This is gone on to become one of the most iconic riffs of all time. Although it is usually played on our six-stringed cousin. It sounds great on the ukulele too.
It can appear like its hard to play but with some preparation before we start. It’s actually very easy.
What Are We Learning To Play?
Below is a video of what you will be able to play by the end of this post.
Let me be honest, a glance at the tabs below will leave you thinking we are about to crack the enigma code. Lots of numbers and letters. Don’t fret though (sorry). This is a fantastic exercise. Spending some time learning to play this riff will make you a better ukulele player.
Let’s start with the chords at the beginning. Use your first finger on the 6th fret, middle on the 7th and your ring on the 8th. You need to play them with a sudden almost stab like tone. to achieve this, use your thumb, first and middle fingers on the plucking hand. You need to pluck each string simultaneously. The moment you have plucked the notes, lift your fingers off the fretboard. That will create the sound we are looking for.
Now onto the main riff. It’s important to keep our plucking hand steady. You will notice in the video above that my hand stays in the same place. It’s just going to make playing the song a lot easier. Assign your thumb, first and middle fingers to the C, E and A. They will only play those strings.
Moving onto the fretboard. The whole riff is based around keeping your fretting hand in a similar shape throughout the song. Put your first finger on the 6th fret of the A string. Your middle finger on the 8th fret of the E string. Then put your ring finger on the 8th fret of the A string. This is going to make the pull-off much easier to execute.
There is a slight bend in the third section of this tab. Bending is plucking the note and then using your finger to push the string towards the sky on the fretboard. The idea is you bend it enough to create a new note.
Lastly, use your first finger across both the E and A to play the last two chords.