Monthly Archives: September 2020

Summer of 69 – Bryan Adams

It’s the feel-good hit of the previous century this time folks. It might seem easy peasy, with just four chords making up the bulk of the song – but there are a few subtleties in this one. That riff for a start… I’ve finally found a way to play it on the uke that I’m happy with. And then you have the bridge – whatever key you play this song in, either the verse or the bridge will use chords that you don’t like…

However, it’s a lot of fun to play!

Somewhere Only We Know – Keane

Keane’s nostalgic hit, from a piano based band, works actually pretty well on the uke. The original key of A might force you to learn a few chords that we don’t use all that often on the uke, and you’re gonna have to make peace with some barre chords to play this.

You can follow the chords in the chord chart if you want a slightly simplified chord progression, but if you listen to the piano in the original, almost none of these chords stay in one play for long, there are sus4s and maj7ths all over the shop. Check out the tab for the full progression details.

Here’s the tutorial
And here’s the full arrangement

Space Oddity – David Bowie

Well that was more work than I thought… This one was a lot of fun but took a long time to record. It’s definitely a challenge for a beginner uke player – with lots of chords, an unpredictable structure, and some little riffs and rhythms that take a bit of practice. Worth it though…

Here’s the chord chart and some tabs for the tricky bits:

Here’s the livestreamed tutorial
https://youtu.be/MPGXL0oxSwI

Patience – Take That

In 2009, Nicky Wire of the Manic Street Preachers hailed “Patience” as:

“the greatest comeback single in history. If Neil Young had written it, people would be calling it a masterpiece.”

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2009/aug/17/pop-hidden-gems-take-that

It’s good pop. It has simple enough chords (with a couple of curveballs to keep you on your toes) but it’s the melody that shines for me. Plus, when you realise it shares the chorus chord sequence with 100+ other pop songs, it’s a no brainer to learn…

The original is in Gm, but I’ve written this arrangement in Em. If you want to play along with Take That, stick a capo on the third fret of the uke.

I’ve done a picking pattern for the verses, although it doesn’t match the guitar part very closely, it does add a bit of interest.

Here is the tutorial livestream
Here is my version of the arrangement (joined by Sofia)