8 Lessons in the “Types of Chords Available on Ukulele” Series
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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.
Chord can be categorized into four categories: open position chords, movable form chords, 4-part - a.k.a. jazz chords and free from chords.
There are two approaches to learning chords, the song based approach and learning the fundamentals approach. I'm a big advocate of building a solid base of the fundamentals. A lot of players new to the ukulele like to jump right in and learn songs.
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.
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. A example shows up with the first chord we will cover, a C major chord. It is a one finger chord. That one finger can be anyone of your four fingers.
Sometimes called barre chords, these chords venture beyond the third fret.
Movable chord forms are chords with no open strings. Sometimes called barre chords, 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 and in any key.
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.
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 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.
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