Let It Be is an iconic anthem that is loved and revered the world over. It’s also a rare song in that it has transcended age groups and musical tastes over the years, and it’s definitely a song that literally everyone knows and loves.
Released in 1970 by The Beatles, the song became the title track for their final album, and went on to sell tens of millions of copies worldwide. The song was also the title of the film that documented the band’s rehearsing and recording sessions for the album, ultimately leading to their infamous, unannounced rooftop concert, which would be their last public performance together.
Let it Be, one of the most famous songs from The Beatles
As one of the most iconic bands and iconic songs in Rock & Roll history, ‘Let It Be’ is always a crowd-pleaser. At the very least, everyone knows the chorus and can’t help but sing along when it is played. If you’re interested in learning this and more songs from The Beatles, make sure to check our books: The Beatles for Fingerstyle Ukulele and The Beatles for Ukulele at our #1 store for all your ukulele needs, which is store.ukelikethepros.com
So, in this article, we’ll go through the chords, the strumming pattern and give you some useful tips on how to play it. Many songs by The Beatles may seem a little complicated but, rest assured, ‘Let It Be’ is not a very difficult song to learn on the uke. So, let’s get started!
Learning the Chords
There aren’t many chords or tricky changes for this song, which makes it an easy song to master. However, there is a slightly more challenging version that includes a set of walkdown chords at the end of each verse and chorus, but those additional chords are optional. We’ll get into how to play the walkdown parts after focusing on the basic structure of the song first.
Learning the Basic Version
For the basic version of ‘Let It Be,’ all the chords you need to play are G, D, E-minor and C. The chords will be played in different orders depending on whether you’re playing a verse or a chorus, but those four chords are the only ones that you need to focus on.
The verses for ‘Let It Be’ are two measures long, with each measure having the same four chords but in a different order between the first and second measures. For the first measure, the chords, in order, are G, D, E-minor and C. For the second measure, in order, the chords are G, D, C and G. The chords repeat themselves in the same order for all of the verses.
For the chorus, as mentioned, the chords are the same as the verses but played in a different order, and the chorus is also broken up into two measures like the verses. The chords for the first measure of the chorus, in order, are E-minor, D, C and G. And for the second measure of the chorus, the chords, in order, are G, D, C and G.
Adding in the Walkdown Chords
Once you feel comfortable with playing the basic version of the song, you can add in the walkdown chords at the end of each verse and chorus. The verses and the chorus are each two measures long, so in the last half of each second measure, the additional chords are B-minor and A-minor.
All of the other chords in ‘Let It Be’ are played for a full beat, but with the walkdown in the last half of each second measure, you play G for a full beat, D for a full beat, C for a half beat, B-Minor for a quarter beat, A-minor for a quarter beat, and then G for a half beat. Again, if you’re a beginner and just starting out, it’s a good idea to first learn the song without the walkdown and gradually work your way up to adding the walkdown variation.
Learning the Strumming
As iconic of a song as it is, ‘Let It Be’ is surprisingly simple as far as its strumming is concerned. The song is in 4/4 time and, again, there are only four chords for each measure unless you throw in the additional walkdown chords at the end of each verse and chorus. But, for the basic version of the song, the chords are all played with the same timing and strumming pattern.
If you’re a beginner or learning the song for the first time, an easy way to play it is by playing all of the chords by strumming downward with two beats for each chord. Once you figure out the chord changes, it’s easy to explore different strumming patterns and tempos, and add some occasional upstrokes to really make the song your own.
Now, the lyrics!
VERSEG D Em CWhen I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to meG D C GSpeaking words of wisdom, let it beG D Em CAnd in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of meG D C GSpeaking words of wisdom, let it beCHORUSEm D C GLet it be, let it be, let it be, let it beEm D C GWhisper words of wisdom, let it beVERSEG D Em CAnd when the broken hearted people living in the world agreeG D C GThere will be an answer, let it beG D Em CFor though they may be parted, there is still a chance that they will seeG D C GThere will be an answer, let it beCHORUSVERSEG D Em CAnd when the night is cloudy there is still a light that shines on meG D C GShinin’ until tomorrow, let it beG D Em CI wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to meG D C GSpeaking words of wisdom, let it beCHORUS
Practicing and Mastering the Song
’Let It Be’ is a universally revered song that allows it’s simplistic beauty to shine through, making a hugely popular song for sing-alongs. It’s really not a very challenging song to learn how to play on the uke as long as you pay attention to the chord changes and strumming pattern.
So, while you are learning how to play it, be sure to take your time, focus on your strumming and chord changes, and above all, make sure that you enjoy your learning experience.
Enjoy your playing!