I’ve tackled Ray Parker Jr’s Ghostbusters theme once before way back in 2007. But I wanted to return to it to tidy it up and make it into a full instrumental version for a ukulele group. Also because it’s a stone-cold classic.
This version has five different ukulele parts of differing levels of difficulty (including one that just involves smashing the strings in time) and each one can be simplified or fancied up as suits.
This part takes care of all the chord work. For almost all the song the chords are just C – Bb – F. You can choose whichever inversion of those chords suits your playing.
This part plays the riff for most of the song. For the intro and middle sections I make use of campanella style. Letting close harmony notes ring into each other makes them extra spooky. If that’s not your bag you can play the intro like this:
And the middle like this:
It’s important to make this part as expressive as you can to give it the feel of a vocal melody.
As well as handling the vocal melody, this part plays the guitar lick in bars 27-28 and 43-44.
My original plan was to combine this part and the melody part. In the end I split them off so I could have the vocal part more prominent than this one. But the two parts are never playing at the same time so you can easily combine the two into one part if you wish.
The part starts of by plucking the strings with a pick between the nut and the pegs. It’s always high-pitched and out of tune up there so you’ll always get a spooky effect from it.
The intro spooky noises do include one additional uke. I scrapped a pick along a wound low-G string to get a bit of a creaking effect.
No notes at all in this part. I’m just muting all the strings with my fretting hand. I’m using two main patterns. The first one in the video I strum down right in front of the bridge to create a thud. Then up again in that area. Then and other down-up where the fretboard hits the body.
The next pattern is the same sort of idea. Start with the same down-up near the bridge. Then three down-ups at the fretboard.
The bridge strums do give you a good sound but they’re a bit tough on the fingers and not essential. You can also emphasise beats just be strumming more forcefully.
UPDATE: Sam asked for a combined tab so here it is: