Movable `Ukulele Chords

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

PUBLISHED: Jan 2, 2005 • UPDATED: Jan 11, 2016 • LESSON CODE: UL200 • VISITS: 80

ukulele Subjects: intermediatechordsmovablebarre

Movable `Ukulele Chords

A series of weekly ukulele lessons, originally presented throughout 2007 on movable ukulele chords as the Chord a Week Series. Based on my Ukulele Chords book it takes the open position chords and shows the movable form and the variations.

Beyond memorizing a core set of basic open position chords, a couple of movable form chords as well as a basic set of 4-part chords. You can't possibly memorize all the possible chord shapes available on the ukulele. You need to be able to create chords on the fly as needed. With a basic knowledge of the principles of how chords are constructed and knowing the notes of the ukulele fingerboard this is possible. So throw out the chord dictionaries, software programs and your chord charts and get started on REALLY knowing chords.

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Go to 20 Plus Chords below

These Ukulele Chord, Movable Chord series of lessons presents additional information not in my Ukulele Chords, "C" Tuning book.

I constantly read on-line and hear, "What's the best site or software for chords? What's an Em7/A, add, sus4, etc...?"

Well, some bad news. Chord dictionaries, software and web sites are not the answer. Even traditional chord theory does not offer any insight into unraveling the complexity of chord voicings. There's no magic to learning chords on the ukulele or any chord capable instrument. It's the organization of the material to be covered, knowledge of where and what the notes are that are available on your instrument, how chords are constructed and just work, work, work on it.

This Ukulele Chord of The Week series of lessons is set up to address one common problem I have seen over and over with students learning any new topic, scale, chord or just about anything on the ukulele. That problem is that simply understanding something gives a student a false sense that it's easy and therefore give me more. Initial success is no indication of future success when learning chords and switching chords.

Understanding something is just the first-step and really one of the easiest steps. BUT - and a big but, it's the time needed for the motor skills to develop for anything new and for the new material to get into your more long term memory. This development of the new motor skills like switching chords or learning new fingerings for a chord takes time. There are no shortcuts to developing the physical skills needed to the point that the ear is in control and getting to chords operates at a deeper sub-conscience level – This takes TIME - you just need to do it over and over and over.... Even a marathon runner knows is more than just putting one foot in front of another faster than the other runners - it takes time. It take deliberate work and effort.

As far as learning new basic open position chords and basic movable form chords don't try and absorb more than you can handle. This can happen if coming to the ukulele from guitar. You must treat the ukulele as a new instrument that just happens to be the same relative tuning as the guitar. The theory and motor skills will transfer but the names have changed when using the standard "C" tuning for ukulele. And - this is nice - you don't have the strumming accuracy issues that is inherent in the guitar with the additional lower two strings, five and six.

Learning basic open position chords and the basic movable form chords presented in the Ukulele Chord, Movable Chord Lessons will set you up for the more advanced chords, typically called “jazz” chords.

As an advance jazz guitar student, I had been struggling with more advanced chords such as #11, 9#11, 13b5, 9#5, 6/9, etc... So I asked my mentor and music guru, Chuck Anderson, "How do you remember so many chord shapes?" The answer was quite profound and a real break through in my learning. His answer - "YOU DON'T MEMORIZE COUNTLESS SHAPES. For more advance chords you create them on the fly as needed from a solid base foundation of core chords." It's actually that simple. It's all about deriving new information from known mate

Core Chords

Beyond memorizing the basic open position, their movable form versions and a basic set of core 4-part chords. You create all other chords on the fly as needed. With a knowledge of how chords are constructed and the notes of the fingerboard this is possible. Heck, with this knowledge you can write you own dictionary, software or series of chord lessons. Ultimately your core chords expand to include more chords than you ever thought possible to learn.

Movable Form Chords

Basic open position and movable form chords are the basis for this Ukulele Chord a Week series of lessons. The original series ran in the first part of 2007 and has been enhanced and improved ever since.

Movable chord forms are chords with no open strings. These chords are transposable by moving each note of the chord the same number of frets up and down the neck. Each movable form is based on a common open position chord. 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 to any key. From these basic movable form chords more advanced chords can be created.

20+ Ukulele Chord Lessons

Each lesson presents the movable form chord and the open position chords it's based on. Practice progressions and additional chords are derived from the lesson's main chords. The chord tones and intervals of the chord are shown and more…


Major Chords

Major are the most common chords and so common that they typically pronounced without the qualifier major and simply written as a single capital letter. Can be written as: maj, M, MAJ, or rare the delta symbol Δ. Any other symbol would be rare and you'll need to figure it out based on the content it is being used.


Lesson 1 - A Major (the A-Bb movable form)

The Canadian chord - Eh?

Lesson 2 - C Major (the C-Db movable form)

The Spanish chord - .

Lesson 3 - F (the F-Gb movable form)

Lesson 4 - G (the G-Ab movable form)

Lesson 6 - D (the D-Eb movable form)

Lesson 7 - E (the E-F movable form)

Strange voicing with a bit of a stretch for tenor and baritone ukuleles - but worth exploring.

Note: There's no open position B major chord in C tuning. However anyone of the above chords can be transposed, using it's movable form to create a B major chord.

Minor Chords

Minor are the second most common chords and typically pronounced as minor. Can be written as: m, min, -. Any other symbol would be rare and you'll need to figure it out based on the content it is being used.


Lesson 8 - Am (the Am-Bbm movable form)

With the introduction of the first minor chord we can start to do a wider variety of chord progressions.

Lesson 9 - Cm (the Cm-Dbm movable form)

Lesson 10 - Dm (the Dm-Ebm movable form)

Lesson 11 - Em (the Em-Fm movable form)

Lesson 12 - Fm (the Fm-Gbm movable form)

Lesson 13 - Gm (the Gm-Abm movable form)

4-part Seventh Chords

Seventh are the third common chord and pronounced as seven or seventh. Typically written as: 7. Any other symbol would be rare and you'll need to figure it out based on the content it is being used.


Lesson 14 - A7 (the Bb7 movable form)

Sometimes inaccurately referred to as a dominant seventh chord.

This seventh chord is a core chord. From your core chords ALL other 4-part chords can be derived.

Lesson 15 - B7 (the B7-C7 movable form)

Lesson 16 - C7 (the C7-Db7 movable form)

This seventh chord is a core chord. From your core chords ALL other 4-part chords can be derived.

Lesson 17 - D7 (the D7-Eb7 movable form)

Lesson 18 - E7 (the E7-F7 movable form)

This seventh chord is a core chord. From your core chords ALL other 4-part chords can be derived.

Lesson 19 - F7 (the F7-Gb7 movable form)

Lesson 20 - G7 (the G7-Ab7 movable form)

This is a very common chord. It's sometimes the second or third chord that a ukulele player will learn after C and G. If a song in the key of C, an has only two chords, chances are it's C and G or G7.

This seventh chord is a core chord. From your core chords ALL other 4-part chords can be derived.

Neutral Chords

A Neutral chord is where anyone of the notes in the chord can be the names of the chord.Well not really


Lesson 21 - Diminished 7

A Diminished 7 chord doesn't really need a lesson page on its own. A diminished 7th chord is a "neutral" chord. This is where ANY note in the chord can be the root or letter name of the chord.

Lesson 22 - Augmented

An Augmented chord doesn't really need a lesson page on its own. An augmented 7th chord is a "neutral" chord. This is where ANY note in the chord can be the root or letter name of the chord.

Congratulations on Knowing a Boat Load of Chords.

DONE!!! - Well, not really done - but a good start. At this point you should know a boat load of chords up and down the fingerboard.

Related Lessons

Related Lessons for Movable `Ukulele Chords at this time.


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

4-Part Movable 7th Chord Forms

A - Open Position and Movable Forms

'Eh' – the Canadian chord.

Backdoor Chord Progressions

Related Lesson Files, Resources and Assets

Related Assets for Movable `Ukulele Chords at this time.


A Guide to Advanced Chords Series - Chord Building Chart

A handle dandy reference chart for building fifteen (15) basic triads and 4-part chords.

Members Only
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Basic Ukulele Chord Chart

A chart of the most common ukulele chords in the most common keys of C, G, D, A, and E.

Related Lesson Books

Related Books for Movable `Ukulele Chords at this time.


Ukulele Chords - C Tuning

The ukulele chord book for every ukulele gig bag or case. New Updated 2 Printing.

A Guide to Blues Chord Progressions for Ukulele A to Z

26 blues progression in C and G tuning, progressing from basic to advanced jazz progression, with chord grids and substitutions

A Guide to Ukulele Chords, 2nd Edition

Covering the basic ukulele chords that ALL ukulele players SHOULD know.

A Guide to Advanced Ukulele Chords - Volume I

A highly organized and efficient approach to the mysterious subject of advanced chords.

A Guide to Ukulele Chords

Covers the basic ukulele chords that ALL ukulele players SHOULD know.

Related Songs

Related Songs for Movable `Ukulele Chords at this time.


Any Song Will Do

When any song here can be used for the concepts in the lessons.

Related Lesson Series

Related Lessons Series for Movable `Ukulele Chords at this time.


Basic Ukulele Chords Charts

Not so much a series - but the basic chords ALL ukulele players should know.

Basic Ukulele Chords Charts - As much as I preach the need to not have to rely on chords charts. When you're first learning the ukulele and chords these charts are a real help - just not long a term alternative to actually knowng your chords, where they come from and how to create them when needed.

Blues Chord Progressions

From A to Z - These are the 26 blues chord progressions, extracted from my book Blues Chord Progressions for Ukulele from A to Z for use with on-line and private students.

Common Chord Progressions and Remembering Songs

Learning the similarities between chord progressions and songs helps you remember a lot of songs. There's a lot more in common between songs than one might think.

This series of lessons explores common chord progressions.

Remembering songs is lot like remembering the directions for a road trip. There are the turn-by-turn directions, road maps, signs and landmarks. Turn here, turn there, remember this and remember that landmark. With a songs it's the chords, the harmonic cells and form of the song.

With a few music tools and an understanding of the principles of how chords and chords progressions work. You can start unraveling what's going on in a song. There's a lot more in common between songs than you might think. Each song has it's own direction, signs and landmarks.

Core Ukulele Chords - The Big Six

Core Chords for Ukulele, The Big Six - From four F7 chord voicings or shapes, your can build your massive 4-part, a.k.a., “jazz” chord vocabulary. 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.

Harmonic Analysis for Scale and Chord Selection

Harmonic Analysis is the process used to determine the harmonic function of chords within a chord progression or song. A chord progression is defined as a sequence of chords, each chord has a root and is a particular chord type. The relationship of a chord's to a scale determines its function within that scale's tonality.

This series of lessons are extracted from my book for use with individual private and on-line students-members.

Movable Form Ukulele Chords

Movable Chords are chords without open strings that can be transposed to any key up and down the fingerboard. This series covers the movable chords based on the basic open position chords as well as contemporary 4-part, a.k.a. "jazz" chords.

Open Position Chords

This series explores open position chords and their movable form. As well as a few of their derived chords.

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