When you have some of the greatest musicians of all time of their selected instruments in the same band. You are bound to have a few good songs that sound great on the uke. Let’s learn to play Californication, Dosed and Sick Love 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 - Californication
Arguably the most recognizable RHCP’s riff and interestingly, the easiest to play. You want to form a chord for the first section, that’s going to mean your fingers will be moving much less.
Use your first finger on the 2nd fret of the G string and your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the A string. That’s going to leave your ring finger to fret the 3rd on the A. For the second part, use your first finger on the 1st fret of the E string. Then your ring finger for the 3rd fret.
Medium - Dosed
I put this song in the medium section as we are relying heavily on your first finger to barre the whole time. This can be tricky if you are new to the ukulele.
Place your first finger across the bottom three strings on the 7th fret. We are going to be holding that barre and moving it down the fretboard throughout the entire riff. So get comfortable with it. You can lift it slightly off the fretboard as you change chord to release any tension you may be feeling.
After playing the first chord four times, slide your barre down to the 5th fret and use your middle finger on the 6th fret of the C string. Lastly, slide your barre down to the 2nd fret and make an Emin chord. Using your middle finger for the 3rd fret and your ring finger for the 4th.
Hard - Sick Love
To be honest, this song is really worthy of being in the hard section. Its a fantastic little lick and some of Josh Klinghoffer’s finest work on the album. It’s just more of a medium-hard song I guess. I should have gone for Snow (Hey Oh) but to be honest, I chickened out haha.
To start with strum the opening Amin chord. Then use your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the C string. Slide it up to the 4th and use your first finger to barre the bottom two strings. Remember you don’t need to pluck again as you slide, the slide is what creates the note. Repeat this similar pattern for the next section.
Then we have the hammer-on and pull off. Place your first finger on the 5th fret of the A string. Using your ring finger, hammer down onto the 7th fret and then immediately drag it off to reveal the 5th fret again. This is all one pluck but it should sound out 3 notes.
The rest of the piece is some straight forward chords, just give them strum in time to the song.
If you enjoyed this post, you may be interested to see my ukulele arrangement of the By The Way album.