Sometimes it’s hard to visualize a major ʻukulele 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 ʻukulele in your living room, I took pictures of how to finger all of the open position major ʻukulele chords.
The first chord most players learn to play, a C ʻukulele chord has a nice, open sound. Use your 3rd finger to hold the 3rd fret on the A-string.
A |-3- E |-0- C |-0- G |-0-
Barre across the 1st fret with your 1st finger and reach your 4th finger up to the 4th fret on the A-string.
A |-4- E |-1- C |-1- G |-1-
D can be fingered several ways on the ʻukulele.
- 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.
- 1st finger on the top string, 2nd fret; 2nd finger on the C-string, 2nd fret; 3rd finger on the E-string, 2nd fret.
- 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.
A |-0- E |-2- C |-2- G |-2-
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.
A |-1- E |-3- C |-3- G |-3-
A notorious “hard” fingering, the E ʻukulele chord has mediocre sound for the effort, but is used in plenty of songs. 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.
A |-2- E |-4- C |-4- G |-4-
Play with your 1st finger on the 1st fret of the E-string; 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the G-string.
A |-0- E |-1- C |-0- G |-2-
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.
A |-1- E |-2- C |-1- G |-3-
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.
A |-2- E |-3- C |-2- G |-0-
Fret exactly like F#/Gb, but slide the shape up so that it starts on the 3rd fret.
A |-3- E |-4- C |-3- G |-5-
1st finger on the 1st fret of the C-string; 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the G-string.
A |-0- E |-0- C |-1- G |-2-
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 |-1- E |-1- C |-2- G |-3-
Same as Bb/A#, just moved up one fret.
A |-2- E |-2- C |-3- G |-4-
Want to Know Your Chords Better?
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