Author Archives: aquifer

Hotel California – The Eagles

Consistently voted best guitar solo of all time, this was harder than I thought to adapt for the uke. The chords work better by stepping everything down a whole tone to Am, and the solo is possible on the uke with a few modifications – but the harmony parts really suffer from lack of sustain – and you need a large group of ukesters to pull this one off live!

Fly Me To The Moon

A gem of a melody and chord sequence from 1954, originally in 3/4 but put into 4/4 for Frank Sinatra’s version. This arrangement of mine puts it into Dm (it just fitted my voice better!) and will give you a few new chord shapes to think about…

Performance Video
Tutorial

A Million Dreams – The Greatest Showman

I arranged this 2 years ago for the 25th Anniversary of Macclesfield Music Centre – for ukulele, french horn, piano and choir – it worked surprisingly well – so here’s a homemade version.

https://youtu.be/YWHu8mMFc38

True Colours – Cyndi Lauper

I’ve based this arrangement on the original Cyndi Lauper version, but there are numerous other excellent versions out there. I’ve moved the key to Em, in an attempt to find a way to play the opening piano riff on the uke. That’s the trickiest bit of the song, although the strumming patterns might give you a few hesitations, as there’s lots of anticipated chords in the chorus.

And So It Goes – Billy Joel

A lovely lovely song, if you like this sort of thing (which I do). It works best on piano, can be done well on the guitar, but the uke is tough for this one – you can’t just bash the chords out here… So – there’s no chord chart this time – you’ll have to use the tab – but it’s not too difficult – just a little adventurous! There are really only two sections to learn… and we’re in C so the shapes are familiar.

The Cave – Mumford and Sons

You’ll need Am, C, F and G – that’s it.

Four chords is all you need to play this – and if you’ve been playing for more than a week – you’ve probably already learned them! However, don’t dismiss it as too easy – it’s got palm mutes, fingerpicking, fast lead lines, and *that* superfast strum pattern that Mumford and Sons are known for… hold on to your banjos – here we go…

The original is in E – played on an open-D tuned guitar with a capo on fret 2. If you want to play along with the original using this chord chart, put your capo on fret 4 of the uke. I’ve kept it in C to make it easy to jam along with but it nearly ended up too low for me!

Merry Xmas Everybody

This song has been listened to by 42% of the world’s population. Possibly. Wow.

(PRS for Music – https://www.theregister.com/Print/2009/12/14/merry_xmas_everybody/)

There are a few twists and turns in this – I’ve moved it to the key of C from the original G which is quite a change, but it makes it a bit more straightforward on the uke. You will need some Eb chords and a Gm, but otherwise it’s plain sailing for ukesters familiar with the key of C major. Got to work on your swing strum though.

It’s very nearly Christmas – and although I do love a sad song, this song might make you smile instead (or scream, possibly) – have a great Christmas everyone.

Performance
Tutorial