After spending over an hour working on “Let It Be” and half an hour on “When I’m Sixty-Four” we spent comparatively less time on the remaining three from the 15 songs on the Beatles Carpool Karaoke. While we were familiar with most songs, playing them on the ukulele was another matter.
Our coach showed us how to make an illusively simple three-chord song like “Love Me Do” interesting. It’s sometimes the case that three-chord songs are not necessarily easy to sing or rhythmically easy to play. So far, I’ve compiled more than 60 songs that require only the three chords of C, F, and G. It will be another exercise to play them well.
The Beatles sing “Love Me Do” in the key of G as in the San Jose Ukulele Club’s song sheet. In the beginner’s ukulele workshop preceding our jam session, I urged the participants to look through the song sheet for patterns that repeat. “Love Me Do” is the perfect example of words that repeat. With it, the same two chords G and C alternate.
Love, love me do. You know I love you. You know I love you. So please, love me do.
Only when you get to the bridge does D chord get introduced. One analyst wrote “it contains a strong Mixolydian modal inflection from the heavy use of both F-naturals in the tune and in its reliance on the I-IV-I to establish a feeling of tonal center. The non-modal Major V chord with an F# is used only in the bridge.”
What’s clearly missing in our interpretation is the harmonica riff, which was substituted by our coach’s improvisation on the steel string guitar. He showed us how to play the riff on the ukulele, using bar chords.
G7 on the 7th fret, G6, C9, G-note twice, which correspond to
7778, 7777, 0005, xx3x, xx3x
[Note: We dearly miss Charlie, our harmonica player this evening.]
Like “When I’m Sixty Four” there are certain points in the song when the instrument stops playing. The word “please” is stretched over several beats with the last C-chord played on the “ease” before muting (or just let it ring, for ukulele strings don’t have a long sustain) for “Love me do.”
There are many ways to end it. Follow the song sheet as written and end abruptly with a single downstroke on the last chord, or repeat until fade.
Thanks to the good singers in our ukulele group, their vocal harmonisation makes the song much more interesting.