While I can now say that I readily associate Brown Eyed Girl with it’s original author Van Morrison, in my early days of ‘ukulele playing my mind would immediately shift to The Ka’au Crater Boys at the mention of the title. Listening to Troy Fernandez’s classic fills and his memorable solo shaped a lot of ‘ukulele players sounds and their role in the acoustic guitar/’ukulele duet. Fernandez is always a good study for ‘ukulele players, regardless of genre. Here are a few past UkePrints talking about Fernandez’s playing:
However today we are going to focus on the ‘ukulele in intro/outro. Similiar to the original recording, the hook of the song is a simple plucked line following the I-IV-I-V chord progression. Van Morrison originally plays in the key of G, The Ka’au Crater Boys were often tuned down a half step on their instruments so they play in the odd key (for ‘ukulele) of E, and today we are going to meet them in the middle in the comfortable key (standard tuning) of F.
The Ukulele 1 is the basic melody of the hook of the song while the Ukulele 2 part is the same line with a harmonized 3rd. Work through various fingerings one bar at a time to find out what works best for you. Note that you are repeating an audible and visible pattern in bars 1-3 and 5-7. Once you have a fingering that is comfortable to work with, stick to that fingering to help build consistency in both your fingering and tone. You can also play around with the fills on bars 4 & 8 to keep it fresh as well. As you listen to the recording, listen to Fernandez’s flexibility as he is constantly changing it up and peppering the song with little gems of what I like to call ear candy.
Click this link to download the sheet music!