Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells (Redux) (Tab)

Richard Durrant’s planned collaborative performance of Tubular Bells at Wukulele next week had me going back to my arrangement of it and the accompanying comments about how dumb I am because there are easier ways to play it. Well, I always listen to my readers. I’ve gone back, reworked it and come up with a more difficult way to play it.

Campanella Version

Tubular Bells (Tab)

This time I’ve arranged it campanella style (so there’s one note per string) which seems appropriate since we’re talking about bells. It’s really important that you keep all the notes ringing into each other. So your index finger needs to be glued to the C string and your pinkie on the E string.

Campanella Version (MP3)

Easy Version

Tubular Bells (Easy Version)(Tab)

I’ve never quite understood the big deal about easy when it comes to music. The most common uke-related question on Yahoo Answers is, “How easy is it to play?” It’d be nice if, just once, someone asked, “Can I use the ukulele to wordlessly express the very core of my being?” or, “Can a ukulele make a sound that will bring great men to tears at the revelation of the fragility of perfect beauty?”

But if you must have an easy version, here you go. Just know that you’re the reason fairies die.

Easy Version (MP3)


Arch Larizza has sent me his version of the riff:

Tubular Bells (Arch Version)

The time signature he uses is much easier to count out. But it does mean the E note moves about in the bar (which fries my brain and ends in me screwing it up). It’s a matter of personal preference which way you prefer to think of it.

When I’m counting this out I think:

1 and 2 and 3 and a

For the 7/8 and this for the 9/8:

1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and a

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