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JohnBoy
04-21-2008, 02:54 AM
As you know, I am a newbie. I love playing my ukulele but I am have a devil of a time with one of the most simple cords. It is a D chord. I can't seem to get three fingers to fit on three strings that are all on the same fret. What is the best way to play that simple chord?

backdoc972
04-21-2008, 03:23 AM
I have been struggling with that little bugger as well. What I came up with is to bar the 3rd and 4th string with my index finger and to fret the 2nd string with my middle. Hope that makes sense. I'll try to post a pic later if it doesn't.

You can bar with one finger, but I was inconsistent in getting my finger clear of the first string so it can ring free.

E chord is even worse. That one I do have to bar the 2-4 strings with my middle finger and fret 1 string with my index.

wearymicrobe
04-21-2008, 03:42 AM
I have been struggling with that little bugger as well. What I came up with is to bar the 3rd and 4th string with my index finger and to fret the 2nd string with my middle. Hope that makes sense. I'll try to post a pic later if it doesn't.

You can bar with one finger, but I was inconsistent in getting my finger clear of the first string so it can ring free.

E chord is even worse. That one I do have to bar the 2-4 strings with my middle finger and fret 1 string with my index.

Depending on the song you can do 1010 and cheat in the beginning and it will sound fine. I cannot get three fingers in there on a soprano and have to bar the three strings, on a concert or tenor I always bar the top two and then single the third.

You can also bar the entire 2nd fret and do a forth 5th, 2225 depending on the song.

UkuLeLesReggAe
04-21-2008, 03:43 AM
D is the 2nd fret top 3 strings yea?

I use my middle finger and bar the 1st 3 strings and its fine with me... its weird - i can play that one good but easy ones i find more difficult..

..interesting

Nuke-ulele
04-21-2008, 04:46 AM
D is the 2nd fret top 3 strings yea?

I use my middle finger and bar the 1st 3 strings and its fine with me... its weird - i can play that one good but easy ones i find more difficult..

..interesting

Not to be a prick or picky...but technically it is the 2nd fret and bottom three strings, as the first string is closest to the ground, the A string.

I make D in two ways: I fret the 3rd and 4th (G and C strings, closest to your face) with my index finger and pin down the E string with my middle fingertip. This makes a transition to G easy for me. I also sometimes fret the 3rd and 4th (G and C) strinsg with my middle finger and fret the E (2nd) string with my ring fingertip...this position makes the transition to an A chord very very easy, as you already have your middle finger in position on the second fret. What I am saying is that I do D two different ways depending on what comes next, what key I am playing in, and what came just before!

I never use three fingers, even on a tenor, as it just does not allow for fast enough transitions to other chords. You always need to look at common finger positions between the chords you are trying to play in sucession...when you can find common fingerings, it makes transitioning easier, faster, and cleaner!

bof
04-21-2008, 04:51 AM
I nearly always use 3 fingers:

A (G/4th String): Middlefinger
D (C/3rd String): Indexfinger
F# (E/2nd String): ringfinger
A (A/1st String): Open of course

So that in fact indexfinger and middlefinger are kinda crossed

gobes
04-21-2008, 06:05 AM
I use the same fingering as bof. I find it easier to squeeze three fingers in this way and it makes for an easy transition back and forth to a G or A chord.

UkuleleHill
04-21-2008, 07:07 AM
The crossing like bof describes is what I do on my soprano... But on my concert I can do what seems natural...

ukusaurus
04-21-2008, 10:33 AM
I bar the gc and e strings with my middle finger. When I was first learning chords I tried using 3 fingers but it just didn't feel comfortable. My middle finger bends perfectly to bar the 3 strings used for a d too.

JohnBoy
04-21-2008, 01:37 PM
Thanks to everyone. I find it fascinating that one simple cord can be played so many different ways. Several of the suggestions seem to be working and I agree....it all seems to hinge upon what the next cord will be. Mahalo..you guys are great!

NukeDOC
04-21-2008, 01:56 PM
depending on the song, you can play a D major in a number of ways.

where:
I=index finger
M=middle finger
R=ring finger
P=pinky

1=1st fret
2=2nd fret
3=3rd fret
4=4th fret
x=not played

and the strings laid out as
A
E
C
G

D major can be played:
0... x... 5... 5... 5... 9... 9... 5...
2... 2... 2... 5... 5... 10.. 10.. 5...
2... 2... 2... 6... 6... 9... 9... 2...
2... 2... 2... 7... x... 11.. x... x...

as long as all the notes being played are D, F#, and A

i did this real quick so someone correct me if im wrong.

davoomac
04-21-2008, 02:55 PM
If you can't fit three fingers for D just try barring the 2nd fret. I use my middle finger when I bar the D chord. I actually mute the A string sometimes because my finger isn't very flexible.

Plainsong
04-21-2008, 03:02 PM
I usually just fret all three the old-fashioned way. Even on a soprano, my fingers are small and stubby enough. I can't seem to get a decent sound from barring just the three strings.

Howlin Hobbit
04-21-2008, 07:33 PM
I use my middle finger and bar the 1st 3 strings and its fine with me...

I do the same thing but I use my ring finger. Doing this also allows the dreaded E chord (and all the rest of that position up and down the neck) to be played because you can barre the second fret with your index and do the partial barre with your ring finger. I sometimes lay my middle finger down on the index to give it a bit more pressure. Helps to stay anchored that way.


I agree....it all seems to hinge upon what the next cord will be.

The proper way to finger any chord is whatever is easiest coming off of that last chord and going into the next. Sometimes I finger the a chord in different ways within the same song.

dannyboy
04-21-2008, 07:43 PM
Theres many ways to play the D Major chord. For one, it is barring the GCE strings on the 2nd fret. A way you can hold that chord down is to take your index finger and put it on the 2nd fret G string. Take your middle finger and put it on the 2nd fret C string. Then take your ring finger and place it on the 2nd fret E string, and keep the A string open.

An easier way to play is barring the whole 2nd fret and put your pinky on the 5th fret A string.

And one more way you can play it is
A 5
E 5
C 6
G 7

Each one of those chords is an octave higher.
Hoped that helped!

NotoriousMOK
04-22-2008, 01:26 PM
For D I use two fingers, index on the top two, and middle to pick up the E string. I can't seem to make it work with 3 fingers or just 1.

As for E, if I have a 30 second gap in the song, I suppose I could play it in the first position, but typically cover/barr the 4th fret completely and drop my pinky on the 7th fret of the A string. This is still a slight struggle at first, but now it's what I can get to most consistently.

Plainsong
04-22-2008, 02:16 PM
For D I use two fingers, index on the top two, and middle to pick up the E string. I can't seem to make it work with 3 fingers or just 1.

As for E, if I have a 30 second gap in the song, I suppose I could play it in the first position, but typically cover/barr the 4th fret completely and drop my pinky on the 7th fret of the A string. This is still a slight struggle at first, but now it's what I can get to most consistently.

That's how I do E as well, but usually I just pray it goes to A and that a seventh chord would sound nice there instead. ;)