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Chord Shapes and Learning `Ukulele Chords

Even memorizing a few hundred is time-consuming and not practical.

PUBLISHED: Jan 2, 2005 UPDATED: Jan 11, 2020 • VIEWS: 22 • LESSON CODE: UL40

Instruments: ukulele Subjects: beginnerintermediatechordsbasics

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Chord Shapes and Learning `Ukulele Chords

Pick up any chord dictionary, and one thought that should go through your mind is - TOO MANY CHORDS. There is now way to memorize all those shapes. It would be better off learning how they came up with all those shapes. Most chord dictionaries are also just like pages transposed to all possible keys.

There is no way one can memorize ALL the possible chord shapes. Even learning a few hundred is time-consuming and not practical. Beyond the basic open position chords and basic movable form chords (major, minor and sevenths) – one needs to learn how to constructed chords when needed.

A chord shape is an only a function of a particular instrument and tuning. Knowing where chords come from as well as the notes of the ukulele fingerboard and you can build any chord you will ever need by moving or displacing a note or notes from a core set of basic chords. It's the notes NOT the shape.

What the Pros Do

Pro players build their chords on the fly when needed for the chords they do not use all the time. They can create ANY required chord from their core set of chords. If it's a one they need a lot it just gets memorized without much additional effort. It becomes part of an arrangement or voice leading situation.

A C chord is C E G, a D7 chord is D F# A C - it's not this shape or that shape. The actual notes of a chord are the smallest bit of information that is needed to memorize a chord. that and really knowing the Notes of the Ukulele Fingerboard .


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Related Lessons

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Understanding a `Ukulele Chord Diagram • Updated: Jul 24, 2011

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.

Cool `Ukulele Chords - G7 • Updated: Mar 13, 2015

A non-traditional fingering for the G7 chord using the knowledge that the notes of a G7 chord are G B D F.

Creating Cool `Ukulele Chords • Updated: Mar 13, 2015

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?"

Altered Seventh Chords on `Ukulele • Updated: Apr 4, 2014

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. You can then create more advanced chords like 9#117#5-913b57+9 on the fly as needed from your core set of chords.

Core Chords - The Big Six - Building a Solid Chord Foundation • Updated: Jan 23, 2020

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.

The Big Six chords include: Seventh 7, Major Seventh maj7, Minor Seventh m7, Half Diminished Seventh or Minor Seven Flat Five diminished 7 m7b5, Diminished Seventh o7 and Augmented Seventh +7. These six chords form a core set of chords.

Related Books

Related Books for Chord Shapes and Learning `Ukulele Chords at this time.

A Guide to Ukulele Chords
Updated: Dec 5, 2017

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

Ukulele Chords - C Tuning
Updated: Aug 31, 2019

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

A Guide to Advanced Ukulele Chords - Volume I
Updated: Feb 13, 2020

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

Exploring Jazz Chords on Ukulele
Updated: Nov 24, 2009

Using a variety of common chord progressions based on songs from the standard jazz repertoire.

Related Songs

Related Songs for Chord Shapes and Learning `Ukulele Chords at this time.

Any Song Will Do
Updated: Dec 7, 2015

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

Related Lesson Series

Related Lessons Series for Chord Shapes and Learning `Ukulele Chords at this time.

Common Chord Progressions and Remembering Songs
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

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.

The Blues Progression in Common Keys
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

This series of common blues chord progressions uses the seventh chord vs. a triad to explore the blues chord progression.

Related Lesson Files, Resources and Assets

Related Assets for Chord Shapes and Learning `Ukulele Chords at this time.

Basic Ukulele Chord Chart
Updated: May 11, 2019

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