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BY MUSTAFA KAMALIDDIN

“Are You Lonesome Tonight?” was written by Charles Hart in 1927, but didn’t really get popular until a big band version cracked the Billboard top 20 in 1950, which led to Elvis recording and releasing his million-selling version in 1960. This fingerstyle ukulele arrangement plays closer to Hart’s original version, with a brilliant crescendo of emotion toward the end not only tugging at the heartstrings but also giving ukulele players something to work on for the left hand!


Check out more from our Fingerstyle Songs For Beginners series here


In this tutorial we’ll learn a beginner grade 3 arrangement of “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” for fingerstyle ukulele. This is not for the absolute beginner but is easy enough for anyone with 5-10 songs under their belt to try.


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There are no challenges for the right hand besides the usage of proper right-hand posture and free stroke technique. For the left hand, you’ll encounter a few challenges in shifting chords, as well as a few spots where you have to be careful to maintain legato. There are a few difficult chord fingerings that might be new to your fingers.

To fully learn this song, expect a 2-5 week commitment depending on your level. Happy picking!

"Are You Lonesome Tonight" ukulele fingerstyle tutorial music notation 1
"Are You Lonesome Tonight" ukulele fingerstyle tutorial music notation 2

Mustafa Kamaliddin is a ukulele and guitar teacher specializing in fingerstyle playing. You can see more of his videos in his Ukulele Fingerstyle Basics Course and on his YouTube channel.