Billy Corgan/Smashing Pumpkins – Baby (Chords)

Billy Corgan – Baby (Chords)

I was quite impressed by Billy Corgan’s ukulele playing. He certainly seems to take it more seriously than most of the guitarists who jump on the bandwagon and make a hash of it. For a start, he isn’t using a pick. And he throws in some classic ukulele stuff like diminished chords and a triplet strum. It’s enough to forgive him for playing a Fender and braiding Jessica Simpson’s prayers.

The reason, as can be heard in the full intro to the song, is that he learnt ukulele from a Hawaiian friend. Nice work, Hawaiian Corgan-buddy!

Suggested Strumming

The strumming skips around quite a bit so I’m not going to go through all of it. This is the main one:

d – x u d u x –

Do that for each chord in the verse until the end D7 – G7. Here you get a typical Hawaiian turnaround. Here the C chord doesn’t quite fill the bar. Instead of the final ‘-‘ on the C chord you do an up strum on the D7 chord. So you strum this:

u d u –

And the same for the G7 chord.

In the chorus it’s all triplet strums on the C – Fm moves.

Now taking tab requests for this.

Buy Smumpkins stuff. (If you don’t own Siamese Dream, what are you playing it?)

View Comments


  1. Tuscadero May 18th, 2010 6:14 pm

    Thanks much! I really dig this tune, it’s old school and yet still trippy enough to be Corgan. But why the Fender hate? I’ve got one of their koa laminates, with an after-market pick-up. It’s not a bad little beater and perfect for breaking out those rock riffs I learned from you.

  2. Tuscadero May 18th, 2010 6:29 pm

    oh, one last…
    I think the lyric that’s hard to discern, the 4th line, 1st verse, is “But fail to roust Isis.” Don’t ask me what that *means* but taking into account that Isis is the goddess of motherhood and fertility and the song is for the two Tellulah babies, it’s as good as any other guess.

  3. Woodshed May 18th, 2010 10:07 pm

    Tuscadero: I heard the same lyric myself. And, likewise, I thought, “That don’t make a lick of sense.” Not sure why I thought that precluded it from being a Billy Corgan lyric.

  4. Mark Jackson May 19th, 2010 11:39 am

    I just got blown away by youtube and college students with mobile phone uploads!!! So many copies of this concert! I think this one – – gives a better angle on his playing. Interested to see he doesn’t use his thumb in the triple strum. Thanks Woody.

  5. David Barnes May 19th, 2010 11:46 am

    That is one boring song.

  6. Lindy Danny May 19th, 2010 1:49 pm

    I have to admit that I don’t like the song near as much as I like the idea of an original artist like Corgan playing ukulele. This is the kind of exposure ukulele’s need (as opposed to “Soul Sister”). When is he going to redo “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” on uke?


  7. alec May 21st, 2010 1:24 pm

    I think that’s a great song, and yeah he actually plays it like a ukulele, and well. He’s still a nutcase though:

    And nobody who made a video like the one of him soloing should ever be allowed to take himself so seriously. Yikes.

  8. Woodshed May 22nd, 2010 5:31 am

    Mark: Good spot. Thanks for the link.

    Lindy Danny: Sounds like he’s got more uke songs up his sleave, so you never know.

    alec: Thanks for the link. I don’t know why people expect celebs to have sensible opinions on anything any more.

  9. Bossarocker May 22nd, 2010 12:44 pm

    I love this song, thanks so much for posting the chords. I’ve been playing it ever since but I’m still trying to perfect the strum.

  10. Logan May 26th, 2011 5:36 am

    Not sure how I missed this last year, but thanks to the annual round-up, I’ve now found it. For me, this is right up there with TMOE’s “King of Spain” for the best posted songs.

  11. Woodshed May 26th, 2011 10:33 am

    Logan: Glad you found it! It was a lot easier to work out than King of Spain.

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