How to Play Classical Ukulele

I promised delivery on July 1st and here it is.

Your Rugged Good Looks and Easy Charm Have Convinced Me Already. How Do I Buy It?

Buy it here

After you pay you’ll be taken to the download page and get it sent to you by email.

What’s In It?

You get tabs for 7 classical tunes arranged for re-entrant ukulele:

Blue Danube – Strauss
Bridal Chorus – Wagner
Elephant – Saint-Saëns
Gran Vals – Tarrega
Orpheus in the Underworld – Offenbach
Pizzicato by Delibes
Toreador Song – Bizet

Watch them all here.

The focus is on tunes that you’ll have fun playing and that people will recognise and be impressed by. The focus isn’t on good classical technique or faithful recreations of the original works (in some of them I’ve sythed out the less famous sections).

You get individual pdf files of each of the tabs along with an ebook (fancied up by Ben Lew) with my usual blathering and a few general pointers on playing. It’s not a full on guide to classical technique, more along the lines of the stuff that usually accompanies tabs on here. It’s all delivered digitally. Check out FAQ for more info.

I’ve decided just to go with the YouTube videos this time round. It cuts down on download size and technical problems. So there are no videos or MP3s included in the download. Just links to the YouTubes.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy It

In the spirit of bad marketing, you might not want to buy it if:

You’ve never done any fingerpicking. There’s a variety of difficultly but none of them are suitable for beginners.
You’re looking to develop classical technique.
If you play soprano only: Some of the tunes use frets above the 12th.

What If I Get It And It Sucks?

As with all my stuff, if you don’t like it let me know within 7 days (with the email address you used to pay with) and I’ll send you full refund. No questions asked or seething resentment.

I Can Now Look Past Your Ugly Face and Repugnant Personality. How Do I Buy It?

Buy it here

After you pay you’ll be taken to the download page and get it sent to you by email.

I Have A Question

If you have any questions, queries or problems you can email me at or contact me here.

View Comments


  1. Alan Ramsay July 1st, 2010 2:31 pm

    Nicely done. I have been waiting for you to get this done for a while :-)

    I imagine you should have a good market with this one. There must be other players like me who can’t sing and don’t strum looking for some nice finger picking stuff to do.

    I am sure it will go nicely with John Kings book and my own teachers book of Gaspar Sanz Baroque pieces – – excuse the plug ;-) to keep me busy with the Uke.

    Good luck with it!

    Alan (classical guitart and uke player)

  2. Bob July 1st, 2010 3:44 pm

    Nice piece of work! Your stuff is always so well done.

    May I ask: what is the uke you’re playing in these vids? I think I make out “Ohana” on the headstock but can’t be sure. Is this a mahogany model? Sounds terrific.

    Best regards,


  3. J-Hob July 1st, 2010 4:59 pm

    nice work!

  4. Emily July 1st, 2010 6:58 pm

    Thanks again, Al. Can’t wait for the super secret project. My imagination is running wild, keeping me very entertained.

    You’re the best!

  5. Jeff July 1st, 2010 8:46 pm

    I can’t stop playing! Thanks Al.

  6. Gwyn July 2nd, 2010 12:41 am

    Just downloaded it, fantastic stuff!

  7. zym July 2nd, 2010 1:12 am

    good work Woodster!

    Unfortunately my secret project involves only playing 2 chord songs on 3 strings from now on.


  8. Ken July 2nd, 2010 2:37 am

    These tabs are pretty good, though you should probably mention that some of the songs go pretty high on the fretboard. Makes things tough for us with soprano ukes.

  9. Rob NY July 2nd, 2010 3:41 am

    Well done Al!

  10. Woodshed July 3rd, 2010 12:33 pm

    Alan: I’m in that boat with you. I think if I could sing I would never have bothered practicing the uke beyond a few chords.

    Bob: Yep, spot on with Ohana and mahogany. It’s my trusty Ohana TK-35G.

    Emily: Thanks so much!

    Jeff: Me neither. It’s an affliction.

    Gwyn: Thanks very much. Hope you enjoy it.

    zym: Don’t worry, I’ll be bringing out ‘How to Play Ukulele with a Paucity of Ambition’ very soon.

    Ken: Good point. I’ve added that to the post.

    Rob NY: Cheers.

  11. Michelle July 5th, 2010 3:09 am

    This is so awesome, Al.

  12. Woodshed July 8th, 2010 9:25 pm

    Michelle: Thanks very much!

  13. Bob Doyle July 9th, 2010 11:05 am

    Love your stuff, Al. Curious as to whether you happen to share anything in this one about fingernail shape for best tone for songs like this.

    I’m still struggling to find a shape that doesn’t cause scraping when I do fingerpicking style, especially on my right ring finger…

    Thanks for all the great work you do here! This site has taken my playing to new levels.

  14. Shaun July 11th, 2010 2:50 am

    Love your work as always Al! Thanks for the great edition!

  15. Woodshed July 13th, 2010 7:57 pm

    Bob: No, there’s nothing about fingernail length. It’s not something I give much thought to. For picking I mostly use the pads of my fingers.

    Shaun: Thanks very much.

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