Open Position Chord

Movable Form Chord

One Root

Un-like the chords in the previous lessons. This chord contains only one root and is on string three.

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.

Here is a Basic Member lesson on some of the possible fingerings of the open position D major chord.

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 3.

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The root is on string 3, the C 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 - D F♯ A

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

  • 1 - the Root or letter name of D Major is D
  • 3 - the third of D Major is F♯
  • 5 - the fifth of D Major is A
  • ♭7 - the seventh of D Major is

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.

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.

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.

12 Bar Blues in Key of "C" Major

12 Bar Blues in Key of "G" Major

12 Bar Blues in Key of "D" Major

12 Bar Blues in Key of "A" Major

12 Bar Blues in Key of "E" Major

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Video Coming Soon

Sometime soon I'll get around to shooting a few videos using these chords.

The A chord and it's movable form has a video of the practice progression.

Related Lessons for:

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

Basic Open Position Ukulele Chord Chart

A core set of basic chords that ALL Ukulele players should know in five common keys: C, G, D, A and E. With the common “dominant” seventh chords in every key. The chart is organized in common keys and covers basic chords in those keys.

Of the 15 possible major and relative minor keys in music. There are five common keys to get started with: C, G, D, A, and E. 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 the songs that are most popular.

Understandably this is one of the most popular lessons on the site. Chords are what you do the most on ukulele.

Master these open position chords and when you venture past he third fret you will see that it's not as foreign chord territory as you might have thought.

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Core Chords - Building a Solid Foundation of Contemporary Chords

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

The most important notes or chord tones in a chord are the notes that contribute 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 any note that makes it different from other chord types with the same root are the color tones.

This lesson is a more for less type of lesson exploring what notes are actually important in chords. The best place to start with this concept is 4-part chords and the Big Six Core Chords.

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Related Books

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

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