If you want to write a hit song at the moment you need an intro with at least two of these features and preferably all three:
- 1. A minor key
2. Lots of echo
3. This rhythm:
To illustrate the point I threw together into a medley including Sia’s Cheap Thrills, Shawn Mendes’s Treat You Better, The Chainsmokers’ Don’t Let Me Down and Let Me Love You by DJ Snake and Justin Bieber
And here’s a Spotify playlist with a few more besides.
But I always associate this rhythm (and the echoy sounds) with the fittingly titled Intro by The XX.
This rhythm might be having a moment right now but it’s also timeless and well worth adding to your strum repertoire. The basic strum (from the video above) goes like this:
d – – d – – d –
The important thing to do is to use chord stabs i.e. stopping the strings ringing right after you play them (much more on the in How to Play Ukulele Strums).
The downside with this rhythm is that it does sound a bit sparse on ukulele. The best way fill it out is with some muted strums. Like this:
d x x u x x d x
This version sounds really funky when you speed it up: