So you’re starting to play the ukulele, searched for some chords, and got scared after reviewing like +200 hard ukulele chords? Don’t worry about it, because today I’m going to give you the solution; the secret to unlocking the ukulele chords door by learning the 5 easiest ukulele chords that you’ll see in hundreds and hundreds of songs.
No, I’m not exaggerating. These 5 easiest ukulele chords that you’ll learn today are going to help you a lot when you start playing your favorite songs! So sit down, grab your ukulele and let’s get started!
5 easiest ukulele chords
I’m being very serious when I say that you’ll see these 5 chords in a lot of songs, and the secret is very simple: Since our ukulele has a G-C-E-A tunning (as shown in the image below), it allows us to play very easy chords in the key of C. This is very important because a lot of songs (a lot, a lot, a lot of songs) are written in the key of C, making them very easy to master.
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Now that we understood the concept behind the “easy” chords, it is now time for us to review the 5 easiest chords that you’ll see in a lot of songs. Since we’re talking about the key of C, let’s start this list by mentioning the –shocking– C chord!!
The only thing that you need to do to play the C chord, is placing your ring finger (3rd finger of your left hand) on the 3rdfret of the 1st string (the A string). Once you place it, you can just strum the 4 strings all together with your thumb or your index finger in one fluid motion. Make sure you get a clean sound on all 4 strings, especially on the 1st string. This can be done by making sure you are pressing down on the string with the tip of your finger and that you are only touching the 1st string.
A minor Chord
This is, by far, one of the 1st chords that people learn on the uke, the “A Minor” chord. Yes, this is a fairly easy chord to play, even as a beginning ukulele player. By simply placing the 2nd finger of your fretting hand on the 4th string 2nd fret of your ukulele, you’ll get the sound of the A minor chord. Here’s a short tutorial on how to master it.
Look at the following chord chart. You see black dots and numbers on the bottom for the F chord. Starting from the top of your fretboard (the part nearest to your pegs), you will see the first fret. Right above the line that borders between the first and second fret is where you will press down on the string with finger 1 (your forefinger) on the E string (the second string from the top). You are almost there! Now just above the line that borders between the second and third fret, press the G string (the first string closest to your head) with finger 2 (your middle finger). Press down firmly. You are almost ready to strum your first F chord.
Learn the complete tutorial on how to play the F chord here.
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D minor Chord
The Dm chord is made up of the notes D-F-A. Given that the open strings of the ukulele are G-C-E-A, we can see that to play the chord requires changing three of those notes (G, C, and E). Starting with the E, if we move one fret up (also known as a half step up), we get F.
Moving onto the C string, if we move up two frets (known as a whole step), we get our D. Combine those two notes with the open A string, and we’ve technically got our D-F-A triad already, just don’t hit the G string when strumming. But when possible, we want to be able to strum all 4 strings of the ukulele and give the chord as full a sound as possible, so let’s add that A two frets up on the G string. There, now we’ve turned G-C-E-A into A-D-F-A, thus giving us our fuller-sounding Dm triad with an extra A.
Learn the complete tutorial on how to play the Dm chord here.
The G on the ukulele is a 3 finger chord and can be found in tons of your favorite songs. This chord shape becomes difficult as you slide it up and down the neck to the A, Ab, B, C, etc. The G chord is a triad, which means 3 notes, the G – B -D. Notice the chord will play 4 strings but you only use 3 different notes, the G note gets repeated. The notes of the G chord come from the G major scale: G – A – B – C – D – E – F# – G. You should recognize that the G – B – D notes are the 1st, 3rd, and 5th degree of the scale.
There you go! Now you’ve learned 5 chords that are commonly used in hundreds and hundreds of songs! What do you think? Pretty doable, right? Practice these chords over and over again and memorize the shapes involved in each and every one of these chords; this will help you tremendously when you start searching for songs to play. Instead of looking for the shape, you can just remember it and play the complete song!
Remember, at the #1 ukulele online site you can learn this and so much more chords, songs, and techniques, as well as have the chance to win ukuleles and accessories! Check our content here and, as a gift, here’s a FREE chord chart to start your journey!
Keep on practicing and happy strumming!