I got a request from Justin saying that Alexandre Desplat’s music from the new Wes Anderson movie Grand Budapest Hotel would be perfect for ukeing. And he was absolutely right. As soon as I heard this tune I knew it would suit a campanella-style ukulele arrangement.
And it turned out to be even easier than I expected. Without even changing the key the whole first section of the verses mostly could be played on the open strings.
As with most campanella arrangements the trickiest bit is memorising the string plucking order. If there’s a quicker way to learn it than playing through slowly over and over again I don’t know what it is.
Flicking the Bean
In the bridge section I’m trying to recreate the mandolin tremolo strumming. Tremolo strumming is a bit more tricky on the uke though. So I used a technique I refer to as “flicking the bean”.
It involves turning your strumming hand palm upwards and wiggling your middle fingers across the strings like this: