So, ukulele is all tuned, we know where to place our fingers. Now, it’s time to find out what are the chords and how to play them.
What is a chord?
Chord is a combination of three or more notes that are played at the same time. A note is played singularly and the chord is played with several notes.
First off, you need to know about two types of chords, minor, used for sad sounding songs, and major, light and fun sounding chords.
How does it look like practically?
Let’s take the most popular chord of any guitar player
The Am chord. Letter m tells us that it’s minor!
The Am chord on Ukulele is quite simple, just place your finger on a 4th string of the 2nd fret!
What is a fret?
Frets divide the neck with metal plates, in order to change the tone of the string. Some frets have dots on them, like it’s shown on the image, which help you orientate while playing. Some instruments have these dots on the top butt of the ukulele, which is even more convenient.
Let’s get back to the Am chord. We place our finger only on one string, but in combination with other strings we get a minor chord! I usually hold the chord with my middle finger.
A whole song usually consists of 4-5 chords and, generally, if you know how to hold 5-7 different chords, you can play a majority of the songs out there. The most difficult thing, at first, is to move your fingers to a different chord fast.
Here’s a more sophisticated chord, for example:
G chord, try to hold it. Place your middle finger on the 1st string of the 2nd fret, index finger on the 3rd string of the 2nd fret and ring finger on the 2nd string of the 3rd fret. It may seem really hard at first. You may simply forget what you were playing while you place your fingers. But believe me, every beginner faces this issue. After some time, you’ll get used to placing your fingers correctly without thinking!
Now, try to hold the Am after the G chord and then G again. To make it a little bit more fun, play all the strings while holding the chord. That way, you’ll hear which strings sound properly and which do not (also if you hold each one hard enough).
The sound should be clean!
Basically, these are the first steps for playing Ukulele. Now, you will understand what is a chord and how it can look like. Most important is to remember how to hold each chord and move your fingers to other chords timely. Take it slow – practice makes perfect!