The Office: An American Workplace Theme

The Office: An American Workplace (Tab)


Transatlantic comedy adaptations are usually a catastrophic failure (Coupling and IT Crowd are two that leap immediately to mind) but both versions of The Office are great. I may well be lynched for saying this, but I actually prefer the US version of The Office to the British one. The only thing I don’t like about both Offices is the way Jim/Tim is held up as a kind of hero. He’s much more of a loser than Micheal/David and Dwight/Gareth who actually seem to enjoy their lives and their jobs. And, worst of all, he takes his frustrations out by bullying people. Anyone with half a brain can see that Dwight is the real hero for being himself no matter how out of step with the rest of the world that might be. Anyhoo, on to matters musical.

The theme tune translates fairly well to the uke, but there are some tricky parts. There are some rapid notes on the A string that have to be picked alternately by the index and middle finger (like you’re doing a running man with your fingers). Also, the run at the end goes up to the 17th fret. My uke doesn’t have a 17th fret, so I had to do a bit of fretless playing. Alternatively, you could give it a shorter ending such as this:

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  1. Andrew July 27th, 2008 4:25 pm

    So my friends and I just went and got/restrung our ukuleles earlier this week, and yours was the first site we came across. The first day your new post was Beirut’s cover of Hallelujah, and now you post tabs for the theme to The Office. Wow, dude. I don’t know what to say. Your site is wonderful, thank you for being so cool.

  2. Stacey July 28th, 2008 4:06 am

    jim is the hero because he sheds light on the foolish, blind obiedience of the Dwights and Michaels of the world. The truth is, we all have to do things that are not our best ideal of where we should be or who we could be. Some of us accept that mediocrity as unavoidable (like Pam) some of us fail to recognize the sad state of the paths we’ve chosen, but occasionally, there are the Jims, the Tims, the Ferris Buellers, of this world who accept the farce of societies’ rules and tweak them in little ways to make life amusing and bearable. Lay off Jim, and refuse to celebrate Dwight and Michael they have no joy, no irony. They would never play ukulele, they take themselves too seriously. It’s only paper, afterall.

  3. Isaac July 28th, 2008 9:54 am

    Dwight seems like a banjolele player to me.

  4. Soren July 28th, 2008 1:31 pm

    Anyone seen the series 2 episode where Michael and Dwight entertain the children with “Teach Your Children” by CSN&Y on Michael’s guitar on “Take Your Daughter to Work Day”?

    Jim: Why does he own a guitar if he doesn’t know how to play it?

    Pam: I think he though his ukulele skills would transfer.

  5. Woodshed July 28th, 2008 6:51 pm

    Andrew: Thanks very much. Glad you enjoy the site.

    Isaac: I seem to remember Andy playing the banjo at one point.

    Soren: Well remembered. I’d completely forgotten about. that.

    Stacey: I have to completely disagree with everything you said. Michael has no joy? Soren’s quote shows exactly why Jim wouldn’t play the ukulele. He’s scared of doing anything that might result in people making fun of him. He doesn’t make a farce of society’s rules – he was quick enough to stab Michael in the back and go for the job at corporate – he just picks on people.

  6. Lee July 30th, 2008 3:43 am

    I think we can all agree that the true hero of the American version is Creed.

    Your interpretation of this is incredible. I just enjoy listening to it.

  7. tuscadero August 4th, 2008 2:49 pm

    sorry, if Dwight is a true American hero, I’m moving to Canada.

  8. J August 11th, 2008 3:21 am

    Great tab, but I can’t figure out how you get that “chunking” sound when you strum some of the notes, like in the 5th section, where you hit both 5 and 2. Do you mute the other strings somehow? Sorry ’bout the johnny come lately post, lol

  9. Liz Wood October 15th, 2008 6:26 pm

    this tab… is now my life.

  10. Woodshed October 16th, 2008 10:02 pm

    Glad you like it, Liz.

  11. fdub December 27th, 2008 9:07 am

    My Christmas Uke is now playing Mahna Mahna and the Office theme.

    Thank you so much.

    And Jim plays wonderful pranks, thus saving the latest season from pure soap opera drivel.

  12. Woodshed December 27th, 2008 9:59 am

    fdub: Glad you liked them.

  13. joe June 23rd, 2009 6:23 pm

    im getting a ukulele in a few days and this is gonna be one of the first songs im gonna learn

  14. Carly December 12th, 2009 9:52 pm

    im super confused
    whats a tab?
    and whats with the numbers written where notes go?

    i want to learn how to play this song sooo badly and this is the only site that has anything to do with the office and ukuleles
    but it just confuses me

  15. Woodshed December 13th, 2009 10:07 am

    Carly: You can learn how to read ukulele tab here.

  16. vanessa April 19th, 2010 7:19 pm

    the Uke tab isn’t showing up on my computer and i’m way bummed cause i wanted to learn it!

  17. Woodshed April 19th, 2010 11:00 pm

    vanessa: Sorry about that. It’d downloading fine for me. Do you have the latest version of Adobe Reader installed?

  18. D May 24th, 2010 11:07 pm

    Just a question on the tab – How do you that strum sound in the fifth section? I can’t seem to achieve that unified sound? How do you mute strings?

  19. Woodshed May 25th, 2010 8:25 am

    D: I usually mute the g string by bringing my thumb over. Then block any other strings using either the underside of a fretting finger or any finger that isn’t otherwise being used.

  20. Dobbs June 28th, 2011 11:23 pm

    How do you play the beginning of the song when it’s the 20, 2? On my uke it sounds horrible. Please help, but otherwise this is a GREAT version of the song.

  21. joe July 12th, 2011 5:33 am


  22. Woodshed July 14th, 2011 7:25 am

    Dobbs: I’m not entirely sure what you’re referring to. If it’s the first bar, I’m just picking the E and A with my fingers and C string with my thumb.

    Joe: Thanks.

  23. Ryan November 2nd, 2011 7:24 am

    so true, Jim in the American office is a dick. Don’t expect a lot people to agree with you(being they are sheeple), but you’re right, Dwight and Michael are not afraid of being themselves and having some fun at least. Jim on the other hand has a stick rammed squarely up his arse.

  24. Woodshed November 2nd, 2011 10:33 am

    Ryan: Good to see someone thinking clearly!

  25. Quinn November 4th, 2011 12:17 am

    Do you think you could post the chords for the “Adventure Time” theme song? I’ve been trying to figure them out along with the strumming pattern, but I’m still a little off. That would be really helpful!

  26. Ian February 4th, 2012 5:02 am

    This was the first tab I attempted when I started playing the uke/visited your site a year and a half ago. Now I just keep saying to my wife, “Damn he’s good!” I appreciate what you do!

  27. Woodshed February 4th, 2012 6:52 am

    Ian: Hahaha! Thanks very much.

  28. Benny April 27th, 2014 10:16 pm

    Rather than shortening the ending, i play it like this: idk

    A|---0--5---9--9-12-9-12- 5-------------------------|
    G|----------------------- 2----------------------|

    Whatever floats your boat. Just a suggestion

  29. Benny April 27th, 2014 10:18 pm

    Sorry for commenting again, I’m sure if either the first or second comment will format and show up right.

  30. Woodshed April 28th, 2014 6:43 am

    Benny: Thanks! I fixed up the code a bit so I hope it’s aligned correctly.

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