In this ukulele lesson, you will learn to read easy tab notation. Even if you can not read the scores, you will be able to read ukulele chords and melodies with this type of tabs. We will use the Christmas White Christmas song as a learning tool.
In the score, you will find notes placed in a five-line stick. The placement of notes in the staff determines what he notes. However, the score does not tell you how to play the note on your instrument, in this case, your ukulele. You will have to learn this for yourself.
Tablature notation, on the other hand, tells you how to place your fingers to play a melody or something else. Ukulele tabs show which frets to hammer and which strings to play. As soon as you understand the system, you can use it to play melodies and chords on your uke.
You can find some different types of tablature notation on the Internet. In this lesson, you will learn a form of ukulele tabs with numbers telling you which fret and which string to play.
I suppose you tuned your ukulele in C. This means that your first string, that is the bottom string when you play, is tuned to an A, the second string is an E, the third string a C and the fourth string a G.
In the ukulele tab notation we will use all the frets that you have to press your ukulele is indicated by two numbers. The first number tells you which fret to press, the second number which string to play. Here is an example:
The first pair of numbers asks you to press the first box of the second string. The second pair means you will have to play the first string without pressing a fret. This is called to play an open string.
It's time to take a closer look at the song we will use to learn tabby notation. I am going to write the lyrics, one line at a time, and the ukulele chords that you can use in the key of C major:
(C) I dream of a (Dm) White Christmas (G7)  The song starts on the note 02 which is the note E if you want to sing the song. Here are the chords I have written in parentheses before the syllable where you have to play them:
C 03 02 03
Dm: 24 23 12 01
G7: 04 23 12 21
Here the following line:
(F) Just like the (Dm) ones I (G7) knew (C) know
The F-major chord can be played as follows:
F: 24 03 12 01
Where the treetops (C) (C7) sparkle and (F) the children (FM) listen
The chords of C7 and F-minor are played like this:  11 02 03 04
Fm: 14 03 12 31
The Fm chord is a bit tricky to play. Use your left hand index finger for string four, your middle finger for string two and your little finger for the first string.
Here is the last line of verse one:
To (C) hear (Am) sled bells in the snow (Fm) (G7)
The second verse begins with the same melody and the same chords:
(C) I dream of a (Dm) White Christmas (G7)
(F) With each (Dm) Christmas card (G7) I (C) write
Now this is is different melody and new ukulele chords:
May your (C) days be (C7) merry and (F) brilliant (Fm)
And may (C) all (C # dim) your (Dm) Christma (G7) ses be (C) white
C # dim can be played:
C # dim: 04 11 02 02
I suggest that you learn the song by memorizing one line at a time. The best way to learn how to play ukulele chords is to practice two complementary chords at a time. Practice smooth chord change by scratching once on each chord, repeating the procedure slowly until you can play the chords without looking. Then go to the following chords!