“Don’t Be Like That” ukulele song tutorial

This is one of my all-time favorite songs to play on the uke–it’s saucy, silly, and catchy, all at the same time.

There’s a nice technique you can use to avoid the dreaded SSS–“Sameness of Strumming Syndrome,” and that’s to add a bit of the melody into your playing.

Most instruction will tell you to move your chords around so you can always have the melody on the first string. But, as you’ll see in the tutorial video below, you can also coax melody out of the fourth string–thanks to our ukulele tuning (with a high note on top and bottom).

First up: here’s a video from the pros, Harry Reeser and his orchestra:

(vocals don’t kick in ’til about 0:46).

I am also partial to this version by Helen Kane:

Now, what about you? Ready to give this song a try?

I’ve got two downloads for you.

First is the original sheet music from the 1920s (that’s Helen Kane again on the cover). You can use this link to download.

Also, here is a much simpler version of the sheet music, which is what I’m using for my version and the tutorial.

Download those and then let’s give it a try.

Here’s a quick demo of how I play it, with a little instrumental opening.

Now the chords and lyrics are on the lead sheet (simplified version), so grab that to follow along.

Now here’s where we’re going with this thing:

As uke players, the simplicity of the instrument–the very thing that makes it fun to play–also makes it potentially DULL to listen to.

One thing you can do to add some interest, it add in some melody notes while still keeping the strum going!

Now this next video is just a quick overview, to give you a few ideas on this.

But give it a try–you might be surprised how simple it can be to add in this next level of fun to your playing.

Extracting the melody from an unexpected place–the 4th string!–

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