Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain/Isaac Hayes – Shaft

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain – Shaft

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).

Buy Precious Little

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.

View Comments


  1. Zak August 17th, 2008 6:08 pm

    Finally, I’ve been trying to find this tab for so long.

  2. Woodshed August 17th, 2008 6:43 pm

    You’re welcome, Zak.

  3. Jake & A Uke August 17th, 2008 9:38 pm

    Awesome! I love Ukulele Of Great Britian

  4. King David Ukulele Station August 18th, 2008 12:38 am

    Shaft de feu Isaac Hayes par le uuogb…

    Superbe repérage de Ukehunt[1], une video où le ukulele orchestra of Great Britain reprend le thème de Shaft de Isaac Hayes avec une extrêmement sympathique variation dans les paroles (en anglais dans le texte).
    [1] qu’il avait déjà……

  5. Woodshed August 18th, 2008 9:13 pm

    Jake: Me too!

  6. Lupe October 29th, 2010 9:41 pm

    this…is…BAD ASS!!! Niice job wood, I’ve always loved the movie and im so glad i can now play it on a uke! Free drinks for you if you ever come to nebraska

  7. Woodshed October 30th, 2010 2:30 pm

    Lupe: Thanks very much.

  8. Andy March 24th, 2013 8:15 pm

    Loving learning this. Cheers muchly!!

  9. Woodshed March 25th, 2013 7:21 am

    Andy: You’re welcome muchly!

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