Five little Ducks – Chords, Tabs and Sheet Music

five little ducks nursery rhyme

Five little ducks is a great children’s song to practice counting backwards. The song is about five five ducks who went out with her mum but everyday a baby duck is gone. The mother duck is very sad because finally all of them are gone but luckily they are coming back. It’s also a great song to play on guitar and in this free lesson we get to know the origin and history of the song and then how to play it on guitar. There are a few ways to play this song and we will start with a very easy version that requires only one string of your guitar! But we will also show you how to play the song with some basic guitar chords and offer you some free PDF worksheets that you can use for your practicing or lessons!

History and Origin of Five Little Ducks

The exact origins of “Five Little Ducks” remain unknown, with no documented record of its author or initial publication. However, the song gained popularity in the 1980s when it was featured on Raffi’s 1982 album ‘Rise and Shine’. Since then it has become a popular nursery rhyme and counting song that has captured the hearts of children around the world.

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easy guitar songs for kids
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Easy Song Sheets designed for Kids
easy guitar songs for kids

Tabs for Five little Ducks

You can play a song on the guitar by either fingerpicking or strumming. It’s hard to say which is easier because some beginners find it easier to learn the first strums, other to pick the first strings individually. Anyway, every good guitarists master both styles and it’s good for beginners to try and learn both. We start with fingerpicking first because we can reduce it to a very easy level where you have to use only one string of the guitar to play the melody!

1. Level: Playing only on One Guitar String

guitar playing on 1 string

For the first version we only need one string to play all the notes of the song! This is a good exercise for students as they only have to concentrate on picking one string and moving only one finger of the left hand up and down on that string. At the same time they become more familiar with the notes on the string. So let’s press down on the string with the index or middle finger of the left hand. Let’s pluck the string with the thumb of the right hand.

Here are the tabs for Five little Ducks on one string:

Five Little Ducks - Guitar Tabs One String

Below is a recording of how it should sound. You can play along and if it’s too fast, just slow it down.

You can actually play the same pattern on any other guitar string as well. Try for example the 6th string (low E string) to have a low version of this Five little Ducks.

2. Level: Playing on several Guitar Strings

guitar 3 strings

Once you master the song on one string you can try to play the same melody by using several strings. Don’t worry, we won’t use all the strings but only three of them! This will make it a bit more challenging but it’s actually much more common and efficient to play a song on more than just one string. The advantage is that you don’t need to move your left hand too much along the neck of the guitar. Of course, you now have to use several fingers and pluck different strings, but this is a very good exercise.

Here are the tabs for playing the nursery rhyme on the first three strings:

Five Little Ducks - Guitar Tabs

Again, you can listen to the recording to check your playing and see how it should sound.

Chords for Five little Ducks

Fingerpicking is a good exercise on the guitar and some versions are also pretty beginner-friendl. But if you want to sing and play along the song, then you should explore the song with guitar chords. You can find different ways to play this song by chords but we start with an easy version. This means we are using some basic guitar chords in the key of G..

The chords that you need for Five little Ducks are the chords G and C and G7.

C Chord Guitar
G Chord Guitar
G7-Chord-Guitar
CFive little ducks went Gout one day,
G7over the hills and Cfar away.
Mother duck said:
“Quack, qGuack, quack, quack.”
G7But only four little Fducks came back.

2. Four little ducks went out one day,
over the hills and far away.
Mother duck said:
“Quack, quack, quack, quack.”
But only three little
ducks came back.

3. Three little ducks went out one day,
over the hills and far away.
Mother duck said:
“Quack, quack, quack, quack.”
But only two little
ducks came back.

4. Two little ducks went out one day,
over the hills and far away.
Mother duck said:
“Quack, quack, quack, quack.”
But only one little
duck came back.

5. One little duck went out one day,
over the hills and far away.
Mother duck said:
“Quack, quack, quack, quack.”
But none of the five little
ducks came back.

6. So sad Mother duck went out one day,
Over the hills and far away.
Mother duck said:
“Quack, quack, quack, quack.”
And all of the five little
ducks came back.

Sheet Music and Tabs for Five little Ducks

Advanced guitar players and music teacher often prefer sheet music because all the information of a song can be found in there. But even if sheet music is new to you, easy nursery rhymes are the perfect entry point to learn the basic of it and Five little Ducks is a good example for it.

Five Little Ducks - Guitar Sheet Music

Free PDF Printables Five little Ducks

If you need the chord version, tabs or sheet music as a PDF, you can find them below in order to use them for your practicing or guitar lessons!

Five Little Ducks - Guitar Free PDF Download

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