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Sharing Ukulele Tips

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Sharing Ukulele Tips

Postby SparkyCola » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:26 pm

I thought we could share little tips and tricks we've found for playing ukulele...

For instance: How do you play E chord? There are a few ways you can play it to make it easier. I play it like this:
G C E A
| | | |
| | | |
| | | |
1 2 3 [4m]

Where 1 - 4 are my fingers*

In words: 3 fingers on the G C E fourth fret, and my pinky muting the A. (By mute I mean: rest your finger on the string but don't hold it down)

Every time I find a chord really hard to do, like C#m, I check each string/note and see if any are repeated. More often than not, you can mute the string that is causing the chord to be awkward. C#m can be played like the above E chord, but with the mute on the G string instead of A.

Anyone else got any uke tips? :)

Sparky

* (I use more fingers than most I think, I'm a 3 finger D and 4 finger B player for example. )
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Re: Sharing Ukulele Tips

Postby biscuit » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:53 pm

Nice tip, Sparky :)

How do you use four fingers to play a B? (I use 3 for both D and B)

Can't think of anything useful atm :hrm:
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Re: Sharing Ukulele Tips

Postby SparkyCola » Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:01 am

Hm, it's a bit hard to explain :hrm: Let's say:

1: "pointer finger" as Aldrine always calls it :D
2: middle finger
3: ring finger
4: pinky finger

Then I play Bb like this (it looks awkward but I find it way easier than anything else.)

G C E A
| | 2 1
| 3 | |
4 | | |

and B a fret up but same positioning.

I um...kind of arrange my chords so that I never have to have one finger holding down more than one string :oops: Excluding barre chords like Bm7. So I guess it's all or nothing :lol:

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Re: Sharing Ukulele Tips

Postby kellysouthpaw » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:56 am

See I play Bb where I hold E and A both down at the same time with my pointer finger and hold C with my middle finger and G with my ring finger. I can't make the fancy graphics like Sparky can :D, so hopefully that explanation made sense!
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Re: Sharing Ukulele Tips

Postby Faith » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:59 am

I'll have to try your way of playing Bb, Sparky. For whatever reason, I can not seem to hold down E & A with one finger and it always sounds weird.
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Re: Sharing Ukulele Tips

Postby nonchalant obsession » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:01 am

Me either, Faith. But Sparky's way is mega awkward for me, but I get a perfect sound. I guess I'll have to practice.
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Re: Sharing Ukulele Tips

Postby LauraK » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:32 am

Thanks, Sparky! I can do that Bb! Just need to practice.....

I printed up 2 pages of chord diagrams called The Kiwi Ukulele Indispensable Chord Chart and they show an alternate E where you barre the 4th frets and place your pinky on the 7th fret of the A string. Anyone do that?

They also have an alternate B that I can do but should really practice more....B and E intimidate me....
Anyway....barre the 2'nd frets, middle finger on C, 3rd fret; ring finger G string 4th fret.
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Re: Sharing Ukulele Tips

Postby LauraK » Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:10 am

Here's the link to the PDF of that chord chart....
http://www.kiwiukulele.co.nz/Kiwi-Ukule ... -Chart.pdf
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Re: Sharing Ukulele Tips

Postby Faith » Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:32 am

I don't know about you guys, but I can't seem to play barre chords to save my life. Anybody have any tips for that?
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Re: Sharing Ukulele Tips

Postby biscuit » Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:19 am

I guess I find playing B/Bb with my index finger covering both A and E easy because I played guitar before, and the chord is very similar to F/F#/G and so on on the guitar:)

A good tip for playing barre chords is to put your middle finger on top of your index finger for extra weight :wink: This was the first thing I ever learned about playing the uke, from a tutorial on YT, and now it has become second nature :nod:

In some cases you need three extra fingers though, or in the case of a chord like B7 it makes more sense to use the middle finger on the C.

Practice will also definitely pay off!

Another thing is that if you find it hard to press down all the strings with one finger it could be that your tension(?) is too high, meaning the strings are to high up from the neck of the uke. You can get someone to file down the bridge, or do it yourself if you dare, to correct this.
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Re: Sharing Ukulele Tips

Postby SparkyCola » Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:59 pm

^ I think I just have really small fingers- I mean, I like a concert ukulele *despite* the extra space, not because of it :lol:

Agree that practice helps on barre chords. Both the 'Phonics and Neil Finn use B7 quite a lot, usually with a quick change required afterwards. For ages I couldn't do them to save my life, but I can just about do B7 now, just from it being in 3 songs I like. I struggle most on chords where the positions are far away from each other. Like... F7 or something. And being a 7, you can't omit any notes.

That reminds me! Another tip: you probably already know about it but I find this site invaluable: Ukulele Chord Finder ... for finding chords, working out what a chord is actually called, or tuning. It's brilliant.

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Re: Sharing Ukulele Tips

Postby mockingbird » Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:40 pm

For what it's worth - I play a B by barring the second fret and putting my pinkie on the last string, fifth fret. :hrm: I don't know if that's right but it's pretty easy. I've never played a B7, apparently I haven't learned a song that uses it yet, lol. But I play a Bb7 by barring the first fret and putting my middle finger on the second string, second fret. If I see a lot of strings being played on the same fret I just assume I'm supposed to be barring that fret. I find bar chords to be a lot easier to play on the uke than on guitar, although I have gotten a lot better at playing them on guitar since trying to learn some FOTC songs because it seems like all they use is bar chords. They must like them a lot. Often they use them for no reason, when they could just as easily use a non-bar version of the same chord (like on Stana, they use a bar G and C.) I don't get it personally, I'd rather play an open chord any day.
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Re: Sharing Ukulele Tips

Postby closet jemainiac » Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:45 pm

They're just showing off :lol:

Seriously, I think J's ginormous hands probably bar easier than fretting individual strings for an open chord. I cant wrap my brain around those giant hands playing a uke of any size comfortably. :rolleyes:
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Re: Sharing Ukulele Tips

Postby mockingbird » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:39 pm

mockingbird wrote:For what it's worth - I play a B by barring the second fret and putting my pinkie on the last string, fifth fret. :hrm: I don't know if that's right but it's pretty easy.


:lol: OK. My excuse for writing this is that I had just spent ten minutes staring at Jemaine over on the BT thread. I *told* you all he was making me lose my higher brain functions, lol. Um, as you all probably noticed but were too kind to point it out - this is actually a D chord. Not a B.

:sofa:
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Re: Sharing Ukulele Tips

Postby Faith » Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:20 pm

biscuit wrote:
A good tip for playing barre chords is to put your middle finger on top of your index finger for extra weight :wink: This was the first thing I ever learned about playing the uke, from a tutorial on YT, and now it has become second nature :nod:



That worked! Now I just need to practice.
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