Florence and the Machine – Dog Days Are Over (Chords)

Florence and the Machine – Dog Days Are Over

This line in the NYT review of the Ukes’ performance at got up my nose a little:

Perhaps because the ukulele has long been treated as a four-string mini-guitar for amateurs, only a handful of ukulelists have achieved much renown…

But the more I thought about, the more I thought they had a point. OK, there are thousands of examples of the uke not being played like a small guitar. But they are outnumbered by the mini-guitar types. And if you’re not taking advantage of the uke’s idiosyncrasies you may as well be playing guitar.

Much more effective is playing the ukulele like a drum with strings or like a harp with frets

This tune by Florence and the Machine is a perfect place to start with the uke/harp crossover. In fact, I’m not 100% sure it is a harp and not a ukulele.

Suggested Strumming

You can recreate the echo sound by just doing:

d u d u d u d u

Do that four times for the G, once for the Am and twice for the Em.

Alternative Inversions

I’ve included the open chord shapes in the chart, but if you’re feeling ambitious it’s worth using this A minor to give you the upwards move from the G:

And here are some inversions further up the neck.

Twiddly Bits

In the acoustic version the chord part is played like this on harp:

And there’s a little riff like this:

And here it is slowed down a little:


View Comments


  1. crazysteph12 November 9th, 2010 9:25 pm

    like this song, thanks!

  2. milko November 9th, 2010 10:04 pm

    That Roy Smeck clip. Holy shit! Wow.

  3. Ron Hale November 9th, 2010 11:27 pm

    The ukulele, of course, Al, is not a mini-guitar, and
    if played as such over time its limitations in that role become apparent and people can tire of the instrument, perhaps quit playing. However, the baritone is in fact a mini-guitar (scream all you want deniers and detractors, but this is the truth), and it can be played like a guitar with satisfaction and enjoyment, with absolutely no regrets of any kind whatsoever over the “missing” strings.

    This is precisely what I do now. I moved from guitar to soprano and played the small ukulele like a guitar with a pick. After a couple of years the ukulele failed to live up to its substitute guitar role, which was no fault of its own, of course. It’s not meant to be an easy guitar, a guitar with a different, quirky sound, it’s meant to be a ukulele, and if treated and played as such is quite rewarding in its own special way.

  4. Howlin' Hobbit November 10th, 2010 1:41 am

    “…if you’re not taking advantage of the uke’s idiosyncrasies you may as well be playing guitar.”

    preach it, brother!

  5. Woodshed November 10th, 2010 10:50 am

    crazysteph12: Me too.

    milko: I know!

    Ron: I’ve never understood the appeal of the baritone. What does it have over a guitar?

    Hobbit: Will do.

  6. Gary November 10th, 2010 5:50 pm

    “And if you’re not taking advantage of the uke’s idiosyncrasies you may as well be playing guitar.”


  7. krickcrak November 10th, 2010 9:23 pm

    As a uke player who is struggling just to sound competent, this whole thing is very confusing. How do you know if you’re playing a uke like a uke and not like a guitar? I played guitar for many years, but eventually put it down because it didn’t make me happy to play it.
    I do not play the uke as well as I played the guitar, but it makes me happy. I love the sound of the high g tuning. I think it is challenging but not intimidating. I aspire to successful rolls and chunks someday.
    Maybe you have to be a better player than I to worry about whether you are playing it like a mini guitar or not.
    I just want to play.

  8. Logan November 10th, 2010 9:43 pm

    A few things…

    1.This is a great song, no matter how many commercials I’ve heard it in (in the states.)

    2. Al, how are you reaching the 14th, 10th, and 12th frets for the riff? I’m liking how the song sounds with the inversions high on the neck, yet smoothly reaching the 14th while playing G down by the 5th seems crazy. What am I missing?

    3.@krickcrak: I’m right there with you. I don’t want to disrespect the ukulele as an instrument by playing it in a manner that doesn’t showcase it’s potential, but how do I do that?

  9. Lyndsey November 11th, 2010 11:13 pm

    WOODSHED, YOU’VE JUST MADE MY DAY! I think this song is absolutely beautiful. Sorry to say after glimsing at the comment above^^^ but I’ve loved this song since I first heard it on commercials and such. And the concept of the video. It’s hard to resist leaping up and doing a tribal dance while listening to it play.
    Anyway, I can’t say that I’ve ever been able to treat a ukulele like a harp or a drum BUT I do make an effort to do the best with the ability that I do have. I hope I can be able to use the ukulele to it’s full potential one day. Wish me luck with that :)

  10. Eve November 12th, 2010 7:40 pm

    THANK YOU! i’ve been searching for good chords to this song for ages!!! i’m still learning and don’t know how to play by ear so you pretty much made my weekend! Thank You! :)

  11. Woodshed November 13th, 2010 11:00 am

    Gary: Thanks.

    krickcrak: I wouldn’t worry about it too much at this stage – so long as you’re not using a pick. I might have to write a post about this.

    Logan: The riff is played separately from the chord part. I can’t reach that far either.

    Lyndsey: Happy to help and good luck.

    Eve: You’re welcome.

  12. Graymalkin November 13th, 2010 4:31 pm

    While I get the point entirely, isn’t it one of the great things about the uke that as well as sounding like a uke (or a drum with strings, a harp with frets, a banjo with a cold, or even (by banging the back) a bongo with a sense of what music actually is) it can sound like a small guitar should you want it to?

    Small, cheap, and very versatile – it’s the potato waffle of the musical world…

  13. Talia November 15th, 2010 4:17 am

    I honestly have no idea how you’re supposed to play this song like that recording or how to read those tabs…I tried reading your bit on tabs but it was so insanely confusing. *sigh* Oh also I was trying to play F# earlier and I dunno if my fingers are too small or I’m retarded but I couldn’t finger it the way all the charts suggest.

  14. Kelsi November 15th, 2010 6:37 am

    @Talia – Keep with it! Tabs start to make sense the more you keep trying. I started playing relatively easy songs that I knew well so you know what they sound like and when you’re playing the wrong note. Also with chords, they get easier the more you play them. For instance, the E chord and I don’t get along well, but our relationship is improving the more time we spend together. It’s still a bit of a love/hate relationship though.

  15. Woodshed November 15th, 2010 3:18 pm

    Graymalkin: I suppose so (can you hear the reticence?) but if that’s how you’re playing it there’s no reason not play guitar instead. For the record: I like guitars very much.

    Talia: Sorry, I’ll have to try to think of a way to explain it better.

    Kelsi: Thanks for that. Glad to hear you perseverance paid off.

  16. Graymalkin November 15th, 2010 8:37 pm

    I like guitars very much too, but the main reason not to play one is my musical incompetence (too big & too many strings…)! :) I know that playing one even as badly as I play ukelele is probably beyond me – hence me liking the fact that the ‘small guitar’ club is in the uke-bag. You don’t want to use it for every shot, of course…

    Unskilled though I am, cheers again for the site and for enabling me to play (in the broadest possible sense) some cool songs on my soprano.

  17. rico November 22nd, 2010 8:31 pm

    gorgeous; more harp-like arrangements please.

  18. Woodshed November 23rd, 2010 10:42 pm

    rico: I try to make most of my arrangements a bit harp-like.

  19. Redmond December 1st, 2010 5:05 am

    Pretty good episode of Glee used this song for its finale and then Hey Soul Sister (terrible song, but has ukulele nonetheless…) Kind of cool seeing how much uke is being used these days

  20. Ladybug December 1st, 2010 7:18 pm

    Im new to the uke so i was wondering what the strum pattern was.

  21. J-Hob January 11th, 2011 10:27 am

    This was one of the songs listed in only three rock songs in the top 100 singles sellers in 2010. Another was Hey Soul Sister. 2 songs with ukulele in them out of 3, one a great song, the other a steaming pile of shite.


  22. Woodshed January 16th, 2011 11:09 am

    Ladybug: Just down, up over and over will do it.

    J-Hob: Thanks for the link. Interesting that neither of those ‘rock’ songs have guitar in them. It’s been a long time since I had much of an idea what was going on in the charts anyway.

  23. ash and tay March 12th, 2011 1:59 am

    what the poop is the actual stum pattern?! and yeah, i used the word poop.

  24. Kathleen April 29th, 2011 4:59 am

    It is to hard to play cuz all I want to do is dance to this song!!!!!!

  25. Woodshed April 30th, 2011 9:28 am

    Kathleen: At least it’s possible to uke and play at the same time.

  26. alyssa May 22nd, 2011 5:59 pm

    can you tell me what fingers I need to put on each note for the acoustic version? I have some that work, but they’re both really awkward. How did you do it in the recording?

  27. Woodshed May 25th, 2011 11:16 am

    alyssa: For the G chord I use 3rd, 4th and 1st (in the order C,E,A strings). Then 3rd, 2nd, 1st for the other two.

  28. Cara Arellano January 6th, 2012 9:14 pm

    One of my favorite songs, and now my second open mic attempt. Thanks so much!

  29. Woodshed January 7th, 2012 12:33 pm

    Cara: You’re very welcome!

  30. BlueGreenGirl May 23rd, 2013 10:36 am

    Hello there, thanks for posting this! I absolutely love this song and have been working on it for several days now. I noticed just a few things, so please accept my humble suggestions for corrections to some of the lyrics and chords in the version listed here.

    It’s: “Leave all your love and your longing behind.” instead of loving.
    and: “Happiness hit her like a bullet in the back” instead of head.
    Which makes more sense, because “back” rhymes better with “that”.

    Additionally, the outro chords need only a minor change from the rest of the song. Literally. The G switches to a Gm, and you drag the Am and Em out an extra few bars on the very last verse. That’s it. There are no C or F chords in this song anywhere that I could tell.

    The dog days are over
    Am Em
    The dog days are done
    The horses are coming
    Am Em G
    So you better run-uh-uh-huuuu-un

    I hope this helps! I love your site. Thanks for being such a wonderful resource.

    Best wishes,

  31. Woodshed May 24th, 2013 9:02 am

    BlueGreenGirl: Thanks. I’ll check it out.

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