chords to a different key that suits your vocal range by using a capo or changing the chord shapes.
7. What is the recommended tempo for playing “Dream a Little Dream of Me” on the ukulele?
- The song is typically played at a slow to moderate tempo, giving it a dreamy and relaxed feel.
8. Can I find ukulele tablature for “Dream a Little Dream of Me” online?
- Yes, you can find ukulele chord charts, tablature, and tutorials for this song on various websites and YouTube.
9. Are there any specific embellishments or variations I can add to make my ukulele rendition of the song unique?
- You can experiment with hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides to add your personal touch to the song.
10. What is the history of “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” and why is it a popular song choice for ukulele players?
– The song has a rich history and has been performed by many renowned artists, making it a beloved classic. Its sweet melody and romantic lyrics make it a popular choice for ukulele players.
11. Is it common to sing along while playing “Dream a Little Dream of Me” on the ukulele?
– Yes, singing along while playing is a common practice, as the lyrics are an integral part of the song’s charm.
12. Can I find video tutorials to help me learn to play “Dream a Little Dream of Me” on the ukulele?
– Yes, there are many video tutorials available online where experienced ukulele players provide step-by-step guidance for playing the song.
13. What are some tips for improving finger placement while playing “Dream a Little Dream of Me” on the ukulele?
– Focus on keeping your fingers close to the fretboard and using the tips of your fingers to press the strings for clean and clear chord changes.
14. Are there any common mistakes beginners make when playing “Dream a Little Dream of Me” on the ukulele?
– Beginners may struggle with chord transitions and maintaining a consistent strumming pattern. Regular practice can help overcome these challenges.
15. Can I use a metronome to practice “Dream a Little Dream of Me” on the ukulele?
– Yes, using a metronome can help you maintain a steady tempo while practicing the song.
16. What are some common chord voicings or variations that can be used for “Dream a Little Dream of Me” on the ukulele?
– You can experiment with different chord voicings, such as Cmaj7 or G6, to add variations and color to your rendition.
17. How can I add dynamics to my ukulele performance of “Dream a Little Dream of Me”?
– Experiment with strumming dynamics by playing softly during the verses and strumming more vigorously during the chorus to create a dynamic contrast.
18. Can I play “Dream a Little Dream of Me” on different types of ukuleles, such as soprano, concert, tenor, or baritone?
– Yes, the song can be played on different ukulele sizes by using appropriate chord fingerings and adjusting your playing style.
19. Are there any alternative tunings I can use to give “Dream a Little Dream of Me” a unique sound on the ukulele?
– While the standard G-C-E-A tuning is most common, you can experiment with alternative tunings to create a different mood for the song.
20. How can I make my ukulele rendition of “Dream a Little Dream of Me” stand out and sound unique? – You can add your personal style by incorporating fingerpicking patterns, subtle slides, and creative strumming techniques.
21. Can I find sheet music for “Dream a Little Dream of Me” that includes ukulele chords and lyrics?
– Yes, sheet music with ukulele chords and lyrics is available in music stores, online sheet music platforms, and songbooks.
22. What is the best way to approach practicing and mastering “Dream a Little Dream of Me” on the ukulele?
– Break the song into smaller sections, practice chord changes, strumming patterns, and singing separately before combining them to play the entire song.
23. Are there any instrumental versions or arrangements of “Dream a Little Dream of Me” for the ukulele?
– Yes, you can find instrumental ukulele arrangements that highlight the melody and harmony of the song.
24. Can I play “Dream a Little Dream of Me” as a solo instrumental piece on the ukulele? – Yes, you can create a beautiful solo ukulele arrangement of the song by emphasizing the melody and chords.
25. How can I effectively blend strumming and singing while playing “Dream a Little Dream of Me” on the ukulele?
– Practice strumming patterns separately from singing and gradually work on syncing them together. It may take some time, but practice makes it smoother.
26. What are some tips for conveying the dreamy and romantic mood of the song through my ukulele performance?
– Focus on soft and gentle strumming, and use dynamics to add emotion to your rendition.
27. Can I add my own variations to “Dream a Little Dream of Me” on the ukulele, or is it best to stick to the traditional arrangement?
– Feel free to add your own variations, whether in strumming, chord voicings, or embellishments, to make the song your own.
28. Are there any specific chord diagrams available for “Dream a Little Dream of Me” on the ukulele?
– Yes, you can find chord diagrams for C, G, Am, and E7, which are the primary chords used in the song.
29. What are some recommended listening examples or recordings of “Dream a Little Dream of Me” on the ukulele for inspiration?
– Listening to different versions of the song by various artists can inspire your ukulele interpretation.
30. Is “Dream a Little Dream of Me” suitable for performance at ukulele gatherings, open mics, or casual jam sessions?
– Absolutely! It’s a charming and well-loved song that can captivate audiences in various settings, making it a great choice for ukulele performances.