~Tuesday 16th of October 2018~
Welcome to UkuGuides!
UkuGuides offers you tons of guides and resources to learn playing the ukulele, how to take care of your beloved instrument and much more. Some guides are directed to newer ukulele players, while others are for advanced players. At the top you can find maintenance guides. After that we go to the moment before your first ukulele (green booklets) until you are an advanced ukulele player (orange booklets). At the end you can find some more theoretical guides. UkuGuides is constantly being updated and new guides are added frequently. Can't find the answer you were looking for? Request a guide by clicking here!
Basic Ukulele Chords For Beginning Players
When you are just starting out with playing the ukulele it can be quite overwhelming, especially if it’s your first instrument ever. Difficult chord diagrams, painful fingers, strumming, feeling the rhythm, tablatures, etc… There are dozens of chords and hundreds of ways to play them (see all of them on UkuChords). While the UkuChords chords charts already shows you the easiest way to play all of the “main chords” (180 in total), it can be slimmed down quite a bit more.
Everything starts with the seven major chords: A B C D E F G (= La Ti Do Re Mi Fa Sol). The most important ones in this list are A C D E F and G. So basically all of them except the B chord. The B isn’t used that much luckily, because it isn’t that easy to play either. Another chord that isn’t easy to play is the E chord, unfortunately this one is used in quite a lot of songs. That’s why I’ve written a dedicated guide for this E chord. Help on how to play the ‘horrific’ E chord can be found right here.
After the major chords, we have the minor chords. Minor chords are widely used and they can give the song a more intimate feel, while major chords are more uptempo and happy. The ones that are most important to learn when you are just starting out are Am, Dm and Em. For your reference I have listed all of the minor chords below.
Some people may argue about this, but I personally think that 7th chords are also very important, and actually not that difficult to play either! They can add a groovy funky feeling to the song and are used a lot in jazz, soul, uptown songs. My favorite is the F7 but I would recommend learning all of them (except maybe the B7). It will also help you when improvising and changing things up to make a song sound more interesting.
In my opinion, these are the very basic chords that every ukulele player should begin with. You can pick a few to start with and then expand. If you know all the chords listed on this page (with a few exceptions), you will already be able to play a very wide range of songs. Keep in mind that you can always transpose a song to a different key to make it a little bit easier!
Want to learn more chords? Take a look at UkuChords.com which contains an archive with almost every ukulele chord there is. It allows you to select a chord and it will show you immediately how to play that chord on the ukulele. There are also free A2 posters and A4 PDF’s available with all chord diagrams.