Excellent news on the Eddie Vedder front. Not only is the new video out but there’s a a ukulele songbook on the way (thanks to Ric Jo for the info). Which means I don’t have to bother tabbing it up. Instead, I can transfer a few grunge riffs to uke.
The usual riff rules apply: they’re not necesarrily in the same key as the original and all requests for the rest of the song will be pelted with cabbage, tied to a donkey and driven out of town.
Soundgarden – Spoonman
With all the focus on Nirvana and Pearl Jam, Soundgarden got a bit overlooked. I think they were as good as either of them. This riff is easily one of the best that came out of the scene. I’ve adjusted it a lot for the uke, giving it a C chord drone. It’s also two frets lower than the original (unless you’re using D-tuning or have a capo on the second fret).
They key signature for the main riff is, frankly, I have no idea. I went and looked around at other people’s tabs and they seem to have copped out a bit too. So I just did the same.
The verse riff is similar to the opening riff:
And the chorus riff is a bit like this:
All together they sound like this:
Nirvana – Heart Shaped Box
I’ve moved the riffs in this song down a fret to make it more ukeable. Otherwise it sounds pretty good on uke.
The chorus riff, being all distorted, doesn’t transfer quite so well. But it’s still playable. The open A-string here is optional – I added because I like how nasty it sounds.
Pearl Jam – Alive
This fits pretty well on the ukulele in the original key.
Here’s the uke version:
Temple of the Dog – Hunger Strike
Little known fact: my name when I was born was Andrew Wood like the guy from Underworld and the guy from Mother Love Bone (who inspired this song). Then my name was changed so I shared it with the leader of a ceilidh band and all hopes of rock and roll stardom were dashed before I was a week old.
This one is in the original key.
Alice In Chains – Them Bones
Another one in the original key and another one with an awkward time signature. But once you’ve got the hang of that it’s fairly easy to play.