How to Play Wanted Dead Or Alive On Ukulele

Jon Bon Jovi knew he wanted to be a rockstar early on. Imagine knowing what you want to be before you’re fully a young adult. The band Bon Jovi came together in the 1980s and took the music industry by a storm. Their ballads, incomparable guitar riffs, and rhythmic melodies were a right powerhouse. “Wanted Dead Or Alive” is one of Bon Jovi’s more popular songs. One of the reasons it’s so famous is because of how easy it is to learn the chords. It’s from their 1986 album called “Slippery When Wet.” The song even ranked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Let’s take a closer look at the song. This article will guide you how to play wanted dead or alive on ukulele.

Bon Jovi’s Wanted Dead Or Alive

This song is an interesting one. There’s more to this than describing the lonely life of a rockstar. This song started the whole “Unplugged” phase. The band used acoustic guitars to play their music that rooted this idea further. This series was not just about their music but their travels too.

While learning the ukulele, you’ll come across this song several times. It has an easy beat and focuses on only a few chords. It’s easy to pick it up but hard to memorize. With practice, you can master it swiftly though. Before jumping into the details, let’s see why you should invest in a ukulele. 

Why You Should Play the Ukulele 

There’s no good reason to not play the ukulele. Unlike other instruments, ukuleles don’t break the bank. You can get an excellent ukulele for under $100. It comes in different sizes so do some research before settling on your final choice. Also, they’re durable. Just because they’re affordable doesn’t mean they’re not durable.

Another plus point is that it’s portable. This instrument is the life of a party. You can take it to the beach, the poolside party, or even a weekend getaway. It doesn’t take too much space either. The baritone is loved by everyone. The jolly melodies just elevate the social setting. 

Ukuleles have a warm sound that just soothes the ears. It’s bound to bring a smile to your face. Imagine how easily you can impress your company with this in your hands. Most importantly, you can adapt just about any song to the ukuleles. It doesn’t matter what the genre is. You can even adapt metal! 

All the complex chords are diffused into something similar. This is why so many beginners or aspiring musicians flock to this instrument. It’s also a great priming instrument. All the knowledge you pick up here can be used for playing the guitar or bass too. So what are you waiting for?

How to Play Wanted Dead Or Alive on Ukulele Tutorials 

The strumming pattern has a nostalgic feel associated with most 80s music. Picking this classic tune is an absolute must. Also, it uses just four chords! The chords used are: C, D, F, and G. These depend on the instructor though. Let’s check out some of the best tutorials.  

1. Center Stage Ukulele Academy 

Tutorial Link: Check it out!

This academy knows what they’re doing. After all, they have over 241k subscribers. You will be exposed to people who do their job seriously. You’ll learn more about your instrument and appreciate its work better. 

This comprehensive tutorial is essentially a song study. This video is over nine minutes long. It doesn’t focus on the chords only. The instructor takes time to talk about the main riff and chorus too. 

2. Jason Read Guitar Lessons 

Tutorial Link: Check it out! 

Jason has little over 55k followers on YouTube. He keeps the lesson simple and focuses on the music entirely. The camera is zoomed in on the ukulele so you can easily follow his movements.

It could use a chart though. Sometimes he gets too fast to follow. Overall, it’s a fun video to follow. Jason Read manages to cover all the basics in a short amount of time. The video is around five minutes long. 

3. Ukulele Underground 

Tutorial Link: Check it out!

Here’s a big one. This group has over 400k subscribers on YouTube and they’re extremely good at what they do. Just take a look at this tutorial. They’re easy to understand and they take time to help beginners walk through the entire process.

You have visual aid to help you through the process. In this tutorial, the instructor breaks down the lyrics of the “Wanted Dead or Alive” too. His cheerful demeanor just lures you in. If you want a comprehensive lesson, this is it!

Three Important Tips to Master the Ukulele 

Buying the right ukulele isn’t enough. You need to know how to embrace it. These tips will help you master the instrument. Let’s take a look!

1. Get in the Zone 

You need the right mindset to play the ukulele. It’s applicable for every other instrument too. If you’re new to this, you need to put your fears aside. In this case, you are your biggest enemy. You can do it. Don’t underestimate yourself. Just pick up a ukulele and play. Remember that it’s all about fun. 

2. Learn How to Tune Your Ukulele 

No instrument sounds good without tuning. This should be on the top of your learning list. It can make or break your performance. Small mishaps can end up producing awful songs. Don’t set yourself up for that torture. Just keep your ukulele in check!

3. Learn the Right Pose 

You need to cradle the ukulele to your body. Use your right arm to hold it. Use your forearm to hold a part of it. Apply a little pressure with your elbow to keep it nice and snug against you. Use your left hand to support the neck. Now you’re good to go!


All you need is a little patience. Picking up a song like “Wanted Dead or Alive” on the ukulele is all about practice. It may seem difficult at first but once the initial hurdle is over, it’s easier to pick up. So just find a ukulele to your liking and start playing!

You can also read: How To Read Ukulele Music Notes: A Guide for Beginners

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