In this video, Jeff plays his solo arrangement of traditional folk song The House of the Rising Sun for fingerstyle ukulele.


The House of the Rising Sun for Fingerstyle Ukulele

This traditional folk song is about hard times in New Orleans. It was first made popular in the 1964 recording by the rock group The Animals. It was recorded as early as 1933 by Appalachian musicians. Later it was also recorded by Kentucky coal miners, Lead Belly, Andy Griffith, Miriam Makeba, Joan Baez, and Bob Dylan.

Jeff’s solo arrangement here is for low G in the key of D minor, and so includes both the melody and the accompaniment all played together. Below you’ll find a performance of the arrangement, along with a lesson on the song in two parts. First we’ll look together at the chord shapes used in the song. And then we’ll learn the basic right-hand pattern for the accompaniment.

Many moveable barre chord shapes are introduced in various positions with rolling 6/8 arpeggio patterns. Good challenges in the song are to create as much sustain as possible, bring out the melody above the accompaniment, and make position shifts smoothly.


Chord Shapes:

Right-hand Patterns:

You can get the free sheet music with TABs for this song plus two other fingerstyle songs in our 3 Fingerstyle Solos book.


There are many popular songs like this one with full lessons, performances, and scores with TABs at Ukulele Corner Academy. Join Ukulele Corner Academy today!