Tabs/Chords Tabs for "How Long Blues" by Leroy Carr (chord melody)

If you have an arrangement to share, tag it here! Thanks! (Note that if you're REQUESTING tabs or chord sheets, you should tag it Song Help Request!)


Well-known member
May 15, 2024
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Arranged for tenor ukulele in high-G tuning, but as the G string is only used for chords, not melody notes, this would also work in low-G tuning.

"How long__ How long__
Has that evenin' train been gone?
How long__ How long__
Baby how long?

Heard the whistle blowin',
Couldn't see no train.
Way down in my heart
I had an achin' pain.

How long__ How long__
Baby, how long?
I'm sad & lonely,
all the whole day through.
Why don't you write me,
and give me the news?

You have left me,
left me singin',
those how long blues."


  • How Long Blues ukulele.pdf
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About these tabs:

I adapted this ukulele arrangement from the piano sheet music in a compilation that my grandmother had. (She had a lot of great music from this era!) I initially worked it out in pencil on paper and later typed it up using MuseScore to make a "clean copy," including several edits from my initial version. (MuseScore is a useful program but not perfect, in my opinion. Also, be aware that their notation system doesn't make half notes and quarter notes very visually distinct from each other- half notes have a short vertical line under them and quarter notes have a slightly longer vertical line under them.)

I only include the tabs and not the sheet music here, to make it more compact and avoid an annoying page turn.

The rhythm notations are taken from the piano sheet music for "How Long," but this is a blues- feel free to stretch out some parts of it or speed up other parts until it feels right! The squiggly line above some notes means "vibrato"- ie, wiggle your fretting finger to get a vibration in the note. That's optional but makes it sound more "bluesy" and gives the instrument something of the feel of the singer's voice.

The first three and a half measures are an intro and could be omitted or replaced with one's own improvised intro- the lyrics don't start until the end of the fourth measure. The first "long" note falls on the word "long." (A dotted half note linked to an eight note.) The next fairly long note (half note) falls on the word "gone."

I play this as an instrumental, not being much of a singer, but keeping the lyrics in mind helps me play with the right rhythm and emotion!

Alexis (electric_aurora)
Great job, thanks for the share!
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