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Thread: How to handle Am7, the natural open chord in standard tuning?

  1. #1
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    Default How to handle Am7, the natural open chord in standard tuning?

    I have been having trouble incorporating this chord because:

    - I need a good way to support the instrument
    - With all strings open, the support normally provided by my fingers on the fretboard is no longer available
    - I need to use my fretting hand to support the neck of the instrument in some way without interfering with the A string
    - All of the above makes it impossible for me to come into the next chord fluidly, because awkwardly moving out of my awkward neck support position makes for an awkward break in the rhythm


    And making it extra challenging:

    - Sometimes, the next chord I am aiming at is actually a barre chord, which requires getting my index finger back around the fretboard
    - There seems to be no position in which I can place my fretting hand to both support the instrument and easily make it to this next chord without inadvertently muting the A string


    Can anyone offer some advice as to how this problem is properly handled?

    Thanks a ton!
    Last edited by MopMan; 08-10-2017 at 03:30 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Do you play with a strap?
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...lele-found-you

  3. #3
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    I don't have this problem but, I'd suggest a Para chord sling. Get about 8 feet of Para chord and double it. Tie a loop, just big enough to fit over a Tuner knob in the middle and then a knot in the loose ends about an arms length and a bit more. Put your right arm in the big loop and bring the string up over your left shoulder and put the small loop over the E or A string tuner knob.

    You may have to adjust the length for the size Uke and size of you shoulders but that's the jist of it. The bottom end of the uke is supported by your strumming arm. No modification of the uke and pretty cheap. Fits in a gig bag and light weight.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Choirguy View Post
    Do you play with a strap?
    This.

    Or you use a different fingering. There are lots of Am7 variants available. 2030 2433 5757 998-10
    Or just do Am for more options like 2000 5450 5453 9987
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  5. #5
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    Default

    I hadn't considered using a strap for this... coming from guitar, once I learned how to hold the uke without a strap I never looked back. It seemed so liberating somehow Thanks for the suggestion.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    Or you use a different fingering. There are lots of Am7 variants available. 2030 2433 5757 998-10
    Or just do Am for more options like 2000 5450 5453 9987
    I had thought about this, and it does solve my problem in a way--but I like the open voicing better in some circumstances and I want to have it at my disposal.


    Quote Originally Posted by JackLuis View Post
    I don't have this problem
    What's the secret? How do you hold your uke while strumming the open Am7?

  6. #6
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    I decided to get my uke to see what was up. I can basically hold the uke wedging it between my right arm and the lower bout of the ukulele. I can hold it up with my right hand pinky, as I only use the thumb, index, and ring fingers for fingerpicking, unless I pluck 4 strings at once, which also does not involve the pinky.

    I can also rest the neck on my left hand index finger, generally at the joint where the finger meets the hand.

    With the "wedge" hold (how I play), that gives me 3 options without a strap.
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...lele-found-you

  7. #7
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    My right arm takes most of the weight, holding the uke against my body. My left hand takes the remaining fraction of weight, resting the edge of the fingerboard against the base of my index finger. As I play the Am7 I slide my hand up the neck to the right place and then roll it around to make the barre, adding thumb on the back of the neck.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MopMan View Post
    I hadn't considered using a strap for this... coming from guitar, once I learned how to hold the uke without a strap I never looked back. It seemed so liberating somehow Thanks for the suggestion.



    I had thought about this, and it does solve my problem in a way--but I like the open voicing better in some circumstances and I want to have it at my disposal.



    What's the secret? How do you hold your uke while strumming the open Am7?
    I can't put my thumb on the back of the neck due to a wonky thumb joint so I rest the neck on my forefinger's first joint and hold my fingers away from the strings. Even my thin line tenor has enough neck to hold my hand ~1/8" from the stings.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2014
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    If you don't want to go full strap, try a uke thong.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/UKULELE-STRA...-/322629729781
    Once I got one, playing the uke got so much easier, particularly with things like chord changes and awkward chord formations. I prefer not to be constantly compensating for the lack of support and lack of neck stability, when the solution is so obvious and simple.

  10. #10
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    I checked it out and I seem o rotate my hand my a little and find that the neck, right at the first fret is supported by my index finger, and the pad of my thumb is on the top of the neck holding it. I did not know that I was doing this. I mean, I raise and lower the neck, move my hand around a lot. I never thought about it that much. I certainly am not rigid in my playing.

    On further observation, if you bar the first fret with your thumb on the back of the neck, the just rotate everything, ninety degrees, you are there.
    Last edited by Rllink; 08-11-2017 at 02:53 PM.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.
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