Playing “Jesus Loves Me” on the Ukulele: A Quick Guide

by Madonna

The ukulele, with its sweet and soothing tones, is a perfect instrument for playing heartwarming melodies. One such timeless and beloved tune is “Jesus Loves Me.” In this article, we will guide you through the steps to play this classic hymn on the ukulele, ensuring a soulful rendition that resonates with the message of love and comfort.

Choosing the Right Ukulele and Tuning

Selecting the right ukulele is crucial for a harmonious rendition of “Jesus Loves Me.” Opt for a soprano or concert ukulele for their bright tones. Ensure your instrument is well-built and stays in tune. Utilize a quality tuner to achieve the standard G-C-E-A tuning. A well-tuned ukulele lays the foundation for a captivating performance, allowing the sweet melody to resonate with the message of love in this cherished hymn.


Understanding the Chords

“Jesus Loves Me” is a straightforward hymn that primarily uses three basic chords: C, G, and F. If you’re unfamiliar with these chords, take some time to practice transitioning between them smoothly. Each chord brings a unique flavor to the melody, enhancing the overall musical experience.


C Chord: Place your ring finger on the third fret of the first string.


G Chord: Put your ring finger on the third fret of the second string, index finger on the second fret of the third string, and middle finger on the second fret of the first string.

F Chord: Bar the first fret with your index finger across all four strings and add your middle finger to the second fret of the fourth string.

See Also: The Most Common Ukulele Tuning: Things You Need To Know

Playing the Verse

Now that you’re familiar with the chords, let’s break down the verse. Start with the C chord for the line, “Jesus loves me, this I know.” Progress to the G chord for “For the Bible tells me so.” Finally, transition to the F chord for the last line, “Little ones to Him belong.”

Mastering the Chorus

The chorus of “Jesus Loves Me” is a repetition of the same chords used in the verse. As you play through the chorus, focus on maintaining a smooth and even strumming pattern. Experiment with different strumming techniques to find the one that complements your playing style and adds a personal touch to the melody.

Adding Fingerpicking for Emphasis

To add depth to your ukulele rendition, consider incorporating fingerpicking patterns. For example, during the instrumental breaks or between verses, you can use your thumb to pluck individual strings while maintaining the chord progression. Experiment with different fingerpicking styles to find the one that resonates with the emotional depth of the hymn.

Expressive Strumming Patterns

While the song is traditionally played with a simple strumming pattern, feel free to experiment with more complex patterns to express your unique style. Use dynamics, such as crescendos and decrescendos, to emphasize certain lyrics and create a dynamic and engaging performance.

Practice Tips for Mastery

To master “Jesus Loves Me” on the ukulele, adopt effective practice strategies. Break the song into manageable sections, focusing on chord transitions, strumming patterns, and fingerpicking techniques individually. Gradually integrate these elements, ensuring a seamless performance. Use a metronome to maintain a steady tempo and enhance rhythm. Repetition is key, so dedicate regular practice sessions to reinforce muscle memory and build confidence. Record yourself playing to identify areas for improvement and track progress. Embrace the process, and with consistent and deliberate practice, you’ll master the nuances of this timeless hymn.


Playing “Jesus Loves Me” on the ukulele is a rewarding experience that allows you to convey the profound message of love and comfort through music. By mastering the basic chords, experimenting with fingerpicking, and incorporating expressive strumming patterns, you can create a heartfelt rendition of this timeless hymn. Remember, practice is key, so take the time to hone your skills and infuse your unique style into this beloved melody. May your ukulele journey be filled with joy and inspiration as you share the comforting message of “Jesus Loves Me” with others.


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