Help on Musical Arrangement

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    I’m working on arranging a song for the ukulele and am encountering some challenges, particularly with the arrangement and right-hand technique.

    The original song uses these chords: Bm [: Bm / F#m7 / Bm B7 / Em / % / Bm / F#m7 / Bm :]. I’ve decided to transpose them to better suit my vocal range, changing them to: Dm [: Dm / Am7 / Dm D7 / Gm / % / Dm / Am7 / Dm :].

    My main issue lies in not knowing how to properly maneuver my right hand for the arpeggios—I’m unsure about the strumming pattern, the number of times to hit each string, and the specific order to play them in to correctly reproduce the rhythm and feel of the original song.

    Here is a video of the artist performing, which could be helpful as a reference:

    Additionally, here’s an audio link where the arpeggio part is clearly played towards the end, which might also serve as a useful guide:

    I would greatly appreciate any guidance or tips on how to approach this arrangement, especially regarding the right-hand technique for the arpeggios. Thanks a lot!



    Hi Gerry, if you still need help with this, Stephen would be happy to assist you with this during a private Skype lesson.


    Hi Andrew,

    I’m truly grateful for your kindness and the offer to help. It means a lot to me.

    At the moment, considering the economic climate in Argentina and some personal budgeting, I find myself needing to pause and reflect before taking on the cost of the lesson.

    I hope to keep the conversation going here, welcoming any advice or insights the community might share.

    Thank you so much for your understanding and support.

    Warmest regards,


    Hi Gery,

    for arpeggios I would hit string on every beat in rhythm 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &.
    Pattern for Low G: string 4 3 2 1 2 3 4 3 (four finger approach).
    Pattern for High G: string 3 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 (three finger approach). That’s just the basics.

    The song sounds beautiful, by the way. But I don’t understand a word. 😉



    Hi Jana,

    Thank you so much! I was out all day yesterday and didn’t even get a chance to pick up my ukulele, but I wanted to express my gratitude before anything else.

    Please give me a few days to practice what you’ve outlined, and then I’ll post a video to show you.

    The arrangement you helped me with for the other song turned out really beautiful; I’ll upload a video of that too for you to see, thank you!

    However, I do have a question: how do you determine which strings to pluck for the arpeggios? What should I focus on in my studies to understand this as you do? I feel like I’m getting too technical and missing out on the feel.

    Thanks again!


    Hi Gery,

    To your question: When you hold a chord shape, each string plays the note that belongs to the chord, so you can play any of strings. It’s just a matter of choosing the order of the strings that will please the ear.
    In general, it can be said that basic accompanying arpeggios start with the lowest note (“bass” string). To begin with, it is easier to play all the notes at the same length.
    As with the Down Up strumming technique, you can play arpeggios from top to bottom and back.

    To me, a linear tuned ukulele is like a guitar without the top 2 bass strings. A baritone ukulele is tuned just like a guitar, a Low G ukulele sounds like a guitar with a capo on the 5th fret. So even the accompanying arpeggios can be copied to a certain extent.
    In the case of this song, I noticed (perhaps correctly) that the lady with the guitar uses the pattern: 4 3 2 1 2 3 4 3
    There are many other patterns. I like these basic ones (according to the beat):
    2/4 (4/4): 4 3 2 3 1 3 2 3
    3/4 (6/8) : 4 3 2 1 2 3

    On ukuleles with reentrant tuning, the bass string is the 3rd string (C string). In the basic forms of major and minor chords, usually only 3 different notes sound on the 4 strings – for example, in the Dm chord in the form 2 2 1 0, the notes A D F A sound.
    In that case, I don’t need to play the same note on multiple strings, so I can skip the 4th string altogether. I start on the 3rd (bass) string with the D note and then try to imitate the alternation of tones (strings) so that it sounds similar to linear tuning (guitar).

    Good luck with your song arrangement!


    Great conversation. Thx for asking and thanks sharing.



    Well, this is what I was able to do for the moment:

    I need to increase the tempo, but it’s a good place to start for me, thanks a lot!

    About what you are teaching me, I want to see if I understood correctly.
    I have a High G Ukulele, so I won’t be using the 4th chord.
    In our song, the only chord suffering the loss of the 4th string would be Am7 right?

    4- A *
    3- D
    2- F
    1- A

    4- G *
    3- C
    2- E
    1- A

    4- G *
    3- D
    2- G
    1- A# / Bb

    The other thing I didn’t know from your response is that the first chord that I arpeggiate should be the bass. Is this always the case?
    I’m also learning this song:
    C[: Bm / % / % / % / Am / % / % / % / Bm / % / G / D / Em/%/%/%/Am/%/% /%/Bm/%/%/%/G / % / D / % / Bm / Am / G / % :]
    I trasposed it to:
    F[: Em / % / % / % / Dm / % / % / % / Em / % / C / G / Em/%/%/%/Am/%/% /%/Bm/%/%/%/G / % / G / % / Em / Dm / C / % :]

    I was plucking the 4th chord and then strum strum. Should I pluck the 3rd and then strum strum?

    Thanks a lot!!


    Hi Gery,

    yes, in this song, only Am7 chord would suffer the loss of the 4th string. But you can change the sequence of strings a little for Am7 chord : 3 2 4 1 4 2 3 2 (But there are many more possibilities.)

    The High G ukulele is unique in its reentrant tuning. Actually the 7th, 9th chords seem perfectly suited to a high G ukulele, each string plays a different note.

    Arpeggios do not have fixed rules. You can start with any string. There are lots of tutorials on YouTube for fingerpicking patterns.
    But in our case, we are talking about BASIC arpeggios imitating the guitar accompaniment, where the bass string usually starts.

    Hope that helped.

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