Right Hand Technique for ‘Ukulele: A Detailed Guide to Strumming & Picking

How to Play Major ‘Ukulele Chords: Pics, Diagrams, & Tab

Sometimes it’s hard to visualize a major ‘ukulele chord using just a diagram box. Knowing which fingers go where from a picture can be very helpful.

The lightbulb always seems to go on for my students when they finally see me hold the chord. So while I can’t teach you ‘ukulele in your living room, I took pictures of how to finger all of the open position major ‘ukulele chords.

C Major

The first chord most ‘ukulele players learn to play. Use your 3rd finger to hold the 3rd fret on the A-string.

c major ukulele chord
c major ukulele chord
A |-3-
E |-0-
C |-0-
G |-0-

C#/Db Major

Barre across the 1st fret with your 1st finger and reach your 4th finger up to the 4th fret on the A-string.

c#/Db major ukulele chord
c#/Db major ukulele chord
A |-4-
E |-1-
C |-1-
G |-1-

D Major

D can be fingered several ways.

  1. A partial-barre with your 2nd finger on the top three strings, 2nd fret (bend the finger backwards so that it lifts over the A-string.
  2. 1st finger on the top string, 2nd fret; 2nd finger on the C-string, 2nd fret; 3rd finger on the E-string, 2nd fret.
  3. A hybrid between the first two options: partial barre with the 2nd finger on the two top strings, 2nd fret; 3rd finger on the E-string, 2nd fret.
d major ukulele chord
d major ukulele chord
A |-0-
E |-2-
C |-2-
G |-2-

D#/Eb Major

1st finger, 1st fret of the A-string; 3rd finger making a partial-barre on the top three strings, 3rd fret.

A variation of Eb/D# is to leave the top string open.

d#/eb major ukulele chord
d#/eb major ukulele chord
A |-1-
E |-3-
C |-3-
G |-3-

E Major

The notorious “hard” chord on the ‘ukulele. Fingered exactly the same as Eb, just up one fret.

A variation is to barre across the 4th fret with your 1st finger and reach your 4th finger up to fret the 7th fret, A-string. Or simply barre the 4th fret and DON’T play the A-string.

e major ukulele chord
e major ukulele chord
A |-2-
E |-4-
C |-4-
G |-4-

F Major

Play with your 1st finger on the 1st fret of the E-string; 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the G-string.

f major ukulele chord
f major ukulele chord
A |-0-
E |-1-
C |-0-
G |-2-

F#/Gb Major

Barre across the 1st fret with your 1st finger; 2nd finger on the 2nd fret, E-string; 3rd finger reaches up to the 3rd fret, G-string.

f#/gb major ukulele chord
f#/gb major ukulele chord
A |-1-
E |-2-
C |-1-
G |-3-

G Major

Many people play G backwards in a way that’s hard on your wrist. Be sure that your 1st finger is closest to the ceiling, NOT the other way around.

1st finger on the 2nd fret, C-string; 2nd finger on the 2nd fret, A-string; 3rd finger on the 3rd fret, E-string.

g major ukulele chord
g major ukulele chord
A |-2-
E |-3-
C |-2-
G |-0-

G#/Ab Major

Fret exactly like F#/Gb, but slide the shape up so that it starts on the 3rd fret.

g#/ab major ukulele chord
g#/ab major ukulele chord
A |-3-
E |-4-
C |-3-
G |-5-

A Major

1st finger on the 1st fret of the C-string; 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the G-string.

a major ukulele chord
a major ukulele chord
A |-0-
E |-0-
C |-1-
G |-2-

A#/Bb Major

Another “hard” chord – at least until you learn E major!

Partial-barre with the 1st finger on the two bottom strings, 1st fret; 2nd finger on the 2nd fret, C-string; 3rd finger on the 3rd fret, G-string.

a#/bb major ukulele chord
a#/bb major ukulele chord
A |-1-
E |-1-
C |-2-
G |-3-

B Major

Same as Bb/A#, just moved up one fret.

b major ukulele chord
b major ukulele chord
A |-2-
E |-2-
C |-3-
G |-4-
‘Ukulele Chord Shapes eBook
Want to learn more shapes and understand how chords are mapped on the ‘ukulele’s fretboard? Check out my extensive PDF guide to ‘ukulele chord shapes.

By Brad Bordessa

brad bordessa avatar

I’m an ‘ukulele artist from Honoka’a, Hawai’i, where I run this site from a little plantation house in the jungle. I’ve taught workshops internationally, made Herb Ohta Jr. laugh until he cried, and once borrowed a uke to jam with HAPA onstage in my boardshorts. More about me