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View Full Version : Guitar vs Uke chords - help, please...



Athos
07-24-2009, 05:13 AM
Hi,

I am sure I can't be the first to ask this (though I've tried a search and nothing comes up), but I was wondering whether, when playing along to songs in a songbook for guitar, I can simply play the same chords on the uke (i.e. where is says to play a c chord I play a c chord on the uke etc), or whether I need to transpose them somehow, because of the change of instrument?

Also, is it possible to play all the chords that can be played on guitar, on the uke?

Any help gratefully received!

Yours,

Athos

Ukulele JJ
07-24-2009, 05:27 AM
If you're talking about the name of the chord, then yes, all you have to do is play that same-named chord on the uke.

However, the way you play that chord will be different from how you would play it on a guitar. Your fingers will go in different place on different strings. So you can't use guitar chord diagrams and play those on the uke and expect to get the same chord. But as long as you just go by chord name, you'll be fine.

And yes, pretty much any chord you can play on a guitar you can also play on a ukulele. (The only exception would be very complex chords--fairly uncommon outside of jazz--that require five or six strings to play all the different notes involved. You can still play simplified versions of those chords on a uke though.)

JJ

Athos
07-24-2009, 05:35 AM
If you're talking about the name of the chord, then yes, all you have to do is play that same-named chord on the uke.

However, the way you play that chord will be different from how you would play it on a guitar. Your fingers will go in different place on different strings. So you can't use guitar chord diagrams and play those on the uke and expect to get the same chord. But as long as you just go by chord name, you'll be fine.

And yes, pretty much any chord you can play on a guitar you can also play on a ukulele. (The only exception would be very complex chords--fairly uncommon outside of jazz--that require five or six strings to play all the different notes involved. You can still play simplified versions of those chords on a uke though.)

JJ

Thanks, that's great. I am talking about chords of the same name (rather than trying to transpose the shapes from one instrument to another). I suspected that I'd be able to simply play the same chords on the uke, but wondered whether, for some songs this would sound wrong (not lease]t of all because of the high g tuning). I am please because this means I can get guitar songbooks and see the chord names, work out howm to play those chords on the uke, and then strum along! And great that I can play pretty much the whole range, too.

DaveVisi
07-24-2009, 06:02 AM
For the most part it'll work fine. A "C" on one is a "C" on the other. The notes that make up the chord are the same, only the fingering is different. You may not be note for note identical to all the guitar notes, but it'll still sound good together.

KC8AFW
07-24-2009, 07:23 AM
I have had no problems going to sites like "ultimate guitar" and getting guitar chords for songs and playing them on a uke. Sometimes the voicing is a little different from the original song...but its still the same chord so it still sounds "right". Tabs, on the other hand, are a completely different story.

DaveVisi
07-24-2009, 07:30 AM
Oh, definitely! For that you need to manually transpose the fret positions, either on paper or with an editing program.

eldaddy007
07-24-2009, 07:36 AM
Check out Chordie.com. You can transcribe to uke with a click. Also, if you don't like the key, just click to find one that works better. Chord diagrams can be printed, too.

Only thing is that not all of the chords submitted are accurate. You just have to be discerning.:music:

Athos
07-24-2009, 07:40 AM
Thanks, everyone, for all your help and advice.

ukulelearp
07-24-2009, 08:53 AM
It almost always works. Occasionally you'll get a chord that doesn't translate too well to a ukulele, but even then it's fun to find what'll work.