‘Ukulele tabs are a great way to learn songs. They are easy to use and don’t require any special music knowledge to read. All you need to be familiar with is the tune of the song, since rhythm isn’t something a tab can convey.
This page features several different tab formats: monospace font text document, the old-school way to achieve string lines and fret numbers with text characters; Powertab, an old freeware program that outputs tab along with the treble clef; and, finally, the program Guitar Pro, which creates high quality tabs with a variety of display options – my favorite.
Following are two sections of original and linked ‘ukulele tabs. The first features songs that you might hear in the islands – Hawaiian, Jawaiian, and Contemporary genres. The second is full of mainstream songs in the pop, rock, singer/songwriter, traditional and soundtrack genres.
>Looking for the chords to a song? They’ll most likely be on the ‘Ukulele Songs page.
‘Ukulele Tabs for Hawaiian Songs:
Ain’t No Way by Malino
‘Ama ‘ama by Isreal Kamakawiwo’ole (Instrumental version)
Bandito Tyler by Aldrine Guerrero*
Beachwalk by Herb Ohta Jr.
Country Road by Paula Fuga and Jack Johnson
Crazy G based on Jake’s live version*
Glass Ball Slack Key (Turkey in the Straw) by Brittni Paiva/Herb Ohta Jr.
Guava Jam by The Ka’au Crater Boys*
Hawai’i by Ohta-San (submitted by Glenn Reither)
Ho’onani I Ka Makua Mau (The Doxology) – Traditional
How Can I Get Over by Pure Heart*
Kiss You in the Morning by Kalaeloa
Ku’u Hoa by Robi Kahakalau*
Little Rock Getaway -Bryan Tolentino version*
Little Rock Getaway - Da ‘Ukulele Boyz version
Lovely Hula Hands by Troy Fernandez
Memories of You by Herb Ohta Jr.†
Pahala We Go by Herb Ohta Jr. and Daniel Ho
Pandanus by The Peter Moon Band
Sand Castles by Herb Ohta Jr. (note for note transcription)
Sand Castles by Herb Ohta Jr. (solo arrangement)
Sand Castles by Herb Ohta Jr.† (solo arr. by Herb Ohta Jr.)
Sophisticated Hula by Sol K. Bright*
TNC by Troy Fernandez*
Together by Herb Ohta Jr.
Touch – Jake Shimabukuro****
Uke Talk by James Hill*
Ukulele Boogie by Brittni Paiva
Picking Vamps - ‘Ukulele tabs for Hawaiian vamps in the keys of C, G, and F.
‘Ukulele Tabs for Non-Hawaiian Songs:
21 Guns by Green Day
Amazing Grace – Traditional (in harmonics – a la Victor Wooten)
Ave Maria - Traditional
Better Together by Jack Johnson
Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen by Carlos Santana
Breakdown by Jack Johnson*
Bugler’s Dream (Olympic Fanfare)
Casey Jones by The Grateful Dead††
China Grove by The Doobie Brothers (low G)
Csardas by Brittni Paiva
Daughters by John Mayer
Dreaming With A Broken Heart by John Mayer
Desperado by the Eagles*
Eucalipstick by James Hill*
Europa by Herb Ohta Jr.*
Every Breath You Take by The Police*
Going to California – Led Zeppelin*
Happy Birthday – Traditional
Heaven by the Los Lonely Boys
Here Comes the Sun by Jennifer Perri
I’m yours by Jason Mraz
If I Had Eyes by Jack Johnson
Imagine (Solo Arrangement) by John Lennon
Jeopardy - Theme show tune
King Without a Crown by Matisyahu
The Leaving of Liverpool (Solo fingerpicking arrangement) – Traditional
Love of my Life by Carlos Santana
Message in a Bottle by The Police
Misty - Erroll Garner (Solo arrangement)
Moondance by Van Morrison††
Nancy Spain (Solo fingerpicking arrangement) by Barney Rush
One Love by Bob Marley
Oye Como Va by Carlos Santana
Samba Pa Ti by Carlos Santana
Sir Duke as played by Herb Ohta Jr.
Somewhere Over The Rainbow – Arr. by Glenn Reither
Song for Cheri by James Hill*
Song of Storms from the Legend of Zelda video games
Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin (low G)
Star Wars: Main Theme and Vader’s March by John Williams
The Star Spangled Banner – Low G by Francis Scott Key*
Sunshine Of My Life by Stevie Wonder
Super Mario Bros. by Koji Kondo (all parts)
Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond††
Sweet Home Alabama as recorded by Lynyrd Skynyrd*
Tico Tico by Herb Ohta Jr. (low G)
While My Guitar Gently Weeps – Jake Shimabukuro****
Victory by Eric Johnson (low G)
Your Body is a Wonderland by John Mayer (low G)
A word of warning: While they are very convenient, tabs can quickly become the lazy way to learn a song. Remember that you can always learn more about the music by figuring the song out by ear.
Short ‘Ukulele Tabs/Intros/Ideas:
Sometimes I’ve got a piece of a song tabbed out for my own reference or students, but it’s not all the way finished. Instead of waiting to post it, I just put it up on a page of “‘ukulele tab excerpts”. Check it out for bits of “All Along the Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix, “One” by Metallica, “Living in Paradise” by Daniel Ho, and more!
Years ago when I was just starting out on the ‘ukulele, the number of tab books on the market could pretty much be counted on one hand. Nowadays ‘ukulele players have all kinds of options for buying books of high quality tablature. This is just a selection of the ones that have grabbed my attention.
- Grand ‘Ukulele by Jake Shimabukuro – Transcriptions of the whole album including songs like: Gentlemandolin, 143, and Rolling in the Deep.
- Peace, Love, Ukulele by Jake Shimabukuro - Includes tab for the songs: Bohemian Rhapsody, Bring You Adz, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Piano Forte, and more.
- IZ – The ‘Ukulele Songbook by Isreal Kamakawiwo’ole - Includes note-for-note transcriptions of White Sandy Beach, Hawai’i 78, Over the Rainbow, Wing Beneath my Wings, and more.
- Fingerstyle Solos for ‘Ukulele by Mark Nelson
- Discovering The ‘Ukulele – Semi-beginner lesson book with a selection of Hawaiian songs by Herb Ohta Jr. and Daniel Ho. Great layout and song presentation.
- Exploring The ‘Ukulele – Intermediate lesson book with a selection of Hawaiian songs by Herb Ohta Jr. and Daniel Ho. Great layout and song presentation.
Other ‘Ukulele Tab Related Stuff:
- How to figure out songs for yourself
- Blank ‘Ukulele Tab Sheet (for tabbing out your own songs)
- How to Read tab
- How to Use Powertab
- Powertab Legend
- Currently, I am creating my ‘ukulele tabs with Guitar Pro 6. It’s available on Amazon for $35 and is worth every penny. GP6 gives you lots of options to configure the look and feel of your tab all while maintaining a very professional and clean end product. I highly recommend it if you are constantly making tabs and want an easy to use program that creates high quality tabs.
- Tabs in text documents are created in Word or notepad using a monospace font like Courier New.
- Pre-December 2012 tabs were made with Powertab editor 1.7.
While I wish I was as productive at making ‘ukulele tabs as it looks from this page, alas I am not. Many of the tabs included here are links to other people’s awesome work.
* – ‘Ukulele Tabs transcribed by Dominator – The King of Tabs!
**** – ‘Ukulele Tabs transcribed by Edmund Whitehead
† – ‘Ukulele Tabs courtesy of Herb Ohta Jr. – Thanks Uncle!
†† - ’Ukulele Tabs by Jeromy Renynolds