Death Cab for Cutie – Talking Bird (Demo) (Chords)

Death Cab for Cutie – Talking Bird (Ukulele Version)(Chords)

Death Cab for Cutie’s new odds-and-ends EP, The Open Door, includes the original ukulele filled version of Talking Bird (you can listen to it on Stereogum). It is, naturally, far superior to the full band version (for which Zakulele has already written up the chords).

Stereogum were, unusually for them, very musically astute to mention Beirut in that post. The song contains a lot of Beirut like touches: it’s in waltz time, the C chord is played up the neck, there are Fadd9 chords all over the place.

I’ve written the chords up in a slightly simplified way (just make sure you pay attention to the C chord – the A string is played at the 7th fret rather than the 3rd). The do occasionally add in passing chords. This sort of thing:

talking bird ukulele tab

View Comments


  1. Ryan Hartkopf April 7th, 2009 6:48 pm

    I was just listening to this for the first time not 30 minutes ago and thinking “Nice, Uke Hunt needs to come out with chords for this.”

  2. J-Hob April 7th, 2009 7:07 pm

    That was really nice. This sort of style ukulele is definitely the one that I naturally gravitate towards in my own playing.

  3. ryan April 7th, 2009 7:17 pm

    “The Penalty” much?

  4. Zakulele April 7th, 2009 9:18 pm

    As always, great work Woodshed.

  5. J-Hob April 8th, 2009 9:11 am

    Very much like The Penalty! Just after I was trying out the DCFC tune last night I then got The Penalty in my head and started playing that. I do love that C chord at the 7th, definitely going to use that in my own stuff when ever get round to writing something.

  6. Woodshed April 8th, 2009 8:59 pm

    Ryan Hartkopf: You’re welcome. You weren’t the only one thinking that.

    John and ryan: Definitely. They use quite a few of the same chords.

    Zakulele: Thanks. And thanks for writing up the original version.

  7. mike April 8th, 2009 9:41 pm

    hi folks,just like to say i am enjoying my ukulele trip so far,it gets better every time i pick my ukulele up.So here is a little idea requiring some imput,i would like to be able to download some music lesson on my multimedia player,giving me the option to play my uke at work or when i dont have a P.C. handy.i know does lesson download using quicktime, is there any thing similar for ukulele lessons,best regards,mike

  8. zym April 12th, 2009 1:20 am

    Beautiful Al, Beautiful :D

  9. Bellageth April 25th, 2009 10:16 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this. I only just found out about the new EP, and was thrilled to find a ukulele song on it. I can’t wait to learn it!

  10. bakester14 September 10th, 2009 8:27 pm

    So I think the intro on the chords is wrong (i believe it includes an Am, but I may be mistaken) but otherwise this is really great work. I generally play the C with my second finger on the C on the second string. I know it’s redundant, but I think it may have been what DCFC did and it sounds pretty nice. And I can’t for the life of me figure out those tabs. Can’t we just go with standard sheet?

    Awesome Job, though.

  11. Jordan May 12th, 2010 4:58 pm

    What about the part where tabs change, when he sings,
    “the longer you think, the less you know what to do”

  12. SofiaS April 21st, 2012 11:32 pm

    what the hell is this?! i’m afraid i’m too stupid to read this, could you please come up with the normal chords?

  13. tomas April 30th, 2012 2:40 am

    hey I didn’t see this on the chords but the other two chords used I think are dm and G7 –> “And the longer you think, The less you know what to do”

  14. Ian May 2nd, 2012 5:45 pm

    I am also interested in the strum pattern on the “middle” and “outro”, as noted by Jordan above.

    I’ve worked up the rest of the song and I am loving it!

    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  15. Daniel Finley February 24th, 2015 1:24 am

    Thanks so much for all you put up here! I learned Murder in the City here which is one of my favorite songs ever. But I have a question: what are those numbers in orange at the beginning of each measure? I can’t figure them out…

  16. Woodshed February 25th, 2015 9:36 am

    Daniel: They’re just bar numbers. They don’t change what you play at all. So you can just ignore them.

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