Ukulele and Studio Ghibli Soundtracks


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Dec 3, 2021
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Am I the only one who gets the most satisfaction from playing music from Miyazaki movies? I think the first song I ever really had a desire to play was "Sampo" from Tonari no Totoro. It seems like the HMS podcast has Corey and Kalei playing a Ghibli song randomly in there as well.

Joe Hisaishi is an absolutely amazing composer, and each of the movies he's worked on has a beautiful soundtrack, having songs very reminiscent of classical compositions, and I think they lend well to the crisp sound of the uke.

The four songs I really practice regularly are:

Sampo (Totoro)
Totoro main theme (Totoro)
Always with me (Spirited Away)
Waltz of Chihiro (Spirited Away)
It would be rude of me to not post a great example. Here are the boys playing one of the less "classically reminiscent" Hisaishi songs as the episode intro.

Most of the songs I like to listen to and the songs that I am able to play do not intersect.

I love Miyazaki movies and am glad you are able to play and enjoy songs from them.
Where did you find the music for the Hasaishi songs? I think they sound great on the uke, too.
Thats a great medley! Thank you very much for posting! Very complicated ways of playing those ones on there.
I learned the chord melody for Sampo (or Sanpo, technically it's a shortened "uhn" sound) on my own, basing it off of just strummed chords, which I think I learned from a website somewhere. A good resource as well is RainyDayStudio's YouTube channel (). They do a fairly decent job at translating some of the songs. I also own some song books as well that are very nice:

Studio Ghibli Songs for Solo Ukulele Vol.1/English Version

Studio Ghibli Songs for Solo Ukulele Vol.2/English Version

Did the books come with access to sound files? Thanks.
I love Joe Hisaishi! I had the pleasure of seeing him in concert last year and it blew me away.

Is low G a requirement? I definitely want to try and learn some of the tunes, and i’ll check out all the above links as well.
Definitely not required! Sampo for example is a bit easier with a high-g, in the way that I play it.
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