Despacito Ukulele Lesson

Despacito Ukulele Lesson

I can’t go anywhere without hearing Despacito by Luis Fonsi (and Justin Bieber). Well if you can’t beat them, join them they say. Here’s how to play Despacito on ukulele…

This is a pretty good song for beginners as it only has four chords in it. One of those chords is a barre chord though – head this way if you need help with barre chords.

There’s a lot of repetition here, you’re basically playing the same chords in the same order with the same strumming pattern throughout.

Despacito Chords

Here are the chords you’ll need(if you need help reading chord boxes, go here)…

Despacito Chords Ukulele

As you can see we’re starting out with the rather nasty B minor chord. It’s really not that bad once you get to grips with it. If you are really struggling with the B minor though you do have a couple of options…

B minor alternative ukuleleB minor Alternative Option 1

In this version we don’t fret or play the G string. This means that you can get away with just barring at fret 2 and strumming the bottom 3 strings. It’s still a B minor. It does still have a bit of a barre in it though.

If you really want to play a B minor without a barre then take a look at the next alternative…

B minor alternative ukuleleB minor Alternative Option 2

For this alternate version of B minor, we don’t fret or play the bottom string. This means shuffling your fingers around a bit. I play the C string with my index finger, the E string with my second finger and I use my pinkie to hit the 4th fret of the G string (top string).

Both of these alternatives are legitimate B minor chords, so don’t feel like you’re cheating if you use either of them.

Strumming Pattern

You have a few options when it comes to the strumming pattern for Despacito. The one I like to play is a slight variation on a simple D DU D DU pattern.

Despacito Ukulele Strumming Pattern

To emphasise the off the beat feel, I like to play a chunk/muted strum for the first and third beats. To do this you just need to strum as you normally would but release the pressure from your fretting hand as you strum.

You can play any number of slight variations of this – as long as you keep that off the beat feel then it’s all going to work pretty well.

You’ll be playing the strumming pattern above twice for every chord  change throughout Despacito.

Song Structure

You’ll be pleased to know that the structure is really simple. It’s simply B minor, G, D, A throughout.

All Barre Chords? Are You Mad?

For those of you that like to punish yourselves, I’d recommend trying this one using all barre chords. It works really well and it just gives you a little bit more flexibility when it comes to muting the chords a bit. It’s the way I played it on the recording sample on this page.

It also gives you the added advantage of learning a few chords in other positions which can’t be a bad thing.

Here are the chords in barre form…

Despacito Barre Chords

That’s your lot!


Grab my free Ukulele Go! beginners pack.

3 thoughts on “Despacito Ukulele Lesson

  1. I appreciate the effort. I was struggling with the Bm chord so I appreciate the alternatives that you show.

  2. Really helpful! The only tip I would recommend is to post a video on too. That would basically make this web perfect!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *