John Mayer – Say (Tab)

I’ve had quite a few requests for the little guitar figure from this song. Perhaps because the high capo takes it just about into ukulele territory. And I’m happy to do it because it’s a beautiful song and it gives me the shivers. It was the highlight of the film it was written for, The Bucket List. It’s very difficult to write a song on this subject without being mawkish or tiresomely literal (neither of which you could say about this Tim McGraw song) and John Mayer pulls it off perfectly.

Posting this has got me thinking about my own bucket list. It’s too personal to post here so I’ve put it up on the site I bought years ago and haven’t done anything with. There’s no sky-diving or witnessing the majestic on there.

Riff for High-G

Despite the sound of it, the riff is really tricky to play on high-g uke. I’ve simplified it to this:

Riff for Low-G

If you use low-G and a capo, you can play it the same way he plays it on the guitar (according to the tabs on the net). The uke is in low-G with the A-string tuned down to G and a capo on the third fret.


Verse and Chorus: Bb – Eb – Gm – F

Bridge: Cm – Eb – F

Outro: Gm – Bb – Eb

View Comments


  1. Mirandaa July 9th, 2010 1:08 am

    i don’t understand the difference in the low-G and high-G. does that mean i have to change my tuning if my uke is tuned in GCEA? so

  2. Sebi July 9th, 2010 9:32 am

    Thank you for these great tabs!! It’s so much fun to play.

  3. Peter July 9th, 2010 3:16 pm

    Thanks Al!

  4. Woodshed July 13th, 2010 6:00 pm

    Mirandaa: High-G is the standard ukulele tuning, so you probably want to play the high-G tab.

    Sebi: Glad you enjoyed it.

    Peter: You’re welcome.

  5. Lyndsey July 19th, 2010 12:59 am

    Thank you VERY much for this. I absolutely love this song.
    P.S. have you considered ukulele tabs/chords for The Plain White T’s song 1,2,3,4(I love you)?

  6. Woodshed July 19th, 2010 7:03 pm

    Lyndsey: Thanks. There’s no shortage of chord charts for Plain White Ts.

  7. Chris October 16th, 2010 1:40 am

    what is the strumming on this?

  8. Reilly January 23rd, 2011 11:47 pm

    You can also play play it the same way, he plays it on the guitar (according to the tabs on the net), just by playing the note at fret 3 on the G string everytime you hit the A string. It’s a little more tough but sounds very nice.

  9. Seldon June 6th, 2011 7:09 pm

    To get the little harmony note on the ukulele try raising the E a half-step to F so the tuning is: GCFA.

    A| |—5——-5—-|—6——–6—-|—5——-5—-|—3——-3—–| repeat
    F| |—–0——-0–|——0——-0–|—–0——-0–|—–0——-0–.|
    C| |2——-2——2/3——–3——3\2——-2——2p0——-0——0.|
    G| |—3——-3—-|—3——–3—-|—3——-3—-|—3——-3—–|

  10. Seldon June 6th, 2011 7:15 pm

    I’m sorry the tabs look terrible. :P It looked good on Notepad. As terrible it looks I promise you it sounds great.

  11. Woodshed June 7th, 2011 12:27 am

    Seldon: Thanks for the tab. And don’t worry about it. I get what you mean.

  12. sayra October 1st, 2011 8:05 am

    Mirandaa, a low G is where the G sting is a guitar string. i have one. it gives the ukulele a deeper tone. the High Gi is what moast generic ukuleles come with. its a ukulele chord. hope this helped

  13. sayra October 1st, 2011 8:09 am


  14. George Callihan October 16th, 2011 7:54 am

    @Mirandaa, the difference is only that low go means the g-string, your fourth string, is an octave lower than it normally is. it gives your uke a little bit louder sometimes and maybe a fuller sound, but really not a big difference. It’s still tuned gcea, but the g is lower than the c, making it tuned almost like a guitar. Just imagin the last four strings of a guitar, dgbe. move dgbe up five frets, and you have low g ukulele tuning. Hope that helped! look up low g and high g ukulele differences on youtube.

  15. Brian March 8th, 2013 12:41 am

    I don’t think you need to tune the A-string down to a G. Just lower all the fingerings by two frets. Worked for me.

    (Great tab otherwise ;P)

  16. Jason November 23rd, 2013 11:07 pm

    But is there some benefit to using the a string tuned down? Makes the chords sound different.

  17. Woodshed November 24th, 2013 8:06 pm

    Jason: Yeah, is possible to play a larger range of notes.

  18. Brian November 24th, 2013 11:30 pm

    Are we supposed to play the chords differently? That’s another reason I used traditional low-G tuning: the chords didn’t sound at all right with the A string tuned down to a G.

  19. Woodshed November 26th, 2013 6:14 am

    Brian: Yeah, if you tune the A-string down to G you’ll have to play any note on that string two frets higher than you would have before.

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