Kimo Hussey Style

Aloha friends, we will continue to add to this page as we do more lessons with Kimo. To the right and above are transcriptions given to us by Bertrand Le Nistour. He gives us some more insight into understanding the tabs and also how to approach learning Kimo’s style. So here is a write up from Bertrand-

Download and print Kimo Hussey’s version of “Hallelujah”.

Download and print Kimo Hussey’s version of “Girl from Ipanema & Desafinado”.

In the Ipanema tab all pinch movements are marked as a group of notes played at the same time with no up / down arrows (see the legend image). The tab software I use has no helpful markers for pinch movements, so remember : no arrow = pinch movement.

Through the tab all up strokes are only done with the forefinger and marked with an up arrow (see the legend image). By default all down strokes are done with the thumb and are rather light brushes compared to the up strokes. When not played with the thumb these down strokes are done with the forefinger and I’ve written an ‘i’ (index) above the notes to help you (see the legend image).


Kimo also often hit the 4th string (G) with his index. This movement achieves (at least) two things : first it helps you stay in rythm/tempo as every half time you’ll have a note to play. Secondly, the sound of the nail hitting the 4th string produces a soft sound that helps fill the bass line/ harmony in a nice way. In the tab I’ve marked these bass notes as ghost notes (note between brackets, see the legend image). I’ve not marked which finger to use for these notes as they are always played with the forefinger in a downward motion.

For everything else I’ve put right hand information on which finger to use (i for index, t for thumb). It kind of repeats itself a lot but I hope it will help you.

If you have suggestions on how to make this tab easier to read don’t hesitate to contact me. I wish I had a way to highlight the melody notes…but this is not something standard to music sheet and tab software. Knowing the tune’s melody and learning it’s rhythmic structure are invaluable assets you’ll have to focus on. Have fun !

I’m going to explain how to read the ‘Girl from Ipanema’ tab and get you started on Kimo Hussey’s right hand technique for the Low G ukulele. Please see this article as a start only as I’m not Kimo and probably missed a lot of the subtle moves he makes.

In the original on the right Kimo makes it look effortless and easy… but it’s not… at least not without a good deal of practice. I’d recommend you watch the videos on Kimo’s youtube channel and take your time
in learning what he explains. Depending on your playing level & musical background you’ll have some homework to do. You’ll have to isolate most of your practice to the right hand only and get all moves as smooth as possible.

Concerning left hand technique Kimo has already posted excellent videos that cover what is needed here. Here are just a few of them :

Let’s now talk about his right hand technique. Kimo only plays with his thumb and forefinger. One of his most played move is a pinch : the forefinger does an up stroke while at the same time the thumb goes down brushing the strings. A pinch can be done on 2/3/4 strings. He explains this technique in these two videos :

Huge Mahalo to Kimo Hussey for his musical wisdom and inspiration and to Bertrand Le Nistour for freely sharing his time and skill in transcribing this music for us!

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