It also happens to be the birthday of George Formby. For those of an American persuasion, George Formby is the UK’s version of Tiny Tim: gormless, surprisingly popular and synonymous with the ukulele. Like with Tiny Tim in the US, UK ukulelists get sick of George Formby references whenever the subject of the uke comes up. But looking on the bright side, unlike Tiny Tim, George Formby had some serious uke skills. Most of his songs have a serious solo and it’s well worth any uke player picking up some of his techniques. I quick often skip ahead to the solo when one of his tracks is on; they’re full of interesting syncopations. Matthew Richards has a very well explained tutorial on how to play George Formby’s split stroke here.
George Formby is almost exclusively associated with the banjo ukulele, but he was no stranger to the wooden ukulele. As proved by the clip of Why Don’t Women Like Me?.
Why Don’t Women Like Me? is one of my favourite Formby songs; mostly because it namechecks Lady William Hamilton. You don’t get that with Natasha Beddingfield.
It’s the version in the video, shorter than the recorded version, that I’ve written up in the chords. The first thing to notice is that he’s in D-tuning (which he used pretty much exclusively). If you prefer, you can stay in C-tuning and use the chord shapes that you’re familiar with. Other than that, the chords are pretty straight forward.
The most important thing to remember when playing Formby: don’t come in too early with your grin.