Open Position Chord

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An open position A major chord can be played with any finger. All depends on the context of its use. Typically played with either fingers one and two or two and three.

Movable Form Chord

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Two Roots?

In the open position and movable forms of this chord there are two possible locations for the root or letter of the chord.

String four and string one both contain the root of the chord and can used for transposition purposes. Here I've elected to use the root on string four for no reason other than it is the string closet to me in the playing position. It is also the lowest root note in the chord if using a low "G" tuning.

Movable Chord Forms

Movable chord forms are chords containing no open strings. These chords are transposable to different keys by moving the chord form the same number of frets up and down the neck.

Each movable form is based on a common open position chord. These movable forms allow you to play chords not found in the open position.

Movable form chords allow you to play in any key and transpose chords, progressions and songs to any key. From basic movable form chords more advanced chords can be created.

The functional range of a movable form chord up the fingerboard of your ukulele depends on the ukulele's size (soprano, concert or tenor), the number of frets to the body (10, 12, 14, etc) and whether you have a cut-away for access to higher frets. Not all chords can be transposed a complete octave (12 frets).

Movable form chords can be used along with open position chords. As you learn more movable form chords you'll have a variety of alternate voicings for any given chord.

Movable form chords can be transposed up and down the fingerboard using the root of the chord and a transposition chart.

Chord Fingering

Chord fingering is dependent on several factors. The chord your on, the previous chord, the next chord, your hand and fingers. All chord fingerings shown are recommended fingerings and not mandatory. Most chords have alternate fingerings dependent on the context. The same chord might even be fingered one way in one part of a song or progression and an alternate fingering in another part.

Transposing Movable Form Chords

roots(2_blkandGray).png These lessons use the root of a chord to transpose to different keys. Determine what string the root is on or would be on if not present in the chord's voicing.

Transposing Chart

This transposition chart can be used for any chord where the root, or letter name of the chord is on string 4.

Highslide JS

The root is on string 4, the G string.

Use the Root or implied root of the chord to transpose to different keys.

A larger sized transposition chart is available in my book Ukulele Chords. This is the book these chord lessons are based on.

Chord Tones - A C# E

The chord tones of an A major chord are the 1st, 3rd and 5th scale degrees of the A Major Scale ( A B C# D E F# G# A' ) or A C# E

1_A-chordTones.png 1_A-chordTones-Names.png
  • 1 - the Root or letter name of A Major is A
  • 3 - the third of A Major is C#
  • 5 - the fifth of A Major is E

sus or suspended Chords

A sus chord implies the suspension of the third of a major, minor or seventh chord. The most common and historical use of this suspension involves raising the third of the chord to the fourth for a sus4, or 7sus4. In some contemporary music, the suspension can also be accomplished by lowering the third of a major or minor chord to a second for a sus2 chord.

add2/add9 Chords

Technically the add 2 and add 9 are different chords. Both the 2 and the 9 are the same letters but in different octaves. For all practical purposes, you can treat both the add2 and add9 chords as the same.

Depending on whether you are using a low "G" or high "G", C tuning the added ninth might be a second. Whether you call it an add9 or add2 depends on whether the added note is in the same octave as the root of the chord.

Power Five Chords

A Power 5 chord contains the root and fifth of a major scale. With an optional octave of the root added for a three note power 5 chord. A power 5 chord is technically not a chord in the traditional sense but a dyad or interval. It's more of an implied chord sometimes major and sometimes minor.

7th (Dominant Seventh)

A seventh is can be created by lowering the Root of a major chord two frets.

A seventh can also be created from a major chord by lower the root two frets.

Major Seventh Chords, maj7

A major 7 chord is created by raising the flat seven of a seventh chord one fret.

A major 7 can also be created from a major chord by lower the root one fret.

6 or maj 6

A major 6 or 6th chord is created by lowering the b7 of a seventh chord one fret.

A major 6 can also be created from a major chord by lower the root three frets.

1_A(practice).png

If you ukulele does not allow access to the higher frets for a particular chord, then substitute another movable form chord or an open position chord.

PRACTICE NOTE: To gain the most from these chord lessons and the practice progressions, memorize the location of each chord and the name of the chord.

I've pulled this trick question on a few of my provate students after they have played a chord in a lesson. Typically this happens at the beginning of a lesson before we actually get into the lesson. I'll ask them to play a chord that I just saw them play. I'll say; "Play a D chord." Some will say they don't know chord so and so and yet it's a chord they just played it. Don't let a chord get lost in a particular song or progression. Know it name and it belongs to you.

Related Lessons for:

Lessons of interest and are related to the material covered in this lesson.



Basic Open Position Ukulele Chord Chart

Lesson: UL700a
Published: December 8, 2011Updated: July 19, 2013

Lesson Info

A core set of basic chords that ALL Ukulele players should know in five common keys: C, G, D, A and E. In all common “dominant” seventh chords in every key.

Of the 15 possible major and relative minor keys in music. There are five common keys to get started with. These will allow you to play quite a few popular songs.

This chart is great for new members of ukulele clubs and is organized into common keys of songs.

go to lesson...

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Core Chords - Building a Solid Foundation of Contemporary Chords

Lesson: UL42
Published: November 11, 2013Updated: November 11, 2013

Lesson Info

Core Chords are a concept that I typically apply to 4-part chords and your more contemporary modern chords. This where a solid foundation of a core set of chords really help in learning the massive amout of chords that are required for play contemporarymusic or jazz on ukulele or guitar. Not such a task on ukulele with on one four string set of strings to build your 4-part chords vs. the theorticially possible 15 sets available for guitar.

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Color Tones and Chords

Lesson: UL42-7e
Published: October 7, 2013Updated: January 20, 2014

Lesson Info

The most important notes in a chord are the notes that contribuite most to the actual sound or color of the chord. For a major or minor triad the third of the chord performs this function. For other chords it‘s any note that makes if different from the chords around it.

This lessons is a more for less type of lesson exploring what notes are actually important in chords.

go to lesson...

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Related Books

Chord books of interest and are related to the material covered in this lesson.

HARD COPY

BC1UKE

Hard Copy Book
$6.95

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A Guide to Ukulele Chords

Covering the basic ukulele chords that ALL ukulele players SHOULD know. Plus, an introduction to movable chord forms, rock chords, how to transpose chords, jazz chords and more.

ISBN-13: 978-0-9714044-7-2 Published: January 2009 Pages 54

PDF/eBook

BC1UKE

Printable PDF
$6.95

Add to CartView Cart

With quick download after payment.

HARD COPY

BC1UKE-C

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$5.95

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Ukulele Chords

This mini (1/2 size) chord book is the perfect size for every ukulele gig bag or case and a great addition to you music book library.

Ukulele Chords covers basic open position and basic movable form chords. From these two chord categories a variety of songs and styles can be played.

Seventh chords, Major Sevenths, Minor Sevenths, Diminished, Augmented chords sus and add chords.

Tunings: C with low or high G - (GCEA or gCEA).

ISBN-13: 978-1-60321-000-3 Published: March 2007 Pages 44

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BC1UKE-C

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$5.95

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With quick download after payment.

Apple iBook Available

HARD COPY

UKEREAD1

Hard Copy Book
$9.95

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Ukulele- Reading Music Series - Primer

Learn to read single note melodies in the first/open position. It is a lot easier than you might think with this step-by-step easy to use approach. Tunings: C with low or high G - (GCEA or gCEA).

ISBN-13: 978-0-9714044-1-0 Published: July 2006 Pages 80

PDF/eBook

UKEREAD1

Printable PDF
$9.95

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With quick download after payment.

HARD COPY

AGCUKE1

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$14.95

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A Guide to Advanced Ukulele Chords - Volume I

Beyond learning basic Ukulele chords most players struggle with advanced chords. Commonly called “jazz” chords, these more sophisticated voicings find a wide use in all forms of music.

A Guide to Advanced Chords for Ukulele presents a highly organized and efficient approach to the mysterious subject of advanced chords. Chord dictionaries are not the answer. Even chord theory does not offer any insight into unraveling the complexity of Ukulele chord voicings.

ISBN-13: 978-0-9714044-8-9 Published: March 2003 Pages 70

PDF/eBook

AGCUKE1

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$9.95

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With quick download after payment.

HARD COPY

AGCUKE1STD

Hard Copy Book
$7.95

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Exploring Jazz Chords on Ukulele

Exploring jazz chords using a variety of common chord progressions based on songs from the standard jazz repertoire.

Core Chords are the basic set of chords needed to play a wide range of music, in a variety of styles. This set of chords includes basic open position chords, basic movable form chords and the core 4-part “jazz” chords.

This books focuses on the 4-part core “jazz” chords. These jazz” chords are advanced chords that find their way into a wide range of music. 

ISBN-13: 978-1-60321-007-2 Published: January 2007 Pages 52

PDF/eBook

AGCUKE1STD

Printable PDF
$7.95

Add to CartView Cart

With quick download after payment.

HARD COPY

AGCPB1UKE

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$12.95

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A Guide to Blues Chord Progressions for Ukulele A to Z

The Blues are at the heart of all American music. It has influenced Country, Rock, Folk, Jazz, Bluegrass and just about every form of American music we listen to today.

26 blues progression in C and G tuning, progressing from basic to advanced jazz progression, with chord grids and substitutions explained.

ISBN-13: 978-0-9714044-4-1 Published: March 2005 Pages 80

PDF/eBook

AGCPB1UKE

Printable PDF
$7.95

Add to CartView Cart

With quick download after payment.

HARD COPY

AGCPUKE1

Hard Copy Book
$9.95

Add to CartView Cart

The Advanced Guide to Chord Progressions for Ukulele - Volume I

Before individual chords become the background of songs, they must be put into orders called chord progressions. This The Advanced Guide to Chord Progressions for Ukulele organizes progressions according to string family, position, voice leading and chord magnetism. The Advanced Guide to Chord Progressions for Ukulele is an excellent preparation for the art of melody and chord on the ukulele and more advanced accompaniment.

Volume I features the principles of voice leading applied to chord progressions. These principles are explained using chords from volume I of The Advanced Guide to Ukulele Chords. Chapters with common major and minor full diatonic, partial diatonic and chromatic chord progressions are also included to further explore voice leading principles presented in the book.

.

ISBN-13: 978-0-9714044-9-6 Published: January 2004 Pages 0

PDF/eBook

AGCPUKE1

Printable PDF
$9.95

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With quick download after payment.

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