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Home Chord Mania How to Play the Am7 Chord On Your Ukulele

How to Play the Am7 Chord On Your Ukulele

Learn the easiest chord on the ukulele!

by Jennifer VanBenschoten

This might very well be the easiest chord to play on your ukulele! Playing the Am7 chord on your ukulele is even easier than playing your basic C chord! Plus, using this chord adds musical complexity to some of your favorite songs. We’re going to cover the basics of playing the Am7 chord on your ukulele, as well as basic chord construction and how to read a chord diagram.

Remember, just because you’re here, we’re going to give you FOR FREE our collection of the most used ukulele chords. Sign up in this link to get access to not only this chord but a complete variety of chords for you to learn and memorize. First things first. Since this is the easiest chord to play on your ukulele, let’s start from the very beginning:

How To Read A Chord Diagram

The first thing to know is how your ukulele is tuned. Most ukuleles are tuned G – C – E – A, going from left to right when you look at your ukulele fingerboard. Play each string one at a time and listen to the tone of each one so you get more familiar with them. 

When you’re looking at a chord diagram or chord chart, there may or may not be letters letting you know which line is which string. For ukulele chord diagrams, these four vertical lines going left to right are the same as the strings as your ukulele: G – C – E – A. The horizontal lines going across are the fret markers on your ukulele fingerboard. So far, so good!

What Is a Chord?

In music theory, a chord is simply three or more notes (also called a triad): the root note (the name of the chord, in this case, A), a flat 3rd that is one and a half steps above the root (C natural), a note that’s a 5th above the root (E natural), and a flat 7th above the root (G natural). 

It just so happens that those four notes are the same as the open strings on your ukulele when it’s tuned to GCEA. So if you want to learn how to play the Am7 chord, all you have to do is hold your ukulele and strum across all the open strings! If you’re playing the Am7 chord in the open position, it’s not necessary to place any fingers on the fretboard of your ukulele, just strum and let the open strings ring out. 

Is This The Easiest Chord To Play On The Ukulele?

So now you might be wondering if the Am7 chord is really the easiest chord to play on the ukulele. Most of the time, the C, D, G, and A minor chords are used by beginners to play hundreds or even thousands of songs! But all of those chords have to be played by pressing down on the strings at different places on the fretboard, and the Am7 chord is all open strings.

When you’re playing the Am7 chord, you need to make sure that you know how to hold your ukulele so that none of your fingers are brushing up against the strings. Even a stray finger brushing against the strings on your fretting hand can mute the strings or create an unpleasant buzz instead of letting the strings ring out. Practice letting the neck of the ukulele rest in your hand with your fingers clear of the strings while strumming to get a nice, clear chord.

Another Way to Play the Am7 Chord On the Ukulele

If you’re up for a challenge, you can play the Am7 chord by playing the 2nd fret of the fourth string (A), the 4th fret of the second string (E), and the 3rd frets of the second and first strings (G and C). These are the same notes as the open strings, but in a closed position. 

Some ukulele players prefer playing chords in a closed position because it feels like you have more control over the sound you get from your ukulele. Closed position chords also give more depth and complexity to your songs, and they’re great for when you want to practice chords up and down the neck of your ukulele.

Practice That Chord!

Once you know the notes of the Am7 chord and the ways to play it, try substituting it in some of your favorite songs that use the Am7 (A minor 7) chord to see how it sounds. If you keep a journal of the chords you learn on your ukulele, keep this one handy to add some great nuance to your songs.

As always, if you want to learn more about chord progressions and substitutions, check out our memberships at Uke Like The Pros to get access to lots of great courses for ukulele, baritone ukulele, guitarlele and even guitar players!

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