The Beatles – Blackbird (Tab)

The Beatles – Blackbird (Tab)

With there already being plenty of Beatles ukulele material around, I tend to avoid adding to the pile. But I couldn’t resist having a go at adapting the gorgeous picking of Blackbird for ukulele. I love the rising and falling lines. Particularly the chromatic rise and fall on the E-string in bars 5-8 of the tab.

It’s a challenging piece to play on the uke. There’s plenty of movement up and down the neck and some tricky picking. There are also loads of time signature changes in the song. But none of them are jarring. So if you know the song well they’re going to feel natural.

My arrangement uses thumb and two finger picking almost all the way through. There are two main patterns:

– The pattern in bar 1 alternating index and middle fingers (picking the E- and A-strings respectively) and the thumb picking the g-string.
– The pattern in bar 2 where the thumb alternates between the g- and C-strings.

There are 2 big exceptions. One is the picking is in bars 6 and 21. For those I’m alternating by thumb between the g- and E-strings. the other is bars 32-34 where I switch to strumming.


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  1. Dalton August 31st, 2017 11:39 pm

    Great arrangement! I am excited to start tackling it this weekend. I already know one version of Blackbird but I will definitely be learning this one as well. It is my probably my favorite Beatles tune.

    Keep up the good work, hope you had a good summer break.

  2. bob September 1st, 2017 9:16 am

    Classy stuff. Thanks – even if I never get to play it properly!

  3. Woodshed September 1st, 2017 9:22 am

    Dalton: Thanks very much! I did.

  4. Mark September 1st, 2017 9:56 am

    Excellent. Possibly beyond me, but lovely to hear, and I like the introduction of blackbird (and robin) song towards the end.

  5. Woodshed September 1st, 2017 10:06 am

    bob: Thanks very much!

    Mark: Thanks! Definitely tricky to play. But lots you can learn from even if you don’t get it all down.

  6. Urbanmeister September 1st, 2017 3:15 pm

    Perfect, as always. One of those tunes that makes you want to play. Thanks.

  7. Geniebeanie September 1st, 2017 3:26 pm

    You are the man! Looks like I won’t be getting any work done today – gotta play with this arrangement. Lovely birdies!

  8. Cheryl September 1st, 2017 5:09 pm

    Lovely arrangement, I’m going to love learning this. I’ve recently taken my guitar out to play Blackbird again, it’s a song I don’t want to forget how to play :).

    Your arrangement looks to be very similar to how it’s played on the guitar. Thank you!!

  9. Vinícius Vivas September 1st, 2017 11:09 pm

    Very good! Some people use to play in C, but that way you did sounds really good. Congrats!

  10. Woodshed September 2nd, 2017 3:45 pm

    Urbanmeister: Cheers!

    Geniebeanie: Thanks very much! Have fun with it.

    Cheryl: Thanks so much!

    Vinicius: Thanks! Yeah, I thought about playing it in C but wanted to do it in the same key as the original.

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