How to Play Guitar Chords on the Ukulele

Guitarists commonly employ Roman numerals to depict chord progressions on their instrument. These letters refer to basic categories of chords – major triads and minor triads as well as dominant sevenths.

Many guitarists possess an arsenal of barre chord shapes that they know and enjoy using on guitar; however, many don’t realize that these same chord shapes can be adjusted by shifting up a fourth on ukulele to produce equivalent ukulele-specific versions of those chord shapes.

Basic chords

Beginning guitarists should start out by learning some simple guitar chords, as these are easy to remember and require no bar chords or complex finger positions. Once these are under their belts, more complex chords may follow.

Chords are created through triads, which consist of three intervals that may either be major or minor in scale, with major triads featuring perfect fifths for an engaging sound and minor triads featuring minor intervals for more dissonant and melancholic notes.

Regular tunings have consistent chord shapes across the fretboard. If a chord cannot be played in closed position, another version with inverted bass notes or other forms of voicings (discussed further below) may be possible to create.

Major chords

As is often the case, most chord “shapes” you know on guitar can easily translate onto the ukulele. For instance, if you can play G major chord on guitar, playing it on the ukulele will have its own distinct sound from that on its thicker strings on guitar.

G major chord is one of the key chords to learn for beginners as it can be utilized across numerous musical genres. Start your studies off right by picking up an ukulele and practicing this chord shape in songs you find enjoyable.

Once you’ve mastered basic open and barre chords, you can expand into more intricate forms like seventh chords. Seventh chords take the standard chord formula and add one extra note; an E7 chord contains D, F sharp (F#), and A – try playing this bright-sounding chord on your ukulele; with enough practice, you may soon discover you can play almost every chord found along its fretboard!

Minor chords

Minor chords tend to have more somber tones and are often associated with dark or sad sounds. Their formula remains similar to major chords; however, one key distinction lies in flattening out their third note by half-step which creates the distinctive minor sound.

Learning minor chords on ukulele can be challenging at first, but with practice will become simpler. Be patient with yourself and take your time learning each chord shape; this will enable you to master the technique and play better music later.

In this lesson, you’ll discover how to play the D minor chord on ukulele. This chord can be found in numerous songs by Grace VanderWaal including her popular tune “So Much More Than This.” There are various ways this chord can be played; perfect for practicing string muting and syncopated strumming techniques! Start your free trial of Fender Play now to expand your knowledge of more ukulele chords while performing along with songs that inspire you!

Sus4 chords

Sus chords (or suspended chords) can add harmonic and melodic depth to a guitar chord progression. Sus chords are variations on major and minor chords in which the third interval has been removed, creating tension or uncertainty before their resolution with another chord.

To create a sus chord, simply move the third note up half a step to its fourth of scale note – so Csus4 would simply be an unaltered C major triad with its third moved up one step to F.

Sus chords are widely utilized across genres of music – from rock and pop, jazz and classical. By creating unresolved tension in chord progressions, sus chords give songs more energy and momentum.