16 Basic Ukulele Chords You Should Know How to Play – Island Bazaar Ukes

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16 Basic Ukulele Chords You Should Know How to Play

Recently picked up a Kanilea or Kala ukulele? Are you wondering how to play it like a pro?

With these basic ukulele chords, you can learn to play many ukulele songs at the beginner's level in no time. This includes songs such as Somewhere Over The Rainbow--one of the most popular songs in the ukulele world.

Here are sixteen chords you should learn to get on strumming and flowing with the music.

Reading Ukulele Fingering Numbers

Have you ever looked up ukulele chords and found a weird number associated with the chord? They are four digits and they look something like this: 0002.

This number tells you which string and which fret to press down on. Don't worry, they're not as complicated as it looks.

Most people are right-hand dominant and use their left hand on the fretboard. Holding the ukulele like this, the strings from top to bottom are G, C, E, A.

G is the first string. C is the second. E is the third, and A is the fourth.

Going back to the weird chord number: 0002, you read the strings from left to right:

  • G string = 0
  • C string = 0
  • E string = 0
  • A string = 2

This chord tells you to put your finger only on the second fret of the A string. All the other strings have a 0, which means you do not touch them. This chord is also known as Cmaj7. 

It's easy, isn't it?

Let's learn some more chords. Here are 16 basic ukulele chords that will help you to play most of the beginner's level ukulele songs.

1. C Chord

The C major chord is the most basic chord you need to know when learning the ukulele. The fingering number for this chord is 0003.

Press down only on the third fret of the last string.

2. G Chord

Next up, we have the G major chord. This chord is fundamental to a lot of beginner-level ukulele songs. The finger position number for this chord is 0232.

We learned this chord earlier in our example above.

3. F Chord

The last of the trifecta major chords: F major. This chord played along with the last two chords: C major and G major produces the base of many ukulele songs.

The finger position number for this chord is 2010. Second fret on the first string and first fret on the third.

4. A Minor Chord

Our first minor chord on the list: A minor. Minor chords sound a tad bit darker than the major chords, which sound happier and brighter. The finger position number for this minor chord is 2000.

Press down on the second fret of the first string only.

5. D Chord

This is where the chords get a little more difficult, but it is still doable. It only takes practice. 

The finger position number for the D major chord is 2220. This involves barring the first three strings or pressing down on three strings with one finger. To play the D major chord, press down on the second fret of the top three strings.

6. E Minor Chord

The finger position for the E minor chord looks like a stairway, but with your fingers.

The finger position number for this chord is 0432. Press down on the second fret of the last string (A string), third fret on the third string (E string), and fourth fret on the second string (C string).

7. A Chord

The finger position for the A major chord looks similar to that of the F major chord. You keep the finger on the first string where it is and move the finger on the third string up one string but keep it on the same fret.

The finger position number for this chord is 2100.

8. F7 Chord

This chord can be tricky to get as it requires four fretting fingers and good finger dexterity. The finger position number for the F7 chord is 2313.

Place your first finger on the first fret of the E string, second finger on the second fret of the G string, third finger on the third fret of the C string, and the pinky finger on the third fret of the last string.

9. D7 Chord

The D7 chord is like the D major chord but with one addition. Bar the second fret of all four strings and add one finger on the third fret of the last string.

The finger position number for this chord is 1113.

10. D Minor Chord

Remember barring the first three strings to play the D major chord? Instead of barring the third string as well, move up one fret on the third string. The finger position number for the D minor chord is 2210.

11. B7 Chord

The B7 chord also requires you to bar the second fret of all four strings. Then, place one more finger on the third fret of the second string.

The finger position number for the B7 chord is 2322.

12. B Flat Chord

If barring all four strings was easy for you, barring for this B flat chord will be a breeze. The finger position number for the B flat chord is 3211.

Bar the first frets on the last two strings then place a finger on the second fret of the second string and another finger on the third fret of the top string.

13. C7 Chord

The C7 chord is one of the easiest chords to learn.

To go from C to C7, move your finger up two frets on the last string. The finger position number is 0001.

14. G7 Chord

It's like the G major chord but upside down. The finger position number for this chord is 0212.

Keep the second frets on the second and last string, but move from the third fret on the third string up to the first fret.

15. E7 Chord

The finger position number for the E7 chord is 1202. Put your first finger on the first fret of the first string and your second and third fingers on the second frets of the second and last string. Keep the third string open.

16. A7 Chord

This chord is super easy. The finger position number for this chord is 0100. Press down on the first fret of the second string. That's it!

Put These Ukulele Chords Together

Now that you've learned some new ukulele chords, you can put them together to make a new song of your own!

Are you interested in learning more ukulele tips? Take ukulele lessons with us at Island Bazaar Ukes!

Picking up a new instrument can be fun and exciting. However, it can also be frustrating when you don't get it. Don't worry. Keep playing. Creativity thrives when you give yourself the space to explore.

If you like to join a community of like-minded ukulele artists, check out our store's clubs and live events.

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