Cabral Estudos Part 3: God Save the Queen, Rule Britannia (Machete Tab)

It’s the big day tomorrow. Prince William finally makes Ken Middleton his bride. He’s always been royalty in our eyes.

As luck would have it, the Cabral machete method that I’ve been covering has two tunes appropriate to the occasion (read Part 1 and Part 2 of the series if you’ve no idea what I’m on about). Quite why a Madeiran machete method would dedicate two tunes to UK anthems I’m not sure.

Both these pieces are written for machete tuning DGBD (an octave above the baritone and with a low-D string and the E-string tuned down to D). But both of them sound great played with a standard ukulele with the A-string tuned down to G (so it’s the same pitch as the g-string).

God Save the Queen

God Save the Queen (Tab)

As an atheist, republican with no desire to crush the Scottish, I have problems with this being the national anthem. I’d much prefer a song with a sentiment everyone can get behind like this one.

One thing I’m unsure of in this tab: the second chord in bar 3. I’m pretty sure I’ve written it up correctly but it sounds very discordant. Even more so in re-entrant tuning. Play it with an, “I know it sounds like shit and I don’t care,” attitude and you’ll get away with it (or pretty much anything).

Here it is played on a standard- uke tuned gCEG:

God Save the Queen (MP3)

Rule Britannia

Rule Britannia (Tab)

In Manuel Morais‘s Colecção de Peças para Machete (well worth buying if you’re interested in this stuff) he says that an open bracket shape in the standard notation indicates that the chord is strummed down with the thumb. Which is the way I’ve written it up. But I didn’t play it that way. To play bar 16 that way is going to require some very nifty thumb work. Instead I went the easy way and used my fingers to pluck all the notes. Not authentic, but neither is playing it on a ukulele. Here’s the result:

Rule Britannia (MP3)

Creative Commons License
These pieces with arrangements by Manuel Joaquim Monteiro Cabral; and tab and audio by are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

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