Beirut – Elephant Gun


Beirut – Elephant Gun (Chords)

Elephant Gun was annoying to work out as the original version is played on a uke tuned a semitone sharp (g#C#FA#). I decided to notate the chords as if the uke was in standard C-tuning. If you want to play along and don’t want to re-tune or use a capo, you can play along with this live version (or the many others on YouTube) which is in standard tuning.

To get the opening bars to sound right, start by strumming downwards twice, concentrating on the 3rd and 4th strings. Then strum upwards concentrating on the 1st and 2nd strings. Do this twice on the Am. Then, on the D7, strum in a similar way but hammering on from open strings on the first strum.

A quick aside, I’ve tweaked the tab (but not the chords) for Postcards from Italy. So if you grabbed it first time you might want to check back.

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45 Comments

  1. chris July 18th, 2007 10:35 pm

    yep, that’s how i play it too. i use a guitar capo on the first fret to play along with the album. i like this song a lot. thanks for the shout-out too.

  2. Woodshed July 18th, 2007 10:39 pm

    You’re welcome, Chris. Are you going to be doing any more uke tabs?

  3. chris July 21st, 2007 11:53 pm

    well, i haven’t really listened to much uke music beyond beirut. i mainly tab for guitar and i’m hoping to get that part of site up and running smoother soon.

  4. Howlin' Hobbit July 22nd, 2007 8:00 pm

    Love their stuff. When I found this song initially I got all excited and put in a friend request on myspace only to get the message that they “don’t accept friend requests from bands.”

    pffft.

    Like, bands (or members thereof) can’t be fans of other bands? WTF?

    No purchases of Beirut stuff by HH.

    (That’s ok, I’m undoubtedly too old and unhip anyways.)

  5. Beaver October 18th, 2007 5:02 am

    Great site, i play the ukulele…poorly.I’d always listened to Beirut and assumed they were playing more mandolinish strange eastern European instruments. I saw them last week and was amazed that 99.9% of their songs have uke and 99.9% of those 99.9% have 3 ukes. Even a solo uke finale of Hallelujah.

    I got home that night figuring I would never find any tabs/chords for them….I just figured they were too hipster to have any competent ukester pay attention. Thank god I was wrong and it led me to this site. Thanks Again

  6. Woodshed October 18th, 2007 9:12 pm

    That’s great to hear, Beaver. I love Beirut. Their new album has a couple of killer uke songs. That reminds me, I have to work out St Apollonia.

  7. Brandon October 28th, 2007 4:25 pm

    Can someone please describe the strumming pattern of the song after Am? Thank you!

  8. Ellis November 29th, 2007 6:37 am

    Fantastic website—i just started playing the uke and i’ve just mastered The Penalty, one of my favorites, thanks to you guys…anyways, i’m trying to work out Elephant Gun past the first bit. I feel like the tone changes while you’re still playing the same chord-i don’t know how to do it. any ideas?

    also-if you get the time, tab Transatlantique! it’s on the Elephant Gun EP with books on the cover. it sounds pretty similar to a few Beirut songs, but its good nevertheless. It starts on Bbadd9 but without the pinky finger, then adds it for a second.

    thanks again!

  9. devlin January 4th, 2008 11:58 am

    have you by chance tabbed transatlantique?

  10. Woodshed January 4th, 2008 4:37 pm

    Ok, Ok, I get the message :) I’ll add Transatlantic to the To Do List.

    Ellis: Whereabouts is it that the tone changes?

  11. blux January 8th, 2008 3:54 am

    what the hell? this is the description of how to play elephant gun!?

    i heard “starts with Am, strum twice down on the 3rd and 4th, then up twice on the 1st and 2nd. hammer on and do the same for the D7.”

    I….

    is that the whole song? maybe he just strums the next twenty minutes of Am and D7 really well?

  12. blux January 8th, 2008 4:06 am

    I… deeply apologize.

    Excellent work with the pdf files i didn’t see at first.

  13. Minamin January 30th, 2008 12:56 am

    Saltatory Conduction seems to be down. Did anyone save Chris’s tabs?

  14. Immy February 6th, 2008 12:30 pm

    I’m wondering the same thing. Does anyone have the tabs, pretty please? Could someone be kind enough to e-mail me the tabs? It would be greatly appreciated and I will send you a postcard from Holland in return.

  15. Immy February 6th, 2008 12:31 pm

    ima b r ouwer at gmail dot com

  16. Woodshed February 6th, 2008 9:10 pm

    I’ve emailed Chris and he says they will be back up in future on this page.

  17. Beirut - Lon Gisland and Others | Uke Hunt March 4th, 2008 6:00 pm

    [...] Elephant Gun (Post) [...]

  18. Calliope Avalbane June 26th, 2008 10:18 pm

    Hi, Thank you so much for this, I was so happy to find your Postcards From Italy tab too. I can’t click on the link that you say has tabs for the rest of the album though, it says I need a password or something? What website is it on?

  19. Woodshed June 26th, 2008 10:39 pm

    Yeah, Calliope, that’s a different site and their chords disappeared. I did them all of them here.

  20. Nat December 28th, 2009 12:36 am

    I’m still having trouble strumming after it goes from G C and C7m

    Can someone email me the strum pattern. I can’t figure it out.

  21. mcnilly January 13th, 2010 5:42 pm

    anyone figured out the strumming pattern ? Al . . . i love you for tabbing this (and sweet child of mine) fancy giving me a hand on the strumming pattern for this? there my weakest point, i can never figure them out!

  22. Sarah May 18th, 2010 11:53 am

    Hi :)

    Just to clarify something probably very obvious..

    Is the 1st & 2nd string the G and the C or the A & the E?

    Thanks x

  23. Woodshed May 18th, 2010 10:09 pm

    Sarah: 1st = A string
    2nd = E string
    3rd = C string
    4th = G string

  24. Miha August 16th, 2010 11:15 pm

    THIS IS REALLY GREAT =) thanks woodshed

  25. Amanda August 26th, 2010 7:14 pm

    Video links to “What’s a girl to do?” by Bat for Lashes. It was a nice find, but I don’t think it’s what you are meant to have posted here? haha

  26. Woodshed August 27th, 2010 1:08 pm

    Miha: You’re very welcome.

    Amanda: Thanks very much for letting me know. Fixed it.

  27. Amanda September 2nd, 2010 8:47 pm

    Happy to help :)

  28. Clara December 13th, 2010 1:07 am

    Oh god, can anyone play and sing this at the same time? I love the strumming pattern, but I’m not nearly coordinated enough to do two things at once.

  29. Zeiram March 30th, 2011 8:09 pm

    Hey thanks for doing this, playing Beirut songs keeps me motivated to work on my ukulele game, well that and my new Lanikai LU-21 CE^^

    One question though:

    You say to start with the downward strumming, I´ve heard some pretty good covers who said to start with the upwards strumming. I can´t really hear it out.

    So I second check with my most trusted source again, at the beginning of the strumming up or down?

  30. Woodshed March 31st, 2011 2:03 pm

    Zeiram: Definitely starts with a down strum.

  31. Taylor April 27th, 2011 5:23 am

    I really wish someone would explain the strum pattern after D7. SO frustrating. It’s PERFECT except for that. :)

  32. smeal May 19th, 2011 12:16 pm

    ok, so as far as i can tell, the stumming pattern is like DDUUDUDUU, but that could be wrong. peace

  33. Redmond June 19th, 2011 2:26 am

    @smeal: What I’ve been doing is DDUUDDUDU, with a couple changes here and there (especially on the G chord)

    I’ve also noticed that most of what makes this song sound more involved is the way you switch between the chords and do a lot of what Zach does in his songs; hammer-on to the D7, a quick hammer on in the middle of the G chord (on the A string),among other things.

    Hope that helps!

  34. Starkey November 21st, 2011 9:59 pm

    Thanks a lot for the chords, such a lovely song. When i tried the d,u,d,u it sounded weird to me. I think it sounds a lot more like the song when it’s played d,udud. Am I right?

  35. Krystyn January 4th, 2012 4:51 am

    Ok, so this is what I’ve worked out and it sounds pretty right on – U U D D U U D U D. I hammer on to D7, and even on to G, and for G I play U U D U D twice and drop to Gsus2 in the middle and back up to G, then U U D U D once each for C and C7M

  36. Seth April 17th, 2012 10:51 am

    when learning this i dropped a thumb onto 2nd fret of the 4th string when playing the G just for a few strums in the middle there (for the first few bars) gives it a nice added sound.

  37. Woodshed April 17th, 2012 11:42 am

    Seth: Thanks for the tip.

  38. Rose May 20th, 2012 4:12 pm

    Is UkeHunt on the app store? If not IT SHOULD BE!

    I love this website but sometimes when I want to play I don’t have Internet access on my iPod :/

  39. Woodshed May 21st, 2012 8:18 am

    Rose: Sorry, no plans.

  40. Josh May 22nd, 2012 1:22 pm

    With the strumming on this, I’ve found the best way to replicate the emphasis on the particular strings is by using my thumb to strum downward and my first finger to strum upwards. Which sounds ok, but doesn’t really provide as full a sound as strumming regularly. How do you guys strum on this?

  41. Josh May 22nd, 2012 1:30 pm

    And then in all the live versions I’ve seen, Zach doesn’t even seem to be following the strumming, he just goes for it head on and sort of uses the hammer-ons to make up for it.

  42. Rose May 22nd, 2012 3:25 pm

    Yeah I’ve done that pattern too. I find it more comfortable
    I would also suggest down with thumb and up with first finger (the middle finger also works well for up).

  43. NairUke July 1st, 2012 9:03 pm

    I just got a Snark to retune my Uke (im not so gifted to do it by ear) and it’s amazing how wonderful it sounds.The great thing about the Uke, i think, is that it’s extremly intuitive; even without real knowledge of music, you can understand the the strumming, etc. But with this awesome guidense it becomes a joyful ride to lear any song.

  44. Woodshed July 2nd, 2012 4:16 pm

    NairUke: Thanks! Glad to hear you’re enjoying it.

  45. Tacincala Hidaka September 2nd, 2012 2:07 am

    Hey, anybody know where I can find a good arrangement of Stubborn Love by the Lumineers for uke?

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