Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells (The Exorcist)

tubular bells the exorcist ukulele tab

This spooky little riff which was used as the theme tune to The Exorcist fits very nicely on the ukulele in the original key.

The biggest challenge in playing it is the time signature. I’m not even sure I’ve tabbed it right, but it makes most sense to me as three bars of 7/8 followed by a bar of 9/8. However you choose to count it, it’s difficult to keep track of. But it’s worth sticking with because it sounds great on the uke.

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Suggested by West

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18 Comments

  1. Crofty October 10th, 2007 9:35 pm

    Thanks for dropping by my blog and therefore helping me to find this fabulous uke blog. You are now added to my reader.

  2. Woodshed October 10th, 2007 9:51 pm

    Thanks, Crofty. Good luck with Nessun Dorma. Let me know if you record it, I want to hear it.

  3. Ian B October 11th, 2007 5:37 am

    Fun little tab… thanks a ton for all the work you put into all of this! It’s really great to have a daily uke update to look forward to!

  4. Patch October 11th, 2007 8:36 am

    wow this post made my week. so freaking sweet to just walk up to people and creep them out with some exorcist action.

  5. indigo_jones October 11th, 2007 4:04 pm

    There’s nothing like sitting and playing that piece surrounded by a couple of black cats on a crisp autumn morning with leaves rustling ominously in the background. Thanks!

  6. Woodshed October 11th, 2007 10:14 pm

    Ian B: Thanks. I couldn’t stop if I wanted to.

    Patch: If you really want to creep people out with some exorcist action do this.

    Indigo: That sounds pretty much perfect. In this part of the world it seems to have gone straight from summer to winter.

  7. Stewart Greenhill October 14th, 2007 2:21 pm

    Yikes! That walk looks pretty dangerous on the stairs.

    I’m a bit of an Oldfield fan myself, especially of the ‘Bells though I’ve never seen the movie. I’m currently trying to learn a couple of more obscure Oldfield tunes. Will try to share them once I’ve figured out how to record my uke.

  8. Woodshed October 14th, 2007 4:46 pm

    I look forward to hearing them, Stewart.

  9. Uke Hunt » Ukulele Halloween Tab & Chords Roundup October 29th, 2007 8:16 pm

    […] Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells (from The Exorcist) […]

  10. steven July 7th, 2009 9:18 pm

    sorry but there’s an easier way that i play on guitar and doesnt even need transposing to uke…
    E|-0-5-0-7-0-3-5-0-8-0-10-0-7-8-0-7-0-|

    repeat as many times as you want

  11. Woodshed July 7th, 2009 9:50 pm

    steven: Easier, maybe. But you lose the bell effect which is half the sound of the piece.

    Apology accepted. You’re a guitarist, you don’t know any better.

  12. steven July 8th, 2009 10:29 am

    umm… I know alot thank you very much.
    I may only be a grade 4 at guitar, however What i’m saying is that if like me you struggled at playing the piece the way at the top of the page, try this… that’s all

  13. Woodshed July 11th, 2009 4:03 pm

    Steven: The ukulele isn’t a small guitar and shouldn’t be played like one.

  14. simpsonnnn August 24th, 2009 8:04 pm

    instead of the 4th fret on the G string its easier to play the 2nd fret on the A string

  15. Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells (Redux) (Tab) | Ukulele Hunt October 3rd, 2010 2:01 pm

    […] planned collaborative performance of Tubular Bells at Wukulele next week had me going back to my arrangement of it and the accompanying comments about how dumb I am because there are easier ways to play it. Well, I […]

  16. Taylor wheatley June 27th, 2011 8:54 am

    @woodshed, be quiet, this tab is great.

  17. seamus4string August 15th, 2012 5:28 pm

    both tabs work just as well, don’t beat yourself up over it

  18. Dave December 7th, 2014 9:33 pm

    This works really well on uke – even got my 9 year old son playing it (he hasn’t seen the movie, well, not that I’m aware of). Thanks for tabbing!

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