I’ve been working on a clawhammer uke arrangement for this song for some time. I was originally inspired by this performance by gadaya:
But there are more position changes here than I am comfortable with. Then I found this amazing performance by Scott Rogers:
Man, I wish I could play like that! Anyway, Scott is playing in Mountain Minor tuning, which makes this tune much easier to arrange and play. Mountain Minor on a 5-string banjo would be gDGCD. On a ukulele that translates to gCFG. This is basically open tuning (gCEG) with the E string tuned up a half step to F.
So taking this as my inspiration I re-tuned my ukulele and created the following arrangement:
You’ll play most of this song in second position – which means that you use your index finger to play the 2nd fret, middle finger to play the 3rd fret, etc. Start off by placing your index finger on the second fret of the F string, then hammering on the 3rd fret of the G string with your middle finger. Keep your index and middle fingers planted and use your pinky to play the 5th fret of the G string. Then pick up your pinky again, keeping your index and middle finger down the whole time.
In the second measure, hammer on the second fret of the G string with your index finger. Drop thumb to play the F string, then use your ring finger to achieve the pull-off at the 4th fret of the C string, as well as the following slide to the 5th fret. Now you are in 3rd position.
In the 3rd measure, use your middle finger to play the 4th fret of the F string. Use your index finger to play the 3rd fret of the G string, then hammer on the 5th fret with your middle finger. Keeping your middle and index fingers down, reach up with your pinky for the 7th fret of the G string. Pull off with your pinky, then pick up your middle finger to play the 3rd fret with your index in the 4th measure.
The 5th & 6th measures are the same as the 1st and 2nd measures – but after the slide, return immediately to 2nd position. In the 7th measure, hammer on the 2nd fret of the G string with your index finger; in the 8th measure, pull off the 4th fret of the C string with your ring finger.
The B part is much easier. Stay in second position the entire time, using your index finger to play the 2nd fret of every string, and your middle finger to play the 3rd fret of every string. Look out for the double-thumbing in the 11th measure. As usual I’ve modified the B part because of the limited bass range of the ukulele.
Here is my performance, for reference. I am playing a uke-ified tenor banjo, so I’m actually a fourth down from the tablature (tuning is dGCD). Who says a baritone ukulele can’t use re-entrant tuning?