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Pani
04-12-2009, 04:15 AM
Hi!

I got my ukulele yesterday. It was $25 Australian, so it's a pretty cheap one. I'm having trouble with a few chords, specifically the ones that require pressing one finger down on more than one string on a fret.

I'm trying to learn to play davoomac's Canon in D (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=US3ZL2zhXgI). I have most of the chords down, but I'm having trouble with B minor and D. When I strum them, the strings sound really tight and don't make the nice echoey noise the rest of the chords do. When I pluck them, they sound the same. Are there any tips? I have small hands, but I'm using a small ukulele. Maybe I'm holding it wrong.

Kanaka916
04-12-2009, 04:33 AM
Here's a post on barre chords (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=40) (Bm). As far as the D chord, instead of barring the G, C and E strings, use your fore, middle and ring finger to hold the chord shape with just enough pressure so the sound isn't muted. It takes practice and a little flexibility to bar those strings with one finger.

Pani
04-12-2009, 04:47 AM
That D is much easier to play with three fingers!

Using my thumb to put pressure on the back of my neck seems to work well for B minor. It's still sort of muted and a bit twangy, but I'm hoping that will fade a bit with practice.

MisoHappy
04-13-2009, 07:50 PM
Welcome to UU!

By small, you must mean the standard 12 fret, right? Considering it was 25 bucks, the strings aren't going to be great, furthermore the sound. Also, any closed chords will be a little tighter sounding than open strings.

For some songs, it will be quicker, and easier to bar, so keep going at it. You don't want to be stuck using 3 fingers instead of 1. Take E chord for example. wouldn't it be easier to switch to E if your barred instead of using all four fingers?

-Miso

buddhuu
04-13-2009, 10:25 PM
If you, or someone you know, is equal to a bit of DIY uke set-up you could check the action at the nut - i.e. make sure the strings aren't too high off the fretboard. High action at the nut makes bar chords at the low frets harder than they should be. A guitar shop should be able to check that for you if you can't do it yourself. It is one of the commonest negative points on cheap ukes, and one of the easiest to adjust.

Also, when practicing your chords, try plucking the strings individually rather than always strumming across them all. That way you'll hear which notes sound dead or muted due to incorrect finger position or accidental touching of adjacent strings. Time spent getting all the notes sounding clean early on will pay off in a better sound later.

Good luck.

Pani
04-15-2009, 01:43 AM
Most of them are sounding a bit better now, but I'm still having trouble keeping my finger off G when I'm trying to do a D chord.

grappler
04-15-2009, 02:06 AM
That D is much easier to play with three fingers!

Using my thumb to put pressure on the back of my neck seems to work well for B minor. It's still sort of muted and a bit twangy, but I'm hoping that will fade a bit with practice.

hey fellow aussie! i play D chord with three fingers also! its so much easier!!! practice makes perfect!
welcome to ukuleleunderground and enjoy your stay here :shaka::shaka::shaka:

Monkeyswithladders
04-15-2009, 11:49 AM
In my humble opinion it's well worth the effort and practice to get that D down using 3 fingers instead of 1. Practice doing it that way until it's just as easy to play it with three as it is to barre it with one. You'll end up having a much easier time switching between that chord and others near it in the long run by using your fingertips-- not to mention you won't accidentally miss strings or mute open strings as often.

I play the D with three fingers, but they're the Middle, Ring, and Pinky. That helps you fit them all in there without muting the open A string, and it also frees up your forefinger so that playing the dreaded E chord is as simple as sliding your D down 2 frets-- your free forefinger can easily fret the A string at 2 once you have this D down.

deach
04-15-2009, 11:54 AM
In my humble opinion it's well worth the effort and practice to get that D down using 3 fingers instead of 1. ....

I agree. I just wish my fingers were a bit smaller.

Yopparai
04-15-2009, 12:12 PM
I played the D with three fingers for decades and only in the last year or so started trying the one finger approach. I think that both forms are worth having in hand and I switch between them a lot, depending on where I came from and where I am going, chord wise.

Waterguy
04-15-2009, 01:37 PM
Aaand just to throw a little confusion into this thread I give you http://www.doctoruke.com/efingering.pdf . Thats the way I play the D chord as well as the E flat and the rest up the neck. I consider myself a member of the monster finger club, but I seem to have problems with the one finger method. There are also those who like to cover the top 3 strings with the thumb to pull of this chord. Anything that works for you seems to be the motto around here.

Yopparai
04-15-2009, 01:42 PM
Aaand just to throw a little confusion into this thread I give you http://www.doctoruke.com/efingering.pdf . Thats the way I play the D chord as well as the E flat and the rest up the neck...
Now thats just scary. I had typed that almost word for word, minus the link, and then backspaced over it. I started doing the fat finger thing on the banjo and find myself doing it all the time now.