UK-002 • Ukulele Open Chords
Getting the first batch of Open Chords under your fingers!
Just like on the guitar, you are far better off knowing just a few chords and knowing how to use them well than know lots of chords and have no rhythm or repertoire. So what I'm going to give you here are what I think you'll find are the most common and important chords - of course there are many more, but I'd recommend learning the others as you meet them in new songs and work them in that way. As you learn more songs you'll learn more chords.
We are going to look at three types of chords, Major, Minor and 7th, looking at three root notes this lesson and three the next (so we'll have a total of 18 open Chords. Make sure you compare the chords with the same root, for example, play G, Gmin and G7 and see how they are related, even if they don't seem much related at first! Do that with each chord you ever learn and you'll start to make connections which will make it easier to remember the chord grips and also help unlock the fretboard (helps for guitar too!).
LEARN NEW CHORDS AS YOU NEED THEM!
Most of these chords would be considered the basic so you should check them out but the best way to learn new chords is to put them into practice! So learn loads of songs and you'll eventually know all the chords you need :)
Some of you may wonder why I have not included finger numbers on the diagrams. Well it's because it's a lot more free than the guitar and you might choose to play different chords with different fingers depending on what you are moving to or from! So use your nut and find a way that is comfortable to play a chord and when you are using it, see if it's still working for you ;)
The Three C's
C and C7 are super easy one finger wonders but the C minor either needs three fingers or a barre depending on the situation and what you are changing from.
The Three F's
Beginner guitarists are often scared of F, but on our little friend it's pretty easy! The common fingering for the F minor is to use fingers 1, 2 and stretch up with finger 4. F7 is probably obvious, like F but add in finger 3.
The Three G's
Yes I know it looks like a D chord by guitar friends, but on Uke it's a G (more on that later in a lesson just for you guitar players who want to get into uke!). Fingering for the G can be played like a conventional guitar D chord using fingers 1, 3 and 2 (top to bottom) but often using a mini barre over string 1-3 and using finger 2 for the note on the 3rd fret works just as well.
Have fun with these and when you're ready check out the next lesson with nine more open chords!
The Justinguitar Ukulele Songbook