John King – Larry O’Gaff (Tab)

John King – Larry O’Gaff (Tab)

I’ve spent hours and hours examining John King’s arrangements (particularly his Classical Ukulele book) and working out he decided to play things a certain way. I’ll always regret not emailing him and asking him a for an interview (although I’ve recently discovered that emailing your heroes can be a bit disappointing).

I had lengthy discussions with Ken Middleton about the opening run of this tune. I couldn’t believe that John King would play two consective notes on the same string. The only other time he does it in this piece is on the lower reaches of the C string where he doesn’t have a choice. But it is very difficult to get the phrase fluent any other way (and it’s still tricky the way it’s played).

And it’s not the only tricky passage. One part I had big trouble with is bar 28/29. So I play it like this in my version of the tune:

larry o gaff john king tab

Buy John King’s The Classical Ukulele (And you really should – it’s the best ukulele tab book around)

View Comments


  1. minipixel June 28th, 2009 3:22 pm

    Thanks for all the hard work! Gonna give my old fingers a workout now.

  2. Woodshed June 28th, 2009 8:22 pm

    minipixel: Good luck with it.

  3. Tamster June 28th, 2009 10:47 pm

    I liked this song when I first heard it. I’m glad you did up the tab for it. Thanks

  4. mwalimu June 28th, 2009 11:34 pm

    What amazes me is how that tiny uke he plays makes such a loud clear sound. I once got to hold it, it’s the tiniest uke you can imagine, it seemed like it would break if I closed my hand around it. But, DAMN, it’s a player in the hands of the master.

  5. Woodshed June 29th, 2009 11:31 am

    Tamster: Thanks.

    mwalimu: Yeah, the thinner and more minimal the wood, the bigger the sound. I’m pretty sure I would break that uke after about one tune.

  6. Phil June 30th, 2009 11:55 am

    Such a sad loss… John was an amazing player, and when I’m not thrashing about doing the rock/pop stuff with the Re-entrants I always have his classical ukulele book to hand. Incredible tone and articulation.
    Looks like I have some tab to work on, thanks Woodshed! (lovely playing, too)

  7. Nicki August 10th, 2010 8:50 pm

    I was wondering if you could give us the chords so as to make finger placement easier. I feel like i am hunting and pecking in parts of the tune.
    Beautiful song!!

  8. Alec April 16th, 2011 11:42 am

    Not certain, but did you leave out a low C in measure 9 and 17?

  9. cardboardfrog August 26th, 2012 1:21 pm

    at last i can play this well enough to move on to swallow tail, that’ll be challenging.

  10. Woodshed August 26th, 2012 11:34 pm

    cbf: Well done! Good luck with Swallowtail.

  11. mike Boldi October 25th, 2012 3:35 pm

    Hi… I also bought this book. Simply the best.
    I also posted various videos from people who have learned ( or are learning ) songs from this book.
    Check it out …
    I particularly like Kevin Loh’s versions of these songs, He is 11 ( or 12 by now )..

  12. mike boldi October 28th, 2012 10:08 pm

    I also posted a slowed down version in case you want to play along … or listen to parts slowly for better understanding.

  13. Kempo December 5th, 2012 3:59 am

    Wow, I just stumbled across this a few days ago, it’s a great piece, thanks once more. I’ve been playing it slowly but as accurately as I can (no point in practicing my mistakes) and it’s come on quite well.

    Funny, I’ve had the same ‘thing’ as Alec with bars 7 and 19, but I just try and go with the rhythm and play according to that. I think soon I’ll record me playing it and see how I sound.

    Doing all these things is something I’ve been inconsistent with in my learning, even though I ‘know’ it’s the way forward. It seems to work, long may it continue.

    My next step is to get his classical book off Santa Claus and have my brain rewired by that.

    Thanks Al (sort of) for giving me someone else to rue the loss of, I’m still a bit down about MCA!!

  14. Woodshed December 5th, 2012 7:29 am

    Kempo: I hope you enjoy his classical book. It might well be my favourite ukulele book.

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