DuckTales Theme (Tab)

Mark Mueller – DuckTales Theme (Tab)

Finishing off cartoon week with an exceptionally catchy tune that set the standard for yelling “woo hoo!” (it’s a Duck-Blur indeed). And it’s particularly relevant to give it a ukeing now that the rejiggered series features Uke Hunt favourite Kate Micucci.

The song includes a subtle key change with the chorus being a whole step higher the second time around. To keep things easy to memorise, I’ve arranged it so it’s played exactly the same but two frets higher second time around.


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SpongeBob SquarePants – F.U.N. Song (Tab)

SpongeBob SquarePants – F.U.N. Song (Tab)

While writing up Sweet Victory earlier this year, I decided I had to do a tab of this classic SpongeBob ukulele song.

I’ve kept the arrangement very simple. There are just three underlying chords: F, Bb and C. And I’m only using my thumb for picking. Although you could very easily use fingerpicking or a pick. Using those might help with the quick thumb work in bars 5 and 6.


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Splendora – You’re Standing On My Neck (Daria Theme)(Chords)

Splendora – You’re Standing On My Neck (Chords)

With most theme tunes these days being heavy on doom and light on tunes, you can always rely on cartoons for an enjoyable, catchy theme. So this week I’m taking on some of my favourite tunes from animated shows. Starting with the unforgettable riot grrrl tune from Daria (recently covered almost note for note by Honeyblood – which has the same chords as the original).

I went with a capo on the first fret for this one. This does introduce an E chord. But the E-G move is easier than an F-Ab move. Of all the variations on the E chord, I went with muting the g-string with the thumb of my fretting hand. I’m also doing that with the rapid B-A-G-A chords in the lead-up to the chorus.

Suggested Strumming Pattern

For the main strum I use:

d – d – d u d u

Verse and Solo: Main strum once each in the first three lines. Then one down-strum per chord on the “excuse me”s.

Chorus: Main strum once each on C and G. Then twice on A. And on the, “You’re standing on my neck,” lines just one down-strum per chord.

Middle: One main strum per chord.

Twiddly Bits

The iconic “la la laaa la la” riff makes use of the flattened fifth note (a.k.a. the devil’s interval). The same riff crops up in a different key at the start of solo (where it’s five frets higher) and gets moved up one fret in the outro. In the Honeyblood version it’s played in the same key as the intro on both these occasions.

The solo itself is exceptionally easy. Most of it is just one note: A-string, 3rd fret (with a capo still at the first fret). Then towards the end you slide up two frets. Then back down to the third fret. Up to again. Then end on the open E-string.


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UkeTube: Crooning Vampire, Nick Mulvey

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Crooning Vampire – I’m in the Mood for Blood
Rachel Manke – Anything Can Happen On Halloween
Christopher Davis-Shannon and Michael Durkan – I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
Desirée Dawson – Give Me One Reason
Nick Mulvey – In the Anthropocene
Noah Wisch – Coexistence
Young M.A x Einer Bankz – BIG
Nico’o – Surf y Tequila

The Decemberists – Shankill Butchers (Tab)

The Decemberists – Shankill Butchers (Tab)

There’s a long history of murder ballads in folk music. But they’re all set comfortably in the past. It’s a very different experience listening to a song about murders set in your own lifetime.

The Shankill Butchers were loyalist gang in 1970s Northern Ireland who viciously murdered 19 people (possibly with police turning a blind eye). Hearing a song mythologising them is an uncomfortable experience (particularly since Northern Ireland is perilously close to returning to those days). But it brings home how fresh the events in old murder ballads were to those who originated them.

Shankill Butchers is in the key of C#m. My first instinct was to rearrange it into a more uke-friendly key like Cm or Dm. But it turned out to work best in C#m. The intro riff (played with the thumb alternating between picking the g- and C-strings) works particularly well.


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Halloween Riffs: Hendrix, Eilish, Suspiria, 30 Rock

Some more short tabs of Halloween suitable songs.

If you’re into these, you can find lots more on my Instagram.

Jimi Hendrix – Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

Billie Eilish – All the Good Girls Go to Hell

Goblin – Suspiria Theme (Easy Version)

Goblin – Suspiria Theme (Tricky Version)

Tracy Morgan – Werewolf Bar Mitzvah

Franz Ferdinand – Evil Eye

Nina Simone – I Put a Spell on You (Chords)

Nina Simone – I Put a Spell on You (Chords)

Another intensely creepy song from Screamin’ Jay Hawins (whose Whistlin’ Past the Graveyard I chorded for an earlier Halloween). And I’ve gone with Nina Simone’s bewitching version for the arrangement.

Although I’ve used the A chord shape for the F#m7 to keep things simple, I do like to switch it up and use 2424 or 2420. Particularly for the F#m-F#m7-Bm move.

Suggested Strumming Pattern

I keep it really simple and play just down-strums the whole time.

Intro: Two down-strums per chord until the final C#7 where you play four.

Verse 1: Starting out as the same first line as the intro. For the next five lines do four down-strums each chord except eight on the C#7. Then two on everything until the last C#7 with four.

Solo: Same as the first half of verse 1.

Verse 2: Four down for every chord in the first four lines. Two for each on the fifth line. Then one each on the last line letting the C#7 ring out for the 10,000 syllables she manages to get out of the word “because”.

Twiddly Bits

Here’s a uke version of the strings in the intro of the song.

You can also use this as a basis for the solo. Just watch out for the F#7 chord. I’d recommend playing notes from the F#7 chord itself in that bar.


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UkeTube: João Tostes, Billie Eilish

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João Tostes & Carol Campos – Hallelujah
Vinícius Vivas – Fly me to the Moon
Billie Eilish – Telegraph Ave
Gracie Terzian – Treasures Untold
Jan Laurenz – Another Day, A New Tune
Arko Mukhaerjee – Bala Joban
EmiSunshine – Crimson Moon
Feng E – The Stalker in the Shadow
Le Temps d'une Étincelle – Kora'lélé
Rusty Cage – The Family-Friendly Noose Song

Friday Links

Vanity Fair investigates why a light ukulele ditty, Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head, was used to soundtrack Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. (Tab for Raindrops… here.)

“Shirtless ukulele player pulled from top of police car in Fremantle”.

New Releases
Biscuithead and the Biscuit Badgers’ new album Thought Porridge (complete with handy songbook).
– Manitoba Hal has announced a collection of reworkings of his earlier songs: Vintage Blend.
– New record from Indian urban folk uker Arko Mukhaerjee: Bondhur Bari – My Friend’s Home.

Window Shopping
Kanile’a’s 2019 Platinum Pineapple Tenor
– Orangewood Guitars have moved into ukuleles with their first collection: Marina Ukuleles.
Les Rietfors custom pineapple.
Tenor Petros ukulele.

Dick Gaughan – The World Turned Upside Down (Tab)

The World Turned Upside Down (Tab)

Dick Gaughan’s Handful of Earth is an absolute powerhouse folk album. One of the best records of the 80s. Probably the best that didn’t come out of Manchester (okay, maybe Minnesota too). The highlight of the album is his galvanising take on Leon Rosselson’s The World Turned Upside Down

The original version is curiously mild-mannered for a song about an uprising. But Dick Gaughan packed his version with a fierce sense of resistance. His arrangement became the default and was an obvious influence on Billy Bragg’s cover (seen here performing it with Amanda Palmer and her ukulele) and on mine.

I tried to capture the force and relentlessness of Gaughan’s version in my arrangement. I’ve done that by having my thumb hammering out eighth notes on the g-string the whole way through. In combination with the index finger picking the C-string, that produces this rhythm in the intro and between verses:

Then on top of that you have the middle finger and the ring finger picking the melody on the E and C-strings respectively.


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