Dave Brubeck Quartet – Take Five (Tab)

Dave Brubeck Quartet – Take Five (Tab)

The Dave Brubeck Quartet’s Take Five (written by the group’s saxophonist Paul Desmond) is an absolute instrumental classic. That’s why I started working on it in the early days of Uke Hunt (the 27th February 2008 according to the date on the file). Since then it’s been occasionally dragged out of the pile of half finished tabs but I haven’t had a version I was happy with until now. I hope it was worth the wait!

The song takes its name from its 5/4 time signature (i.e. there are five beats in a bar rather than the more common 3 or 4). You probably haven’t played in 5/4 time before but it’s not that hard to get the hang of. I find counting out the bars 1, 2, 3, 1, 2 gives you a good feel for the groove of the piece and you can drop the counting once you’re in the swing of it.


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  1. wastad October 1st, 2015 7:18 pm

    great – thanks – love it

  2. Woodshed October 2nd, 2015 7:22 am

    wastad: Glad to hear it!

  3. Cardboardfrog October 2nd, 2015 8:03 am

    Really loving the arrangement woodshed, looking forward to sitting down and learning this one.

  4. Woodshed October 2nd, 2015 8:04 am

    cbf: Thanks very much! Happy learning.

  5. Rodney October 2nd, 2015 8:18 am

    Well worth the seven-and-a-half year wait and facial hair development. Knowing the song and the intro helps a lot on that odd count. Avoiding the g-string is a big bonus, sounds great on my linear baritone to.

  6. Allan Mc Donald October 2nd, 2015 8:29 am

    As usual, you have given us another gem, thank you Al

  7. Guillaume October 2nd, 2015 10:11 am

    Haven’t had much time to pick up my uke since moving to the UK, but you’ve just made sure it’ll be seeing some sunlight this weekend! Great version.

  8. AlNapp October 2nd, 2015 10:48 am

    Aww lovely, you just filled my weekend

  9. Cheryl October 2nd, 2015 3:31 pm

    Fantastic! I’m looking forward to learning this one. Thank you!

  10. Sara October 2nd, 2015 3:40 pm

    That’s amazing.

  11. Moses Kamai October 2nd, 2015 4:01 pm

    that was great! Thanks for doing the tab and sharing!

  12. Coral October 2nd, 2015 6:52 pm

    Very nice. Thanks!

  13. Laurie October 2nd, 2015 6:57 pm

    Thanks – I’ll give it a try. Just learning but you inspire me!

  14. Corina October 2nd, 2015 8:00 pm

    This is my new life goal.

  15. Woodshed October 3rd, 2015 10:14 am

    Rodney: That’s great!

    Allan: Thanks very much!

    Guillame: Glad it’s getting an airing!

    AlNapp: Thanks! Have a good one.

    Cheryl: Happy learning!

    Sara: Thanks!

    Moses: You’re welcome!

    Coral: Thanks!

    Laurie: Hope you enjoy it!

    Corina: Good luck learning!

  16. Nort October 5th, 2015 3:00 am

    Just heard George Benson on this song & then along comes Woodshed :) Thanks for the great tabs!

  17. Woodshed October 5th, 2015 7:32 am

    Nort: You’re very welcome!

  18. tooney October 7th, 2015 9:46 pm

    This is fantastic. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to it and how many people I’ve shared it with. Love how the mind fills in the underlying bass line when you’re not actually playing it. Thanks for another terrific tab I can’t play!!! :-)

  19. tooney October 8th, 2015 12:39 am

    Not the bass line – the syncopation Dave Brubeck played with his left hand. :D

  20. Paul Willoughby October 8th, 2015 8:13 am

    So good to hear a classic jazz piece being played. Many thanks. I am slowly working my way through learning this.Your website is terrific.

  21. Woodshed October 8th, 2015 11:34 am

    tooney: Thanks very much for sharing it!

    Paul: Thanks so much!

  22. La Perdrix October 10th, 2015 2:36 pm


  23. Ruth Allen October 11th, 2015 1:18 pm

    Brilliant! Will be a while before I master it but certainly very inspiring, thanks so much.

  24. Woodshed October 12th, 2015 6:22 pm

    La Perdrix: Thanks!

    Ruth: Thanks very much!

  25. Jenny October 17th, 2015 3:46 am

    What an amazing piece! Love it. Thank you! One tune to try and achieve…maybe! Do you have to be able to read music to play this?!

  26. Woodshed October 17th, 2015 11:13 am

    Jenny: Thanks very much! You don’t need to be able to read music. But you do need to be able to read tab. There’s a guide to reading tab here.

  27. Bob Harrison October 23rd, 2015 10:20 pm

    Played it last night at a party! Wow, everyone loved it. Thanks so much.

  28. Woodshed October 25th, 2015 10:01 am

    Bob: That’s fantastic!

  29. Sven November 6th, 2015 6:18 pm

    That was very very nice

  30. Woodshed November 6th, 2015 10:08 pm

    Sven: Thanks!

  31. Seb February 29th, 2016 8:35 pm

    Often when i get a new ukulele tab in the internet i see so many things, which could be so much better.
    A problem i never had here on Ukulele Hunt :)
    Really a grate tablature!!

  32. Woodshed February 29th, 2016 9:35 pm

    Seb: Thanks very much!

  33. Outflyer March 3rd, 2016 2:23 pm

    This is so cool to see! Thanks Mucho!!!

  34. Woodshed March 4th, 2016 2:40 pm

    Outflyer: Thanks!

  35. Kian April 10th, 2016 3:28 am

    Do you really memorize the song or do you have sheet music on the floor?

    P.s. Really fun song to learn

  36. Woodshed April 11th, 2016 6:38 am

    Kian: I memorise them. And usually forget them right after making a video!

  37. Benjeeuke June 14th, 2016 9:07 am

    What key is this in?

  38. Woodshed June 14th, 2016 9:44 am

    Benjeeuke: F# minor.

  39. Steve January 1st, 2018 10:32 pm

    Hi woodshed, thanks for making this tab! I’m finally able to play this well, but I noticed there’s a difference between the tab and your video where you hammer on/off (part 6&7). It sounds like there’s a few extra notes in there. Hope you see this and update your tab if you can. Great stuff!

  40. Woodshed January 4th, 2018 11:05 am

    Steve: Thanks! I don’t think there’s anything extra in there that isn’t tabbed.

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