Types of `Ukulele Chords

Open position chords, movable form chords, 4-part "jazz" chords, and free form chords.

Published: 02 Jan 2005 Updated: 29 Mar 2022Visits: 459Code: UL114

Topic: Chords Instruments: ukulele Subjects: Chords • Beginner • Intermediate • Advanced • Core

Types of `Ukulele Chords

That is what you'll be doing the most of when playing the ukulele - "Playing Chords".

Naturally, for ukulele, all chords need to be voiced using only the four strings available. You would think that this is limiting when in actuality it's quite liberating when you learn the makeup of chords. This lesson covers the types of chords possible on ukulele.

Chords can be categorized in to four categories: open position chords, movable form chords, 4-part - a.k.a. jazz chords, and free from chords.

Open Position Chords

Open Position chords are the basic first chords most players learn. There are the chords in the first one, two, three and fours frets of the ukulele and include at least one open string. Learn about 19 open position chords and you'll be able to play a load of songs.

Open Position Chords

Basic Movable Form Chords

Movable Form Chords are the basic open position re-finger to allow transposition the additional keys. The first movable form chord chord players typically learn is Bb.

Basic Movable Form Chords

Traditional and Contemporary Triads

Triads - At the heart of most chords there is a major, minor, diminished or augmented triad. Theses are the fundamental, traditional three note chords that have been around for centuries. The basic major and minor Open Position and Movable Form chords where triads with a duplication of one of the notes in the chord.

Triads are at the heart of the Open Position, Basic Movable Form and 4-Part Jazz chords.

Traditional and Contemporary Triads

“Jazz” Chords

These chords are simply 4-part Contemporary Chords used in a wide variety of music and where you start to learn how chords are constructed and where they come from. Beyond a core set of chords this is where you'll start to realize that they're too many shapes to memorize all the possible chords shapes. You need to build and derive all your chords from a core foundation of chords.

“Jazz” Chords

Free Form Chords

It’s just the notes!!!

Free Form chords are those chords that do not fall into one of the other categories. They typically don’t show up in chord dictionaries or software programs.You can create these chords when you know the notes of the ukulele fingerboard, know how chords are constructed and know the names of the notes the chord and the intervals that make up the chord.

Free Form Chords

End of Lesson - Thanks, Hope You Enjoyed It!

Related Lessons

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Basic `Ukulele Chord Fingering

The art and science of chord fingering. Learning your basic open position chords in common keys. We have four fingers and there're all not equal. Some shorter then others and some stronger that others. Everybody's hand is a little different. This does play a role in fingering chords.

Transposing Individual `Ukulele Chords

"Transposition" is the process of moving a note, chord, scale or any musical passage from one key to another key. All music can be transposed, from a single note to a complex musical score. This lesson deals with transposing chords on ukulele and transposing chords.

Understanding a `Ukulele Chord Diagram

There're a lot different ways to show chord shapes, diagrams and images on a fretted instrument. This is the basic chord diagram I use in all my lessons and book. In this lesson the basic chord diagram as used for ukulele is explained.

Dominant Seventh Chords?

Not all seventh chords are actually "dominant" seventh chords. This lesson covers when is a Dominant Seventh Chord NOT truly a Dominant seventh?

What Finger is What?

Just what are the fingers of the plucking and fretting hand called. There can be a bit of confusion as to what the names and numbers of your fretting hand and the plucking or strumming hand are. Here are some of the common fingering notations I’ve encounter over the course of my studying ukulele and guitar.

Basic Open Position `Ukulele Chord Chart

A core set of basic ukulele chords that ALL Ukulele players should know in the five common keys of C, G, D, A and E. With the possible seventh chords for the same common keys. The chart is organized in common keys and covers basic chords in these keys.

Core Chords - The Big Six - Building a Solid Chord Foundation

The Big Six Core Chords is a series of lessons for building your core, essential 4-part chords. These chords commonly called jazz chords, are really just 4-part chords used in a wide range of musical styles. These chords include: Seventh , Major Seventh, Minor Seventh, Half Diminished Seventh or Minor Seven Flat Five, Diminished Seventh, and Augmented Seventh. These six chords form a core set of chords.

Building a Solid Jazz Chord Foundation for `Ukulele

Commonly called "Jazz Chords", these more sophisticated, contemporary chord voicings find their way into a wide variety of music forms and styles. This lesson is the first on the series that builds your core foundation for these chords.

Movable `Ukulele Chords

A series of weekly ukulele lessons originally presented throughout 2007 on movable ukulele chords as the "Ukulele Chord of The Week Series". Based on the Ukulele Chords book by Curt Sheller (me). It takes the open position chords and shows the movable form and the variations.

Upper Partial Chord Tones

Upper Partials or extensions for chords are the 9th, 11th, and 13ths of a chord. The 9, 11 and 13 can be altered chord tones depending on the type: e.g: b9, #9, #11, b13. These numbers, the 9, 11 and 13 refer to the scale tone/chord tone relative to the major scale used for building all chords.

Diminished & Augmented Chords

Movable form "Diminished" and "Augmented" form chords.

Creating Cool `Ukulele Chords

Cool Chords - These are the chords do not typically show up in chord dictionaries or song books. These are the chords players ask, "What is that chord?"

Your First `Ukulele Chord

Your first ukulele chord is typically an open position "C Major Chord." It's only one finger and ukulele players love to show new players this, the easiest, usable ukulele chord for new players. Especially someone coming from guitar where an open position C major is three fingers and not that easy as the first chord.

Basic Open Position `Ukulele Chord Chart for Lefties

A core set of basic ukulele chords that ALL Left Handed Ukulele players should know in the five common keys of C, G, D, A and E. With the possible seventh chords for the same common keys. The chart is organized in common keys and covers basic chords in these keys.

Open Position Chords

The basic first chords most players learn. There are the chords in the first one, two, three and fours frets of the ukulele and include at least one open string.

Basic Movable Form Chords

Sometimes called barre chords, these chords venture beyond the third fret.

Traditional and Contemporary Triads

A "Triad" is a three note chord. In traditional chord theory there are four traditional triad chord types: major, minor, diminished and augmented. And four contemporary triad chord types: sus2, sus4, add2 and add9. Triads can be used harmonically, as chords and melodically, as single notes. Triads are a great way to get started with creating melodic solos and improvising.

4-part Contemporary Chords, a.k.a. Jazz Chords

Core Chords is a series of lessons for building your 4-part chords. These chords commonly called jazz chords, are really just 4-part chords used in a wide range of musical styles. Beyond basic open position chords, basic movable form chords and a core set of 4-part chords. There are just too many chords shapes too memorize. Learning the principles of how chords are constructed and the ukulele fingerboard are the way to go. Then you can create more advanced chords like 9#11, 7#5-9, 13b5, 7+9 on the fly as needed.

Free Form Chords

"Free Form" chords are those chords that do not fall into one of the other chord categories. They typically don't show up in chord dictionaries or software programs. You can create these chords when you know the notes of the ukulele fingerboard, know the principles of chord construction and know the actual names of the notes the chord as well the intervals that make up a chord.

Related Books & Charts

Related Books for Types of `Ukulele Chords.

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A Guide to Ukulele Chords for Lefties

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Covering basic ukulele chords that ALL uke players MUST know, movable chord forms, rock uke chords, how to transpose chords, learning the ukulele fingerboard and an introduction to 4-part jazz chords and more... FOR LEFTIES - Tunings: C, G, or D Tunings. Low or high string four variations.

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A Guide to Advanced Ukulele Chords - Volume I

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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.

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A Guide to Ukulele Chords, 2nd Edition

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A Guide to Ukulele Chords, Second Edition is designed as a guide to ukulele chords. Covering the basic ukulele chords that ALL ukulele players SHOULD know. A Guide to Ukulele Chords covers movable chord forms, rock chords, how to transpose chords, learning the ukulele fingerboard and includes an introduction to 4-part, a.k.a jazz chords and more...

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Exploring Jazz Chords on Ukulele

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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.

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The Advanced Guide to Chord Progressions for Ukulele - Volume I

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Before individual chords become the background of songs, they must be put into orders called chord progressions. The Advanced Guide to Chord Progressions for Ukulele organizes progressions according to string family, position, voice leading and chord magnetism.

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Ukulele Chords - C Tuning

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This chord book is a great addition to you music book library. Ukulele Chords covers basic open position and basic movable form chords.

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This is not really a song, but simply saying that for the purposes of a lot of the lessons and lesson series on this site ANY song will do for exploring the lesson's material and concepts presented in the lesson.

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Triads - Traditional and Contemporary Triads

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Introduction to Soloing on `Ukulele Using Scales and Triads Plus One

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Intro to Improvisation using scales and and triads + 1 - lessons for developing the ability to improvise or "take a solo".

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