Learn Ukulele Chords: Charts And Diagrams

Image: Pixabay

One of the most fun to play is the Ukulele. Learn Ukulele chords: charts and diagrams. In this article, we will show you all the basics of playing this musical instrument.

ADVERTISEMENT

If you feel ready to start playing the ukulele or already play it but want to get better at it, you are in the right place. The first place to begin is by learning all the ukulele chords and their instructions. There are a lot of different chords, but the good news is that you will not need to learn them all by heart before you can begin to play. Often, just memorizing a few ukulele chords is quite enough to begin to play.

The Ukulele Chart

There are 180 different ukulele chord diagrams. They can be divided into minor ukulele chords, major ukulele chords, major ukulele chords, augmented ukulele chords, diminished ukulele chords, sixth ukulele chords, seventh ukulele chords, ninth ukulele chords, suspended ukulele chords, added ukulele chords.

Image: Wikipedia

There are also different keys. Here are all of them: A, Bb / A#, B, C, Dd / C#, D, Eb / D#, E, F, Gb / F#, G, Ab / G1.

If you are a complete beginner, you might find all of this a bit overwhelming but be assured that learning to read chord diagrams is not as difficult as it may seem. In fact, it is quite easy!

Learning the basics is good enough to get you started. Let us look at the chord diagrams in details and discuss what everything you will see there means.

There’s something about the ukulele that just makes you smile. It makes you let your guard down. It brings out the child in all of us. – Jake Shimabukuro

The first thing that you will need to know is to look at the ukulele chart and familiarize yourself with it. Take your time with it so you do not get overwhelmed. The first thing you should notice is that there is a common pattern between the chart and the neck of the ukulele. Each of the vertical lines on the chord chat represents a ukulele string and each one of the horizontal lines represents a fret on the ukulele. There are some ukulele horizontal lines that have no numbers. They represent the frets that go from one to four and the headstock of the ukulele at the top. There are also horizontal lines with numbers next to them, those numbers represent a fret that is further along what is known as the fretboard.

Image: Wikipedia

More Symbols on the Ukulele Chart

You might also notice that some of the vertical lines have circles at the top. What do those open circles mean? Those open circles mean that when you play you should leave that particular string open (i.e., do not touch it) as you create the chord.

ADVERTISEMENT

The black dots located on the vertical lines indicate where you should place your fingers.

The X symbols on some of the chords are located at the top of some vertical lines to indicate where you will need to mute the string. The way to mute the string is by resting your finger on top of the chord but making sure that you do not push it down on the fret.

If you see the thick line at the top of some of the chords, do not be confused by them. Not all ukulele music features them, but they are just symbols that stand for the nut of the ukulele. The nut of the ukulele is right above the frets. So, if you see the thick line on a piece of ukulele music you are reading, take it to mean an illustration of the first four frets on your ukulele.

The first chord on the chart is “A”. Playing that chord could not be any easier. Simply cover G (the first string) with your index finger right at the second fret. Also, cover C (the second string) with your middle finger right at the first fret. And, making sure that you leave the last two strings on the ukulele open, strum. That is all it takes to play the “A” chord.

It is also important that you familiarize yourself with some of the illustrations that you might find in different ukulele chord diagrams. For example, you might come across some such diagrams that include numbers. Each of the numbers at the bottom of each of the illustrations is there simply to indicate what finger you would need to use when playing that specific chord. Number 1 means that you need to use your index finger; number 2 means that you need to use your middle finger; number 3 means that you need to use your ring finger; and number 4 means that you need to use your pinkie.

As I try to get around with a guitar, a banjo and a suitcase of high heels and dresses, I treasure that little ukulele. – Valerie June

Useful Ukulele Playing Tips For Beginners

Here are some useful tips for playing the ukulele.

Image: Pixabay

The first tip may sound rather obvious, but you be surprised to hear how many people forget about it. Do not forget to tune your ukulele. There are two basic ways of doing that: you can buy a tuner or else use a ukulele tuning application (app). It does not matter what you use as long as you remember to tune each of the strings. This might take time but the more you do it the easier (and faster) it gets. You should not play any chords until you have tuned your instrument.

If the chords do not sound right after you have tuned your ukulele, make sure that your fingers are on the frets and that you are not touching or muting any of the strings. If the position of your fingers seems correct, then you would need to go back to tuning. If your ukulele is brand new you might need to tune it often until it sounds right. That is just part of the breaking in the process but it is only a temporary issue.

More from Juan Ramos, MA

Canada Map

Canada Map: Canada is the second largest country in the world by...
Read More
Opinions expressed are solely the authors and do not express the views or opinions of Science Trends nor the author's institution.
Cite this article as:
Juan Ramos, MA. Learn Ukulele Chords: Charts And Diagrams, Science Trends, 2018. Available at:
http://doi.org/10.31988/SciTrends.22563
*Note, DOIs are registered Friday weekly and therefore may not work until then.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *