ʻUkulele Tabs: Fingerpicking Tablature for 60+ Uke Arrangements

ʻUkulele tabs are a study in simplicity. With just fours lines and some numbers, anybody – regardless of musical knowledge – can make sense of uke tablature.

A huge advantage that tablature has over standard music notation is that there is very little learning curve. The hardest part of understanding ʻukulele tabs usually has to do with orientation.

If you’re new to reading tablature, check out this guide to reading tab and understanding the lines, numbers, and symbols.

To quickly get started, the main thing you need to know is that the top line of a tab represents the A-string and the bottom line represents the G-string. The C and E-strings sit between. Numbers placed on those lines show which fret to press down and are read left to right. (“0” means open string.)

how to read ukulele tab infographic

Anytime you see stacked numbers you should play them simultaneously as a chord.

In each section, the tablature for a song is color-coded by difficulty:

Easy
These tabs have basic single note melodies, sometimes interspersed with simple chords.
Intermediate
Middle of the road ʻukulele tabs with more intricate lines, double stops, and techniques.
Hard
Difficult melodies, complex chord integration, note-for-note transcriptions, and subtlety.

ʻUkulele tabs marked with “lead sheet” are Guitar Pro transcriptions of the melody, words (if applicable), and chords.

Tunes marked with “solo arrangement” include the melody interlaced with the chords, intended to be played by a single player and imply harmony and lead simultaneously. These are my own interpretations, not necessarily a transcription of a specific performance. I try to keep them as simple as possible because I feel that it’s easier to add your own flavor than to sift through someone else’s style.

Note-for-note transcriptions” are ʻukulele tabs of a specific recording and transcribed as accurately as possible.

Rock/Pop ʻUkulele Tabs:

These songs can often be found elsewhere, but not necessarily arranged or tabbed for ʻukulele. My interpretations follow.

21 Guns – Solo Arrangement
Green Day
China Grove
The Doobie Brothers (Low G)
El Condor Pasa – Lead sheet
Simon and Garfunkel
Europa – Lead transcription & chords
Carlos Santana
Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue – Solo Arrangement
The California Ramblers
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Lead sheet
Elton John
Mack The Knife – Lead sheet
Bobby Darin
Moondance – Lead sheet
Van Morrison††
Puff The Magic Dragon – Lead sheet & solo arrangement
Peter, Paul, and Mary
Samba Pa Ti – Lead sheet
Carlos Santana
Stairway to Heaven – Guitar parts
Led Zeppelin (low G)
Tennessee Waltz – Lead sheet
Bonnie Raitt and Norah Jones
Victory – Lead sheet
Eric Johnson (low G)

ʻUkulele/Hawaiian Instrumentals:

These are tabs that are mostly notated exactly as recorded by the ʻukulele player in the description below each link. The songs found here mostly feature ʻukulele as the lead instrument.

Beachwalk – Note-for-note transcription
Herb Ohta Jr.
Body Surfing – Note-for-note transcription
Ohta-San
Glass Ball Slack Key – Note-for-note transcription
Brittni Paiva/Herb Ohta Jr.
Hawai’i
Ohta-San‡
Little Rock Getaway – Note-for-note transcription
Da ʻUkulele Boyz
Memories of You – Solo arrangement
Herb Ohta Jr.†
Olinda Road – Note-for-note transcription
HAPA
Pahala We Go – Note-for-note transcription
Herb Ohta Jr. & Daniel Ho
Sand Castles – Note-for-note transcription/Solo arrangement
Herb Ohta Jr.
Song For Shelly – Note-for-note transcription
Brad Bordessa
Together – Note-for-note transcription
Herb Ohta Jr.
Ukulele Boogie – Note-for-note transcription
Brittni Paiva

Hawaiian:

General purpose Hawaiian songs with lyrics are filed here.

Aloha ‘Oe – Solo Arrangement
Queen Lili’uokalani
E Ku’u Morning Dew – Solo Arrangement
Eddie Kamae (Low G)
Island Style – Lead sheet
John Cruz
Lovely Hula Hands – Note-for-note transcription
Troy Fernandez
Maori Brown Eyes – Lead sheet
Palolo
Pandanus – Note-for-note transcription
The Peter Moon Band
Somewhere Over The Rainbow/Wonderful World – Solo Arrangement
Isreal Kamakawiwo’ole (IZ)

Jazz/Bossa:

All of Me – Solo arrangement
Frank Sinatra/Ella Fitzgerald
Manha De Carnaval – Lead sheet
Luiz Bonfa
Misty – Solo Arrangement
Erroll Garner
Wave – Lead sheet
Antonio Carlos Jobim

Reggae ʻUkulele Tabs:

King Without a Crown – Note-for-note transcription
Matisyahu
One Love – Lead sheet
Bob Marley

Soundtrack/Themes:

Cavatina
(low G version) | Stanley Myers‡
Jeopardy – Lead sheet
Merv Griffin
M*A*S*H Theme – Lead sheet
Johnny Mandel
Star Wars: Main Theme/Vader’s March – Note-for-note transcription
John Williams/Uke Duke
Super Mario Bros. – Note-for-note transcription
Koji Kondo

Folk/World:

Csardas – Note-for-note transcription
Brittni Paiva
The Leaving of Liverpool – Solo Arrangement
Traditional
Nancy Spain – Solo Arrangement
Barney Rush
Rose of Allandale – Solo Arrangement (low-G)
Mary Black
Streets of London – Solo Arrangement (low-G)
Ralph McTell
Tarantella Napoletana – Lead sheet
Traditional (Low G) (High g version)
Since so many of the folk songs people make ʻukulele tabs for are in the public domain, it’s pretty easy to find high quality, professional transcriptions. (Other genres are always at risk of being taken down on copyright grounds.)

Ken Middleton is as effective an arranger as anybody and has a collection of free bluegrass and Celtic style tabs available. He’s also published a few eBooks of transcriptions.

Classical:

Canon (in C & D) – Lead sheet
Johann Pachelbel
PDF Minstrel provides a selection of great classical ʻukulele tabs.

Traditional:

– Lead sheet

– Lead sheet

Take Me Out To The Ball Game – Solo Arrangement
You Are My Sunshine – Solo Arrangement

Christmas:

Mele Kalikimaka – Lead sheet
Bing Crosby/Jimmy Buffett/Don Ho/Blue Hawaiians/etc…

Credits:

  • – Tab by Herb Ohta Jr.
  • †† – Tab by Jeromy Renynolds
  • – Tab by Glenn Reither

These ʻukulele tabs are in PDF format created with Guitar Pro, Powertab, or good ol’ Microsoft Word.

Where to Find More Free ʻUkulele Tabs

There are lots of user-sourced tab sites that get a ton of traffic. Be aware that these tabs can have quality that varies with the skill of the transcriber. If something just doesn’t sound right, it probably isn’t. Move on to the next thing.

That said, there are lots of really great sources of free ʻukulele tabs out there! My favorites for top-notch transcriptions are:

  • Dominator’s Ukulele Tabs – Dom was one of the first guys posting note-for-note transcriptions online. Some of his stuff is VERY advanced if you need a challenge. Mostly Hawaiian and popular songs.
  • Ukulele Hunt – Al Wood does a good job covering riffs and intros/outros for a lot of pop/punk/rock songs. They usually include video examples/tutorials.

Other Tab Articles/Resources

Here are some links to information regarding how to read tab and other related articles.

Converting guitar and high/low-G tabs to the tuning you play in – How to shift the numbers around so you can play a tab that isn’t necessarily meant for your tuning.

How to Figure Out Songs – Being able to ear out a song is a very valuable skill. Here are some tips for DIY songs.

How to Read ʻUkulele Tabs – ʻUkulele tabs aren’t hard to figure out, but you need to know what you’re looking at to make sense of them.

Short ʻukulele tab snippets, Intros, Ideas – Excerpts from songs that aren’t complete, but worth sharing.

Blank Tab Sheets

Create your own ʻukulele tabs! Quickly notate the notes to a song, picking part, chord sequence, arpeggio, scale, etc…

Use the standard notation version for relating notes on the fretboard to their pitches as they appear on the staff. Great for notating fingers on tab and note duration on the staff.

Blank Tablature

Blank Tablature and Standard Notation

By Brad Bordessa

I’m an ‘ukulele artist from Honoka’a, Hawai’i, where I run this site from a little plantation house in the jungle. I’ve taught workshops internationally, made Herb Ohta Jr. laugh until he cried, and once borrowed a uke to jam with HAPA onstage in my boardshorts. More about me

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