Being able to know at least 10 basic ukulele chords will give you a great foundation as a new ukulele player. You’ll be surprised at how many songs and styles you’ll be able to play, just by knowing the following ten basic chords. Let’s dig and see which chords you should know.
C Major is usually the first chord that people learn because it only involves one finger. To play it, your finger will go on the first string, third fret. Since you don’t have any fingers on the other three strings, they are called open strings and they are G, C, and E and your finger will be on C. Watch this video by Terry Carter to find out how you can slide the chord up the neck to play it in more positions which make even more chords.
The A Minor chord is another chord that you only need one finger for. Place your second finger on the fourth string, on the second fret. The other three strings will remain open. Minor chords tend to sound more dark or sad, while major chords sound brighter or happier. Watch Terry dive into some music theory here. This music theory knowledge will come in handy for any minor chord you want to play.
F Major 7
The F Major 7 chord will be taught here using double stops. Most chords can be played and slid up the neck but since this chord starts on the 5th fret, you are going to play it differently. Your second finger will go on the fourth string, fifth fret and your third finger will go on the third string, fifth fret. The other two strings will remain open. This video will give you even more information about the F Major 7 chord.
The G Major has an open fourth string and the first finger will go on the third string, second fret. Your third finger will go on the second string, third fret, and the second finger will go on the first string, second fret. For more information on the G Major chord, check out this video.
The A Major chord is an easy two-finger chord. Your second finger will go on the fourth string, second fret, and your first finger on the third string, first fret, and the other strings are open. Terry will show you exactly how it’s done in this video.
You can either use three fingers or four fingers for this chord. You will place your first finger on the first string, second fret, middle finger on the second string, third fret, and your fourth finger on the third string, fourth fret. The fourth string will remain open. Watch Terry explain more about the music theory behind this chord in this video.
For the G7 chord you will place your second finger on the third string, second fret, your first finger on the second string, first fret, and your third finger on the first string, second fret. Seventh chords have four different notes in the chord, which is different from all the triads we’ve learned about. More music theory behind this great chord can be found here.
To play the E7 chord, place your first finger on the fourth string, first fret, your second finger on the third string, second fret, and your third finger on the first string, second fret. The second string will remain open. Watch Terry go in-depth with this chord in this video.
Read more: Why The Ukulele Is The Best Instrument?
The D Major chord also uses three fingers and can be played with a variety of fingers. You can use your first two fingers and lay them down on the first two strings of the second fret, like a bar, then place your third finger on the second string on the same fret. The first string remains open. Terry will show you another way to play this chord and go into the music theory behind it in this video.
We’ve reached the final chord! The E Major chord can be played in a variety of ways but one of the most popular is to place your first finger on the first string of the second fret, and your second, third, and fourth fingers on the second, third, and fourth strings of the fourth fret.
Now that you know these ten basic chords, go ahead and practice them! You can pick up the new book, 100 Day Ukulele Music Practice Book by Terry Carter at terrycartermusicstore.com and track your progress. Connect with other ukulele players on a similar journey at the Community Forum on UkeLikeThePros.com after selecting a membership level. Now, go have some fun!