A couple of weeks ago I tabbed out a version of this song for two ukuleles and I couldn’t resist the challenge of doing it on one.
I combined the two parts in the simplest way I could think of: by only playing the background riff when there were no melody notes. There are two tricky parts to getting this: keeping the groove and distinguishing the melody notes from the riff. There are parts where the melody cuts across the riff in awkward ways (such as in bars 7 and 8 ) and I need some practice before I could fall naturally back into the riff. I also found the phrasing in bar 20 a little unnatural. Counting the beats (1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &) and playing on the ‘1 &’ and the ‘4 &’ helped me sort it out.
I separated the melody from the riff by dampening the strings a little on the riff notes (i.e. resting the flabby bit at the bottom of my right hand against the strings very lightly) and giving the melody notes an extra bit of welly.
WS64 has done a great version of this tune. He incorporates more chord notes than I did. I particularly like his strummed sections. I like them so much I’m going to steal the idea.