Punk Pop Riffs (Tab)

Another one for the Riffs for Ukulele series. Usual rules apply: they’re intended to be played for a lark (even more so with these punk pop songs); no, I’m not going to write up the full song; and they’re not necessarily in the original key (although only Sum 41 in this post isn’t thanks to some capo deployment).

Paramore – Still Into You


With Paramore’s recent foray into ukulele songs it’s only right I include one of theirs. Two riffs on this one. The top one is plucked thumb and two finger style and the bottom one using alternate picking.

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Blink 182 – What’s My Age Again?


After a bit of octave shifting the arpeggio riff in this one works way better on ukulele than I was expecting. Thumb and two finger picking for this one again. Try to emphasise the notes on the g- and C-strings.

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Green Day – American Idiot


Capo on the first fret for this one too. The switch from G to F at the end of bar two is very fast. If you’re struggling with it you can just switch the F for playing all the strings open like at the end of bar 4.

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Sum 41 – Fat Lip


Not going to lie, this one is pretty preposterous on ukulele. But, hey, Sum 41 were a pretty preposterous band.

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Panic! at the Disco – I Write Sins Not Tragedies


I’m not sure if this one entirely belongs in this post. But I’ve become obsessed with it recently. I tried to get all the discordant bits in. Which makes it much more difficult than it needs to be. Here’s a simpler version:


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No Hassle Chord Changes

With all the intricate and dexterous actions that evolution has equipped our hands for it’s left us woefully unprepared to play an Fmaj7 chord on the ukulele. It’s made plenty of chord changes a pain in the arse too.

Laziness to the rescue! You can change the fingering of a chord or use a different inversion to make changes much more straightforward.

Here are a few tricky chord changes that can be simplified with a bit of rejiggering.

A to D

Here’s an obvious refingering. If you use your second, third and fourth fingers to play it you can keep your first finger tucked behind.

The Sucker Way


The Smart Way


Video Comparison

Em to B7

In chord charts the B7 is almost always shown played with a barre. But it doesn’t have to be. Switch the notes on the g and A strings and you get the Em chord shape with everything moved across one string.

The Sucker Way


The Smart Way


Video Comparison

G to B7

Another B7. This one doesn’t actually have a B in it. But thanks to crazy ear-shenanigans your brain fills in the B for you (here’s Vi Hart explaining it as well as why chords and scales are as they are).

The Sucker Way


The Smart Way


Video Comparison

Anything to Fmaj7

If anyone tells you to play Fmaj7 the 2413 way throw your ukulele at them and run away. They are not your friend. In the first take of my trying to play the chord you can actually hear my wrist cracking as I attempt it.

The Sucker Way


The Smart Way


Video Comparison

D7 to G7

Like the B7, this version of D7 doesn’t actually have a D. But it is way easier to play. This version is often called the ‘Hawaiian D7′ for reasons that elude me.

The Sucker Way


The Smart Way


Video Comparison


Ten ways to play an E chord
How to Play Ukulele Chords – my ebook on chords and chord theory.

Junior Brown – Better Call Saul (Chords)

Junior Brown – Better Call Saul (Chords)

This one is hot off the press. The new song for the upcoming Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul. Although it’s performed by Junior Brown and his guit-steel, the lyrics are by show creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould with music by Dave Porter (composer of the Breaking Bad theme). On the downside, the video is only available in the US but you can listen to the song here.

The chords transfer very nicely to ukulele and there are a few tasty licks too.

Suggested Strumming

Here’s my favourite main strum:

d – d u d – d u d – d u d – d u

That’s just d – d u four times. That’ll see you most of the way through. There are a couple of places where the changes are quicker. For the A – C in the odd numbered verses and the E7 – D in the solos just do d – d u twice for each chord.

That’s pretty frenetic. So if you want something similar go for this:

d u – u – u – u

With the up strums short (stopping them just after you strum). Again, just split that in half for the quicker changes.

Twiddly Bits

There are a few simple but effective twiddles throughout the song. Here’s the little intro:


The little riff in the second half of the solo:


And the little run at the end:



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Breaking Bad theme tab

James Hill, Keston Cobblers: UkeTube

Full Playlist

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Friday Links: Ukulele Court Battle

The Uke Hunt t-shirts have passed their goal. So they’ll definitely be printed. A massive thanks to everyone who has ordered already. Still plenty of time if you want to order one. You can find them on Teespring.

New Releases

James Hill’s new album The Old Silo is out now. You can stream it here and download the opening track free here.
– The Staves are working with Justin ‘Bonnie Bear’ Vernon on their new album and you can listen to the first track from it here.


Drawing of an exceptionally handsome ukulele player.
Marion Davies and Lawrence Gray.
Play a Bari, Wear a Boa (c.1960).


The Rather Wonderful World of Chap Hop (via HermanVDC).
Tina Fey on ukulele (via Things I Saw That I Love).


Tyrone and Lesley’s Gentlemen’s Songbook has chords for a bunch of their songs. Including the much requested Unaccompanied.

Courtroom Drama

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain failed to get an injunction against The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra’s UK tour. More court battles to come. And it won’t be hard for the UOGB to find evidence of people who are confused. Here’s an exchange from TUKUO’s own Facebook a couple of weeks ago:

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 11.06.24Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 11.06.24 copy

No prizes for guessing who has played Helsinki.

Don’t even get me started on the People’s Ukulele Front of Great Britain. Splitters!

Alexander Wandrowsky – Canzone Danza

Alexander Wandrowsky – Canzone Danza

After posting this tune a few weeks ago on the UkeTube I immediately got a couple of tab requests. And Alexander “DerMitDerUkulele” Wandrowsky was kind enough to send me his tab. Two versions, in fact. The one above is in D tuning as it’s played in the video. And here’s one in F minor and played in standard tuning:

Alexander Wandrowsky – Canzone Danza in Fa Minore (Tab)

Quick warning: the chords here have been changed to match F minor but the standard notation is still in G minor.

My Version

Canzone Danza (Uke Hunt Version)(Tab)

I absolutely love this tune so I had to have a crack at my own arrangement.

I’m playing it in G minor but in C-tuning. I start of playing the tune campanella style. Then go into combining the melody and chords. Then back to the campanella style to rip through the tune at double(ish) speed.


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Uke Hunt T-Shirts


It’s Uke Hunt t-shirt season again! I’ve had a few requests for another run of the shirts. You can pre-order yours here.

I’m using Teespring again this year. It is sort of a Kickstart for t-shirts. So you put in an order for your shirt, if there are enough orders by the end of the campaign the shirts are made and sent out. You’re not charged until the end of the campaign (and you’re not charged at all if the shirt doesn’t reach its goal). This way of doing it means all the shirts are printed at once and exactly the right shirts and sizes are made.

So if you want one of the shirts they’ll only be available until 14th October. After that you’re all out of luck.

The system worked very well last time. My shirt came here (the UK) quickly and without any hassle. It’s nice quality and it’s still in good shape. You can see me modelling it in my recent videos.

The Shirts


There are two different styles. The standard fit American Apparel crew-neck (at the top of the post) and after a couple of requests for a v-neck the other is a Bella Missy slim fit (directly above). Both are $22 plus shipping.

This time you can combine the different shirts into one order. Just click ‘Reserve now’ then ‘Add another style’.

Pre-order both of them on this page.


Teespring is based in the US so shipping outside of that is more expensive and will take longer.

Domestic (United States): shipping $3.85 + $1.00 for each additional t-shirt. Your shirt will arrive within 7-14 days from the end of the campaign.

Domestic (Canada): $9.50 + $4.00 for each additional t-shirt. Your shirt will arrive within 14-21 days from the end of the campaign.

International Ahipping is $12.50 + $4.00 for each additional t-shirt. Your shirt will arrive within 14-21 days from the end of the campaign.

For more information on the shirts and the system take a look at Teespring’s FAQ.

The Smiths – Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want (Chords)

The Smiths – Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want (Tab)

I’ve written up a few Smiths songs in the past but there aren’t many Smiths songs that translate smoothly to the ukulele. This one is a rare exception. It’s a strumalong with some nice, jazzy chords.

Plus it’s been on a bunch of movie and TV soundtracks so people are bound to know it.

Suggested Strumming

It’s in 6/8 time so this strum should see you all the way through the song:

d – d u d –

When there are quicker chord changes just change half way through this pattern.

Twiddly Bits

Please, Please, Please (Outro Tab)

The song finishes up with a tremolo picked mandolin solo. You can do the same on ukulele if you like but I’ve gone with just picking each note once.



Buy it on iTunes
More Smiths tabs and chords

The Prettiots, Ben Ahn: UkeTube

Full Playlist

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Marko van der Horst: Friday Links

Very sad news this week that Marko van der Horst of The Uke Box and the Jumping Flea Circus has died at the age of 45. My thoughts are with Shelley and Marko’s family.


Jim Boggia is Patreoning his ukulele videos.


– Will “off of the UOGB” Grove-White’s ukulele book is now available for pre-order.
Ukulele Bartt’s book is out in paperback
Helen Arney Songbook :: free songs & PDF

New Releases

– Another magnificent record from the Keston Cobblers A Pocket Guide to Escaping.
thank goodness’s Echo Park 7″


Luthier roundtable with Gordon “Mya-Moe” Mayer, Rick Turner & Eric Devine.
“Unknown Chinese Variety Performer with a Ukelele (1925)”.


Custom Kanilea.
Where all music in vlogs comes from.
Holographic ukuleles (the effect is somewhat lost in pictures).

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