It’s Theme Tune Week on Uke Hunt this week. And I’m starting out with Steven Universe. The show is packed with great ukeable tunes thanks to show creator and ukulelist Rebecca Sugar. If you’re an SU fan and a uker I highly recommend following her Tumblr where she often posts ukulele demos of the songs and occasionally chords.
The plan was the right up the theme tune but I like the songs so much I ended up doing a bunch.
The Steven Strum
This chnky strum – henceforth known as the Steven strum – is clearly Steven’s favourite strum. It crops up all the time:
d – x u – u d –
Here it is played slow then fast:
You can use chnks or muted strums for the x. Or use one of the chnk alternatives. You can also emphasise the second down-strum:
d – D u – u d u
We are the Crystal Gems
I was going to refer to this as the longer version of the theme tune but since this version showed up at Comic Con it’s now the medium sized version.
This version is a different – more uke friendly key – than the theme version. To play along with the version used as the theme tune put a capo on the second fret.
Start with one strum per chord. Then use the Steven strum once per chord in the verse and twice per chord in the chorus.
Again start of with one down-strum per chord before moving on to the Steven strum once per chord in the verses. In the middle section play the strum twice on the B7 then one down strum on the Em and G then once on the Cmaj7 (a chord that crops up a fair bit in Steven Universe and Adventure Time songs).
Do It For Her (Demo)
Do It For Her (Demo)(Tab)
Rebecca Sugar posted a lovely fingerpicked ukulele version of this tune on her Tumblr. And it’s that version I’ve written up.
The thumb picks the C-string (and at one point the g-string) with index finger on the E-string and middle on the A.
The rhythm is much more tricksy than it sounds. I’d recommend just picking it up from listening to the track.
Here’s how the picking of the intro and verse looks:
What Can I Do For You?
A steamy soul-rock song is a nice change of pace from most SU songs. It put me in mind of The Detroit Cobras.
You can recreate(ish) the guitar picking like this. Pick with your thumb, then middle finger. Then flick up across the strings with the middle finger.
This is how the picking looks slow then up to speed:
If you don’t want to pick, this is a good opportunity to break out your favourite triplet strum since it’s slow.
TTT d – TTT d –
Or you could just use down-strums:
ddd d – ddd d –
Let Me Drive My Van into Your Heart
Nice and easy up until the Ab in the middle section. If you want to avoid that you can play the middle section the way she does in the demo version: Bb F C Bb Cmaj7.
On the Run
On the Run (Chords)
You can use a modified Steven strum replacing the chnk with a down-strum:
d – d u – u d –
Once per chord in the verses and twice per chord in the middle. In the outro twice on Am and once on everything else.
Steven and the Crystal Gems
Steven and the Crystal Gems (Chords)
The two chords at the end are played way up the neck (as indicated by the fret numbers at the top right). If your uke doesn’t have a 13th fret you can just play the chords in their more familiar positions Bbmaj7 – 3210 and Bb = 3211.
Verse: Steven strum once per chord. All except the last chord then do the Steven strum twice.
Bridge: Steven strum twice per chord.
Chorus: Steven strum once per chord. Except the Eb – F change on “alternate” do d – d u once each there. And just one down-strum on the last two chords.
Serious Song (Chords)
I was very worried about the wellbeing of his ukulele in this episode.
I’m using a fairly strange way of playing the F and G chords. Barreing the g, C and E strings with my middle finger and muting the A-string. If you prefer you can play the usual open versions of all the chords. If you doing that you might want to switch the B for a G7 and change chords normally rather than sliding.
Intro: d u d u d u d u
Verse: The Steven strum once per chord.
Last line: d u d u once for Cm and G7. Then d u on the C, down on the B then slide the shape up one fret to make it the C chord.
Cookie Cat Rap
Lots of fun to play.