Don’t Be Ashamed of Your Age – #Ukulele Travis Picking with Chords and Lyrics

Happy birthday to me! Today (February 27, 2022) is my 70th birthday so I figured this song might be appropriate. It was written by Bob Wills and Cindy Walker back in 1947 but I learned it from the John Prine and Mac Wiseman album, “Standard Songs for Average People.”


This song uses “Travis Picking” fingerstyle accompaniment on the ukulele. Many of my songs use the same technique and it’s simple once you get the hang of it, although it may take quite a bit of practicing it slowly to master it.


The first three example patterns on my fingerstyle tutorial show you how to play it. Here’s a link:

Fingerstyle Ukulele Tutorial

I’ve also created a separate category just for the Travis Picking style where you can find other songs that I play in the same style. You can find it here:

When a Man Loves a Woman – Fingerstyle #Ukulele with Chords and Lyrics

This soul classic was written by Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright, members of the Esquires, an Alabama band whose lead singer was Percy Sledge. It was the first #1 hit produced at Muscle Shoals, reaching #1 on both the Hot 100 and the R&B charts in 1966. It was also a #1 hit for Michael Bolton in 1991.


Here’s how I played it…..


There are 6 counts in each measure (6/8 time):

1 – Pinch 4th, 2nd, and 1st string with thumb, index, and middle fingers

2 – 3rd string played with thumb

3 – 2nd string played with thumb

4 – 1st string played with middle finger

5 – 2nd string played with index finger

6 – 3rd string played with thumb


That’s how I do it, but if you don’t want to use your thumb that much it’s up to you. You could even use your thumb and 3 fingers and designate a different finger for each string, for example, 4th string thumb, 3rd string index, 2nd string middle finger, and 1st string ring finger. Whatever works for you.

There’s also a separate “6/8 Time” category for other songs that use this same pattern. Here’s a link:

If (Bread) – Fingerstyle #Ukulele with Chords & Lyrics

David Gates wrote “If” in 1971 and the record by his group Bread went to #4 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and to #1 on the US Easy Listening chart. It’s been a wedding favorite for many years, and as I’m posting this on February 9th, it would be a great one to play for your significant other on Valentine’s Day.


I used Pattern #10 (forward-reverse) from my Fingerstyle tutorial, which is the same one I’ve used recently for a couple other recent recordings (“For the Good Times” and “Near to the Heart of God”). I’ll be using it in other upcoming songs as well. It’s a pattern that works well for slow songs in 4/4 time.

Near to the Heart of God – Fingerstyle #Ukulele with Chords & Lyrics

Cleland Boyd McAfee (1866-1944) was a Presbyterian minister who wrote this beautiful hymn after the death of two young nieces caused by diphtheria. It has been published in at least 126 hymnals over the years.


It’s special to me because it’s one of the two hymns that were played at my mother’s funeral in 1959. The other was Whispering Hope, which I’ll also be doing a video on soon.


I played it fingerstyle, using Pattern #10 in my fingerstyle ukulele tutorial. This pattern is also known as a “forward-reverse roll” on the 5-string banjo and goes well with a lot of slower 4/4 songs. The only kind of tricky part using this pattern is in the chorus where you switch from C to Am. Each of those chords is played for only a half measure so you can play the first half of the pattern for C then the second half of the pattern for Am, which is what I did on the 2nd and 3rd chorus. The first time I played the chorus I just played the 3rd string followed by a pinch for each chord. It’s up to you. You could even just strum it there or eliminate the Am chord altogether and just stay on the C chord for the whole measure.

I Love You So Much It Hurts – Fingerstyle #Ukulele with Chords & Lyrics

I first heard “I Love You So Much It Hurts” on John Prine’s 1995 album, “Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings” and thought for a long time that he had written it. It was actually written by Floyd Tillman in 1948 and reached as high as #6 on the Folk Best Seller Chart. Later in 1948 Jimmy Wakely’s version went to #1 on the Folk Best Seller chart. In 1949 the Mills Brothers recorded it and it went to #8 on the pop chart. Over the years many artists have recorded it including Patsy Cline, Ray Charles, Andy Williams, and Merle Haggard.


It’s in 3/4 time and I used the same pattern I’ve used in so many 3/4 time songs, which is Pattern #13 from my Fingerstyle tutorial. I mix that pattern in with a simple measure that’s just 3rd string, pinch, pinch, with the “pinch” being the 1st and 4th strings with thumb and middle finger on the counts of 2 and 3.

Annie’s Song – Fingerstyle #Ukulele with Chords & Lyrics

John Denver wrote “Annie’s Song” in 1974 in 10 minutes as he went up a ski lift. Go figure. Anyway, it became a #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 and also #1 on the Easy Listening chart.


It’s in 3/4 time and I played Pattern #13 from my Fingerstyle Ukulele Tutorial (link below) throughout the song. There are a lot of chord changes so you might find it quite a bit easier to just strum it instead of fingerpicking, and a nice easy 3/4 strum sounds good on this song.


Here’s a link to the Fingerstyle tutorial: