Ukulele Chords – Learn To Play Easy Chord Changes
How to play ukulele?
It is very fun and mostly easy to play ukulele chords. Let’s take a look at some easy chord changes!
Before we delve too deeply into our ukulele chords let’s take a look at the tuning of your ukulele. The resulting names of the chords we play depend on how we tune the ukulele.
In this ukulele lesson, I assume that you play a soprano ukulele and that you have turned it in C.
What does C-tuning mean?
Let’s take a look at the piano keyboard to find out how to tune the ukulele.
C-tuning means that the third string on you ukulele is tuned to a C. If you use a piano when you tune your ukulele you will find these notes in the octave in the middle of the keyboard.
The notes in this most commonly used octave on the piano are called C4-B4. The number 4 indicate that the notes are on the fourth octave on an ordinary piano.
The first string on your ukulele will be tuned to an A4 as we call it. The next string will sound like the piano key E4. The third string will be the note C4. The fourth string will be the note G4.
Our first chord is C major. Let’s take a look at it:
C: 0/4 0/3 0/2 3/1
What type of notation is this?
This is a type of ukulele tab notation where we use numbers to indicate which fret to press down and on which string.
3/1, for example, means: Press down fret 3 on string 1.
We will now proceed with the chord G major:
G: 0/4 2/3 3/2 2/1
As you can see this chord is the same chord as a D major on a guitar. A little bit confusing if you also play guitar but I guess you will get used to it.
The chord F major looks like this on your ukulele:
F: 2/4 0/3 1/2 0/1
Now we have three chords at our disposal and we can create our first ukulele chord progression:
C / / / G / / / F / / / G / / /
What does the slashes mean?
The most basic way to interpret this notation is:
Strum once on a chord name. Continue strumming on the same chord once for every slash!
Let’s add one more chord to make this progression a little bit more interesting. Here is G7:
G7: 0/4 2/3 1/2 2/1
Here is the progression:
C / / / G7 / / / F / / / G7 / / /
Before we end this ukulele lesson we will add just one more chord. Here is D minor:
Dm: 2/4 2/3 1/2 0/1
Here is the ukulele chord progression:
C / / / G7 / / / Dm / / / G7 / / /
To really learn to play chords on your ukulele it is important to play them together. The most difficult part is to change from one chord to another smoothly without slowing down the tempo.
Try practicing playing two chords at a time. The actual training consists of changing between the chords.
This is a great way to rapidly learn to play the chords of any ukulele song!
Ukulele Lessons – What You Can Expect
The ukulele craze has not reached Singapore as it has in the United States or Hawaii. However it is getting popular as there are a couple of music schools in Singapore which are actively promoting ukulele playing. The most popular music instrument is the guitar, so there are plenty of guitar teachers but less ukulele teachers. Some guitar teachers taught themselves how to play the ukulele. As such when you take ukulele lessons in here, you can expect that your ukulele teacher can play both the guitar and the ukulele.
The music education scene in here for Ukulele is such that your child has the option to take ukulele lessons from government schools. All government schools are assigned a budget to promote the arts, whether it be music, drama etc. The other option is to learn the ukulele from a music school in USA or Singapore.
What can you expect from ukulele lessons?
First of all, once you decide on learning how to play the ukulele, you can expect that you have made the right decision as the ukulele is one of the easiest music instruments to learn in a music school in Singapore. Ukulele lessons are easy as the ukulele has only four strings, compared to the guitar which has six strings. The music instrument itself is small and portable. If you check out the ukulele for sale in your local music store, you will find that the beginner ukulele is very affordable compared to other music instruments.
Before you start on your ukulele lessons, you will need to select and buy your ukulele. There is a wide range of ukulele for sale, price starting from fifty dollars for a beginner soprano ukulele to a handcrafted one that costs thousands of dollars. You can ask your ukulele teacher or read out Best Ukulele for Beginners to advise you the type of ukulele to buy.
Now I will proceed to advise you what you can expect from ukulele lessons:
Firstly, for your beginner ukulele lesson, you will be taught to identify different parts of the ukulele. Your ukulele teacher will identify for you the tuning pegs, the four different strings on the ukulele, and so forth. You will be taught how to care for your ukulele. After each practice, use a cleaning cloth to wipe your ukulele before storing in the bag.
Secondly, your ukulele teacher will teach you how to tune the music instrument. As a beginner, you will need to use a music tuner to tune your instrument. It is important to tune your instrument before you play, so as to be able to strum to a tune perfectly. As the ukulele is a string instrument, and the strings are in tension all the time, it is normal for the strings to be out of tune a couple of days after you have tuned it. The other factors that causes the ukulele to go out of tune is the strength which you use to strum the instrument, temperature differences and humidity changes.
Thirdly, you will learn how to position you finger to play on your music instrument. Where you position your fingers determines which notes are produces. You will be able to strum to a song with the combination of correct finger positioning coupled with strumming at the right time. With four strings on the ukulele, you can produce many different chords with different finger positioning.
Fourthly, your ukulele teacher will teach you how to read chord diagrams. It may look very complicated to someone with no music background, but actually picking up different ways of playing chords is easy.
Finally, you need to have a grasp of rhythm and an idea of how to strum to the correct rhythm. Your ukulele teacher will demonstrate this a few times for you, and you will follow your teacher’s lead. On your part you will need to practice and practice to perfect learning to play the ukulele.
Beginner Ukulele Chords – How to Play an F Chord
When you pick up a ukulele for the first time, it can be a little intimidating. There are so many choice of what you can play – it’s often difficult to start. Chord charts will give you a huge list of chords you can play on the ukulele but they can be quite confusing to use.
Which chords should you learn to play first? Which chords are essential to learn? Which chords can be played easily by a beginner? Which chords go together? Which chords are most often used in songs?
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This set of articles sets out to answer those questions and in this particular article we’ll be looking at the F chord.
The F chord, unlike the C chord in the last part, uses two fingers. This makes it slightly more difficult to play for a beginner.
With your middle finger, play the second fret of the G string (the one nearest your head) at the second fret. Now take your index finger and use it to play the E string at the first fret. Pluck these two strings one at time and make sure you can hear them clearly.
Now pluck the C and A strings. Do they sound bright and clear? If not, it is likely that the string is being muted by the bottom of one of your fingers.
Take a look at how your fretting fingers are positioned. If they are fairly flat against the fret board, then they are most likely causing a problem by dampening the strings and preventing them from ringing.
If you find this is a problem, increase the height of your fingers. In order for the strings to ring out, your hand should be arcing above the fretboard rather than laid down against it.
If you want to create a great sound on the ukulele, paying close attention to this aspect of playing is absolutely essential. You’ll encounter this again and again when you start to learn more chords and it’s important to get into the correct way of playing as soon as possible.
So it’s good to get this technique down as soon as you start so that the good habits will transfer through into your later playing.
In rock music, C to F is one of the most common chord changes there is. You’ll hear it over and over in all sorts of genres from country to blues to pop to metal.
And the third chord that will complete this natural progression is the G7 chord. This chord adds the final bit of tension to the progression. And that is the chord that we will be learning in the next article in this series.