How to Play “Let It Be” on Ukulele (Chords and Tutorial)

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One of the most iconic Beatles songs out there, “Let It Be” was written by Paul McCartney and released by The Beatles in 1970 on their final album (also called Let It Be). This is a piano-based song in the key of C major that translates very well to the ukulele, and is a whole lot of fun to play.

“Let It Be” is a perfect song to learn for every ukulele player regardless of skill level. For beginners, it can teach chord switching, as well as the use of some of the most common ukulele chords. Advanced players will enjoy this song, too, since it is fun and easy to learn.

Let’s explore “Let It Be” on the ukulele a little deeper. We’ll look at the necessary chords and recommended strumming patterns for playing this song, as well as a few tips to help along the way.

Find more easy ukulele songs here >>> 57+ Easy Ukulele Songs for Beginners (using basic chords)

Let It Be – Ukulele Chords

“Let It Be” is composed in the key of C Major. The chords that are used to play this song are C, G, A minor, and F.

G ukulele chord
Am ukulele chord
F ukulele chord

C, G, A minor, and F are all relatively simple to play, and to change between. Focus on transitioning from one chord to another smoothly while following a steady rhythm. Do not stop in between each chord, but rather try to transition as smoothly and effortlessly as possible from one chord to the next.

The intro to the song runs through the overall progression that repeats throughout.

Intro

[C] [G] [Am] [F]

[C] [G] [F] [C] [G] [C]

The turnaround at the end of the intro that goes [F]~~[C] [G] [C] is a bit rapid fire, and may be tough if you’re a beginner just working on chord changes. If you find it too difficult, you can play a simpler version that omits the C-G portion, and just goes from F to C.

Intro (easier version)

[C] [G] [Am] [F]

[C] [G] [F] [C]

This song has a very driven chord progression. The chords lead into one another in a very strong way, which requires precision and clarity. Be sure to play the chords with confidence, and practice moving between the chords until you can do so smoothly without losing time, and quickly enough to hold a consistent strumming pattern.

Most of the chord changes are relatively straightforward, but at the end of some of the “let it be” lines there is a rapid-fire change from C to G and back to C, changing chords on each beat (just like the intro).

Verse

When I [C]find myself in [G]times of trouble

[Am]Mother Mary [F]comes to me

[C]Speaking words of [G]wisdom, let it [F]be~[C]~[G]~[C]

If this is too difficult at first, you can still play the song by omitting the final G and C – so hang out on the F instead of switching to the first C, then end on C.

Verse (easier version)

When I [C]find myself in [G]times of trouble

[Am]Mother Mary [F]comes to me

[C]Speaking words of [G]wisdom, let it [F]be~~~[C]

As you’ll notice, Let it Be maintains the same chord progression throughout the song, which makes it simple to play on the ukulele (once you get the chord changes down). So, the chorus has the exact same chords.

Chorus

Let it [Am]be, let it [G]be, let it [F]be, let it [C]be

[Am]Whisper words of [G]wisdom, let it [F]be~[C]~[G]~[C]

Once you have nailed down the chords and chord changes, it is time to move on to the strumming pattern.

Strumming

“Let It Be” is a great song for learning strumming on the ukulele, because you can make the strum pattern as simple or as difficult as you like.

If you’re just starting out, you can simply strum downstrokes on each beat, with chord changes every two beats:

C              G          

D  –   D  –   D  –   D   

1  & 2  & 3  & 4

Once you’ve got that down, you can pick it up a bit by strumming on both the down beat and the upbeat:

C                G          

D  D  D D  D  D  D   

1  &  2  &  3  &  4

From there, you can start to have a little fun, incorporating upstrokes instead of doing all downstrokes. A good spot for upstrokes is at the end of each measure (4 beats), but you can really play around with it.

The important thing is to keep your strumming hand moving up and down continuously with the beat, even if you are not actually hitting the strings on that beat. This will allow you to keep good time while playing, and ensure that you don’t miss any strums.

When practicing this strumming pattern, keep it slow to start, and build up the speed as you feel more confident. If possible, use a metronome (or metronome app) to help keep your strumming in time.

Final Notes

“Let It Be” is a great song, and it’s tons of fun to play on the ukulele. The chords are fairly simple so it’s great for beginners, but the flexibility of the strumming pattern also makes it great for advanced players.

When learning “Let It Be” on the ukulele, listen to the song as often as you can, and try to play along with the recording as much as possible. This will help you get the vibe of the song down.

There are some quick transition sections at the end of each verse to be aware of. In these sections, the chords change on every beat, which can be a bit challenging for beginners. Listen closely to the timing and practice changing the chords quickly to land on every beat, and you’ll get these sections down in no time.

If you struggle with a difficult section, slow down and count out loud as you learn to change the chords and play the strumming pattern. Counting out loud may seem arbitrary, but this practice engages more centers of your brain and allows you to learn the skill more quickly and commit it to memory in less time. Counting also helps to keep you playing in time.

Video Tutorial

Below is a helpful video tutorial on how to play “Let It Be” by the Beatles on the Ukulele:

Enjoyed this tutorial?

If you enjoyed this song tutorial, you might like messing around with these ukulele songs as well:

Or, check out our full list of easy ukulele songs for beginners for even more songs to play.

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about the author
Lizzie Westlake
A ukulele player and writer with a passion for helping others. There's nothing Lizzie loves more than sharing the joy of music, especially with kids. She also plays a variety of string and wind instruments.