Beirut – Port of Call (Chords)


Beirut – Port of Call (Chords)

I’m working my way through this album from the outside in. I did the opening track here and here’s the album’s closer.

This song has many of the features you’d expect of a Beirut ukulele song: it’s in waltz time, there’s a hammer-on from a second to a major third (although it’s on a D chord rather than the usual F) and there’s plenty of incomprehensible mumbling.

Suggested Strumming

For a dead simple strum you could use this:

d – d u – u

Which – slowed down – sounds like this:

 
Strum 1

Use that twice for Em, once for each of the Cs. Then (if you’re not doing the twiddly Dsus2 passing chord) it’s twice for D.

For the G-Gsus4 bit, do the main strum for the G. Then one down strum each for Gsus4 – G – Gsus4.

For the rest, it’s four times each.

You can fancy it up a bit by using this two bar pattern:

d – d u – u d u d u – u

Which sounds like this:

 
Strum2

Twiddly Bits

The little Dsus2 – D hammer-on is played like this:

 
Twiddle

So you play the Dsus2 chord and hammer-on the E-string at the second fret.

In the chord chart I’ve written it up in the intro only, but it’s played all the way through the song.

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22 Comments

  1. Tim September 27th, 2011 7:51 pm

    My thoughts:
    1. I’d like to note that on the album recording, the Em is in root position on the ukulele at 0432
    2. The Am’s are actually C/Am or Am/C because he does a release, then a hammer-on on the G string from open to an A somewhere during the chord
    3. The C6 from the album recording sounds like it’s played 0430, and same goes for the Cadd9, with 0435
    4. Somewhere during the strumming the D goes from 2220 to 2225 (about half way, listen to the song to get what i’m trying to say)

    Overall really good and accurate though!

  2. Woodshed September 27th, 2011 7:55 pm

    Tim: Thanks.

    1. I definitely hear a high E in there.
    2. Am7 would be a better way of putting it. But, yes, he does do that sometimes.
    3. Wouldn’t like to say either way.
    4. True, he does that but I thought the chord chart was cluttered as it was.

  3. Tim September 27th, 2011 8:01 pm

    No problem! About my first point, now that you mention it, it’s there for me too.

    Perhaps neither of us are wrong, as doesn’t he enjoy the fullness and range of a 6-string ukulele?

  4. Redmond September 27th, 2011 11:06 pm

    Yes! I’ve been trying to figure this out on my own, thank you!

  5. pepamahina September 28th, 2011 3:40 am

    Ahhh, you’re back. Just in time too, I was starting to get the shakes! I like this one too…thanks!

  6. The Captain September 28th, 2011 5:20 am

    Great song that will take some time to master up. I think the C6 chord sounds just amazing.
    Oh, did I say thank you?

  7. Woodshed September 28th, 2011 12:54 pm

    Redmond: You’re welcome.

    pepamahina: Glad you made it through.

    Captain: Thanks. Good luck with it.

  8. fivetide September 28th, 2011 1:01 pm

    I love Beirut and saw Zach performing this recently on his six-string uke. I can play passable versions of Flying Cup favourites, but this is completely baffling me. Would love a video of a (nearly) mere mortal playing this version , please Mr W?

  9. Cdub October 4th, 2011 7:40 am

    This song is best felt in 12/8 instead of 3/4.

  10. Logan October 5th, 2011 4:44 pm

    If anyone has the trouble that I did with the quick transitions between G and Gsus4, then try modifying your finger shapes:
    To play G I bar the CEA strings with my index at fret 2 and use my middle finger for fretting the E string at fret 3. With this shape, all that’s necessary to transition to Gsus4 is to fret the A string at 3 with your ring finger.

  11. GoGurt October 6th, 2011 12:55 am

    Thanks so much!

  12. erm October 7th, 2011 7:21 pm

    Aaah! Awesome, I learnt to play this in the car park at tesco’s – of course it sounds shockingly awful but to me I am Zach. I wanna tweek it about a bit now with your advice.

  13. Snacks October 8th, 2011 9:32 pm

    Lovin it! can’t wait to see whats next… cough santafe cough…

  14. ryan October 12th, 2011 8:55 pm

    Any idea why the version I have (ripped from physical CD) is named “Cuixmala?” I saw “Port of Call” and was like HUH.

  15. ryan October 14th, 2011 8:00 am

    BTW, the Em I’m hearing is played 7340

  16. ryan October 14th, 2011 8:02 am

    … make that, 0437. sorry. it also goes pretty easily into the 5430 (just a few finger adjustments).

  17. adam November 2nd, 2011 9:29 pm

    the run where it goes Gsus to G to Gsus sounds better to me if I do Gsus to G to 0230 to D. Just not hearing that C note in the song. Either way- Your site is an invaluable resource for me. been using it for over a year. i will contribute soon.

  18. nicole January 8th, 2012 3:40 am

    incomprehensible mumbling? ahah that sounds a lot like zach.

  19. Emily January 24th, 2013 4:59 pm

    Sorry to ask, is this for standard GCEA tuning? I’m a wee bit of a rookie in the ukulele world!

  20. Woodshed January 25th, 2013 7:06 am

    Emily: Yes, it’s for standard tuning.

  21. Piper June 11th, 2013 6:15 am

    Great tab! However, I think there’s an error with the E minor you suggested. You have it written that it’s 9777 barred on the 7th fret, but while I was watching this video of him playing it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfZb-LcuXm0
    It looks like it’s actually 0432. I’m not sure how much this affects the sound (I’m none too good at playing by ear) so I suppose it’s really up to the person playing and what sounds better. For people wanting to play exactly like he is, it might be a good thing to note.

    Thanks a lot for posting most of Beirut’s songs, you did a really great job!

  22. Woodshed June 11th, 2013 4:57 pm

    Piper: You’re definitely right about that live version. I’m still not sure about the version on the record though. But either version of Em will work.

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