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This Little Light of Mine
Traditional, arr. James Hill

Download FREE score (Printer-friendly PDF format):
C6 Tuning (g, c, e, a)
D6 Tuning (a, d, f#, b)


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Welcome to the wonderful world of Ukulele Big Band! Yes, Ukulele Big Band. Think Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie... with ukes! This free "mini-score" gives you and your students a chance to get hip to the style, rhythms, and structure of Big Band arrangements. When you're ready, more "mini-scores" as well as full-length four- and five-part arrangements are available here.

The advantages of starting with a mini-score like this one are:

  • Class prep is a snap: all four parts fit on a single page so there's no need to guess about how many copies of each part you'll need.
  • Students can quickly switch between parts (i.e. no changing seats or passing paper)
  • Students get a "bird's eye view" of the arrangement and learn how to read a multi-part score.
Related Links: More Ukulele Big Band charts (free audio and score samples).




This Little LIght of Mine:
Teaching/Learning Notes

View print-friendly PDF Teaching/Learning Notes

Focus On:

  1. Syncopated rhythms
  2. Note reading
  3. Ensemble techniques

Key Points:

  • There are certain rhythmic figures that re-occur throughout this arrangement. Focus your attention on the rhythms in the following passages (and notice when these rhythms are repeated):

    • Uke I: m. 1–2
    • Uke II, III, IV: m. 1–2

  • Clap each of the above phrases before you play it, then play the rhythm on a single note. Finally, play as written. Note: it’s very helpful to have a friend (or a metronome!) beat an eighth-note pulse as you practise these rhythms.
  • Measures 1–16 can be repeated as many times as necessary (without Uke I) as background figures (i.e. accompaniment) for improvised solos. Instead of picking the melody, have Uke I players strum the chords.

Additional Suggestions and Comments:

  • This arrangement can be played by ensembles of many shapes and sizes. The minimum number of players is five (one to a part, one strummer). The maximum number? That’s up to you!

  • This arrangement does not require a low fourth string. In other words, it is 100% compatible with both low- and high-4th string tunings.

  • Have fun with the Ukulele Big Band sound! For some, this may be a new way of experiencing music; it may be a new way for some students to “get inside” the music. Be sure to play recordings of the great big bands (Miller, Ellington, Basie) for your students.

  • For those interested, the recording of This Little Light of Mine above was made using a re-entrantly tuned spruce-top, koa-body tenor ukulele made by Mike DaSilva ( Click here to see this beautiful instrument.

James Hill is editor of Ukulele Yes! and co-author of Ukulele in the Classroom, He also maintains a busy touring schedule as a performer; his latest CD release, True Love Don't Weep, won Traditional Album of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. Visit for more.