Green Day Ukulele Duet (When September Ends) UD #54 & #55
from Ukulele in the Dark with Guido Heistek
Today I’d like to teach you a simple and beautiful arrangement of Wake Me Up When September Ends, a song by Green Day. Here’s a recording of the arrangement. The backing part is in the left speaker and the melody is in the right speaker. Give it a listen and we’ll learn it!
When September Ends Ukulele Duet:
Okay, there have been some requests for more transcription lessons (learning by ear) so, I thought we would learn this little piece that way. To get us started I will give you a little bit of the song in tab and we’ll do the rest by ear, with some hints along the way.
Some notes before we continue:
-The backing part of this arrangement is meant for ukuleles tuned G C E A with a high-G string. Most ukuleles come with a high-G string so if you haven’t changed it to a low-G string you should be alright!
-Also, learning things by ear can be very challenging, but very worthwhile in terms of building musicianship. Please do not feel that you SHOULD be able to do what is in today’s lesson. If you find learning by ear appetizing please give this lesson your best try. If you find it too difficult, come back and try again in a couple of months. I often had to do that when I was learning to play. I still have to do that! I often come back to a piece and think, “Hey! This isn’t so hard anymore. I must have gotten better!”
Okay let’s get started…
The BACKING PART
Here is the first little bit of the backing part in tab to get us started:
The picking hand fingering is marked in a classical style: p=thumb i=index finger m=middle finger. So the first note is picked with the index finger. The second note is picked with the thumb. The third note is picked with the middle finger. Try to play it so all the notes ring through the whole bar. Listen to the recording to hear how it sounds.
Okay! Here is a little audio lesson that will help you learn the backing part to When September Ends by ear. I start with the INTRO and then I do the “A” section. It’s the first time that I present a song in this manner: audio only with no visuals! Please, let me know how it goes.
Intro and A Section When September Ends:
Okay let’s do the B section of the song. Don’t worry the Sheet Music for the arrangement is at the bottom of the page.THE B SECTION:Like last newsletter I’ll give you the first bar of the B section and we’ll go from there. Here’s the first bar of the B section backing part:
And, here is a little audio only lesson walking you through the B section.
B Section When September Ends:
Please let me know what the experience was like, learning the song by ear in this fashion.One thing not covered so far! The last chord played by the backing part is a G chord on the seventh fret. Like this:
THE MELODY: The melody for this entire song uses only 6 notes! They are from the G major scale. Here are the six notes used in the melody:
The melody part starts like this:
See if you can figure out the rest by ear! The melody is in the right speaker or earphone if you are using headphones. Here’s the link to the recording again.
Guido Heistek holds a B.F.A. Music from Concordia University in Montreal and is a CANSTAT certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. He makes his home in Vancouver, BC. Guido has performed in the US, Japan, Canada and Europe, and has worked as both an arranger and consultant for stage and film. Guido teaches private and small group lessons at his downtown studio: Yaletown Music . In 2011, Guido released Hear the Strum, an instructional DVD which teaches ukulele students how to strum by ear and from the heart. In 2013 he released a CD, Guido Heistek – Solo Ukulele. In 2016, Guido released The Chord Melody Book for Ukulele.