After complaining that the Isaac Hayes obituaries kept going on about Shaft, I’m going to be a complete hypocrite.
It’s the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain’s version of Shaft in this video that I worked out the tab from (Director: “They’re playing Shaft. Quick, get me a shot of the only black guy at the Cambridge Folk Festival”). But with all those ukuleles on the go, it’s a compilation of parts.
The main chords are Fmaj7 and G6, but I haven’t always tabbed the full chord. For example, in the intro I’ve got the Em chord shape (all the notes in Em are in G6). This makes it easier to keep the sound of the chord short by releasing the chord right after you strum it.
For the next section, I’ve combined the chords with the melody. If you want to play just the melody, it’s the highest note of each chord.
Next up is the bass riff which, obviously, doesn’t entirely work on the uke. The way I’ve tabbed it, it’ll be right on a low-G uke. On a high-G, it’s not quite right but still fits.
There are a couple of places in the song where you really need to use a pick: playing over the bass riff and over the verse. In the tab, where you see a single note with two diagonal lines under it, that means you are tremelo picking semi-quavers (sixteenth notes).
And if you’re yet to be convinced that Isaac Hayes’s real talent was for songwriting, you should download the mp3s from Soul Sides.