The Clash – Should I Stay or Should I Go (Chords)

The Clash – Should I Stay or Should I Go (Chords)

Quick word of advice: If you’re in a situation where staying is trouble, bad as that may be, if leaving is double the amount of trouble then it’s clearly better to stay. No need for a song and dance about it.

I’ve been enjoying the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain’s new all-punk album (Ever Such) Pretty Girls recently. And it’s inspired me to do some UK punk and new wave this week. (Related fact: UOGB’s Kitty Lux used to be in a punk band called Severed Head and the Neck Fuckers.)

To play along with the UOGB you can use the same chords but with a capo on the first fret for the version on Pretty Girls. Or on the second fret for the live version on Anarchy in the Ukulele.

Suggested Strumming

In the intro, verse and break the chords are broken up into sections of three (e.g. D-G-D). On those, do this for the first chord:

– u d u

This for the middle chord:

d u d u

And just one down strum for the last chord.

The one exception is the A chord where you combine all the strums on the A to give you:

– u d u d u d u d

In the choruses double up the speed of your strumming to use this strum:

d – d u – u d –

Once for the first and second chord in each batch and twice for the third. Again, combine the strums together for the A chord.

Twiddley Bit

The bass riff works well on the ukulele and is played on the lead uke in the UOGB version.

Here’s a tab for low-G tuning that also includes the guitar noises in the intro:

A video posted by @ukulelehunt on



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More punk tabs and chords

Scampi, Vanessa Ding: UkeTube

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Friday Links

– Following on from last time’s firewood ukulele a ukulele made out of wood reclaimed from a barn.
– Better call Saul about this Lichty cocobolo baritone.
– The earliest electric ukulele I know of the Gibson ETU3 (1949). They didn’t quite have the aesthetics down.
Shimo Ukulele Mania.
Swiss cheese Cheezy ukulele.

Ukulele Go reviews Ukulele Aerobics.

New ukulele exhibit at Oahu’s Polynesian Cultural Center. If you happen to be in the area.

NPR chats with ukulele duo Songs from a Random House (via Ukulelia).

Another beautiful ukulele track from The Staves: Roses on their new EP Sleeping in a Car.

Tallest Man on Earth – King of Spain (Tab)

Tallest Man on Earth – King of Spain (Tab)

I did a tab for the intro of King of Spain a few years ago. But I love that song and had to extend it out into a full instrumental version of the song. The song can be played with mostly strums and barrels along at a good pace so it’s perfect for a ukeing.


I’m using open-F tuning to mimic the open-C version of the original. You get that by tuning the g-string down to F and the E string up to F.

The main chords used are F (0000 and 0003), Dm (0200), Bb (0201) and Cadd11 (0403).

Trickiest Bit

In bar 5 there’s a chord played with 7th fret harmonics. If you’re having trouble hitting that cleanly try playing the harmonics at the 12th fret. There’s more room for error there and you get the same effect.

Other than that I’d recommend barrelling along with it and not worrying to much about the occasional flub (as demonstrated in my version).


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Uke Hunt is Nine: Review of the Year

It’s Uke Hunt’s ninth birthday tomorrow. According to WebMD 9 year olds, “recognize basic social norms and appropriate behavior”. So this might be your last chance to read puerile, offensive posts like these (although I wouldn’t bet on it):

May 2015

Easy alternatives to chnking.

In tabs: Celebrating Eurovision with France Gall’s Poupee de Cire, Poupee de Son.
In chords: Percy Sledge’s When a Man Love a Woman and, continuing the Eurovision theme, ABBA’s Waterloo.

June 2015

– The best ways to use a pick on a ukulele.
Ukulele flamethrower.

In tabs: If I Had You and David Beckingham’s takes on Leo Kottke and Bent Fabric.
In chords: Elliott Smith’s Waltz #2 (XO) and ukulele scremo phenomenon twenty one pilots’ We Don’t Believe What’s on TV.

July 2015

Best theme tune tabs.
A video history of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

In tabs: A whole bunch of theme tunes and I ventured into tabbing for multiple ukuleles with a UOGBesque version of Miserlou.
In chords: UOGB’s take on Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights and songs from Steven Universe.

September 2015

Happy Birthday to You finally got released from the fraudulent clutches of Warner/Chappell and I celebrated with chords and two tabs of the tune.
– I set up a new system for rating ukuleles in the ukulele review section which produced a list of the top 10 rated ukuleles. Kamaka and KoAloha have, not altogether surprisingly, been fighting it out at the top. At the time of writing Kamaka are ahead by 0.02 of a point of KoAloha and Mya-Moe in second place. If you want to have your say, find your uke in this list of ukulele makes and rate away.
– I started doing short video tabs on Instagram.
The big ukulele chord quiz.

In tabs: An instrumental version of Tiptoe Through the Tulips and Gwent Flute Song from The Witcher 3.
In chords: I was surprised by how successful The Libertines’ reformation was and did Don’t Look Back into the Sun.

October 2015

– For Halloween some spooky ukulele sounds and a roundup of spine-chilling songs.
– The most iconic strumming patterns.

In tabs: After years of trying to get a version I liked, I finally finished an arrangement of Dave Brubeck’s Take Five. Plus a group arrangement of the Ghostbusters theme ,a medley of songs from the Back to the Future trilogy and Schubert’s Die Furelle.
In chords: Adele’s stunning comeback Hello and Hall & Oates’ Rich Girl.

November 2015

– The easiest ways to improve your playing.
UkeTube Paris special.

In tabs: Penguin Cafe Orchestra’s ukulele-cuatro duet Paul’s Dance and the theme to 90s British sitcom Men Behaving Badly.
In chords: Eagles of Death Metal’s I Want You So Hard and The Smiths’ Unhappy Birthday.

December 2015

– The best (and worst) of ukuleles in 2015.
2015 ukulele quiz.

In tabs: Winter Wonderland and Seven rock riffs including White Stripes, Weezer and CCR.
In chords: Everything Stays from Adventure Time and The Pretenders’ 2000 Miles.

February 2016

– The second edition of my book Ukulele for Dummies was released with new chapters and digital downloads.
Ukulele festivals 2016.

In tabs: Best Bowie intros. Jonathan Lewis shared a tab of Loftus Jones from his Irish Tunes for Campanella Ukulele ebook.
In chords: Bowie’s Life on Mars and Hoagy Carmichael’s I Get Along Without You Very Well.

March 2016

How to make ukulele tabs with Guitar Pro.

In tabs: Damien Rice’s 9 Crimes, Sufjan Stevens’s Death with Dignity and Langtree’s Lament from Over the Garden Wall.
In chords: The Pogues’ If I Should Fall from Grace with God and Chris Stapleton’s Tennessee Whiskey.

April 2016

Prince’s favourite chord trick
A look at ukulele capos.
– New Zealand ukulele legend Bill Sevesi passed away.

In tabs: Top five Prince riffs and the Neko Atsume theme.
In chords: Prince’s How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore and The Rolling Stones’ Sympathy for the Devil.

PWR BTTM – I Wanna Boi (Chords)

PWR BTTM – I Wanna Boi (Chords)

It’s so good to have a rock band around that are fun and look like they’re having a good time.

The chords for this one are dead simple. The only slightly tricky bit is the chromatic move down from C to A (which is going to remind of that bit in that Fratellis song forever more). If you want to simplify that bit you can play a standard C chord then just play single notes on the second then first frets of the A-string (in place of the B and Bb chords respectively) then play an A chord.

Suggested Strumming

You can start off with just one down-strum per chord in the first verse. Then use this as the main strum:

d – d – d u d u

You can use that for everything but the C-B-Bb-A move where you can do one down-strum per chord.

Twiddly Bits

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Here’s a ukulele version of the song’s solo:



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She Makes War, Bud Sugar: UkeTube

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Bill Sevesi: Friday Links

Kiwi ukulele legend Bill Sevesi has died. YouTube has the documentary Bill Sevesi’s Dream featuring the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra and some lovely playing from the man himself.

– A new Garfunkel and Oates special is out next week on Vimeo. You can pre-order it here.
– You can watch all of Finland’s Pieni ukulelefestivaali here.

New Releases
– The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain has new album of traditional folk tunes coming out on May 1st. You can pre-order and listen to clips on their website.
– New EP from Brit Rodriguez: How to Burn.

Mark Roberts T-16 Archtop tenor.
Making a ukulele out of firewood.

Not Ukulele
– The Surprisingly Awesome podcast has an unsurprisingly awesome episode on the circle of fifths.
– I turned to the darkside this week and made a guitar tab. It’s for the theme to Firewatch Stay in Your Tower and Watch. Here’s how the tab sounds.

Top Prince Riffs

To end up my Prince tribute week here’s a collection of his best guitar and keyboard riffs.

Let’s Go Crazy

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I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man

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The Bangles – Manic Monday

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Prince – Gett Off

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Prince – I Wanna Be Your Lover

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Prince’s Favourite Chord Trick

Prince wrote some of the greatest chord progressions in all pop music. He had all sorts of tricks up his sleeve. But he really loved to use 9 and add9 chords. They’re peppered all over his songs and it’s well worth adding them to your own bag of tricks.

Prince’s most iconic use of the chord is the E9 in Kiss:


He often used it where you might expect a 7 chord e.g. at the end of a chord progression to create tension and propel the progression back to the beginning. But while 7 chords are strident, 9 chords are more diffident and melancholy.

For example, he used F9 at the chord progression in the verses of How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore?:


Call Me Progression

And a D9 the end of the little cadence leading into The Most Beautiful Girl in the World:


The Most Beautiful Progression

But the best use of them ever has to be in Purple Rain. In that song he used 9 chords at the start and end of the progression:


Purple Progression

As always with chord progressions, if you hear something you like feel free to steal it and make it your own. You wouldn’t be the first to do it with this tune. Take the F chord out and you have Mayonaise by Smashing Pumpkins:


Mayonaise Progression

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