Muse are no strangers to intricate pieces of music and ear-worming riffs. I grew up loving their music and I have been lucky enough to catch them live a few times too. Whether on stage or in the studio, they are an incredible talent. Let’s learn to play Starlight, Plug In Baby and Unintended on the ukulele.
What Are We Learning To Play?
The tabs are from a fun little video I made for my TikTok account recently. It’s pretty much showcasing the various levels of playing difficulty for this artist. It starts easy and ends on a super challenging riff. Scroll to give some of them a shot.
Easy - Starlight
Although this is the easiest of the bunch, it’s still somewhat fiddly on the fingers. The best way to play this is to make chords and pick them. Use your first finger on the 6th fret of the C string. The middle finger on the 6th of the A and your ring finger on the 7th of the E. Pick each note and then change chord after the fourth note.
For the next chord, you want to barre the 7th fret and then use your middle finger on the 8th fret of the C. Pick each note from top to bottom and then release the chord. We then have to pick the last 3 notes individually.
Medium - Plug In Baby
This one can be tricky to play due to Matt Bellamy’s blistering speed up and down the fretboard. However, it’s not as difficult as it sounds and looks. If you start slow and split each section into different practise sessions. You will have this down in no time.
We have a few hammer-ons and pull-offs in the riff. I have written a few guides that take 5 minutes each to read. They will have you familiar with these techniques in no time.
If you would like a more in-depth tutorial on how to play Plug In Baby. I created a YouTube tutorial that goes into much more detail.
Hard - Unintended
While this is fairly easy for Matt Bellemay to play on an acoustic guitar. It’s a totally different story when it comes to playing it on a ukulele. We have two fewer strings and a much tighter fretboard. However, it is possible! You are going to need a uke with a low G string and some nippy fingers.
We start by forming a barred E major. That’s barring all the strings on the 4th fret with your first finger and hitting the 7th on the A string with your pinky. Play the first four notes and then lift off the chord.
Move your first finger to the 2nd fret of the G string and hammer-on to the 4th fret with your middle finger. It’s natural to want to use your ring finger for the hammer-on but we need that for what’s coming next. We are performing another hammer-on from the open E string onto the 4th fret with your ring finger. Immediately after that, you want to bend your ring finger down so it hits the A string 4th fret too. Then there’s a run of notes down the string. This whole section is the hard part as there are lots of wrist bending and skipping between strings.
We repeat that hard section twice and we pluck each string individually for the next bit. You can try and make a chord out of it, however, I found it easier to just hit them one by one.
If you enjoyed this post, you may be interested to see my ukulele arrangement of the Origin Of Symmetry album.