Music is one of the most powerful ways of communicating without using words. Just by playing a song, we can express our feelings of joy, sadness, anger, and confusion. Music allows us to communicate every emotion we feel. We do this through singing and playing songs. 

The ukulele, similarly to a guitar, bass, and other stringed instruments, creates a full sound when strummed. Chords are the building blocks of songs. By learning the basic chords on the ukulele, you will be able to play just about any song you hear on the radio.

Three different types of chords will be covered: major, minor, and seventh chords.If you don’t know how to read chord diagrams, You can read this article:How to Read Ukulele Chord Diagrams

Major Chords

Major chords create a bright, happy tone. Because of this, they are the most commonly used chords in music. The basic major chords are C, D, E, F, G, and A, depicted below.

C Major Chord

Place your ring finger on the third fret of the bottom string, the A string.

C Major Chord
C Major Chord
D Major Chord

Your pointer, middle, and ring fingers should stick together in a line to press down on the top three strings, all on the second fret.

D Major Chord
D Major Chord
E Major Chord

Place you pointer finger on the first fret of the top (G) string, your middle finger on the second fret of the bottom (A) string, and stretch your pinky to press down on the fourth fret of the second (C) string.

E Major Chord
E Major Chord
F Major Chord

Use your middle finger to press down on the second fret of the first/top string (G), and your pointer to press on the first fret of the third (E) string.

F Major Chord
F Major Chord
G Major Chord

Form a triangular shape with your fingers, as seen in the diagram. Your pointer should be on the second fret of the C string, middle on the second fret of the A string, and your ring finger to complete the triangle on the third fret of the E string.

G Major Chord
G Major Chord
A Major Chord

Similar to F major, place your middle finger on the second fret of the G string while your pointer is on the first fret of the C string.

A Major Chord
A Major Chord

Minor Chords

Once you’ve learned the major chords, learning minor chords are the next step. Minor chords create a sad, dark mood, but they are also used to complete most songs. Most songs consist of both major and minor chords in order to create tension and release between the happy and sad tones. Minor chords are marked with a lowercase “m” as illustrated below:

D Minor Chord

Your middle and ring fingers should be right next to each other on the second fret of the top two strings, while you tuck your pointer on the first fret of the third (E) string.

D Minor Chord
D Minor Chord
E Minor Chord

This chord forms a diagonal line with your fingers. Your ring finger should be on the fourth fret of the C string, middle on the third fret of the E string, and pointer on the second fret of the A string.

A Minor Chord

Simply place your middle finger on the second fret of the top string.

A Minor Chord
A Minor Chord

Seventh Chords

Lastly, knowing how to play some seventh chords can be helpful when it comes to learning more complex music. Seventh chords are less commonly used, and depending on how they are used, can change the mood of any song. See the examples below:

G7 Chord

This chord is a reversed-triangle used in the G Major chord. Your pointer finger is used as the top of the triangle on the first fret of the E string. Your middle and ring fingers are then on the second fret of the C and A strings.

G7 Chord
G7 Chord
C7 Chord

This one is simple. Just place your pointer finger on the first fret of the A string.

C7 Chord
C7 Chord
A7 Chord

Similar to C7, simply place your pointer finger on the first fret of the G string.

A7 Chord
A7 Chord

Once you master most of these chords, you’ll be able to play just about any song on the radio. A great song to apply these chords is a ukulele classic– “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz. The chords are as follows:

Because ukuleles are small, they’re easy to take anywhere. Whether it’s a party, family vacation, or just hanging out with friends, taking it out and showing off your new skills will be a great experience for everyone.

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