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Tabbycat
02-26-2018, 01:09 PM
cram three fingers close enough together to play a clean D chord on my sweet soprano? I have average-to-small size hands and I play violin, but now that I am trying to learn more than C-F-G7, I can't seem to play a good D chord. Would it be easier on a concert size, or if I just keep trying will it happen some day?

Brad Bordessa
02-26-2018, 01:24 PM
You can barre it (usually with your middle finger), arching up and over the bottom A-string. Or you can do a hybrid where you barre the top two strings with your middle finger and add your ring finger onto the 2nd fret, E-string. I see people squeeze three fingers on the same fret and do it, but it never made much sense to me.

Uke Don
02-26-2018, 01:37 PM
I'm with Brad, although I use my ring finger to barre the GCE. It takes a bit of practice. I have to place my finger such that only the very tip frets the G so that I can get enough arch to not mute the A.

Rllink
02-26-2018, 01:38 PM
I play it with my pinkie, ring finger, and middle finger. The pinkie gives me just enough room to smash them all three in there. But it just takes time.

Eynowd
02-26-2018, 01:59 PM
Another way to play it is to use your middle finger on the G string, your index finger on the C string and your ring finger on the E string.

The advantage of playing it this way is that if you need to play an A chord, you slide your index finger up one fret and lift your ring finger off.

If you want to play an F#M from a D, you just slide your index finger up one fret and you're there.

robinboyd
02-26-2018, 03:11 PM
Can I really learn to cram three fingers close enough together to play a clean D chord on my sweet soprano?
Yes


Would it be easier on a concert size
Yes


If I just keep trying will it happen some day?
Yes

Jarmo_S
02-26-2018, 06:19 PM
Yes you can.

Try this way first:

First concentrate getting x220, that is fretting C end E strings properly and with the index (or whatever finger that is left free) it is ok if it is a bit off sideways to just mute the G string.
This will sound just as good. In time you will most likely learn to fit properly with 3 fingers.

Ukecaster
02-26-2018, 06:41 PM
I have big fingers, but get best tone without a barre on the D chord. I see some recommend (all on 2nd fret) pointer on G, middle on C and ring finger on E, all in a line. For the life of me, can't get a good clean tone that way.

I play it as I learned the A chord on guitar (again, all on 2nd fret): pointer on C string, middle on G and ring on E. I find I can more easily scrunch the middle and ring fingers up against the pointer on the C string, they wrap right around, and I get great leverage. Rings clean and true for me, which I never thought it would, bringing that shape from guitar to a tiny uke fret. YMMV.

106950

MopMan
02-26-2018, 09:03 PM
There's also barre D on 2225. I use that sometimes.

Graham Greenbag
02-26-2018, 09:30 PM
cram three fingers close enough together to play a clean D chord on my sweet soprano? I have average-to-small size hands and I play violin, but now that I am trying to learn more than C-F-G7, I can't seem to play a good D chord. Would it be easier on a concert size, or if I just keep trying will it happen some day?

When I first started to play I too struggled but eventually found a way that would and does work for me. Briefly reading through the thread I don’t think anyone else describes my (triangular) method, but it’s good to have several to choose from and what Eynowd and then Ukecaster suggest is effectively near the same but with a slight difference in style.

The G7 chord is simple enough in form, basically it’s a triangle shape and that, slightly modified, is what I move across to help me play the D chord. Place your index finger on the C string just behind the first fret, place your ring finger on the the E string just in front of the second fret and then place your middle finger on the G string just in front of the second fret. That’s a flattened triangular shape. When I move from the D to the D7 chord I use my little finger on the A string, but otherwise it’s easiest to play the D7 with a Barr. A Barr for the D chord (as mentioned above by Mopman) works for me too, Barr across all the second fret with your first finger and use your little finger for the A string and the fifth fret.

I find it helpful, from time to time, to pluck each string in turn to check that they are properly fretted by my carefully positioned fingers. The other important thing is to ensure that your Uke is properly set up, if the unfretted strings are too high above the fret board then they will be difficult to press down properly.

I hope that the above is a help and welcome to the world of Uke playing, may you have much fun with your Uke.

Edit. One of the really useful things, to me, about this thread is being reminded of techniques that I no longer use but should try again, and another is being supplied with useful techniques and lines of thought that hadn’t yet found their way to me. :) . Never stop learning and never stop refining technique.

Choirguy
02-27-2018, 12:25 AM
Lots of good suggestions in this thread. I teach my students 4 ways to play D, and tell them to use what works for them.

I almost always play D with 213 (fingers, not frets). Aldrine has an E video where he teaches how to develop flexibility to play E with two fingers...allowing you to play D with one.

You could also barre all of the 2nd fret and play only the top four strings (4,3,2).

Or you could tune your ukulele to D6 like a Sopranino and play D as C.

In reality, this is where a concert or tenor might be a better fit for you (sounds like you have a soprano), but dont give up on the soprano as youll come back to it.

Meanwhile...Im thinking: if you think D is hard, what will you do with E? :)

Croaky Keith
02-27-2018, 12:45 AM
Now don't go putting people off, Choirguy.......... :biglaugh:

Another way is to cover both C & E strings with your middle finger, & use your index on the G. :)

RichM
02-27-2018, 01:17 AM
There's also barre D on 2225. I use that sometimes.

I used 2225 almost all the time. It's easier and rings cleaner, and becomes a movable chord shape.

Rllink
02-27-2018, 02:03 AM
One thing that I have learned is that some chords that were hard for me to play on the soprano when I was first starting out are much easier to play on the soprano after four years of playing a concert. The D chord would be one of those. But I have also noticed that some chords that I struggled with on the concert, are easier on the soprano. A couple of examples, I find the E chord and the Fm chords easier to reach on the soprano. So I think that sometimes it is a give and take. Some chords are going to be harder either way.

mikelz777
02-27-2018, 02:28 AM
I've always made my D chord with 3 fingers like the diagram in post #8 but I can't form the chord with my fingers in a straight line. They form more of a triangle where the 2nd and 3rd fingers are next to the fret and the 1st finger is tucked back a bit between the two.

YorkSteve
02-27-2018, 04:41 AM
I haven't read all of the suggestions above, but in case it hasn't come up, I sometimes play D with a sort of scrunched-up G shape - index finger on the G string, middle finger on the E string, and third finger reaching round the front to the C string. Works well if you are moving there from a G. Other times I use three fingers in a row - middle, third, and little finger. I have never been able to barre all three cleanly.

dinghy
02-27-2018, 09:15 AM
ahoy

play soprano
look it up there is more than one way

had to work at it
can now cram all three fingers in there
also
use 2nd finger to bar chord

keep working at it

also look up/see finger exercises on youtube
use them
can be a great help
getting fingers to do what you want

yours truly
mac

kohanmike
02-27-2018, 11:12 AM
My fingers bend back easily so I have no trouble using one or two for chords. My first uke was a soprano before I knew about sizes, but I couldn't make tight chords very well, so when I researched and discovered larger sizes, I went for tenor, also because I played guitar for almost fifty years.

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Tabbycat
02-27-2018, 03:07 PM
Thanks, all y'all!
Choirguy, I'm not offended at all by your suggestion that I might like a concert or tenor. I have such a serious affliction of UAS that I already have a tenor (Kala) and a concert (my first uke, a Donner). The Donner seems to have a slightly wider fretboard at the nut than even the tenor. The D chord is easy on it, but the strings that came on it aren't as good-sounding as the Aquila strings on the Kala. And in truth, I love the feel of my sopranos (yes, that is plural: I have already acquired a Dolphin, a Muke, a Ubeta travel, and my Kala is on the way). And I only got introduced to ukulele last summer. Initially my thought was to string a soprano in fifths like my fiddle and mandolin, but now I like the standard ukulele chords, although I think I want to go with low G tuning.
These suggestions are so very welcome, and thank y'all (Native Texan speech) for making me feel welcome.

Choirguy
02-27-2018, 04:25 PM
The Donner seems to have a slightly wider fretboard at the nut than even the tenor. The D chord is easy on it, but the strings that came on it aren't as good-sounding as the Aquila strings on the Kala...although I think I want to go with low G tuning.

Strings are an easy fix. You could get Aquila Super Nylgut in Low G, or order some Worth Clears or Living Waters with Low G. I suggest trying a clear fluorocarbon first, as the experience is so different than Super Nylgut. You may find that you like Super Nylgut better. And if you like fluorocarbons, there are more things to try...

Lapyang
03-01-2018, 12:58 AM
When I play the D Chord on a Soprano, I use 2220, with index on G string, middle on C and ring finger on E. it might help if you approach it with you hand coming from above. As in this picture:

106972

I wear medium size gloves. This uke is a Soprano.
Hope it helps.

Boomershakalaka
03-01-2018, 01:58 AM
This was the complication I ran into with a Concert size (sausage fingers thank you very much). It prompted me to switch to a Tenor (Luna Tribal and OS2T) and the fit is great. I definitely took the easy way out though...keep working at it and I'm sure you'll get all those digits on that fret. Best of luck.