Beirut – Transatlantique

Beirut – Transatlantique (Chords)

Transatlantique (sometimes referred to as Transatlantic) is tucked away on the Elephant Gun EP – which is pretty hard to find itself. The only place I’ve found it available is on on eMusic. That’s a real shame as it’s one of my favourite Beirut songs – and, judging by the number of requests I’ve had for it, a favourite amongst uke players.

The first part of the tune uses common Beirut tricks. He always seems to be playing that Fadd9 and hammering on to the F chord. Next up is the old descending note trick. The G, E and A strings form an F chord through the whole section. The only note that changes is on the C string (which moves down a fret each time). Don’t be put off by the F(2). This isn’t a strange chord you’ve never heard of – it’s just to distinguish the two different versions of the F chord that crop up in the song.

Thanks to Mitch for sending me his version of the chords. My version is slightly different. So, if you think my chords suck, see if you prefer his. You can find them on the Beirut tab and chords page.

More Beirut ukulele tab and chords here.

Listen to Transatlantique here.

Get on eMusic

If you were hoping for a Valentines song today, you came to the wrong place. Zym has a very fitting ukulele song for today. Go there.

View Comments


  1. moocher February 14th, 2008 9:13 pm

    What a lovely Valentines gift and I didn’t even know we were an item! Beirut raised the most so far for busking on The Culture Show on BBC2 taking the lead from the Shins.

  2. Woodshed February 14th, 2008 10:25 pm

    I’ll win you yet. I’m putting up a couple more chord charts on the Beirut page. Just for you, obviously ;)

    I missed the Beirut part on the Culture Show. But I turned up in time to see Seasick Steve, which was a treat.

  3. Retrovertigo February 15th, 2008 1:28 am

    For what it’s worth, the Elephant Gun EP is available on iTunes.

  4. Nelson February 15th, 2008 1:39 am

    Hey hey hey!
    You know me, if it’s beirut…I absolutely love it!
    Thanks alot w-to-the-double-o-d-shed!

  5. amber February 15th, 2008 7:30 am

    I also love Beirut. Works as a Valentine for me! Of course, I love Zym’s song too.

  6. Woodshed February 16th, 2008 12:28 pm

    Retrovertigo: Thanks. I can’t bring myself to go on iTunes anymore. Since I’ve switched to a non-ipod, it’s become pretty much useless to me.

    Nelson: I’m going to start introducing myself all the time.

    amber: Happy Valentines. You didn’t get me anything. I’m heartbroken.

    @everyone: I’ve decided to work out all the Beirut stuff. I’ve got a fair bit of it done so far: Beirut tab page

  7. Compiglione April 26th, 2008 1:23 am

    Thanks for the tab. Could you possibly tell me the strumming pattern for the song. Also you can find this song and many others at if that helps.

  8. Badger_Dash November 7th, 2008 1:33 am
  9. Woodshed November 7th, 2008 9:45 pm

    Thanks for the link, Badger Dash.

  10. Lauren July 28th, 2009 12:17 am

    Can someone post the strumming pattern for this song?

  11. sverre February 8th, 2010 11:50 am

    i’m having some real trouble with the timing on this one.

  12. teraleee April 8th, 2010 5:27 am

    i’d love it if someone broke down the strumming pattern :)

  13. ken April 12th, 2010 7:17 am

    hey, does it matter whether my uke is soprano or tenor to be able to play these songs?

    i’m thinking about purchasing my first uke.

  14. Woodshed April 14th, 2010 8:11 am

    ken: No, tenor or soprano can handle this equally well.

  15. miha August 17th, 2010 3:44 pm

    Have anyvody worked out the strumming pattern yet. Cause it gives me a lot of trouble timing it!

  16. Logan August 21st, 2010 4:54 pm

    I’m with the confused strummers; I’m having lots of trouble making this song sound just right. I normally wouldn’t much mind, but this music is pretty special.

  17. dakaplo February 21st, 2011 5:04 pm

    I think the first chord is just a straight Bb, and then he hammers on a C on the A string.

  18. Redmond March 28th, 2011 10:58 pm

    Here’s a little jam I did with a couple buddies of mine based on the chord progression here. It’s not perfect, and I had cheese in my beard at the beginning, but it was fun =)

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

    Redmond: Excellent stuff. Enjoyed it very much. And it’s as good a place to keep your cheese as any.

  20. byz September 30th, 2011 10:31 pm

    is it trumpet or flugelhorn zach play?

  21. madpoet June 1st, 2012 10:01 pm

    Could anyone throw me a bone on the strum pattern Paleeeez? If not… I may very well spend the rest of my days on this.

  22. Logan June 2nd, 2012 2:38 pm

    Remember that hammering on/pulling off the G-string (heh) generally produces a second note, so there are fewer strums than notes in this song. To make the pull-offs clear, I strum off of them. However, getting the hammer-ons to ring without strumming is key to playing any Beirut song.

    The version I play:

    Opening+ beginning verses-
    down-hammer on- none- down- up- down


    down- down- down- down
    (again, I strum here when there are pull-offs. and I do all down strums to be sure the G-string is hit solidly.)

    There’s more playing around here. I’ve parenthesized the parts that you will probably find yourself wishing to strum differently once you get accustomed to the tempo).

    down- none- down- none- down- none- (up- down- up- down- up -down)

    and for the F- note in the finish:

    down-hammer on- down- up- down (u-d-u-d-u-d).

    Hope that helps!

  23. Woodshed June 3rd, 2012 11:25 am

    Logan: Thanks!

  24. madpoet December 4th, 2012 5:27 am

    Thanks, Logan :)

Sorry, Comments Are Broken Right Now