Most of the obituaries of Isaac Hayes focus on the three S’s: Scientology, Shaft and South Park. But his biggest contribution was being half of the best song writing duo (along with David Porter) at the greatest record label of all time (Stax). He wrote the most underrated song in history The Soul Children’s The Sweeter He Is and the legendary Soul Man as recorded by Sam and Dave. With Hayes’s death, Sam Moore of Sam and Dave is one of the few remaining soul legends.
Soul Man works very well on the ukulele – the syncopated rhythms certainly help – but there are a lot of parts to it, so pay attention.
The intro goes like this:
The basic chords for the chorus are just G and F. The brass break is:
But you could play it strummed like this:
The high guitar part can be played like this:
And the low guitar part at the end of the chorus:
For the ‘Grab the rope…’ section, the chords are Eb – Bb – C – C# – Eb. That provides a key change, so now you have to play the intro one fret higher:
And the riff, which is quite tricky: