I’ve created an arrangement of the classic Simon and Garfunkel tune, Bridge Over Troubled Water for low “g” ukulele. It is a chord/melody solo. I’ve included the lyric to the first verse merely as a guide for learning the arrangement.
Here is a simple arrangement for solo low g ukulele of the old standard, “You Always Hurt the One You Love,” that was requested by one of my students. Though I’m mostly familiar with the Spike Jones version with crazy bells and whistles, this version is based more on the version by the Mills Brothers, et al who start in 3/4 and play it nice and slow.
KaraUke ® is the band or orchestra without the solo ukulele so YOU get to provide the solo instrument.
I arranged the popular standard, “Wind Beneath My Wings” for solo ukulele (low g) and recorded it. Upon listening to the recording, I thought it would be nice to add a bass, so I did. It really needed pretty picking guitars so I added those. Then I thought, “If there’s a bass, there should be some drums,” so I added drums. I’ve always loved strings so I added those too. The trombones and french horns were just aching to play too so I added them. So now it’s uke and orchestra.
Here is a version of “Side by Side” I created for beginners. The first section repeats three times within the song and the middle section is based on familiar chord shapes so it’s not as complex as it looks.
It has been recorded by many artists, but is probably best known in a 1953 recording by Kay Starr. Harry Woods, who practised songwriting only as a sideline, wrote numerous 1920s standards, including “When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob-Bob-Bobbing Along”, “I’m Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover”, and “Try a Little Tenderness”. He composed his songs on piano, despite the fact that he was born without fingers on his left hand.
So, fellow uke-stars… If Harry M. Woods can compose those great songs on the piano with only one fingered hand, you all can learn this arrangement with two!
Just take it a couple of bars at a time. Master those bars before moving on. There is a lot of repetition, as in all of these songs, so once you get the first section, you’ll have half of the arrangement.
I recorded “Let it Go” last night using two ukes, one with a low g and one with a high g. I performed the two parts slightly different, in places, than the posted arrangement but I will update it soon so that it matches the recording.
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So let me know what you think of this duet. The middle part is pretty impossible to play but I wanted to stay loyal to the original version. You can either end it before the bridge or just skip to the bridge.
“Marie,” by Randy Newman is stunningly beautiful and sad. Though I consider it to be easy enough for beginners, you do need to be able to play the chord shapes in the song. I suggest starting with those. Then play just the top note of the TAB as that will be the melody. Then see if you can combine the melody with the chord shapes. Try to master (more or less) just a couple bars at a time. And skip around the tune. You’ll get more bang for your buck by learning it out of order. The reason for this will become clearer in time.
It’s a duet for high g and low g ukuleles. I transcribed the entire tune from the soundtrack, including much of the orchestral parts. The melody is transcribed almost exactly as Idina Menzel sings it. The chords are easy but much of the arrangement is for advanced players.
I will post the audio as soon as I can play it myself and get it recorded.
If you listen to the tune on YouTube, you can follow along on the chart.
BTW – On the soundtrack it’s in the key of Db. I lowered it to the more accessible and practical ukulele key of C.
Let me know if you try to play any of it. The intro isn’t too difficult and sounds JUST like the original!