Posts for First Timers

I’ve been bashing away at this blog for 11 months now. In that time I’ve amassed around 350 posts. That’s way too many for people to sift through, so here’s a quick list of my most popular posts (and after that some posts for people who are new to the uke as well as to the site). For long term readers, I’d love to hear what you think people should read when they first pitch up here so I can add it to the list.

Posts for First Timer Visitors

About page

Get up to speed on the blog. I’m completely OCD on posting the same thing on each day of the week. The about page will let you know what to expect when.

Tab & Chords pages.

This is what most people come here for. The chords start on this page and the tabs start on this page. Whatever your tastes, you’ll probably find something that takes your fancy.

Perennial favourites include Beirut (whose entire back catalogue I’ve put up), While My Guitar Gently Weeps (my entirely ineffectual plea for people to come up with their own version rather than parroting Jake Shimabukuro), and Sweetafton23’s cover of Britney Spears’s Toxic (YouTube classic). More recent hits include Yael Naim’s New Soul, Daft Punk – Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger and Antsy Pants’s Vampire (from the Juno soundtrack).

If you’re desperate for more, check out the Rag Bag for some works in progress (sometimes glacially slow progress).

Guitar Riffs for Ukulele

Rock out with the world’s greatest guitar riffs arranged for ukulele.

Once you’ve gorged yourself on the archives, you can be sure of getting new stuff by putting your email in the doo-hickey at the top right, subscribing to the RSS feed by clicking here, or getting the latest posts on my Twitter feed.

Posts for Beginners

There’s plenty of stuff on the blog that should be helpful to the noobiest of ukulele noobs.

There’s a whole section of ukulele songs suitable for beginners. These songs usually contain just a few of the basic chords. To go along with that, the Ukulele 101 category covers the sort of uke knowledge that beginners should find helpful.

If you haven’t even got your hands on your own uke yet, you might want to check out this post about buying your first ukulele. It has a Christmas emphasis, but it still applies.

One post to check out is Ten Tips for Ukulele Beginners and if you want more tips, try my Ukulele 101 ebook.

If you’ve yet to learn, there’s a post here on how to read ukulele chord charts. A lot of the pieces on the blog are written in ukulele tablature. There’s a guide on how to read ukulele tab here.

Anything that I’ve missed?

View Comments


  1. Jeff April 3rd, 2008 3:14 pm

    Hooray for Al’s Ukulele OCD!

    I have been looking around about 50 different chord sites and can’t find any arrangements for the B-52’s classic, Love Shack. I want to find an chord arrangement with some finger picking for the “Love Shack, Baby” or “The love shack, that’s where it’s at…”

    Perhaps the Uke Hunt community of readers can lead me to something. (The only thing I’m finding are guitar tabs, never chords). Could I just be 5 degrees of separation away?

  2. Art Crocker April 3rd, 2008 5:36 pm

    I like your new organized schedule showing what to expect. I certainly look forward to your link in my mailbox each morning, I trust you keep it up even though I’m sure it gets a little old for you.

    You have set up a great selection of material for beginners, were I just starting and came across your site of some simple up to date music and guitar riffs it would have been great.

  3. Woodshed April 3rd, 2008 8:12 pm

    Jeff: I haven’t seen the chords around anywhere, but I’ll have a go at working it out.

    Art: Thanks. The schedule kind of grew naturally as I went along.

  4. bryan welz May 23rd, 2008 6:27 pm

    do they make steel strings for a uke that stay in tune better than nilon?

  5. Woodshed May 24th, 2008 8:45 am

    They do make steel ukulele strings, but you’ll have to have a uke designed to take steel strings. If you try and put steel strings on a nylon string uke, you’ll probably damage it. Nylon strings usually stay in tune well enough once they’ve bedded down.

  6. Tom Pawlicki June 5th, 2008 4:05 pm

    I’ve inherited a Martin Ukulele in its original case. It looks like its all mahogany. Can anyone tell me anything about this instrument and what it might be worth?

  7. Woodshed June 14th, 2008 1:55 pm

    Tom: This post should help you out: Martin Ukulele guide. I’ll have to revise the prices on that page up… again.

  8. jack June 21st, 2008 10:55 am

    i recently bought a ukulele and bought some martin nylon strings to go with it, assuming they would sound alot better. but they dont. and i also read on this site that martin strings do not sound that good in the C tuning.

    Can anyone tell me if im right? or reccommend any better strings to buy?

  9. Tony Boland July 2nd, 2008 8:22 pm

    After some time we are finally getting a UKE CLUB together in Ireland.
    We are meeting the weekend of August 9/10 in DUBLIN and anyone who is interested is welcome to come along.

    We are also very lucky to have Dan Scanlan a highly respected ukulele player from the USA (aka “Cool Hand Uke”). Dan his well known for his wonderful uke workshops for all levels of players. Check out his website: cool hand uke

    I will post the venue and times before the end of this week but in the meantime if you are interested please feel free to contact me via email “”
    Wish us well folks!
    Tony Boland

  10. Woodshed July 2nd, 2008 9:52 pm

    That’s great news, Tony. I’ll mention it on the blog on Friday.

  11. Thom September 29th, 2008 8:13 am

    hi my name is tom and im from argentina. 2 days ago i bough my first uke and all the chords i play sound really awful and i dont know why. i tuned it this way: G C E A, i dont know if thats correct. i think the problem is that the guys from the store mixed up the strings and they are not in the correct order. please if someone can help me ill be thankful.

  12. Rhonda September 29th, 2008 1:37 pm

    Can anyone help me with the tabs for Abbe May’s “Storm”. I’m new to the uke, and I’d really like to learn this one.


  13. Woodshed September 29th, 2008 6:41 pm

    Thom: What order are the strings in? The G string should be thinner than the C and E strings.

    Rhonda: I’ll add it to the list. A lot of it will be tricky for a newcomer. The verses go C – Am (quite a few times) and then G7.

  14. thom September 30th, 2008 4:47 am

    the G and A string look the same to me, the C its a little thicker and the E its the thickest. its that allright?

  15. Woodshed September 30th, 2008 10:26 pm

    Thom: The C string should be thicker than the E string – which could explain why you’re having difficulties. The G and A strings are pretty similar in size so you don’t have to worry about that.

  16. Rhonda October 1st, 2008 11:40 am

    I’m quite persistent when I want to do something!! And I’m a big fan of Abbe’s. It would be great if you could load the tabs up…

    Thanks again! : )

  17. Where To Go - Tab-U-Learn October 4th, 2008 1:23 am
  18. Gerry November 5th, 2008 9:28 pm

    I am trying to learn the uke. have a small “toysize” soprano? uke.
    I have 2 questions.
    there is a lot of popularity aroung gcea tuning [standard] whjat are the benefits of learning this instead of say adf#b? I have a basic knowledge of the latter but wonder if it will come back to haunt me if, for example, I want to accompany another instrument like a guitar. any thoughts? [i am getting too old to learn both lol]
    secondly. this is probably a laughable question for most folks. but what is the way to play slash chords? i see examples like C/G in tab or chord type music sheets. i have tried a number of ways but none sounds good. appreciate any help.

  19. Mela November 6th, 2008 7:22 pm

    Thanks so much for this site!! You’ve made playing beirut so much easier for me.

    Still, when I listen to ukulele recordings and compare what i hear there to what I play, my ukulele always sounds so screechy and thin, especially whenI play higher notes. I don’t seem to be able to get long, full sounds when I pick notes.

    I know it’s tuned right. How can I change this?

  20. Woodshed November 7th, 2008 9:50 pm

    Gerry: The biggest advantage of using GCEA is that most of the tabs and chord charts around are made for that tuning.

    For accompanying a guitar, ADF#B might be preferable to GCEA since it’s easier to play in guitar friendly keys like E and A.

    I wrote about slash chords here:

    Mela: The recordings are beefed up a little with some reverb. But there are some ways to improve your tone. I wrote about it here:

    Probably the most important thing to do is make sure you get some good strings.

  21. Marmiteboy November 10th, 2008 1:16 pm

    I’m about to purchase my very first Uke after being inspired to do so by the fabulous Julia Nunes. This site looks as though it is going to be a big help. (I have never attempted to play anything before).

  22. Jose November 10th, 2008 3:14 pm

    Hi woodshed! I am from Spain and I play guitar. I bought my first uke a week ago because I love Beirut and I want to play their songs. The uke is not an usual instrument in Spain, nobody plays it here. Then I found this site that has made everything easier for me. I want to thank you!! UkeHunt rules! Greetings from Spain! : )

  23. Woodshed November 10th, 2008 6:58 pm

    Marmiteboy: Good luck with it.

    Jose: Thanks! You should get in touch with Fran Spain. I believe he’s putting together a Spanish ukulele festival.

  24. Alex Bautista January 19th, 2009 4:29 am

    i dont know if too many people have heard of Donna Maciocia, but she has an ukulele song called “Rings and Fences”.

    ive been searching for uke tabs for it, but i just cant seem to find any.

    maybe someone on this site can help me out and lead me in a direction, or maybe just tab the song and post it up here or something


  25. Woodshed January 19th, 2009 10:46 am

    Alex: Yeah, that’s a cool song. I mentioned it a while ago. I’ll keep it in mind for a future tabbing.

  26. Alex Bautista January 21st, 2009 7:16 am

    Woodshed: OMG NO WAY! hmmmm. maybe i shoulda searched for it a little harder then huh? sweet thank you

  27. chris January 25th, 2009 5:12 am

    This is a great site. I bought a ukulele in November and I’m loving it. I was wondering if you could tab the Wayne Rooney song by Johnny Flynn I’m sure you would like it if you listened to it if you haven’t already

  28. Woodshed January 25th, 2009 12:16 pm

    Chris: Thanks for the kind words. I think Wayne Rooney would be difficult to get onto a uke. There’s a lot going on.

  29. chris January 26th, 2009 5:29 am

    Yeah, I kind off figured well thanks anyways hm what about mary by noah and the whale I thought a uke playing through out the song

  30. cotty February 5th, 2009 4:53 pm

    Iam left handed and want to lean how to play the ukulele, can I buy one or do I get a right handed one and change the strings around.

    any tips on getting started

  31. Woodshed February 5th, 2009 10:46 pm

    cotty: The easiest thing to do is buy a right hander and switch the strings. It shouldn’t cause too many problems because all the uke strings are a similar size.

    I wrote this ebook for first timers:

  32. George February 27th, 2009 1:11 am

    Kids got me a camcorder for my birthday and basically dared me to put something on youtube. So I did…

    Great site! Lots of good stuff.



  33. Woodshed March 1st, 2009 8:48 am

    George: Nice work. I’ve included it on this week’s UkeTube.

  34. George March 6th, 2009 1:08 am

    Thanks Woodshed! Appreciate the kind words. Here’s one more…


  35. Louise March 8th, 2009 7:20 pm

    I’m new to the uke and think this site is excellent!

    Is there any chance you could chord/tab something (easy) by Frank Turner? He used to be in a band called Million Dead but now does acoustic on his own – I’m sure some would sound good on a uke but I wouldn’t know which is best to suggest.

  36. chris March 9th, 2009 2:53 am

    WOO hahah I won the bidding on the Tennessee F-Hole Ukulele on Ebay

  37. Woodshed March 9th, 2009 7:18 pm

    Louise: I wrote up Reasons Not To Be An Idiot here.

    chris: Congratulations! I hope you like it.

  38. chris March 10th, 2009 4:51 am

    Can you tab jealous kind of love id rlly appreciate it heres the link

  39. Woodshed March 10th, 2009 9:30 pm

    chris: I’m planning on doing another Noah song. It might well be that one.

  40. tHeDirTyJoHnSon March 20th, 2009 11:37 pm

    Fantastic site,,, i made the change to Uke about 5 mths ago and have become obsessed with it,,, site’s like this,, make the learning process so much easier,, great work, i think i’ll be spending some more time here,,,,

  41. Woodshed March 21st, 2009 3:15 pm

    tHeDirTyJoHnSon: Thanks. Glad you like it. Nice work on the slide playing.

  42. tHeDirTyJoHnSon March 22nd, 2009 12:27 am

    Thanks Woodshed, yer i’m hav’n a lot of fun with the Uke exploring the many capabilities and possibilities this instrument has to offer,,,therfore i’m try’n to scratch up on the fudamentals of uke play’n,, most of what i play is in Open tunings,, i want to try and broad’en my musical horizans,, could you please giv us a push an shove in the right direction,,,where’s a good place to start?,,

  43. CaptainDragon June 18th, 2009 4:12 am

    This site is great, I’ve already downloaded a bunch of the chords for songs and me and my friends are having fun with the music!

    I was just wondering how to recommend a song, or suggest… I really want to learn how to play “Falling for the first time” by the Barenaked Ladies

  44. sandy morris July 30th, 2009 1:17 am

    Just wondering about uke pickups – I can’t seem to find any Fishman Infinity Matrix pickups on their website – are they unavailable? Anybody know another undersaddle pickup system that sounds good? I play a Lehua tenor and I have some sort of contact mic in there but it sounds terrible. I’ve had great luck with the Fishmans in my acoustic guitars so if there’s anything comparable in uke-land I’d love to know. I’m uking in Newfoundland on Canada’s far east coast…….

  45. Lucas mcknoris August 28th, 2009 11:03 am

    I am very new to the Uke, having just bought one 3 days ago, and this being my first instrument am new to most things muscial. This may sound a stupid or maybe pointless question, but what is the difference exactly between ‘chords’ and ‘tabs’. Any enlightenment would be greatly recieved.

  46. Woodshed August 29th, 2009 10:26 am

    Lucas: With chords you get the lyrics written out with the chords written above them. With tabs you get exactly what to play written out. I wrote about how to read uke tabs here.

  47. Kevin Freels September 20th, 2009 2:44 am

    I have been playing for only a little while, so I have a question about re-stringing a Uke.

    I bought a new set of strings, and they’re different than the set that came with my Uke. The ones that came with it were all one size (thickness) while the new ones are all different guages. That makes sense to me; the lower voices need thicker strings. However, in a Soprano Ukulele, the “C” is actually *lower* on the key than the “G”, even though the G is the lower string on the fretboard. In fact, the G-C-E-A setup is actually C-E-G-A on the scale. So should I put the thicker strings based on scale position (i.e., on the C, then E, then G, last A), or by the order of strings on the frets, i.e., G-C-E-A order)?

    Thanks for any insight!


  48. Woodshed September 20th, 2009 5:33 pm

    Kevin: The strings go like this from nearest your head to nearest the ground:

    – G string (second thinnest)
    – C string (thickest)
    – E string (second thickest)
    – A string (thinnest)

    So the G string is higher in pitch than the C string.

  49. peter November 25th, 2009 7:22 pm

    Hello, I ‘m a Belgian ukeplayer. This is the best site ever! I want to buy me a new (very good) tenor uke. Any suggestions?


  50. Felix December 22nd, 2009 10:41 am

    this is the only comment box thingy i could find… but i tabbed the sinthy part of scenic world (beirut) if anyone wants it?.. :)

  51. Kyrl January 11th, 2010 11:37 am

    I’ve been playing the guitar for a long time now (about six years), I study in a conservatory and I’m starting a duo with a percussionist to play Irish and American folk songs and popular music.

    Is it easy to adapt popular music to the ukulele without it losing dimension? I know a good example would be the famous arragement of Somewhere Over The Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole but I’m wondering if the ukulele would be able to hold up well against the percussion (bodhran mostly, though some other things would be used to) and whether it would be versatile enough to play more sombre music.

    The standard ukulele most performers use is a sorpano, right?

    Thank you and keep ukeing!

  52. Ukulele Wolf March 28th, 2010 6:42 am

    Hey all, Some beginner tips. If you are an adult male the sopranos may be too small for your fingers. I play tenors only and it has kept me playing ukes. The sopranos are out of the question and the concerts are cool but very hard to find with a wide enough neck for me. Ibanez has a little soprano which I just played at a store and it is very cool as it has the wider neck but soprano size which is the reality of the sopranos which vendors can’t figure out. Harmonics off as with most ukes so I didn’t but it. My advice to anyone is don’t give up but find the right size and check the harmonics before you buy. 12th fret harmonic verses 12th fretted tone. Don’t match up? Don’t buy. This means it will take you a long time. : ) But you won’t be frustrated with the Uke as an instrument. It is fragile like a violin and you have to buy carefully. Just me. Peace.

  53. Woodshed March 30th, 2010 8:06 am

    Ukulele Wolf: Admittedly, I have the hands of a little girl, but there are plenty of people with proper man-hands that swear by sopranos. Howlin’ Hobbit leaps to mind.

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