They were the giants of the nu-metal era, and for good reason. Linkin Park had a real knack for articulating the many emotions you feel throughout life. For me, it took years of listening to them to understand why. They also know their way around a riff or two. Let’s learn to play Numb, Faint and A Place For My Head 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 blink 182 riffs. It starts easy and ends on a super challenging riff. Scroll down to give some of them a shot.
Easy - Numb
Both the piano and the guitar intros are really simple to play on the ukulele. They also sound great. For the piano line, you want to use your first finger on the 1st fret of the C string. Then use your middle finger to hit that 2nd fret on the E. I want you to stretch your pinky out and use it to hit both the 5th and then 4th fret. This is a great little riff to widen them fingers.
For the guitar part, you need to barre the 2nd fret on the bottom two strings. This is going to leave your ring and pinky finger free to hit all the other notes.
Medium - Faint
I put this as an intermediate riff as it uses an unconventional fingerpicking technique. The notes are octaves of one another, just a high and a low of the same note. You need to use your thumb on the C string and your first finger on the A string. We are plucking them at the same time. On the fretting hand, you need to keep the same shape the entire time. Use your first finger on C string and your pinky on the A string.
On the “strumming” hand you can place the tips of the rest of your fingers on the body of the uke to give you more support.
Hard - A Place For My Head
I know there’s going to be some linking Park fans scoffing at the fact that I think this is a hard to riff to play on the ukulele, but hear me out. It’s super nippy and requires a technique that may well be unfamiliar to a lot of people. Alternative picking.
I have long fingernails that act as a pick but if you don’t, you might want to grab a plectrum for this one. Alternate picking is plucking the string on the downstroke AND the upstroke as you return. It’s a great technique to master as it can dramatically increase your picking speed.
Start with your first finger on the 3rd fret of the C string. Give that 2 plucks and then place your ring finger on the 6th fret of the E. This is your first alternative picking, we are going to pluck down, then up, then down again. So 3 notes all on that 6th fret. Then slide that finger up the 7th and hit the remaining notes.
Move up a string onto the 6th fret again and hit that twice. We are then going to do the same up, down, up motion on the 4th fret of C. Then continue to play the remaining notes as all downstrokes.
Alternative picking can introduce a whole new way of playing the ukulele and it becomes especially effective when you start doing solos. So slow this song down heaps and get practising.