View Full Version : Playing guitar tabs on the ukulele

06-02-2008, 04:30 PM

I was wondering about playing songs using guitar tabs on a ukulele. How does that work? I've tried to play Brazilian songs on the uke using guitar tabs I've found online and it doesn't sound good... it doesn't flow the same as when I pick up the guitar and play the same chords. So I was wondering if there is a way to translate it onto the uke to make it flow better, you know.

Many thanks.


06-02-2008, 05:28 PM
its easier if you just use a capo on the 5th fret on the guitar that way the bottom 4 strings(DGBE)becomes GCEA

06-02-2008, 06:27 PM
But then I'd be playing the ukulele on the guitar, it's not exactly what I want. It's the other way around, I want to play guitar tabs on the ukulele.

06-02-2008, 06:28 PM
In my experience, you can generally take a guitar chord progression and play the same chords on the uke and you'll get the song you're aiming for. The trick is finding the correct inversion of the chord that works with the song!

This is a pretty good place to start for learning different inversions of ukulele chords: http://www.ezfolk.com/uke/chords/

If you're trying to play actual tabs, that is individual notes, from guitar to uke...well, that won't quite work. You'd have to transcribe from guitar to uke, which just requires knowing how the notes correspond or a good ear :)

Hope that helps a little...

06-02-2008, 10:46 PM
3 ways I do it are:

1. play the guitar tabs 5 frets down. For example 7th fret E string on guitar would be the 2nd fret A string on uke.
The note will be the same.

2. Read the notes. An E note is still an E note. I do this when I play 'Blackbird'http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZ8HzS44EtE
It's in the key of G I play it as written.

3. Just play the guitar tabs only on the top four strings using the same frets. 1st fret is 1st fret. You will change the key but you can still play it. I do this when I play 'Time After Time' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-gCTXtgMDE
It's in C but I play it in the key of F.

Hope that makes sense.

06-03-2008, 02:55 AM
By tabs I meant chords... I am trying to learn the chords for the song on the uke, here it is if anyone's interested: http://www.911tabs.com/link/?1619169

Thanks guys! It is making sense... the puzzle's coming together in my head. I haven't tried playing it with other chord variations or on another key yet but I'm excited to give a shot.

06-03-2008, 10:54 AM
There's really no puzzle involved in your question. Just look up the fingerings for the same chords on the ukulele and you should be fine.

06-03-2008, 11:20 AM
sometimes i play fingerstyle guitar tabs ontop da ukulele, by jus ignoring da 5th and 6th strings on da tab. works good. sometimes da hi-g makes um sound funny, but.

06-03-2008, 02:54 PM
oh, then if you just wanna play chords heres some sites(i was gonna post ezfolk but i see its already up there haha)
make sure you SET your tuning on the right