Julia Nunes/The Foundations – Build Me Up, Buttercup

Julia Nunes/The Foundations – Build Me Up Buttercup (Chords)

I have to admit that, since I featured her first uke video way back when, I’ve neglected Julia Nunes. Truth be told, I’m still a little on the fence about her. Nevertheless, there’s no denying the charm of this version of Build Me Up, Buttercup.

These chords are the Nunes version, but they’re very similar to the original version by The Foundations (they’re both in the key of C).

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  1. Gary Peare May 29th, 2008 11:59 pm

    Get off the fence! She’s cute!

    Okay, she strums with a guitar pick. But give her time: she’s only a freshman in college…
    Did you see that she’s opening for Ben Folds? Pretty swell. Gp

  2. LonnaB May 30th, 2008 1:47 am

    Why, oh why, didn’t I have an ukulele in my dorm room?

    I think of the trouble I could have stayed out of…

    This video is darn right adorable.

  3. Steve May 30th, 2008 9:43 am

    Fantastic recording and such a good example of just what you can do with a uke, especially if you have such a good singing voice!
    Steve, Ukuleles Canberra, AUSTRALIA

  4. Cardboardfrog May 30th, 2008 11:24 am

    she plays with a pick, thats forgivable when you consider she sings well and plays well as well!
    i think a lot of people are aprehensive with her because shes a pretty girlie personally.
    shes great though, maybe we should send her some felt picks?

  5. Mike May 30th, 2008 11:28 am

    I agree with Woodshed, but I am in Julia’s debt for inspiring me to work out Spoon’s “The Underdog”, which works amazingly well for solo ukulele.

  6. iain May 31st, 2008 11:08 am

    I find this girl tolerably goofy.

  7. Woodshed May 31st, 2008 9:53 pm

    Gary: Still on the fence, I’m afraid. As for the cute issue, she’s one of the few ukulele girls I’ve never had a crush on.

    LonnaB: I’m not sure I want to know what trouble you got in. Who am I kidding? Of course I do.

    Steve: Thanks for mentioning Uke Hunt on your site.

    Cardboardfrog: I think we could stretch to some felt picks between us.

    Mike: That’s definitely one thing to thank her for.

    Iain: That’s a good way of putting it.

  8. Jon May 31st, 2008 9:55 pm

    I like her a lot because she makes the ukulele look like fun, which it is. I’m sorry but those terribly serious guys with the intricate fingerpicking and the Beatle’s songbooks are booorrrinnngg. There, I’ve said it. Maybe, if I keep practicing I’ll become a serious musician, but I hope not. Until, then, even though I’m not particularly cute myself, I want to be like Julia Nunes.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love your lesson books and the theory stuff you post, but the ukulele is still the instrument of innocent merriment.


  9. wannauke June 1st, 2008 3:09 am

    Whatever else you can say about her, there is no doubt that shes having fun when she plays.

  10. BertsDeadFrog June 3rd, 2008 10:42 am

    Better than hot buttered toast. Absolutely delightful. Who cares about the stupid pick. Get real, she’s real.

  11. Charlie Beltram June 5th, 2008 1:49 am

    Am I nuts or is she not playing the chords listed on the pdf? The first chord doesn’t sound like just C, and the second chord she’s not even fingering the same as the one listed…

  12. Hannah June 5th, 2008 6:45 pm

    Is the fence painful?

    Julia absolutely rocks and I very tempted to learn Uke and lead worship with it at church to see the reaction

  13. H. Moore III June 6th, 2008 5:21 pm

    Julia is an absolute cutie pie….with a voice like an angel…in a quirky kinda way.
    Listening to her puts a smile on this old mans face every time….
    H.M III

  14. Nathan Vice June 6th, 2008 11:06 pm

    Julia is even more wonderful than she seems. And music is about that joy of creating something beautiful. Its silly to judge a contemporary pop artist on their technique. She shouldn’t have to be Ravi Shankar or Yo Yo Ma for her music to be considered good and legitimate! I wish her the best not because of her talent, which is great, but because of her fearlessness in opening herself up artistically and personally to whoever takes the time to listen. That’s an artist as far as I’m concerned.

  15. Ryan June 9th, 2008 11:25 pm

    shes in college? haha i thought she was 8

  16. mb June 10th, 2008 8:01 pm

    I’m still new at the ukulele, and would really like to learn this song, but I cant get the strum pattern down. Does anybody know what it is?

  17. Jordan CWP July 21st, 2008 9:44 am

    I honestly didn’t like her at first. It was her voice.
    But she honestly grew on me! She inspires me to have fun on my uke when I get bored with Beruit covers :]. And now I love her voice! Especially for Say Anything covers.

    So chill out everyone :D.

  18. Josh October 26th, 2008 10:01 pm

    yes i cant work out the strum pattern eitherr.

    can anyone help?

  19. Buble November 4th, 2008 8:57 pm

    Need help with the strum if anyone can oblige.

  20. nuppaluppagus November 7th, 2008 9:14 pm

    Ok I’m going waaay back to the beginning of this conversation, but Julia Nunes is DEFINITELY cute/cool/fun, etc. She’s AMAZING!!! The fact that she’s so personal, and having so much fun is what makes her music so alive. And if you ever go see her live, she takes the time to talk to you and be nice to you, and make each and every one of you feel like a million bucks. Her videos are what made me pick up the uke… I suck really hard, but I keep playing it, cause every time she posts a new video all I wanna do for hours is play my crappy uke.
    And by the way, this site is pretty much the only site I can use, so thank you!

  21. thatdarnkid November 21st, 2008 12:45 am

    I use a guitar pick playing my ukulele. I don’t see the problem, Just cause it’s not proffesional or standard doesn’t mean that it changes the fact that she’s playing her ukulele. Alls she’s doing is having fun and she figured all the chords out by herself u know. It doesn’t matter.

  22. Golda December 14th, 2008 8:11 pm

    I never realized that guitar picks were taboo! Nunes is a wonderful reminder of what (i think) playing ukulele should be: good fun. I hopped right over that fence the first time I saw one of her videos :]

  23. joshua December 23rd, 2008 7:09 am

    anyone know how to strum this? im trying to improv it but i run into trouble after the chorus. great song by the way

  24. Steve January 18th, 2009 3:25 pm

    I love the uke and i have to say that this song is great & she plays it well & sings it well. I really like her videos i thinks she’s great. Long may she post her video’s!!

  25. Adam January 23rd, 2009 3:41 am

    I think she’s great and couldn’t care less about the pick (you’re getting caught up in something so trivial)

  26. Liz January 27th, 2009 5:07 pm

    Listen up guys,
    i found the strum pattern:

    D U UDU

    D- stroke down
    U- stroke up

  27. Morgaine February 3rd, 2009 5:59 am

    Liz, I tried that and it doesn’t sound quite right. I’m completely new to uke (and music at that..) but I feel like it’s missing counts?

    Am I missing something?

  28. chang April 13th, 2009 2:37 am

    got the strum pattern but at the end of the chorus the pattern changes a little and then goes back….i got the pattern change but cant transition back…. ANY HELP???

  29. CamJam April 16th, 2009 2:25 pm

    I’m playing this on my uke. I’m a beginner and teaching myself so I can’t tell you how much this helps.

    *is Julia Nunes’s biggest fan*

  30. meg July 4th, 2009 8:00 pm

    i think that julia is great! she may not be perfect but she is very talented and very funny! you should do some more of her songs and covers, like love, mr. brightside, or maybe one of her originals. i know that there are a lot of people looking for the chords to her songs. i have looked for some of her chords myself and i can find very few accurate ones. just a suggestion.

  31. Andrew September 12th, 2009 4:05 am

    Who cares if she plays with a pick?
    I see a lot professional players with over grown finger nails pretty much the same as a pick.

  32. Woodshed September 13th, 2009 10:16 am

    Andrew: Fingernails don’t restrict your strumming the same way picks do.

  33. Chris_ November 13th, 2009 8:29 pm

    There are lots of different techniques that you can use for any instrument,and in this case for a ukulele a plectrum (pick) is a different technique. It gives a different sound and gives you the ability to strum faster and harder without hurting yourself. Mainly i use my fingers, but on certain occasions or for certain song i have used a pick.
    So giver her a break, she is a great singer and ukulele player.

  34. Julia Nunes & Wade Johnson – Cold Outside (Chords) | Ukulele Hunt December 13th, 2009 2:01 pm

    […] Build Me Up Buttercup […]

  35. Ben February 4th, 2010 4:58 pm

    I saw her live when she came to perform in Atlanta. Definitely fun to listen to, and definitely fun to talk to. She’s not afraid to be a normal person, like all of us. (seems like she truly enjoys getting to know her fans)

  36. Dizzy(: April 3rd, 2010 4:33 pm

    Hey, this is awesome! I’m 13 and I’ve been playing the uke for 4 weeks and i have this song nailed it helped a lot. Julia is great and she’s pretty (: you should feature her more often cos she’s fantastic(: so thanks don’t ever stop being awesome – dizzy(:

  37. Kat October 7th, 2010 12:27 am

    Hi, I was wondering what ukulele she’s playing in this video? Just curious, I’m on a search for a uke myself.

  38. mia October 28th, 2010 11:50 pm

    Kat: I think it’s a Bushman Jenny model.

  39. Katie March 24th, 2011 12:12 am

    Anyone know the strumming patterns for this song?

  40. Danny May 16th, 2011 8:01 pm

    It’s raining outside and because of Julia it’s sunny in my house. Thanks Julia for who you are.

  41. Julia June 3rd, 2011 2:33 am

    U r my idol. U r sooo inspiring.<3 u. Amazing

  42. Andrea October 12th, 2011 9:59 pm

    I love Julia I originally discovered her from her albums on iTunes she has some great songs and lots of personality and then I found out that I live in the same town as her! pretty cool

  43. Laura May 27th, 2012 11:48 pm

    This girl is amazing

  44. Ariel July 1st, 2012 3:23 am

    Julia doesn’t really use a pick to play anymore and she just went on tour and was on Connan O’Brian. She has gotten a lot better playing and singing.

    I really wish you would add some of her more recent songs to the site because I LOVE them and really want to learn to play them since I already know all the lyrics :P

  45. Woodshed July 2nd, 2012 4:19 pm

    Ariel: Plenty of Nunes chords here.

  46. Amy July 12th, 2012 5:40 am

    I think I’m making the strum pattern a lot harder than it is. What is she doing?

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