Iron & Wine – Naked As We Came (Tab)

Iron & Wine – Naked As We Came (Tab)

Man alive this one is a toughy. I’ve had a few failed attempts at getting this to work on the ukulele. But I persisted because it’s a beautiful song. And I’ve finally got a version I’m pleased with.

The difficulty with playing this on the ukulele is that the bass part is so important. To get that and the ringing notes I’ve had to transpose them into the same octave. Which adds another layer of difficulty because you have to give these notes an extra little umph to emphasize them.

Here’s my attempt at playing it.


Anyone who can play this and sing at the same time has my unending respect.

Requested by MC Safety.

UPDATE: For anyone looking for an easier version to play while singing, check out Seeso’s version.

View Comments


  1. todd June 16th, 2009 6:27 pm

    sounds beautiful Al,


  2. SomeWhatEpic June 16th, 2009 8:30 pm

    This is brilliant. If nothing else you have made it a little easier for uke players to pick up girls with this song. Also, it sounds amazing on my banjolele.

  3. MC Safety June 16th, 2009 8:33 pm

    Thanks again for figuring this one out. It’s providing me with countless hours of fun.

    Ok, maybe not countless.

  4. SomeWhatEpic June 16th, 2009 9:34 pm

    Really quick, you mentioned accent marks on some notes, and for the life of me I don’t see them. Where are the wizard hats, or did they cast a spell of invisibility? (Please don’t take this as a crass criticism, especially from someone who does not comment or thank you nearly enough)

  5. Iain June 16th, 2009 9:36 pm

    Average player my bum! Yay Woodshed.

  6. Josh June 16th, 2009 10:15 pm

    wow what a great tab!

  7. mictoboy June 16th, 2009 10:40 pm

    Wow! that’s a lovely song, and your version sounds really great. You’ve managed to produce something very sympathetic to the original yet distinctive and perfect for the ukulele. nicely. get someone else to sing along with your playing – problem solved!

  8. Woodshed June 16th, 2009 10:54 pm

    todd: Thanks.

    SomeWhatEpic: Bugger! I must have uploaded the wrong file. I don’t have access to the file at the moment. I try to sort it out tomorrow.

    MC Safety: You’re welcome.

    Iain: I stand by my mediocrity!

    Josh: Thanks.

    mictoboy: Definitely get someone else to sing. Either that or grow a second brain.

  9. Mike June 17th, 2009 12:03 am

    This really is a nice arrangement. I know you’ve done all this work to make it work with reentrant tuning, but are there any changes you would make if one has a low G string, as I do?

  10. Joe June 17th, 2009 12:35 am

    I agree with Iain, average player my bum. I can’t play that near as fast

  11. Tamster June 17th, 2009 2:12 am

    Your mp3 sounds beautiful.

  12. Nelson June 17th, 2009 3:37 am

    A party is in order!
    Whip out the bubbly!

  13. Nadia Lewis June 17th, 2009 8:32 am


  14. Nadia Lewis June 17th, 2009 8:53 am


    I would sing for anyone playing this riff.

  15. Ryan June 17th, 2009 10:58 am

    Awesome! Could you put this on the baritone too, on your baritone ukulele hunt? It’d sound even more amazing!

  16. Tom June 17th, 2009 11:52 am

    beautiful stuff, thanks for figuring this out. By the way your site is pretty much my favourite thing on the internet!

  17. Dylan June 17th, 2009 12:48 pm

    Not to be ignorant, but, what do all the symbols mean, before it gets to the numbers? The %s and )s etc?

  18. Woodshed June 17th, 2009 7:53 pm

    Mike: Hmm… good question. I don’t think it would make it easier unless you changed the key. You’d have to change the 6 – 4 bits on the G string. But you could keep bar three exactly the same.

    Joe: Thanks. But I don’t think musicianship is about speed.

    Tamster: Thanks very much.

    Nelson: Don’t mind if I do.

    Nadia: A lot of girls have that reaction to this song. And so do I.

    Ryan: I’ll see what I can do.

    Tom: Thanks very much. Glad you like it.

    Dylan: I think they probably mean there was a screw up with the download. Perhaps try it again.

  19. Woodshed June 17th, 2009 9:24 pm

    For anyone looking for a simpler version to sing along with, Seeso has done one.

  20. J-Hob June 19th, 2009 11:12 am

    Very nice campanella style. I’ve been getting a lot more interested in this style of playing since attending a workshop with Rob MacKillop. It really does bring out the best qualities of the uke and makes it more than just ‘guitar picking pattern played on a uke’. Nice work, once again.

  21. Woodshed June 21st, 2009 8:31 pm

    J-Hob: It’s definitely a great way to play the uke. Particularly when you need to get that harp-like sound in this song.

  22. alex June 24th, 2009 6:13 pm

    great great great arrangement!

  23. Woodshed June 24th, 2009 10:05 pm

    Alex: Thanks very much.

  24. andy p June 27th, 2009 1:06 am


    What is the chord you end with?

    I’ve almost got this down to where i can sing and play this version.. talk about difficult! this is the first whole song i’m learning on the uke.. its just too nice :)

  25. tt July 12th, 2009 6:12 am

    nice work! i just have to make the comment that i’m THOROUGHLY IMPRESSED!

  26. Woodshed July 13th, 2009 7:17 pm

    tt: Thanks very much.

  27. emma July 24th, 2009 5:32 pm

    woww this is hard on uke
    i can play it on guitar so much easier, my band did a cover… hahah that’s funny.

  28. Woodshed July 24th, 2009 7:52 pm

    emma: It certainly is. It’s an argument against anyone who says the ukulele is easier to play than the guitar.

  29. Charlie August 13th, 2009 4:07 pm

    If you would permiss me to use this tab on youtube, I shall show you my version, playing and singing :)

  30. Woodshed August 19th, 2009 10:56 am

    Charlie: Of course, I look forward to hearing your version.

  31. Amy September 4th, 2009 6:19 am

    So beautiful. I might even attempt to tackle it. =/

    I can’t figure out which notes are “oomph’d” though no matter how hard I listen. Every third note? It just all goes by too quickly for my poor brain.

  32. Victoria January 10th, 2010 10:25 pm

    This is beautiful, thank you so much for taking the time to figure it out!

    I apologize for my noobishness, but as a relatively new ukulele player (I fell in love with my sisters a few weeks ago and played it every day until I bought my own) I was wondering what is conventional to do for playing the individual strings when there is no strumming involved, using all fingers or just one. I’ve been learning this with just my thumb and it doesn’t sound too shabby, but I wasn’t sure if there was a better way to go about things. LOVE the site, and thanks again!

  33. Aimee February 26th, 2010 8:28 pm

    Oh wow! Your version sounds beautiful. This song took me AGES to be able to play and sing on guitar, and I think this is gonna take me even longer!

  34. Elizabeth June 14th, 2010 8:20 pm

    You are so good. Keep it up, Al!

  35. Woodshed June 14th, 2010 9:51 pm

    Elizabeth. Thanks so much. That’s very kind of you.

  36. bazinga June 29th, 2010 6:00 am

    I play this song every time I pick up my ukulele. Some advice for people trying to play and sing at the same time is to first learn the tab by itself (which is hard enough at the proper speed). once you have that down try humming the tune of the vocals until you feel comfortable because it’s really mind over matter singing it, it feels off time at first

  37. Woodshed July 3rd, 2010 12:50 pm

    bazinga: That’s for that. I’m entirely the wrong person to talk about singing and playing at the same time.

  38. Duckblind January 6th, 2011 10:45 pm

    great stuff. Love to see a uke version of “Lion’s Mane”. It has that alternating bass that I cant figure into the uke.

  39. Woodshed January 16th, 2011 11:43 am

    Duckblind: Thanks for the suggestion.

  40. Nate March 13th, 2011 6:00 am

    I have no clue how long this one will take me but I’m going to try! Maybe I could serenade some ladies with it.

  41. Woodshed March 13th, 2011 11:57 am

    Nate: Good luck with it!

  42. UkeDude June 19th, 2011 10:13 pm

    Wow… sounds as butiful as a harp…

  43. Runar July 12th, 2011 2:10 pm

    Excellent tab for a beautiful song! I agree that it’s challenging, but I wouldn’t call it a nightmare, at least not a particularly nasty one. After some practising, I can sing it fairly well while playing it, too. I don’t know if there’s something I’m missing, or if I’m just incredibly talented. If I could only find my webcam, I might do a recording of it.

  44. Woodshed July 14th, 2011 7:07 am

    UkeDude: Thanks very much!

    Runar: Well done! I’d like to hear it.

  45. Logan November 6th, 2011 7:51 am

    I feel lucky to have not grown sick of this song, because I’ve spent about half of my ukulele time over the last month working on it.

  46. justin February 10th, 2012 11:21 pm

    Runar: I don’t think that you’re incredibly talented or missing something. I’ve been playing uke for a little over three years and I had it almost perfected in about a week and a half.

  47. Effy May 15th, 2012 9:03 pm

    This is fantastic! Rather difficult, but great nonetheless. Thank you!

    Also, you should reallyyyyy do a tab for Iron & Wine’s song Boy With A Coin… best. song. ever. =D

  48. MaluhiaMitchell May 31st, 2012 4:13 pm

    Is the last chord you use to end the song the shape of a B chord (A2-E2-C3-G4) but moved up to be (A7-E7-C8-G9)? I found it sounded similar, but wasn’t sure.

  49. Woodshed June 2nd, 2012 8:05 am

    MaluhiaMitchell: Yes, that’s exactly right.

  50. alex!! July 29th, 2012 6:13 am

    i finally learned it to speed and can sing it with it!!

  51. Woodshed July 29th, 2012 7:01 pm

    alex!!: Well done!

  52. Blamuke February 8th, 2013 6:16 am

    Yes, I love the way you sound, but could you please tab it out. I’m confident that I could song and play it at the sans time but I’ve not got the skill nor time to note for note pick through your mp3. Tabs please?

  53. Woodshed February 8th, 2013 4:12 pm

    Blamuke: Tabs are in the orange box under the video.

  54. alf June 18th, 2013 2:00 am

    Hey, sorry that this may be an inane question; I’m not so great with string instruments. What’s the benefit of having the same pitch on two different strings? Thanks! This tab sounds really nice :)

  55. Woodshed June 18th, 2013 10:31 pm

    alf: I like the sound of it. And in this case it’s easier to fingerpick at high speed.

  56. Tatiana October 10th, 2015 9:18 am

    Wow! This song is so much easier on guitar. The uke tab on here is great though. The picking pattern seems incredibly counter intuitive to me though since I’m used to playing it on guitar.

  57. Woodshed October 10th, 2015 10:03 am

    Tatiana: Definitely! Having six strings makes things a lot easier sometimes.

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