How to Arrange Songs (Plus Anime)

A few week's ago, the guys spent an entire lesson talking about the endless options of chord substitutions for arranging songs. This week, they discuss the overall process of arranging songs. Aldrine gives you a peak into his mind (it's filled with anime and lego blocks) and his process for writing arrangements and original pieces. The guys discuss the importance of highlighting certain details, prioritizing what stays and what goes, and knowing when to keep it simple. Aldrine breaks down some of his own arrangements as well as some of Jake's famous covers. Aaron shares his process for writing original songs, while fanboys Aldrine and Kahai admire his approach to creating song concepts and lyrics.

Ask Questions Here

Questions Asked this Week:
5:20 How do you arrange complex instrumental pieces?

12:10 Aldrine breaksdown Jake's arrangement of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"

16:10 Changing the key to suit the ukulele.

19:05 What's your favorite key to arrange songs in?

19:25 How Aldrine arranged "Blackbird" with an emphasis on rhythm patterns.

25:40 Using accents and emphasis to your advantage.

28:35 Aldrine breaks down his composition of "Senor Viktor"

33:00 The Lego Analogy: How Aldrine builds songs and arrangements

43:05 More isn't always better.

48:05 Song recommendations for practicing fingerpicking patterns.

51:05 Kahai and Aaron's approach to writing songs.

1:05:30 What are your top must-learn anime songs?

References/resources for this video:
Seminar - Deconstructing Chord Melodies
Ukulele 101 - Week 4: Right Hand Techniques
Full Course - Fingerpicking Basics
Ukulele 102 - Week 2: Arpeggios and Fingerpicking

Youtube - First Love (Utada Hikaru)
Youtube - Hotel California
Youtube - Shiki No Uta (Samurai Champloo)
Youtube - Aldrine's arrangement of Shiki No Uta

Youtube - While My Guitar Gently Weeps (The Beatles)
Youtube - While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Jake's Arrangement)
Youtube - Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)
Youtube - Bohemian Rhapsody (Jake's Arrangement)
Youtube - Europa (Santana)
Youtube - Europa (Pure Heart's Arrangement)

Youtube - Blackbird (The Beatles)
Library - UU+ Solos
Youtube - Aldrine playing Senor Viktor

Youtube - Badfish (Sublime)
Aloha Friday Concert - Replay (Aldrine plays Badfish)
Youtube - Careless Whisper (Never Going to Dance Again)
UU+ Solos - Holei

Uke Lesson - White Sandy Beach of Hawai'i
Whiteboard Request - White Sandy Beach

Uke Lesson - Drop Baby, Drop
UU+ Solos - TNC
Uke Lesson - The Man Who Can't Be Moved
Uke Lesson - Good Riddance
Uke Lesson - Landslide
Uke Lesson - Danny's Song
UU+ Solos - Romance d'Amour
Uke Lesson - Wonderful Tonight
Uke Lesson - Crazy Without You
Uke Lesson - Stuck on You

Spotify - Replay (Aaron's Song)
Youtube - Why Eminem is one of the most impressive lyricists ever (Internal Rhyme)
Youtube - Rap God (NSFW)
UU Podcast - Interview with Danielle Ate the Sandwich
Youtube - Danielle Ate the Sandwich
Youtube - Dead on Arrival (Fall Out Boy)

Youtube - Head Cha-La (Dragon Ball Z Theme)
Youtube - Wind (Akeboshi)

Download Zoom software to participate in 1 on 1 Coaching
UU+ Forum - Private Lessons Beta Testing

Live Lesson Podcast Archive
Old Live Lesson Archive (August 7th, 2014 - March 1st, 2018)

Aloha Friday Jam Live
Aloha Friday Jam Replays

Post Videos to Student Review
Live Lesson Questions in the UU+ Forum
Send Questions to


  1. Thank you! You’ll have been hitting it out of the ball park in these podcasts!! Great content and perfect timing for where I am in my journey..

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