Dan Zanes

Lesson >

Rock Island Line - Uke


Dan Zanes Lesson >

Rock Island Line - Uke > Chords

Hello My Fine Friends with Ukuleles! The guitar players have a lot to celebrate here with this song in the key of E. Unfortunately I can't seem to find a lot of uke players who love this key in the same way. So it's a good thing I picked a completely irresistible song to bring you into a I-IV-V in E. Irresistible is a slight understatement. This is one of the folk classics of the last century and one of the cornerstones of rock and roll. What started out as a theme song composed for a railroad by a local quartet became one of the most performed folk tunes of the 20th century thanks to The King of The 12 String Guitar, Lead Belly. The English skiffle pioneer Lonnie Donegan had a hit with this song, based on Lead Belly's version, in the 50's and set off a musical craze which led to the English Invasion. As George Harrison once said "No Lead Belly, No skiffle. No skiffle, no Beatles." That's a good reason right there to get excited about learning the E, A, and B7 chords although we're going to make it really interesting and use the E7, A7, and B7 chords. That's enough of my yakking, let's get into this!!

Dan Zanes




Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:

Print Print Chords & Tab

Loop 0:53 Run-Through of Rock Island Line

Loop 0:53 What You Will Learn Today and History of Rock Island Line

Loop 2:58 Breakdown of Chorus Chords

Loop 9:50 Practice Loop of Chorus Chords

Loop 10:43 Verse Breakdown

Loop 12:47 Practice Loop of Rock Island Line


Download the Sheet Music PDF


Loop 14:37 Social Music and Closing Thoughts

Loop 17:08 Outro





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