Black Keys – Five Riffs (Tab)

I went to see the Black Keys last week and they were incredible. They’re at the perfect place in their career. They’ve got an extensive enough back catalogue to provide a set with no flat moments but they haven’t got to the stage where they’re just plodding through the songs until it’s blue M&M time.

So in homage to them for the best gig I’ve been to this year (sorry UOGB) here are my five favourite Black Keys riffs arranged for uke – in order of decreasing uke-suitability.

10 A.M. Automatic

10 A.M. Automatic (Riff)

Being mostly chord-based, this one works pretty well on the uke. I beefed up the chorus a bit.


Act Nice and Gentle

Act Nice and Gentle (Riff)

Originally, a Kinks song but the Black Keys overhauled it, made a feature of the melody-line riff and made it their own.


Tighten Up

Tighten Up (Riff)

A few variations in this riff through the song – some of which stray too far out of uke range – this one is based on the one that starts at 1:08 (1:32 in the hilarious video).


Your Touch

Your Touch (Tab)

The intro part of this one sounds a bit wimpy on the uke, but the chord part works well. The chorus riff is the same as the verse riff with a few additions.


Modern Times

Modern Times (Tab)

My favourite Black Keys riff but there are a few problems ukeing this one. The final A is too low. If you’re on a low-G, that’s not a problem. For the high-G, I’ve added in the C# because the extra harmony confuses the ear a little so it doesn’t stand out as being an octave too high in quite the same way. Also, if you’re using low-G you can knock the chorus riff down an octave.


Buy everything the Black Keys have ever released or consign yourself to a life half lived.

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