Ukulele in Sun

Ken's Electric Ukulele Tabs

I began playing ukulele out of laziness, believing it to be an easier instrument to pick up because it has only four strings. While I do think uke generally has a lower level of difficulty than a guitar, it's also a different instrument and calls for different playing strategies (the strings tend to be softer and allow playing without picks a bit more). As well, once you start to reach the limits of four strings and fewer frets, the fun/challenge becomes stretching what a uke can do. To do this, you need to go electric, and such a thing does exist: solid-body electric ukuleles. I could just play a guitar. But everyone does that; how many electric ukulelists do you know?

I'm not belittling traditional acoustic ukuleles or their players. I guess I just found my voice and feel more comfortable with an electric. To a purist, it's heresy to use effects to derive sounds that an instrument can't naturally produce, but with an electric or electronic instrument you're already in a new way of thinking: a synthesizer doesn't make any sound without being plugged in.
Mistakes!:email

"Everyone I know who is into ukulele is crackers, so get yourself a few and enjoy yourselves." - George Harrison
On this page I have links to song excerpts, a series of YouTube tutorials on electric uke, and some rough tab approximations of how to play these classic rock songs. The Song Playlist on YouTube (Most are Short Clips)
The Tutorial Playlist on YouTube, 160 Episodes (How to Play Them)
Instrument. I'm playing a Clearwater tenor electric ukulele with drop-G tuning (the lowest string is an octave down instead of up). One advantage e-ukes have over electric guitars is cost: the basic pickups and electronics are pretty much the same, but there's less wood and finishing. Uke
Gear. Presently I'm using an Azor compressor, then a Zoom G3xn effects unit, then a Behringer U-Phoria UMC22 input device to transfer the analog signal into my PC. I edit with Da Vinci Resolve, a free video editor. Again, a low cost enterprise. Sometimes I also use an Eno knockoff octave pedal, and in older videos I'm using a Zoom G1-Four.


Gear
Patches. When you see my patch setups, they are optimized for the G3xn but mostly still work for a G1-Four. The G3xn allows 6-7 pedal modules in a patch and the G1 allows five, so one might need sacrificing. Also note that an e-uke puts out less gain than an electric guitar, and so if you use these patches for a guitar, you might need to turn down some input settings. Tab. Tab occupies a legal grey area. It's sort-of legal, but you can sort-of copyright published tab books. All of this tab is made by my ear, and it won't be perfect, but it should get you close. Bends or slides are indicated with slashes; an h indicates a hammer-on, and a p is a pull-off, though they aren't always marked. You're not going to sound like Josh Homme with these patches and tab (his tone is infamously hard to reproduce). But I hope this page is useful and enjoyable, and helps you along with a fun and unusual instrument!
Patch
Riff
[I've posted these to Tone Lib Forums as well.]
AC-DC G3xn Patch
April Wine G3xn Patch
Boston G3xn Patch
Brian May Queen G3xn Patch
David Gilmour G3xn Patch
Doobie Brothers - China Grove G3xn Patch
Eric Johnson G3xn Patch
Genesis G3xn Patch
Genesis - Dance With the Moonlit Knight G3xn Patch
Isaac Hayes - Shaft G3xn Patch
Little Feat G3xn Patch
New Order - Blue Monday G3xn Patch
Fatboy Slim - Praise You G3xn Patch
Pretenders (Learning to Crawl) G3xn Patch
Queens of the Stone Age - Song for the Dead G3xn Patch
Santana G3xn Patch
Smashing Pumpkins - Cherub Rock G3xn Patch
The Cult G3xn Patch
The Police G3xn Patch
Pearl Jam - Wishlist G3xn Patch
U2 - Edge G3xn Patch
U2 - Mysterious Ways G3xn Patch
U2 - Zooropa G3xn Patch
ZZ Top G3xn Patch
[Last Updated January 2023]
ABBA - Knowing Me, Knowing You
AC/DC - Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Alanis Morisette - So Pure
April Wine - Just Between You and Me
Beastie Boys - Sabotage
Beatles - Here Comes the Sun
Beatles - Something
Beatles - Taxman
Bob Segar - Mainstreet
Boston - Foreplay/Long Time
Chumbawamba - Amnesia
Coldplay - Adventure of a Lifetime
Counting Crows - Goodnight Elizabeth
Cream - Crossroads
Crowded House - Don't Dream It's Over
Cult - Love
Dire Straits - Why Worry
Eric Clapton - Promises
Eric Johnson - Are You Experienced?
Fatboy Slim - Praise You
Fleetwood Mac - Sara
FM - Phasors on Stun
Foo Fighters - Have a Cigar
Genesis - Abacab
Genesis - All in a Mouse's Night
Genesis - Dancing With the Moonlit Knight
Genesis - Deep in the Motherlode
Genesis - Down and Out
Genesis - It
Giorgio Moroder - Together in Electric Dreams
Greenleaf - Bury Me My Son
Irish Descendants - Catch the Wind
Jackson Browne - Boulevard
Journey - Any Way You Want It
Journey - Don't Stop Believing
King Crimson - Starless
Kyuss - Green Machine
Led Zeppelin - In the Light
Led Zeppelin - Kashmir
Led Zeppelin - The Ocean
Led Zeppelin - Trampled Under Foot
Little Feat - Let It Roll
Massive Attack - Teardrop
Missing Persons - Surrender Your Heart
MS MR - Hurricane
Neil Young - Harvest Moon
New Order - Blue Monday
Nina Hagen - New York
No Doubt - Spiderwebs
Ozzy Osbourne - Perry Mason
Pearl Jam - Wishlist
Peter Frampton - I'm In You
Pink Floyd - Time
Pretenders - Thumbelina
Queen - Bijou
Queen - I Want to Break Free
Queens of the Stone Age - Song for the Dead
Rob Zombie - Meet the Creeper
Roxy Music - The Main Thing
Rush - Subdivisions
Santana - Dance Sister Dance
Sass Jordan - Ugly
Sheryl Crow - Soak Up the Sun
Silversun Pickups - Lazy Eye
Simply Red - Stars
Smashing Pumpkins - Cherub Rock
Sniff 'n' the Tears - Driver's Seat
Starship - Jane
Supertramp - Goodbye Stranger
Texas - I Don't Want a Lover
U2 - Even Better Than the Real Thing
U2 - Mysterious Ways
Who - Baba O'Riley
ZZ Top - Cheap Sunglasses
ZZ Top - Rough Boy
ZZ Top - Sharp Dressed Man