The ukulele player needs to have a great number of chords in the arsenal, and today’s chord is a big one: The D chord! This can be a challenging ukulele chord, but there are many ways you can play it. The trick is to experiment with the different techniques and then you’ll be able to decide which one you prefer. Let’s find out how to play this!
D chord: Three Notes, Two Fingers
First, be sure your ukulele is tuned to G-C-E-A:
The D chord has the notes D, F#, and A, which come from the D major scale. The first way to play the D chord is to use your index finger and place it on the G and C strings of the second fret. You can treat this like you would a barre chord, meaning your finger lays over more than one string. Your middle finger will then hold down the E string.
Try forming the chord shape this way and test each string out, listening for a clear tone that isn’t a “dud” or “muffled”. You may have to adjust your fingers until you hear the clear tone. Then strum across all four strings. Even though the D chord is made up of three notes D, F#, and A, all four strings are played. In this case, there is an extra A note that is played.
Read more: How to play the D7 CHORD on yout Ukulele
You can play the D chord with three fingers instead of two if it feels better to you. Use your first, second, and third fingers to hold down the G, C, and E strings. Alternatively, you can use your second, third, and fourth fingers. If you are going to use this three-finger method you will need to make sure the angle of your fingers is such that isn’t in the way of the A string and muting it.
You can play the D chord, moving it up the neck, but you will not have your fingers in the same positions. When you move up two frets to the fourth fret, you will still be playing a D, F#, and A but this will be an E chord instead of a D. This is the point where we go a little deeper into music theory, but don’t be scared. The D is the root of the chord. This means that when you place your finger on the third string, the note that you are now on will be your new root note and chord.
For this E chord, you will barre the fourth fret with your middle or second finger, holding down strings G and C. Then place your third finger right next to it on the E string. Your first finger will hold down the second fret of the A string. I know this sounds weird and complicated and it may very feel awkward. But, it’s pretty cool that we have a whole new way of playing the D chord notes D, F#, and A.
Read more: Ukulele High G vs Low G
You can keep going up the neck of the ukulele, forming more chords too. The F chord played on the fifth fret and the F# chord played on the sixth fret also contains the notes D, F#, and A.
What are the notes in the D chord?
The notes are D, F#, and A.
What fingers should I use?
Use your index and middle or index, middle, and ring fingers.
How can I practice this chord?
Practice the D chord by determining which finger position is your favorite and playing it repeatedly.
While the D chord can be challenging, it’s a very important chord that you will see in many songs. For additional playing tips, check out this video by Terry Carter, founder of Uke Like the Pros: Ukulele Chords Beginner D Major Chord Mania. You can also check out the Uke Like the Pros memberships at www.ukelikethepros.com for courses, techniques, song tutorials, and more. You have now learned how to play the D chord…another chord to add to your ukulele toolbox!]