Sunday, January 13, 2008

How to play Elephant Gun by Beirut

Ok, so last week I got the chords and tabs from for Elephant Gun. I just made a video to go along with them, thereby demonstrating for anyone else in the youtube community how to do the part I learned. It's nothing fancy, but it's a pretty song even without that much practice.

The chords are A#m, D#7, G#, C#, and C#Maj7. By tuning the ukulele one semi-note sharp on all four strings, you can just use the standard non-sharp positions for Am, D7, G, C and CMaj7. That or put a capo on the first fret.

The strumming has a "two down, two-up" feel, with the down strums focusing on the top two strings and the up strums focusing on the bottom two. The timing seems to work best for me as:

A#m - 4
D#7 - 4
G# - 4
C# - 2
C#Maj7 - 2


Anonymous said...

Good job on the video. Really clear demonstration.

Paz said...

thanks woodshed!

...and props to y'all at ukulelehunt, i hope to do another instructional video or two from what i've learned there.

Unknown said...

Hi Jukes,

I understand your Beirut fascination, although 1,000+ plays might be a little steep. I'm with the programme anyway, which makes finding out I couldn't go to a Beirut gig in Cardiff recently but my sister could and yes, her boyfriend was supporting, like you didn't know, and she got back stage to meet Zach and apparently he was a really nice bloke, all the harder to bear.

Anyhoo, ramble aside, I really like your video. It's very clear and helps a keen but terrible uke player like me. I have no feel for rhythm so often find reading tab hard and working things out for myself impossible, but I can copy quite well.

Which I'm going to do now. For probably the next three hours, or until my girlfriend withholds dinner until I stop.

But, again, great job. Don't you stop.

Paz said...

thanks for the encouragement, gareth!

And I hear ya on the lack of rhythm and difficulty reading tabs. I've been trying to play guitar (and as of last month, the ukulele) for over a year and I still don't feel comfortable keeping in fours and all that. I've never been comfortable working tabs out and it always helps to have someone just show me how to do it so I can get a feel for the sound of it and the timing....

check back and say hi, and I'll try to put up a new video whenever i learn something new!

Ndtitanlady said...

hey i was wondering when you change the chords, after the 2 up 2 down, is it then like a quick up down up between chords?

thanks, and this video helped alot. tie up some loose shaggy ends haha


Paz said...

hi ndtitanlady,

I'm glad to hear this helped you. I think I know what you are asking about... at the very end of some of the chords (especially G) I add in a little extra strum.

I think overall the rhythm is just two iterations of "down down up up", but the song itself DOES definitely mix it up a bit more towards the end of the loop. I honestly can't say I know for sure what he does, but I will try to be a bit more detailed about what I think I ended up doing:

down down up up
down down up up

down down up up
down down up-down-up

down down up up
down down up-down-up

down down up up

down down up up

which is basically the same as what I say in the video, with that extra one down thrown in at the end of the D#7 and the G#. The speed or rhythm never changes, and it's not added in in between the chord switches, you just strum on the way down there instead of missing.

Does that make sense?

bone-apart said...

I should've known it was a weird tuning situation. it's been throwing me for a loop since I've tried learning this song. great video, dude. this is gonna be a hit with the ladies.

Paz said...

I suspect if I ever meet a lady that's heard of this song, you may be right.

...until I start singing. Then it's all "I gotta go wash my hair", and I'm all "but your hair is clean" and they're all "Seriously dude, don't ever sing again."

Anonymous said...
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Owen Glossop said...

Hey Paz. What an amazing site, such a big help. I have been trying to track down your instructional video for elephant gun but it has vanished. Would you be able to re-post it. Thanks for all the great tips.

Paz said...

Thank you Owen!

Man, I don't know what's wrong with this video and youtube has been no help. According to them, the video is Live and doing fine. I will try to get another one uploaded as soon as possible.

Emily Robin said...

dude. DUDE! i don't even play the ukelele. this makes me want to learn. your videos are so easy, straightforward and forgiving to beginners! thank you. please keep it up!


Unknown said...

Thanks a lot. I finally could get the respectives notes on the guitar and play it very well =D

OrionStars said...

Are there other songs that are in this same tuning?

Paz said...

Hi OrionStars,

I have since decided it is much better to just put a capo on the first fret than to retune each string one half step up. BUT if you were so inclined to tune it like that, it would work with two of the other songs I have put on Ukulala so far:
More Than This

Berty said...

This is the first song I learned on the ukulele! This video was so frickin helpful. :}D