View Full Version : Question about switching between chords on an up strum after the 4th beat.

09-27-2016, 12:46 PM
A lot of strum patterns have an up strum after their last beat, such as 1+2+3+4+ etc.

I've noticed that when I practice switching between cords with these type of strum patterns I've been using the up strum (after the 4th beat) to transition from the chord I'm playing into my next chord I want to play. I haven't been staying on my previous chord all the way through the up strum after the 4. Is this ok to do? Or should I be trying to stay on a chord all the way through the 4th up strum and then quickly try to switch to my next chord? But if I do this it only leaves me about a half beat to get to my next chord and I'm finding it very difficult to do.

09-27-2016, 12:57 PM
What you are doing is fine. In the UU+ "learn how to play the ukulele" courses right here our very own Aldrine teaches that technique. As you get better you will be able to switch on the "half beat"

09-27-2016, 08:35 PM
Yes, it's usually a lot more important to hit the next chord on time than it is to carry on strumming the previous chord right to the bitter end.

Having said that, it's worth putting some thought in to each chord transition. You can sometimes find that using a different fingering position for the first chord makes it a lot easier to transition to the next. For example, think about G7 to G. Assuming you start with G7 using your middle, index and ring fingers as normal, then transitioning to G is easy - just put down your pinky (or little finger) on the 2nd (E) string 3rd fret to form the G chord. So far so good...

Now think about if you were transitioning from G back to G7. If you start by playing G using that middle, ring, pinky pattern, then it's really simple to transition quickly to G7 by putting down your index finger on the 2nd (E) string, 1st fret and lifting your pinky off the same string.

Also, for any chord transition, think about whether any particular finger from the first chord helps you to anchor the movement to the 2nd one.

09-28-2016, 12:27 AM
Thanks everyone for your help.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
09-28-2016, 04:55 AM
no worries, we all 'fudge' a little anyway, and once a song begins, everyone is mostly concerned
about how they sound, so, sorry to say, no one is listening to you! :) So, no worries!

I agree that coming in on time, in rhythm on the next chord is generally much more important
and less disruptive than holding the previous chord.

So, please strum along, working out your chord changes with the idea of coming in on cue for the
next chord, and the next chord, and the next ..., you get the idea.

for some help, please feel free to access the Ukulele Boot Camp Practice Sheets in the link below.

keep uke'in',

09-28-2016, 10:55 AM
I usually try to find a method of attack for every song I learn so I know when to switch my fingers.
One trick is to not play a chord but only the melodic note before a transition. This keeps the song going and gives your fingers the time to change position.
Good luck!