Learn to play "'Opihi Man" by Ka'au Crater Boys on Ukulele
This month's Ukulele Play-Along has been a much requested, long overdue UU production and it is finally here! "'Opihi Man" by The Ka'au Crater Boys on ukulele! This is it, all of the chords, strumming, and picking parts for the whole song. Click the Play-Along above and if you need a little help learning to play this song on your ukulele, start with STEP 1 below:
STEP 1 - Chords
First, try out the 2 main chords you need to play this song:
Practice switching between by adding or removing your ring finger and shifting your other two fingers down or up one string. Get really comfortable with this switch, because it happens a lot (and fast)!
For the rest of the verse and chorus, you'll need to learn the next 4 chords (G7, C, E7, A7):
G7(0212), C(0003), E7(1202), A7(0100)
The chord pattern follows this exact sequence, finishing off with another D7, so practice switching between these chords in order. For more instruction on how to hold the chords and switch between them, check out the video below:
Once you get familiar with these chords and can switch easily between them, move on to Step 2.
STEP 2 - Beginner Rhythm
Start off with a simple "down, down, down, down" strum (1 down per beat). After that, try doubling up the strum by doing 2 down strums per beat instead of 1. Add up strums in between all of your down strums and you'll have 8 "down-up"s per measure.
Now, to get a little closer to the rhythm used in the original recording of 'Opihi Man, emphasize the first 2 down strums. For an example of how to do this basic rhythm, press play on the video below:
Use this simple rhythm and try playing along with the Play-Along at the top of the page. Awesome job, you just played the beginner version of this song!
STEP 3 - Intermediate Rhythm
In the original recording of this song, the Ka'au Crater Boys play some of the strums in the rhythm very short. This can be accomplished using the Pinky Mute technique. Recreating the rhythm using your ukulele will take a little trial and error and a lot of listening and trying to copy the rhythm. For more help with this, watch Aldrine's quick explanation below:
Try it out by playing along with the Play-Along at the top of the page. Nice! You just played the intermediate version of the song!
STEP 4 - Advanced Picking
Finally, this song would not be truly iconic without the picking parts. Troy Fernandez did an amazing job of creating and playing the picking for this song, inspiring thousands of ukulele players in the process. You will need to know the Tremolo technique and the Two String Pull-Off technique in order to do these. Download all the TABS and take a look at the instructional video:
And use the practice videos for each part below:
INTRO PICKING (Intro TAB)
PICKING 1 (Picking 1 TAB)
PICKING 2 (Picking 2 TAB)
OUTRO PICKING(Outro TAB)
The most challenging parts are those that combine hammer-ons with the Two String Pull-off technique and tremolos. It may take awhile to get these down, but practice hard, and the payoff will be incredible! Play along with the Play-Along at the top of the page. Fantastic, you just played the advanced version of this song!
This is one of those songs that you'll always get better and better at in time. So have fun with this one and as always, if you have any questions or need help with this song, feel free to contact us at any time. Jus' press, and keep strummin'