Boodle Am Shake

Boodle Am Shake (Chords)

Boodle Am Shake was written by Jack Palmer and Spencer Williams in 1926 and has been covered by a number of people since including John Fahey and The Grateful Dead. Lil Rev recently put up a ukulele version that works really well for ukulelists looking to get more familiar with chords further up the neck.

It’s well worth taking a note of the different chord inversions that crop up in the tune: the C7 played at the fifth fret (at the beginning) and the 1st position (at the end of the verse); and the G7 played open and at the 7th fret. When you’re chord soloing, you can create something much more interesting with these variations to hand.

In the instrumental section, he substitutes this descending part for the chords:

Visit Lil Rev’s Internet Junction and don’t miss his article on the ukulele and old time country music.

View Comments


  1. todd July 24th, 2008 6:46 pm

    really enjoyed Lil Rev’s article……


  2. Cardboardfrog July 24th, 2008 6:53 pm

    its played really well in the video but the microphone really doesn’t like ukulele very much, i look forward to learning it.

  3. Woodshed July 24th, 2008 10:06 pm

    Todd: Yeah, it’s a must read.

    Cardboardfrog: Good luck with it. It’s fun to play.

  4. LonnaB July 25th, 2008 1:18 pm

    Oh, here comes my inner deadhead geek…

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but so far as I know Boodle Am Shake was performed by Mother McCree’s Upton Jug Champions, which included three members of the Grateful Dead, but never by the Dead themselves.

    Either way this is a fun little song.

  5. Woodshed July 25th, 2008 8:39 pm


  6. Emily July 25th, 2008 8:52 pm

    Great song. I can’t bellieve I’m picking it up so quickly.

    Won’t my mommy be proud?!

  7. Woodshed July 25th, 2008 10:09 pm

    You’re a natural, Emily.

  8. maduke July 26th, 2008 7:18 pm

    boodle am rocks! shake it!

  9. Jeff \\\ July 21st, 2009 5:27 pm

    Just got Lil’ Rev’s new CD Drop Baby Drop which includes Boodle Am Shake. Googled it and who should have it?!?! The master of all things ukulele Alistair Wood, Hooray! and thanks. Jeff

  10. Woodshed July 22nd, 2009 4:14 pm

    Jeff: Sooner or later I’m going to run out of songs to do.

  11. Redmond August 9th, 2010 4:11 am

    Wow, this song is a LOT of fun to play. More like these would be great, unless there’s a site out there/book that has a lot of songs like Boodle Am Shake?

  12. Woodshed August 10th, 2010 8:07 pm

    Redmond: It is fun to play – the chords fall together very nicely.

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