Pirates of the Caribbean Theme

Klaus Badelt – Pirates of the Caribbean Theme (Tab)

If I had any musical ability or get-up-and-go, you’d be looking at a blank screen right now. I’d be off writing theme tunes, scoring movies or just writing ad jingles. And I’d want to write them like this.

Klaus Badelt’s theme tune to Pirates of the Caribbean (He’s A Pirate) is a perfect example of blockbuster theme. It’s huge, pompous and overblown. Which makes it a bugger to play on the ukulele.

I’m not doing anything fancy with the arrangement here. It’s mostly just the melody line with the chords in the background. But all the twists and turns it takes makes it very tricky to put together.

Lead Sheet

He’s a Pirate (Melody Tab)

If you want to play something more straight-forward, grab a buddy and use the melody and chord version here. Or you could use it to build your own arrangement.

UPDATE: awfguitar did a version of this arrangement that’s better than mine.

View Comments


  1. Dan July 14th, 2011 6:34 pm

    I love it. This is the next thing I am going to learn :)

  2. Dan July 14th, 2011 6:48 pm


    You have copies of your book there on your desk… I bet you are feeling pretty good about the book being reality!

    I am gonna buy one.

    That is awesome man!

  3. PaulC July 14th, 2011 6:54 pm

    Fan-tidly-tastic! (And a bottle of rum.)

  4. Woodshed July 14th, 2011 11:57 pm

    Dan: Very good to get it out there, thanks. I feel like I’ve lost the last 9 months of my life to it.

    PaulC: Thanks!

  5. RobNY July 15th, 2011 1:38 am

    Your get up and go may be lacking. Not your musical ability. Sounded great!I hope I can learn this.

  6. Brad July 15th, 2011 8:20 am

    Haha, genius. I was literally looking everywhere last night for a tab of this and thought ‘If only Woodshed would tab this. . .’
    Thanks a lot!

  7. Holdin Coffee July 15th, 2011 10:31 am

    i too have thought about writing ads and movie scores, but if i was to write one it’d be less like Pirates and more like the theme for Kill Bill vol. 1. But I Love Lucy is on TV right now so Imma go watch that instead.

  8. Readie July 15th, 2011 11:55 am

    Product placement! :)

  9. pepamahina July 16th, 2011 12:04 am

    Al this is really fantastic. I love this kind of arrangement, and this one’s a beauty!
    Nine months huh? Less like you wrote it, and more like you gave birth to it. Nice dummy shirt by the way.

  10. mikeplaysukulele July 16th, 2011 1:59 am

    Very good work. I remember watching a classical guitar cover some years ago that also brought a smile to my face. : D

  11. Woodshed July 16th, 2011 2:00 am

    Rob: Thanks. But my musical creativity really isn’t up to it. It takes me about six months to write a single tune.

    Brad: You’re welcome.

    Holdin: Yeah, I’d also write a few like that.

    Readie: That’s exactly what I wrote in the video description!

    pepamahina: Thanks very much! Can’t speak from experience, but it did feel as painful as childbirth!

  12. Woodshed July 16th, 2011 2:07 am

    mikeplaysukulele: Thanks!

  13. Olive July 20th, 2011 2:56 am

    Absolutely outstanding! A friend of mine and I played this for an open-stage concert! While we weren’t allowed to commercially endorse this website..they certainty couldn’t stop us from telling them where we got the tab after the show;)

  14. Woodshed July 20th, 2011 9:40 am

    Olive: Thanks very much for spreading the word!

  15. awefromsingapore July 20th, 2011 1:48 pm

    awesome! I recently discovered this site and loved it!its just tat i just learn the ukulele for a few weeks and could only played songs like ode to joy…if only if u could make some video tutorials, that will be awesome!

  16. Woodshed July 20th, 2011 8:33 pm

    awefromsingapore: Sorry, there won’t be any video tutorials from me.

  17. Olive July 20th, 2011 8:58 pm

    awefromsingapore: I believe you will find that his tutorials are quite helpful and descriptive without the video. In fact in reading them, I’m sure you’ll find that they are most adequate and informative. Even without the video.

  18. gabriel July 21st, 2011 1:07 am

    If you play this really slow it sounds like the love/sad scenes in Pirates to. Cool!

  19. George July 21st, 2011 6:51 am

    Thanks a lot, Al! : )

  20. Woodshed July 21st, 2011 3:16 pm

    Olive: I think it’s just a matter of personal preference. Some people learn best from videos. I get frustrated learning that way and prefer to read and use tabs.

    gabriel: Yeah, a lot of films work that way. Quite often the love theme in films is a combination of two characters’ individual themes.

    George: You’re welcome.

  21. Marisa July 28th, 2011 5:11 pm

    You’re a fucking genious.

    Since discovering your site and buying a ukulele, I’ve literally forgotten how to play guitar. I haven’t touched it in months. You warned me. I should have listened. I picked it up about a week ago and it felt so bulky and foreign.

  22. Woodshed July 28th, 2011 8:51 pm

    Marisa: Thanks! I haven’t picked up a guitar in years.

  23. xman 44 March 21st, 2012 12:39 pm

    this be hard

  24. Woodshed March 21st, 2012 9:18 pm

    xman: That it be.

  25. Liluke April 15th, 2012 7:37 pm

    I started two years ago and I promised myself I would learn to play this as it was the first tab I looked at on this site. You have done a really good job on it aswell.:D

  26. dorothy September 11th, 2012 11:23 pm

    Hey sir! will u please do a tutorial on this vid? i really don’t know how to follow or read tabs…sorry, PLEASE, it would mean the world to me sir, PLEASE…

  27. Judy O October 10th, 2013 1:56 pm

    I have loved this since it came out the first time. beautiful arrangement for uke. many thanks!

  28. Woodshed October 11th, 2013 8:41 am

    Judy O: Thank you very much!

  29. nathan690 November 9th, 2013 7:20 am

    thx you so much!!!
    please grow the beard back!!

  30. Woodshed November 9th, 2013 8:26 am

    nathan690: Don’t worry, this was before I grew it. It’s currently longer than ever.

  31. laurensuke December 30th, 2013 3:30 pm

    Could you do this on a soprano uke?

  32. laurensuke December 30th, 2013 3:57 pm

    This piece is really brilliant. Thank you so much!

  33. Woodshed December 31st, 2013 11:03 am

    laurensuke: Thanks! Yes, you shouldn’t have problems on a soprano. It doesn’t go to high up the neck.

  34. laurensuke December 31st, 2013 3:39 pm

    Thanks Woodshed! Have a great New Year’s Eve!

  35. laurensuke December 31st, 2013 3:49 pm

    What strumming pattern would you use for the chords in the melody tab sheet? I am currently using D, U, D U, D, D, but i want to jazz it up a bit more. Do you have any suggestions?

  36. Woodshed January 1st, 2014 8:32 am

    laurensuke: It’s in 6/8 time so you’ll need to use something like:

    d – d u d u

  37. laurensuke January 1st, 2014 12:37 pm

    Thanks so much for all your help! Happy New Year!

  38. i love this! January 28th, 2016 1:43 pm

    Yeah i love this!

  39. Anne November 4th, 2016 10:32 am

    Thank you so much! I love it. Your tabs make me want to play ukulele all day long. Thank you for your effort in creating and sharing tabs. And thank you for making videos, they really help with learning the tab.
    Trying your tabs and e-books is a fun way to improve ones ukulele skills.

  40. Woodshed November 5th, 2016 11:30 am

    Anne: Thanks so much! That’s very kind of you.

Sorry, Comments Are Broken Right Now