Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra/OutKast – Hey Ya (Chords)

WIUO/Outkast – Hey Ya (Chords)

Hey Ya was the first song I – and I suspect most people here – heard from the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra. It’s coming up on half a million YouTube views and over 500 comments – most of them saying, “Is that that dude off of Flight of the Conchords? Awesome!”

The easiest way I’ve found of playing the chords is to play the D 2225 to make it an easy slide up to 4447 for the dreaded E chord.

Suggested Strumming Pattern

For most of the chords you can use this pattern:

d – d u – u d –

But there is a time signature change in there. The D chord is one bar of 2/4. So just do two down strums for that chord. Or you could really cheat and play a baritone like that dude off of Flight of the Conchords.

Twiddly Bit

Every uke group song needs a twiddly bit in to keep the show offs in the band happy.

First part of the phrase played a bar later than in the original.

I’m way too lazy to move up and down the neck, so I prefer to play it like this:

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View Comments


  1. zym February 24th, 2009 9:17 pm

    yay for the twiddy bits :D

  2. J-Hob February 24th, 2009 9:56 pm

    Nice one, cheers!

  3. Woodshed February 24th, 2009 10:06 pm

    zym: And that’s the technically correct term. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

    John: You’re welcome.

  4. Emily February 25th, 2009 12:12 am

    Oh my, I think I just peed in my pants a little bit. Very exciting…one that will drive the BF bonkers but that I love oh so much.

  5. Woodshed February 25th, 2009 9:01 am

    Emily: If I was him, I’d be more concerned about you peeing your pants ;)

  6. Alison February 25th, 2009 9:49 am

    The original version of this song sounds weird to me now when I hear it; it just sounds more right somehow on uke. Especially with the twiddly bits!

  7. Jeff February 25th, 2009 3:07 pm

    I thank you for putting this up. I always enjoyed this song and video.

  8. Donnie Bubbles February 25th, 2009 3:37 pm

    Your including the strumming pattern is working for me. I had seen the chords before, but couldn’t make them sound anything like the song. With your strum patterns, I was torturing humanity with this ditty in minutes. Thanks again….

  9. Woodshed March 1st, 2009 8:49 am

    Alison: I must admit, I do still like the original just a lil bit more.

    Jeff: You’re welcome.

    Donnie: Glad you found it helpful. That 2/4 bar trips me up sometimes as well.

  10. Christine Louise March 2nd, 2009 3:28 pm

    Such a fun song to play! I find that if you play an Em instead of the E it’s a little easier and sounds just as good. That’s how I play it on guitar as well.

  11. Woodshed March 2nd, 2009 9:20 pm

    Christine Louise: Snap! I play it Em on the guitar as well. It gives it a different sound, but just as good (and it makes more sense than major theoretically as well).

  12. mina March 24th, 2009 10:06 am

    Cocoon made a really nice cover of this song, that makes it sound so cute ! anyone heard it ?
    thanks a lot for the chords :)

  13. Woodshed March 24th, 2009 9:12 pm

    Mina: Yeah, I’ve heard Cocoon’s version of it. I really like it. Very different to the original.

  14. Ryan McCrillik October 18th, 2009 8:07 am

    it really is bret!!! wow!

    good song, very very simple – working on a uke/guitar collaboration from here. One day i’ll ‘hey ya’ the whole world on youtube!!!

  15. Woodshed October 18th, 2009 1:39 pm

    Ryan: Look forward to hearing it.

  16. pete the heat July 16th, 2010 11:29 am

    I am pretty unsure what to think of the suggested chords. Once I made this sng up for myself and I found these ones suiting:
    C A G E
    Now with G C D E it sounds all wrong – how did you tune your uke?

  17. Woodshed July 17th, 2010 5:31 pm

    pete: Use the chords you think sound best but C A G E sounds completely wrong to me. Tuned my uke gCEA.

  18. lainey September 29th, 2010 6:02 pm

    to make it easier i change the key and play C,F,G,A

  19. Spinellers September 29th, 2010 9:02 pm

    Do you know what the other ukuleles are playing? I hear a bass line going on…. Can you help me out?

  20. etuan January 2nd, 2011 6:27 am

    yay! thanks. super fun.

  21. Law April 22nd, 2011 5:14 pm

    I’m really impressed this is lovely! Learnt the chords pretty much now, don’t like E though! Just working on the twiddly bits now :D Thank you!

  22. Chris July 11th, 2011 6:16 pm


  23. Eden November 20th, 2011 9:41 pm

    This is great, after seeing this I youtube a lot of their videos and then came across the UK ukulele orchestra performing Ruby with The Kaiser Chiefs, I would really love it if you could make a tutorial for that!! Pleaseee!

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