Eddie Vedder/Pearl Jam – Can’t Keep

Eddie Vedder – Can’t Keep (Tab)(PDF)

Can’t Keep is my favourite of Eddie Vedder’s ukulele songs. It’s quite unusual for a ukulele song and sounds far better and more aggressive than the full band, album version.

For this song he’s at least in tune with himself, if not the rest of the world (perhaps some clever metaphor). But if you want to play along with the video, you’ll have to tune down very slightly.

The riff of the song works very well on the uke. It starts out like this:

And shifts a little for the verse to this:

The strumming for these sections is just up, down (a lot). He switches it up a bit for the ‘I won’t live forever…’ bit. Down, down, up, up, down should get you through that.

View Comments


  1. LonnaB December 2nd, 2008 7:04 pm

    I’m gonna have to say that Eddie Vedder is easily the second most sexy ukulele playing man on this planet.

  2. Nelson December 2nd, 2008 11:50 pm

    Who’s the first?
    Oh right…me.

  3. Woodshed December 3rd, 2008 8:46 pm

    Yes, Nelson, definitely you.

    Last time there was a discussion on the subject, James Hill came out on top.

  4. MightyOak December 4th, 2008 4:29 am

    What kinda uke is that!? It sounds really great.

  5. Woodshed December 4th, 2008 5:40 pm

    MightyOak: I pretty sure it’s a Tululele.

  6. LonnaB December 5th, 2008 1:44 am

    *notice they both have long hair and a beard.

  7. MightyOak December 5th, 2008 3:45 am

    Many thanks woodshed. Though I have to say, the “Hootchulele” looks a might better considering the odds of it leading me to practice more… a LOT more.


  8. Camilo May 13th, 2011 2:28 am

    Here comes a video teaching how to play Satellite: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iroy_mP9UJA

  9. Woodshed May 15th, 2011 12:03 pm

    Camilo: Nice work.

  10. DarkStar May 27th, 2011 12:48 am

    First Listen: Eddie Vedder, ‘Ukulele Songs’. Mmmm…good.


  11. Woodshed May 27th, 2011 6:45 am

    DarkStar: It is good.

  12. Tony June 11th, 2011 4:14 am

    Thank you so much!

  13. Woodshed June 11th, 2011 7:07 am

    Tony: Thanks!

  14. Josh June 11th, 2011 9:03 pm

    I’ve been following Uke Hunt since I got my uke, about 4 months ago, but I haven’t posted much cause I haven’t had much to say. But I feel like it needs to be said that this song is godly. I’ve never been a Pearl Jam fan, but as soon as I heard this song I immediately bought Ukulele Songs, listened, loved it, and found this tab. Not only does it sound incredibly good, I’m somewhat amazed at myself that I’m able to duplicate Eddie Vedder’s sound on a Schmidt Tenor, or even at all. This song flows straight through my soul.
    Stream of consciousness complete. Just needed to get it out there. Thanks for posting it, made my day/week/life.

  15. Woodshed June 13th, 2011 11:59 am

    Josh: You’re welcome. I think this might be my favourite song on the album.

  16. Snackmaster June 14th, 2011 4:53 pm

    Just found this searching for the uke tabs… I’ve dabbled in the “uke” world since I was a youngster and my dad taught me a few simple chords. He would play and sing for me when I was home sick from school and I cherish those memories. Eddie has inspired me to take my playing further and even though my dad passed away in 2005 I know somehow he’ll hear me playing for him. My wife and I are fortunate in that we’re seeing Eddie at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis this July 1st… can’t wait to experience this tour in person! Thanks for letting me share… I’m glad I found this site.
    Cheers All!
    Brett AKA Snackmaster

  17. Woodshed June 15th, 2011 10:33 am

    Snackmaster: Very glad to hear it. Have a great time at the show.

  18. Josh June 15th, 2011 12:39 pm

    I also got tickets to the Chicago show…for about $90 each. I can actually feel my wallet attempting to defy gravity.

  19. Snackmaster June 15th, 2011 1:07 pm

    Thanks Woodshed!

    Josh – That was our first choice but we couldn’t get a good flight there. Maybe next time. St. Louis is only a six hour drive so we’re good to go! AND a light wallet is good thing. Who wants to be constantly burdened by cash? Lol.

  20. Josh June 15th, 2011 9:21 pm

    Snackmaster: Money is the root of all evil, but without it I can’t go to these incredible concerts. It’s an enigma wrapped in a conundrum surrounded by a dilemma.

  21. Snackmaster June 16th, 2011 1:56 pm

    True Josh… true.

    Hey Guys, I’m going to take some time and explore all the resources on this site. What a great find! Take care everyone…

  22. Andrew June 26th, 2011 11:53 am

    I saw someone asking what kind of uke and it is definitely a Pono MHTSH. He bought it from my buddy Joe at Surf n Sea. Changed the headstock logo maybe because he has endorsements from others. Lovin his tone too. But his voice would sound good over anything~

  23. Andrew June 26th, 2011 11:57 am

    oops, just watched the video and it is not the one I thought with him on the rocks, this one is Tululele or maybe K-Wave. I have seen him playing Divine ukes too, and He bought a bunch of Kamaka’s from them last time on Oahu. If I was him I suppose I would have a load of every brand also.

  24. Zachary July 28th, 2011 4:41 am

    I’ve never been on this site until now. Just started playing the Uke thanks to Mr. Vedder. Just want to compliment the creator. Fantastic. Already learned a lot. I thought there might be an iPhone app since the ukelele is such a nice on-the-go instrument but that isn’t so. Keep up the good work!

  25. Snackmaster July 28th, 2011 1:09 pm

    Just saw a new post here and realized I forgot to comment on the concert back in St. Louis in July. Amazing. Literally 3 hours that took my breath away and left me speechless. What a inspiration Eddie is to those that love the uke and to those that never gave it a second glance before.

    Cheers guys…

  26. Rodolfo August 13th, 2011 1:57 am

    Eddie rocks even with a ukulele!!!!

  27. Woodshed August 13th, 2011 8:53 am

    Rodolfo: “Eddie rocks especially with a ukulele!!!!” There, I fixed it for you.

  28. Javier April 26th, 2012 11:29 am

    Hi there, I’m Javier from Argentina, and I bought my ukulele 3 months ago, and I have to say that this page is a bible for us ukulele fans all over the world! Eddie’s album is fantastic, and I hope that he keeps on “ukeleling” :D Thanx guys, keep up the good work!

  29. Snackmaster April 27th, 2012 1:31 pm

    Hi Javier! I’m happy to see more uke fans!

    BTW – my wife and I had tickets to see Eddie in Tulsa last Thursday (April 19th) but he has nerve damage from a back injury and had to cancel for now. The concert has been moved to November 18th at the Brady Theatre in Tulsa. FYI as I’m sure there will be tickets available with the re-schedule.

    Cheers all…

  30. O'Reilly October 25th, 2012 6:51 am

    been working on getting this song down pretty casually since May… It’s a tricky one.

  31. Woodshed October 25th, 2012 10:11 am

    O’Reilly: It is a tricky one. Hope you manage to get it down.

  32. Gordon December 25th, 2012 2:35 pm

    Wife just got me a uke for christmas, guitar has been broken for months.. so happy to have an instrument back.. love this song to death .. not too difficult but still a challenge on the down down up up down riff.. thanks alot though!

  33. Woodshed December 26th, 2012 10:57 am

    Gordon: Thanks! Glad you like it.

  34. Selena January 27th, 2013 5:28 pm

    My school is doing Battle of the Bands and my fellow band mate encouraged me to pick up the ukulele. She let me borrow her Mitchell for a week and had to take it back. Needless to say, I had withdrawal symptoms and got my own Lanikai. I am in love with the ukulele and hope to become a pro someday. This site helps a lot, so thanks :)

  35. Woodshed January 28th, 2013 10:06 am

    Selena: Thanks! Good luck with the Battle of the Bands.

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