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Thread: Ab7 alternatives? Technique?

  1. #1
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    Default Ab7 alternatives? Technique?

    Been playing now for about a year. I know to master new chords it is all about repetition. This Ab7 is killing me though. I am currently learning it with the 1323 position. Similar to what they are showing here:
    https://ukulele-chords.com/Ab7

    I am doing a progression from a Dm to the Ab7 to a Bb. No problems with the Dm or Bb though. I checked out the alternatives. Barring looks great, but I really don't want to go down all the way to the 9th fret. The 5th fret way looks just as much a hassle than the 1323 way. I guess I am just impatient Any tricks or techniques anybody can share will be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by ceobob; 03-31-2017 at 01:00 AM.

  2. #2
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    I play it just as is pictured on that site you linked to.

    I think maybe a good way to learn it is to start by learning to play a G7 chord using just middle, ring and pinky fingers, leaving the index finger free. It's then just a case of moving that shape up one fret and putting the index finger down on the G string at fret 1. Splitting a chord in to two like that can make it a lot easier to form than trying to lunge for the whole chord with all four fingers in one go.

    Having said all that, I notice the ukulele helper suggests you could use 1023. http://ukulelehelper.com

    p.s. Welcome to UU Forums!
    Last edited by jimavery; 03-31-2017 at 01:49 AM. Reason: p.s.

  3. #3
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    I started practicing it by first only using middle/ring/pinky finger, and when I got that down, I added the index finger.
    Current main players: Moon Bird concert and Barron River tenor. My other ukes are listed on my profile page.

  4. #4
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    Ab7 at 1323 is easier than you think. This is how I got it.

    First, you already know G7 (0323). So take a song you know which has plenty of G7s in, but finger them with fingers 2, 3, and 4 (i.e. don't use your index finger).

    Once you can play G7 comfortably like this, slide the shape up one fret and then simply place your index finger on the G string 1st fret. Result, a perfect Ab7!

    Alternatively, do you already have Cdim down pat (2323)? In which case, take that chord and slide your index finger down one fret. I find I need to move my wrist forward slightly. Practice for a bit, and there you have it.
    Last edited by ProfChris; 03-31-2017 at 03:37 AM.

  5. #5
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    Barre the first fret, and keep it there for the Bb chord.

  6. #6
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    perhaps this is taking things a bit far... however, try playing songs in the key of C#,
    meaning barring the first fret and playing the C, Am, F, and G7 shapes with your
    remaining fingers.

    that way you'll also be 'practicing' C#, Bbm, F#, as well as Ab7... just saying.

    also, you'll then be able to play in just about every key using the same shapes, just
    starting at different frets.

    I used to do this when I only knew the key of C, but wanted to play songs from the
    radio as I was hearing them. Once I found the key, by sliding the barred C shape
    up the neck, I simply played along and sang in whatever key it happened to be in.

    a great finger exercise, and helps one NOT be afraid of barre chords or other keys

    after all, Necessity is...

    keep uke'in',
    Uncle Rod Higuchi
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProfChris View Post
    Ab7 at 1323 is easier than you think. This is how I got it.

    First, you already know G7 (0323). So take a song you know which has plenty of G7s in, but finger them with fingers 2, 3, and 4 (i.e. don't use your index finger).

    Once you can play G7 comfortably like this, slide the shape up one fret and then simply place your index finger on the G string 1st fret. Result, a perfect Ab7!

    Alternatively, do you already have Cdim down pat (2323)? In which case, take that chord and slide your index finger down one fret. I find I need to move my wrist forward slightly. Practice for a bit, and there you have it.
    All excellent replies. Thanks so much. I think I am going to go with this method. I have tried it a few times already and it is already feeling more natural.

  8. #8
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    This is the only chord which I use my thumb on. I suppose the purists will say I am wrong, but it works for me with my thumb on fret 1 on the g string and the rest as a g7 chord as normal.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by phil hague View Post
    This is the only chord which I use my thumb on. I suppose the purists will say I am wrong, but it works for me with my thumb on fret 1 on the g string and the rest as a g7 chord as normal.
    Yep. Me too.
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  10. #10
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    I can't use my thumb on any chords - it doesn't reach.

    I usually either play 6-4-6-5 for the Ab7 (since I play 5-3-5-4 for a G7), or 3-2-3-x, and just ignore the G string.

    It all depends on if you are doing a strum, plucking out a melody, lingering on the chord, or a fast change... and how it sounds to you.
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