My Dog Has Fleas

by Karl Hitzemann

The ukulele is a fun and rewarding instrument. (Just ask the dog and the fleas on our cover!) It sounds great and it is fairly easy to learn how to play. To get your ukulele unit off to a great start, we created "My Dog Has Fleas." The title, of course, referring to the familiar tuning of the ukulele. By the way, the flea reference comes from the fact that in Hawaiian, "ukulele" means "jumping flea." In this song, the singers sing the notes over and over (G, C, E, A) to reinforce memorizing the string note names. The ukulele players get to play each string individually so that they can get familiar with the sound of the tuning. The players will also have the opportunity to play the chords C and A minor, both of which only require one finger. You can have them strum very simple rhythmic patterns, or they can strum more creatively and freely. You'll hear both (simple and more rhythmic) on the full performance track on the recording for this issue. One last thing: When singing this song, be sure your singers pronounce ukulele the Hawaiian way – oo-koo-lay-lay.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.