Mumford and Sons – Little Lion Man (Chords)

Mumford and Sons – Little Lion Man (Chords)

There’s been a fair bit of Grammy-bashing around here but this set of performances from Mumford & Sons, The Avett Brothers and a Bob Dylan impersonator was incredible.

Since the last time I did some Mumfords, Marcus has picked up the ukulele. Until some uke action crops up on record, here’s a uke version of Little Lion Man.

Suggested Strumming

This strum will see you through the intro, the verses and the loud choruses:

A lot of the time – particularly the verses – he’s playing this with palm muting on the down strums. That means you rest the bottom edge of your palm on the string just in front of the bridge as you strum. It’s a bit like a chnk but you keep your hand on the string as much as possible.

Here’s a video (playing it slow then up to speed) which may or may not make things clearer.

For the middle section, do all down strums. Four times for C and F and eight times for Bb. You can fancy it up a little – like he does – by doing a quick up-strum before each chord change. As it gets louder he goes back to the main strumming pattern.

Twiddly Bits

In the intro (picked up again later in the song) there’s a switch between F6 – F – Fadd9 – F during the first bar of the F chord:


In the intro (and verse 2) the banjo adds a couple of B flats to the chords like this:

The little banjo solo after the first chorus is tricky to transfer to uke. I’ve included a version of it in the chord sheet (make sure you fret the C-string with your ring finger if you’re attempting it). It sounds like this:

Banjo solo

But you can make it much easier to play without losing much by leaving out the hammer-ons and playing it like this:

UPDATE: If the video is blocked where you are, check the comments for some alternatives.

Requested by pretendings and Anika.

View Comments


  1. Josh Ward April 12th, 2011 6:53 pm

    For musical theory n00bs like yours truly, do I need to tune it down a step? It sounds alright as it is to me now, but my ears are as trained as 1783.

    (the locomotive engine was invented in 1784, horrible pun but I love bad jokes too much to leave it out).

  2. cardboardfrog April 12th, 2011 6:55 pm

    it’s the depth and detail you go into that is one of the best things about this blog and one of the reasons it’s successful, thanks so much Al.
    That video from the grammys is excellent but by god bob dylan is one of these people who actually SHOULD rest on his laurels, you’re a fucking folk and rock n roll hero, you don’t need to keep gigging.
    mind you thats just my opinion, i’m not infallible.
    Thanks al!

  3. cottonsocks April 12th, 2011 6:57 pm

    Brilliant, thank you!

  4. Woodshed April 12th, 2011 7:07 pm

    Josh: No, no need to tune down for this one. (And thanks for the explanation of the joke, I was completely lost.)

    cbf: I think there’s a strong argument for Bob giving it a rest. All the live reviews I’ve seen in recent years have been terrible. But he is Bob Dylan. He can do what he likes.

    cottonsocks: You’re very welcome.

  5. hufse April 12th, 2011 7:29 pm

    as the video linked in this post is not available to the country I am in, Netherlands, I did a search on youtube and found this link which I think is the same:

  6. pepamahina April 12th, 2011 7:51 pm

    When I click on the video at the top of this post I get a message from youtube that says “The uploader has not made this video available in your country.” I did find this:
    Is it similar to what you posted?

  7. Julia April 12th, 2011 8:16 pm

    I like, i would say on facebook. Already realy liked the song last week although I´m not a fan of Never shout never.
    but I know I won´t really manage it on the ukulele. The better I like a song, the more frustrated I am by playing them on the ukulele and not really getting it ^^. Perhaps I should stick to songs I hate :D

    @hufse: Yours is the normal video. But pepamahinas should do as well ;)

    and sorry for spelling and gramatical mistakes… not my first language.

  8. Woodshed April 12th, 2011 8:32 pm

    hufse and pepamahina: It certainly is a pain trying to find a video that works for everyone. Hopefully this video will work for everyone (but probably not).

    Julia: Thanks. Good luck getting to grips with this one.

  9. Cappers April 12th, 2011 9:15 pm

    Woooohooooo, one of my favourite songs!!!!! Thanks for this :)

  10. Tim April 12th, 2011 11:06 pm

    I knew this one had to come to Uke Hunt sooner or later. Thanks!

  11. pepamahina April 12th, 2011 11:26 pm

    You know I would never knowingly cause you pain. Thanks Al, you’re a darling ;)

  12. Marie April 13th, 2011 2:44 am

    ooooooo! yay.
    Thanks for this Al.

  13. Woodshed April 13th, 2011 7:42 am

    Cappers: Glad you like.

    Tim: Yes, it was only a matter of time.

    pepamahina: Except by requesting Paper Moon of course ;)’re welcome.

  14. Kempo April 13th, 2011 12:32 pm

    I watched the Grammies video… holy crap, who let Krusty the Clown onstage???

  15. caitlin April 13th, 2011 10:26 pm

    Love this song! I’ve been waiting for this one since you posted tab for the Cave. :) Thanks so much!

  16. Alicia April 14th, 2011 12:37 am

    Thank you so much for this post! I can’t wait to get to work on learning this one.

  17. Em April 14th, 2011 8:06 am

    well hotdiggity, Im gonna give this song a go on my banjolele! Thanks!

  18. Anika April 14th, 2011 10:59 pm

    Yay! I’ve been waiting for this song! thanks SO much! :D

  19. Rob NY April 15th, 2011 3:42 am

    Such a professional explanation and break down. Thanks.

  20. Logan April 15th, 2011 4:10 am

    I’m liking this song, though the stunted strum pattern keeps getting gummed up when I try to sing along.

  21. Ry April 15th, 2011 7:29 am

    thanks. rad.

  22. Woodshed April 21st, 2011 11:43 am

    Kempo: Ha ha ha!

    caitlin: You’re very welcome.

    Alicia: Have fun with it.

    Em: Should work really well on a banjolele.

    Anika: Thanks for suggesting it.

    Rob: Thanks very much.

    Logan: It does take a bit of practice. You could get away without the palm muting if you prefer.

    Ry: Cheers!

  23. igettheledout April 25th, 2011 10:41 pm

    Well this one has come together great for me. It gives me hope to keep practising.

    Thanks for this!

  24. Woodshed April 30th, 2011 9:40 am

    igettheledout: Glad you’re enjoying playing it.

  25. brian June 27th, 2011 7:14 pm

    this is so baller. thanks man! your banjo rip is amazing too!

  26. Jess July 30th, 2011 5:43 pm

    been looking for a tab of this for a while, and i swear i checked here. clearly didn’t look hard enough! definitely gonna give this a go.

  27. Woodshed July 31st, 2011 7:30 am

    Jess: Glad you found it eventually!

  28. TEW January 18th, 2012 8:58 pm

    erm I dont understand the tune stuff, like the strumming pattern

  29. Hanivaz January 28th, 2012 7:10 pm

    What are the chords if you want to play the 4 banjo strums in the intro

    Something with Bmaj7?


  30. Nicola January 12th, 2016 7:11 pm

    Hello, Is it possible to put up a video of the intro and solo playing the banjoele. Thank you

  31. Johan March 7th, 2016 12:29 am

    For an easy way to play the banjo solo, try picking the 1st string with your index or middle finger, then play the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd string with your thumb. The chords are Dm B7 F F. I imagine it would sound nice with a thumb pick, but i don’t have one, so I wouldn’t know

  32. Woodshed March 7th, 2016 9:50 pm

    Johan: Thanks! I’ll try that out.

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