Kaki King – Falling Day (Tab)

Kaki King – Falling Day (Tab)

It’s refreshing to see one of the big stars picking up a ukulele and not doing a bit of gentle strumming but really ripping the shit out of it. And it’s even more satisfying when it’s someone as talented as Kaki King.

The last time we heard this tune it was a loose, instrumental jam. Since then it’s been tightened up, given lyrics and had the space-trumpet sorted out. Now it’s really rocking and is the lead single from Kaki King’s new one.

The good news: the fretting-hand part is dead easy. For half the song you’re just using it to prop up the neck. The bad news: everything else is a pain in the arse.

The Tuning

It’s in a very strange tuning:

E F# C# F#

Yes, that’s the tuning for a ukulele. Here are the notes.

Tuning Notes

All those are tuned down. The C-string is very low – making it sound rubbery and very hard to keep in tune. Kaki has troubles with this herself so don’t feel bad if you do.

The Time Signature

I’m not entirely sure, but the main riff makes most sense to me in 7/8 time (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6… 7, 8). I find the easiest way to count it is: 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3.

Here’s the main riff played slow:

Riff – Slow

And up to speed:

Riff – Fast

The song switches into 2/4 time (I think) at bars 10, 24 and 45.

The Picking

This is the toughest part of the tune. The pattern is a little tricky but the challenge is keeping it up. The picking is relentless and I feel sore by the time I get to the strumming section (which comes as a huge relief).

The main riff is picked (with old string names):

Thumb = g-string
Index = C-string
Middle = E-string
Ring = A-string

And in the 2/4 sections:

Thumb = C-string
Index = E-string
Middle = A-string

View Comments


  1. jerika August 28th, 2010 1:19 am

    hooray. I was wondering when you’d post this. Now for that tuning…

  2. Rick Rose August 28th, 2010 2:39 am

    Thanks, this song has captivated me since I saw her do it on Jimmy Fallon. I appreciate what you’ve shown but is there a way to get the plucking pattern on the open part and the fingered portion? I know, give the kids a penny and they ask for a nickel.

    She really does kick butt on this and that guy on trumpet/synth is amazing too. Hard to imagine just three people making this much music.

  3. Woodshed August 28th, 2010 3:08 pm

    jerika: And I was wondering if anyone was going to comment. Thought it might be another case of spending ages working on a tab for no one to care. Glad someone was waiting for it.

    Rick Rose: Yeah, it was a great performance on Jimmy Fallon – better than the studio version. I had it included in the post but it was taken down.

    Here goes:

    p i m a i m i p i m a i p i

    I think.

  4. Bossarocker August 31st, 2010 10:51 pm

    Can’t wait to give this a try. Kaki King kicks arse.

  5. muz September 1st, 2010 11:50 am

    Really really glad you did this one mate. I love this song!

  6. Woodshed September 1st, 2010 8:47 pm

    Bossa: So much arse. I think she’s great. I hope this isn’t a one-off uke song.

    muz: I’m glad I did it too. It’s knocked my stamina up a few notches.

  7. jerika September 2nd, 2010 1:33 am

    Not to get your hopes up or anything, but she also used it instead of her guitar while doing this interview.

    Maybe it was just because she was in England and knows you’re there. Either way, I thought you might appreciate that a little bit.

  8. Woodshed September 2nd, 2010 5:23 pm

    jerika: Thanks very much for the clip. Cause for at least some hope anyway.

  9. muz November 22nd, 2010 10:34 am

    Saw kaki king live on saturday and inspired me to go back to this…

    I would play this one more if it didnt take so long for the strings to get settled into the new tuning :/.

  10. Woodshed November 23rd, 2010 10:46 pm

    muz: I’ve never seen her live. I don’t think she does much over here. Would like to, though.

  11. Wally January 17th, 2011 9:45 pm

    Love your work with this song, and I absolutely love this tuning. I wish there was more I could mess around with in this tuning. This song is just begging for more!

    Also: Long time lurker, first time poster. Wooo first comment!

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