Learn to play "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" by Jim Croce on Ukulele
Play along with the "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" Ukulele Play-Along with Aldrine (from home!). And if you need some extra help with learning this song, start with STEP 1 below:
STEP 1 - Chord Practice
First, check out and learn the six chords you need to play this song:
G(0232), A7(0100), B7(2322), C(5433), D7(2223), C(0003)
Actually, it's just 5 chords because there are two versions of the C chord. If you aren't comfortable playing the first inversion of C(5433) feel free to play C(0003) both times. Practice holding each of these chords and switching to them in this order: G, A7, B7, C, D7, C, G, D7. The very last switch between G and D7 is the fastest one in the progression, so be sure to practice the switch between these chords until you are able to do it without hesitating.
In this video, Aldrine shows how he holds each of the chords and includes a few quick notes on the chord changes:
STEP 2 - Basic Rhythm and Chord Pattern
Now that you know how to hold the chords and switch between them, add a simple rhythm by just playing a simple "down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up" strum. It's a blues song, so the strum is played with a slight swing to it. Then follow the following diagram to figure out the timing for each chord in the progression:
In the diagram, each box is a measure of 4 beats. Notice that the G chord gets 2 measures (8 beats), the D7 chord gets 2 measures (8 beats), the B7 chord gets 1 measure (4 beats), the C inversion gets 1 measure (4 beats), and D7 gets half a measure (2 beats). After that it's a little tricky. The regular C chord technically gets 1 and a half beats because the G is strummed on the up beat just before the last measure. And the last D7 chord skips the first down strum and starts on the up strum and finishes off the measure.
That all sounds pretty complicated, but listen to the song and try it out by feel. In the following video, Aldrine breaks it all down and finishes with a slowed down version of the chord progression that you can practice along with. Try to just go with the flow and you'll get it down pretty easily.
For a percussive sound, Aldrine also adds chunks to every other beat. Learn How to Chunk on Ukulele here. Feel free to add them in to your strumming, or if you don't quite have the chunk down yet, continue with the simple "down, up" strum. As long as you have the chord pattern down, you're golden - it repeats throughout the entire song.
Once you're comfortable, try playing along with the Play-Along at the top of the page, adding a little rhythm to your chords. Great job, you just played through the beginner version of this song!
STEP 3 - Intro Riff
Finally, this song starts off with a sort of 'honky-tonk' blues rhythm. This intro riff is pretty simple, but requires a bit of finger repositioning because you'll need to stretch some of your fingers to reach the notes. Check out Aldrine's video explanation for more:
The hardest part will be that stretch to the C string 5th fret. When barring across the C, E, and A strings with your pointer finger, one helpful tip might be to have the thumb of your fretting hand on the back of the neck of your ukulele and positioned to point toward the headstock.
This will give you a little more leverage and help to more comfortably position the finger that's doing the barring. Try it out, practice the timing, and you'll be rockin' this riff in no time! After that, head back up to the top of the page and try playing along with the Play-Along. Congratulations, you've played the complete version of this song! As always, try it out, let us know what you think, and if you have any questions be sure to send us a message - have fun & keep strummin'