View Full Version : Bach Tunes?

01-22-2018, 09:54 AM
Hey all. I'm new here so please excuse me if I missed something somewhere in the forum.

I looked around and couldn't find much in the way of Bach tunes for ukulele. I've learned the prelude from his cello suite and I'm looking for some more of his works to learn. I'm specifically looking for his prelude in E major.

Does anyone have any suggestions for great resources for classical ukulele?


01-22-2018, 10:39 AM
Try samanthamuir.com I think it's also known as iloveclassicalukelele.com

Croaky Keith
01-22-2018, 10:52 AM
Welcome aboard. :)

Google will bring up some hits if you put in 'classical ukulele'.

01-23-2018, 02:04 AM
Welcome to UU.
I am a cello player so I am always looking for classical cello pieces to play on ukulele.
One solution I found was to actually dedicate an ukulele to be tuned like a cello, CGDA tuning. Aquila makes a set for Soprano and Concert each. I have a Concert uke tuned in that. It has been working great for me. Now I can play ALL my cello pieces on ukulele. The fretted fingerboard also helps me visualize the more difficult cello pieces when I am high up on the cello neck.
Hope it helps.

gilles T
01-23-2018, 08:14 AM
Hello Johandly,

And welcome to the wonderful world of Bach addicts...
Since you don't tell us if you play re-entrant or linear tuning, here are the two options.
For re-entrant tuning, Thomas Preece did a great job, transcribing no less than 17 pieces from the cello suites. There are some minor typos, very easy to correct, and the arrangements make great use of campanellas, in a very effective way but sometimes resulting in too many overtones — once again, since you have bot staff + tabs, you can easily tweak some minor things to fit your taste. here's the link : https://preecemusic.com/product/selections-from-the-bach-cello-suites-e-book/

For linear tuning, our fellow member Jordi Vives did a wonderful job on the same cello suites, and also transcribed the famous chaconne for solo violin — be aware this one is awfully difficult, but it's worth trying. Here's the link to the scores :https://www.scoreexchange.com/profiles/jvives

This should keep you busy for one or two lifetimes, but it's a well spent time.
Hope this helps,

01-23-2018, 08:36 AM
Hi, have you already studied the book "The Classical Ukulele" by John King? In there you can find a couple of Bach pieces arranged in "a cappella" style you might like.

John King himself recorded the album "Johann Sebastian Bach: Partita No. 3, BWV 1006 For Unaccompanied Ukulele" which you can find on deezer and (I guess) Spotify too and it is pretty impressive.

01-23-2018, 08:38 AM
Gilles - thank you so much for your post. I had no idea we had so many options;)

Beth (aka TobyDog)

gilles T
01-23-2018, 10:08 AM
Hello Beth,

My pleasure; you're welcome.
In the meantime, I found that you can legally download for free the Preece collection on IMSLP (click "arrangements and transcriptions" and scroll down to "ukulele") :

01-24-2018, 04:07 AM
UkeJordi has transcribed a bunch of Bach for ukulele. There's also a Hal Leonard book of simple Bach arrangements. A few are quite lovely.
Chief Noda has several free arrangements on his site.

01-24-2018, 06:48 AM
If you can read sheet music and you string and tune your ukulele in fifths (or keep a dedicated instrument with fifths tuning), then the world of Bach is your oyster. The cello suites and violin partitas and sonatas are all readily available online from multiple sources as free downloads. Since they were written for instruments that are tuned in fifths, you wouldn't need any arrangements, and you could decide your own fingerings, etc. as they best suit you as a player.

I'm a violist in real life, and both my ukuleles are tuned in fifths, since one of my primary interests is playing Bach. But you probably knew that from my avatar. ;)