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D - Open Position and Movable Forms MEMBER LESSON
Published: Dec 28, 2010 Updated: Oct 8, 2011, • 3064

ukulelebeginnerchordschordsbeginnerintermediatecore

Tagging completed lessons for Silver and Gold members coming soon!

D - Open Position and Movable Forms

by Curt Sheller, Curt Sheller Publications

Open position D and its movable form and variations.


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Open Position Chord

6_D.png

Movable Form Chord

6_Eb(movable).png

One Root

Un-like the chords in the previous Open Position Chords series of 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.

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.

Chord Transposition Chart

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

transposition chart for C

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

5_D-chordTones.png
5_D-chordTones-Names.png
  • 1 - the Root or letter name of D is D
  • 3 - the third of D is F#
  • 5 - the fifth of D is A

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.


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 a major or seventh 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.

9th Chords

A 9th chord is a 5-part chord.

For a 5-part 9th chord, the root is implied and displaced for the ninth. Optionally the 3rd of a 7th chord can be lowered two frets (a whole step) for 1 9 5 b7. This really works if you have already played the chord with the third present and establishing the color of the chord.

To create a ninth chord raise the root of a 4-part chord two frets. This applies to a 7th, maj7, m7, 6, m6, m7b5, etc... Most all 4-part chords can be turned into ninth chords. For a 7th chord this would be a 9 3 5 b7.

This same process can be applied to a triad by raising the root two frets. For these chords they are typically called add2 or add9 chords.

Chords are pretty flexible and can be implied by containing the notes of the chord that make it different then another chord types with the same root. Take C and Cm, C is C E G and Cm is C Eb G. The third of the chord the E or Eb is a color tone and is responsible for making a major chord different sounding then a minor chord with the same root.


Chord Progressions

12 Bar Blues in Key of "G" Major

12 Bar Blues in Key of "D" Major

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 private 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 Lesson Files, Resources and Assets

Additional Lessons, Books, Songs, Lessons Series, Reference Material, etc...

Basic Ukulele Chord Chart

A chart of the most common ukulele chords in the most common keys.

Related Lessons

Additional Lessons, Books, Songs, Lessons Series, Reference Material, etc...

WEB_CONTENT_ONLY
Movable `Ukulele Chords

A series of weekly ukulele lessons for learning your chords beyond the third fret.

UL46c
Common Chord Progressions for the Key of D

WEB_CONTENT_ONLY
Fingering an Open Postion D Major `Ukulele Chord

There are several ways to finger an open position D major chord.

Related Books

Additional Lessons, Books, Songs, Lessons Series, Reference Material, etc...

BC1UKE-C

BC1UKE-C

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).

Related Lesson Series

Additional Lessons, Books, Songs, Lessons Series, Reference Material, etc...

No related lesson series for D - Open Position and Movable Forms at this time.

Related Songs

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No related songs for D - Open Position and Movable Forms at this time.

Related Lesson Videos

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No videos for D - Open Position and Movable Forms at this time. Filming a lot of videos for various lessons, songs and books.

Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books!Peter Rhee

Aloha, Curt, All I can say is WOW! What you have accomplished is simply incredible! All the bestGlen Hirabayashi, The Aloha Boys

Folks, if you haven't stopped by Curt's site, do so right now! ..And get his books, they are fantastic. This guy knows his stuff and is able to pass it along too.Alan Johnson Proprietor, The 4th Peg

I can highly recommend Curt's Uke books — I have four of them and they are excellent.fatveg — Portland

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