Learning Tab on Your Uke — here’s a fun place to start

Have you tried fooling around with tablature on your ukulele?

Tab is a easy way to depict which exact notes to play on the uke. Like standard notation, the tabs can represent the melody of the song, or the chords, or a riff–anything that can be show in standard notation can be shown in tab, but for us string players, with more precision.

Most beginner tab you’ll find can be pretty boring–usually just the single note melody line for you to pick out. That’s fine if you’re really just starting and need to get the hang of it.

But the fun begins…

…when you can start combining the melody line while continuing to keep the strumming accompaniment going. You become a one-man band, with two interesting things happening at the same time. That’s what you can try today with this sweet old Hawaiian song, Alona Waltz. (By the way, this will be an entire unit of the upcoming Strumming Intensive video course. You can get on the early bird list using this form here.)

How to Get Started

First, download the song sheet by clicking on the image.

This tab is an old-fashioned style with a few symbols you may not be used to seeing. But if you’re familiar with tab, you should be able to make sense of most of it. The main point here, is not the tab itself, but the fact the melody is being played at on the first string at the same time the full chord is being strummed. Give it a try–it’s a lovely sound!

And what to do next

It’s a little bit of stretch to understand how to play the chords and the melody at the same time. So if you need help with that, I’ve put together a “post upgrade” (it’s free), with two quick videos that will walk you through the process (a demo and a tutorial). Just CLICK HERE to go through to the tutorial.

Enjoy! This is a fun technique that can have a big impact on your playing.

See also: Ukulele Sheet Music Songs and Tabs

Comments on Learning Tab on Your Uke — here’s a fun place to start

  1. Didy Niederreiter says:

    I enjoy this intro to chord-melody piece. Could you refer me, or could i purchase a song book of only chord-melody songs? If not, please mail more of the same? Many thanks.

    1. Danno says:

      This one from Jumpin’ Jim has a lot of great songs, including several chord melody arrangments.

      I’ve got some others in my collection which I’ll try to trickle out over time 🙂

  2. Mark Hannum says:

    Nice to have

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