Neutral Milk Hotel – Holland, 1945

Neutral Milk Hotel – Holland, 1945 (Chords)

This song is the latest colloboration between Uke Hunt and Ukulala. So here’s Laz’s video tutorial:

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  1. Minamin July 15th, 2008 6:50 pm

    I tried this one during my Neutral Milk Hotel phase, it never sounded this good though. I had better luck with Where You’ll Find Me Now.

  2. Mike July 15th, 2008 9:20 pm

    Oh, I adore this song. I always run out of breath though.

  3. amber July 16th, 2008 7:26 am

    I too, adore this song. Actually, i adore the whole album!

  4. Ed July 16th, 2008 8:06 am

    Excellent work! One of greatest songs ever!

  5. p July 16th, 2008 8:25 am

    One brief comment:

    You’re playing the G/B in the third verse as: B D G x (and you’re stretching a lot to get there).

    But on a reentrant-tuned uke, what you are playing is identical to a G major chord: G D G B. The B you are hitting when you stretch is the same note you normally play on the A string.

    You can also hear this in the YouTube video above. At time 8:58, you can hear the G and the “G/B” are identical.

  6. p July 16th, 2008 8:26 am

    (I should also add that I really enjoy your site and you should keep up the good work.)

  7. Liam July 16th, 2008 12:27 pm

    I absolutely love this song and play it on both the guitar and the uke, but I feel I should point out that this song doesn’t have an Am in to the best of my knowledge.

  8. Liam July 16th, 2008 12:37 pm

    To back up my claims about the lack of Am, here’s the man himself playing the song solo:

  9. Woodshed July 16th, 2008 2:04 pm

    Minamin: That’s a good one, too.

    Mike: I strictly a play-along-er. I don’t have enough breath to make it through the first line of Happy Birthday.

    amber and Ed: I had no idea NMH were loved so much. We don’t hear much from them in the UK.

    p: Yes, the notes are the same, No, it doesn’t sound exactly the same. That point in the song is a walk-up on bass notes G – A – B. I wanted to emphasize that by keeping all those notes on the same string. When I play it, I strum in a way that focuses on those notes.

    It is only a subtle difference, but I think it’s worthwhile. If you don’t hear the difference or find the chord a stretch (personally, I don’t), feel free to use the standard G chord.

    Liam: It’s the same kind of thing with this. In the original there’s a single note walk-up of G – A – B. Playing just a single not on the ukulele isn’t going to give you a big enough sound for the job. So I beefed it up into a full Am chord.

    Pffffff. I’m going to have to do my own write up along with these posts in future.

  10. Liam July 16th, 2008 2:33 pm

    Ah, I see your point. It does work on the ukulele too. On the guitar, the Am sounds hideously out of place (but then you can do the bass run on the guitar so it’s ok). The way I was getting that bit on the uke was taking my finger off the first string whilst playing G:


    and then this G shape to reinforce the run:


    On a side note, I live in the UK and yes, the only people I know who know NMH are the people I’ve made listen to them.

  11. Liam July 16th, 2008 2:41 pm

    Oh, another thing if you haven’t already tabbed it, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea works really really well on the ukulele. Two-Headed Boy parts one and two as well.

  12. Ukulala July 16th, 2008 4:24 pm


    Liam- Glad to hear you’re spreading the good word about NMH in the UK! I agree that In the Aeroplane over the Sea works great on the uke. I don’t know if there are tabs here, but I did a video on it a few months ago.

    Woodshed- thanks for the extra insight into why the Am and G/B are used… that’s definitely the sort of uke-specific expertise we rely on you for!

  13. Sam Lowry July 17th, 2008 9:28 pm

    For those of us who are really slow to pick up new strums, I’d like to confirm that the strum described is:


  14. Ron July 18th, 2008 10:24 am

    What a great tutorial. Just got my first Uke a few days ago and, in all my searches on the net, this one has given some very clear instruction. Took me a while to get the strumming pattern but! More of this type of video would be greatly appreciated. Cheers.

  15. Woodshed July 18th, 2008 2:50 pm

    Liam: Thanks for the tab.

    Here’s Laz’s video on Aeroplanes Over the Sea.

    Sam: Thanks for the clarification.

    Ron: Laz has a bunch more tutorial videos on his site Ukulala.

  16. Vatsal February 11th, 2011 8:10 am


  17. Woodshed February 11th, 2011 11:37 am

    Vatsal: Have you tried playing it by covering the g and C strings with the tip of your index finger then using your middle on the E string. That’s my preferred way of playing it.

  18. Liam February 11th, 2011 11:42 am

    My favourite way is to barre the second fret and play the A string at the fifth fret with my little finger. C barre 2 basically…

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