Classic Endings for `Ukulele

Common classic song endings that are used over and over in the standard song repertoire.

Published: 02 Jan 2005 Updated: 08 Nov 2022Visits: 232Code: UL125c

INSTRUMENTS: Arranging Main: Ukulele Others: Ukulele
Subjects: Intermediate • Advanced • Jazz • Repertoire • Arranging • Arrangement • Endings

LESSONSeries : Solo Ukulele - Creating Melody and Chord Arrangements

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Classic Endings for `Ukulele

Common songs endings that are used over and over in the standard song repertoire.

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Endings Covered in This Lesson

Hawai'ian Turnaround in C Major

A classic chord progression utilized in Hawaiian tunes. ( This turnaround is not in the PDF download )

LESSON: The Hawaiian Turnaround in Key C

Two Feel

This ending works great for Dixieland, Show and Jazz tunes. It is shown here in the key of Eb major and low “G” tuning to take advantage of a descending bass line. For a high “G” tuning you loose the descending bass line but it works just as well.

The reason for the different voicing for the C/Bb is to get a moving line in the melody as well as the bassline.

VIDEO: Classic Endings, "Two Feel" video below

bVImaj7 bIImaj7

This ending can be two beats for each chord and both chords in one measure or extended out four beats each. This ending works really well on ballads.

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Classic Endings for `Ukulele…

Basie Ending

Named after the late Count Basie a jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. Widely regarded as one of the most important jazz bandleaders of his time, Count Basie led his popular Count Basie Orchestra for almost 50 years. I remember as a 10 year old lad standing right at the edge of the stage – right at the feet of the great Count Basie and looking up and listening to this great big band on Steel Pier in Atlantic City, NJ USA. That was some great stuff.

VIDEO: Classic Endings, "Basie" video below

The Bass Button is a short staccato, low note typically played by a bass player. It you don’t have a bass player play it yourself.

Single, Double and Triple Tags

A Single, Double and Triple tags are one of the simplest and most common endings.

Professional musicians should know what to play just by saying single, double or triple tag. This is a very common ending.

For a tag ending you repeat the last two or more measures of the song before resolving the last chord of the song. For single tags you repeat once, for double tags repeat two times and triple tags are repeated three times.

If notating a tag ending a coda can be used before the final chord and the repeated measures placed at the coda.


The rhythms indicated are only a reference to the number of beats for the chords. You are free to play more syncopated rhythms.

With the chromatic version in Eb notice I ran out of ukulele with the descending bass line and the Emaj7 chords so I played a different voicing of the Emaj7 higher up the neck and would play it staccato setting up the final chord.

Take the 'A' Train Ending

This is the famous ending from the Duke Ellington song of the same name, “Take the ‘A’ Train”

Shave and a Hair Cut

This is a classic ending from the early 20th century. A haircut these days sure ain’t two bits or twenty five cents.

Lawrence Welk Ending

This is another famous ending getting its name from a band leader known for its use. Probably known by other names but this is how I learned it and know it by. Lawrence Welk was my grandmother’s favorite Saturday night show.

The ending is the chromatic scale starting on the root of the final chord, in this case C, and ending one octave higher and finishing with the V and I chords of the key.

Train Wreck

And the ever popular Chaos or Train Wreck ending :-). Well, not really a structured ending, everybody plays what they want. This one needs no guidance from me as most musicians already have their own version.

A Train Wreck is when the train has left the tracks. Ending a songs in this fashion has the same results.

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End of Lesson - Thanks, Hope You Enjoyed It!

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Classic Endings, "Basie"

Updated: 01 Jan 2003

The classic Count Basie ending in C major.

Endings, Two Feel

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A classic song ending in C major. This ending works great for Dixieland, Show and Jazz tunes.

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