View Full Version : Fingering for notes

Theory Grl
01-16-2017, 06:38 PM
Okay, this may be obvious to some, but as a new player trying to teach myself I would like to know which fingers are used to play which notes. For example, I have a book that gives examples of notes for each string. It shows me all the notes to play C, F, and G major scales and several easy songs. I completely understand the notes and how to find them. I can play the scales and the songs with no problem, but how do I know if I'm using the correct fingerings? I have a chart with all the notes on the fret board, and I can easily read music well enough to play in any key as I've played piano for several years. I just haven't found any information that tells me which fingers to use. Surely there is standard fingering?

01-16-2017, 06:55 PM

Some of the basic ones are here.

01-16-2017, 06:57 PM
Not sure about the E chord fingering they have listed there though. I use my pinky rather than my ring finger. That would be a hell of a stretch.

Theory Grl
01-16-2017, 07:04 PM
Thanks for the response, Gammo, but I'm still confused. The link you sent shows chord diagrams, but not fingering for individual notes. Maybe I'm missing something here. I'm not sure. I'm so new at this that I'm not getting it. I can read tabs for the uke and play simple songs, but still I'm not sure if I'm using the correct fingering for the notes.

01-16-2017, 07:12 PM
The numbers tell you which finger to use. Eg. For the F Chord you use your 1st and 2nd fingers.

01-16-2017, 08:59 PM
The fingers used for each note entirely depend on the notes that come before and after... To equate it to piano, do you only play middle C with your thumb?

01-16-2017, 09:20 PM
https://s30.postimg.org/6y0pmmxw1/Cube_PDF.png (https://postimg.org/image/3r6630dfx/)image hosting services (https://postimage.org/)

In this case, I use right index finger for C (3rd fret on 1st string).

01-16-2017, 09:23 PM
When I first learned to play a guitar I was taught to play notes on the first fret with my first (index) finger, notes on the second fret with my second finger, and notes on the third fret with my third finger. Then you maintain those same relationships if you are playing in the second or third positions up the neck. I still play notes that way on the guitar and the ukulele. Of course it's not hard and fast depending on what you are playing and particularly if you are adding slides etc.

01-16-2017, 09:44 PM
I think I did not understand the meaning of the OP's question before KaraUkey.

I think KaraUkey is right. We use the finger like the figure below.

https://s30.postimg.org/c4axuzzdd/image.png (https://postimg.org/image/cttq7czwt/)free photo upload (https://postimage.org/)

The reason is ukulele and guitar employe perfect 4th tuning. It changes the strings perfect 4th intervals which requires 4 (i, m, r, p) frets.

We have a thread (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?122701-Which-key-is-easy-to-play), which explains the reason.

Theory Grl
01-17-2017, 12:10 PM
Thanks, everyone. It does make more sense now. I think I can work it out with each piece I've been playing. I was just guessing on the fingering, but I was much closer than I thought.

Theory Grl
01-17-2017, 12:29 PM
Bill1, KaraUkey, and ZZtush, Your explanations and the diagram were very helpful. My question has been answered. I just felt there had to be something to go by when determining which fingers to use when playing melody alone. I'm having problems with getting my fingers in the correct position for the chords, so I started playing the melody lines of many songs. I'm very strong in music theory and can find any note I want on the fret board, but I hope to get more practice with chords and strumming. I have carpal tunnel syndrome and RSI in my wrist, and that's why I'm playing notes more than chords. I'm hoping eventually I can manage at least three primary chords in any key. I don't care if it's major or minor, but which key has the easiest chords to learn other than C? C and F chords are no problem, but he G chord seems particularly difficult to me. Transitioning from one chord to the next is also awkward. Any suggestion there?

01-17-2017, 08:12 PM
Hi, Theory Grl!

I taught G chord to my friend last week. I have the thread (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?125045-G-chord-practice) about it.

His problem was flex of the first joints of each fingers (red circles on the photo below). This is not only the finger tip problem. We need to be careful about the position of elbow (arm).

https://s29.postimg.org/rta37ugg7/100_2612.jpg (https://postimg.org/image/yjqkha3lv/)images upload (https://postimage.org/)

He fixed it only a couple of days but I know it is very difficult to practice alone. We can help you at anytime on this board.

01-17-2017, 11:48 PM
Although there are 'standard' fingerings for chords it helps to be flexible in order to manage smooth changes. Take the key of C, for example. Your basic chords are C (I) - A minor (vi) - F (IV) - G7 (V7). G7 is easier to finger than G.

Moving between C and G7 you can either slide your 3rd finger on the A string between the 3rd and 2nd fret on the A string, or use your 4th finger on the C. Cynthia Lin's tutorials are good at showing how to move from one chord to another, often using substitute fingerings.

For me the next easiest key is F, but the Bb half-barre shape causes problems for many beginners, and may be difficult if you have RSI. Do you use a strap - it might help? If you don't have or don't want to fit a strap button, have a look at Lori's Uke Leash (http://www.ukeleash.com/). I use something similar and it really helps to release tension in hands/arms/shoulders.

01-18-2017, 12:00 AM
We have a Which-key-is-easy-to-play-thread (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?122701-Which-key-is-easy-to-play), which explains why C, G and F keys are easy. If you have a question about that thread, feel free to ask me here or in that thread.