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View Full Version : Pesky chords....what's yours ?



deepeepee
08-24-2010, 07:02 AM
I have found that I can handle most chords thrown at me from various tabs and songbooks and have improved speed between most of them with practice...but for some reason that pesky Em chord I find fiddly...I can do it. it's not a difficult chord...I love the sound of it but for some reason my brain and fingers don't seem to want to programme that particular chord together. It will come I know, it's not even a fiddly one..... I wonder if anyone else has a chord that they know, can do, but cannot quite get the flow right with it.

spots
08-24-2010, 07:17 AM
Bm and Cdim for me.

I know these chords very well and play many songs that use them, but the fingers just don't like moving to those positions and it's difficult to get the note sounding clean. I tuned my uke from 440Hz to 430Hz (loosened the strings a bit) and that has helped me get a more crisp (less buzzy) sound with these chords.

I see some folks playing and their fingers are graceful, elegant, and fluid, not just as they move between chords but also in how they form the chords. They make it look effortless. I am always impressed when I see that.

misterpk
08-24-2010, 07:43 AM
I hate 1st position Em. For whatever reason I don't play it well. No problems when I move the shape up the neck or play other positions.

deepeepee
08-24-2010, 08:17 AM
I have started looking at the alternatives, I would'nt mind but it's not even hard to do, My brain just won't get into gear.

sukie
08-24-2010, 08:22 AM
Mine's B flat. And I've played it thousands of times. I just can't get a good tone. Em -- not too bad. Neither is B. Go figure.

gnordenstam
08-24-2010, 08:24 AM
B flat - mine sounds totally flat.

SailingUke
08-24-2010, 08:27 AM
I used to have trouble playing dim chords. My problem was getting four fingers down quick enough.
Add the fact that a lot of dim chords are passing chords, I was falling behind.
I have started playing them as a barre chord. Hard to type out, but I will try.

ie. 2nd fret 1111 (index finger)
3rd fret 0203 (2nd and 3rd finger)

This would be a Cdim, you can slide the shape wherever you desire.

For me, this is much quicker to get in and out of.

misterpk
08-24-2010, 08:34 AM
I have started looking at the alternatives, I would'nt mind but it's not even hard to do, My brain just won't get into gear.

Agreed! Glad I'm not the only person who doesn't like this chord. :) I should have read your first post more closely!

One thing I sometime do is play an Em7 as a bar chord on the 7th fret. It's way easier but sometimes it's too high so it doesn't sound good.

byzkarl
08-24-2010, 09:08 AM
Fmaj7. Damn that chord!

spookefoote
08-24-2010, 09:15 AM
Fm if I've been drinking, hic!

byjimini
08-24-2010, 09:33 AM
The sharp chords - F# needs my two less-precise little and ring fingers to move independently onto strings, which I'm just not used to doing, so sometimes I can miss the strings altogether.

Keep practising though and soon they'll hit the spot.

ukuDaily
08-24-2010, 10:06 AM
I have only been playing for 5 months or so now and have worked real hard on fretting. The recipe for the chords that give me the most grief are those that require a barre of 23&4 but an open or up-neck 1st string. Examples would be the uber-easy 0222 D or the more challenging 2444 E. With my finger shape and size, it is tough for me to lay down that partial barre and miss the 1st string, but I really like the flexibility of using movable chords. It is also real handy to have a few extra fingers left over for the occasional 7, or hit the octave of the root note 4 frets up on the 1st string.

byjimini
08-24-2010, 10:21 AM
I dispensed with the E chord pretty quickly, much preferring E7. You can't really tell the difference much, it doesn't require any broken fingers and so far no-one has pointed it out during several sessions in pubs. If you can get away with it, then I say go for it.

SailingUke
08-24-2010, 10:48 AM
I dispensed with the E chord pretty quickly, much preferring E7. You can't really tell the difference much, it doesn't require any broken fingers and so far no-one has pointed it out during several sessions in pubs. If you can get away with it, then I say go for it.

The only problem with taking this kind of short cut is you never learn the right chord. Some habits are harder to break than learning something right the first time.
Most beginning guitar players struggle with Bb and F. (equiv of E and Bb on ukulele). Hence we tend to avoid them in playing.
If you work a little at a time on these difficult chords soon you will find playing a Bb is no more difficult than an Am7 (0000).
Ukulele Bb is just plain difficult, but once you get it you will find you can slide it easily up the neck and find all kinds of cool inversions.
For E I play it 4447 (D slid 2 frets, one step). Eb is 3336, get the pattern?

It does not always come quick, but it is a fun journey.

byjimini
08-24-2010, 10:52 AM
If it sounded way out then I'd be practising the E chord every day until I was happy with it. The B and Bb chords were easy once I learned to bar them, same with G#.

One of my band members is a picky sod when it comes to chords, and she seemed happy with me playing E7 so it's fine with me. :P :D

Hippie Dribble
08-24-2010, 11:04 AM
B flat - mine sounds totally flat.

I sing in B flat. It sounds B awful....

Hardest chord for me so far is Am7. I'm just not sure what fingers to use on what note. I'm trying to do it with the index finger barred across the2nd fret, middle finger bent across bottom 2 strings on 3rd fret and pinky on the c string, 4th fret. Talk about chaos...not pretty at all. Is there an easier way???

molokinirum
08-24-2010, 11:06 AM
All chords give me fits. However, after hour upon hour of hard practice, I have been able to master the dreaded Am7 and the beastly C6 chords!

Finally some real progress!!!

byjimini
08-24-2010, 11:18 AM
I'm sure Am7 is just strumming with no strings held down? Either way, it's just Gm played two frets up, according to EZFolk.com. (http://www.ezfolk.com/uke/chords/A_major/Am7/am7.html)

BadLands Bart
08-24-2010, 11:18 AM
Mine is the Am7! And sometimes the C6

SuzukHammer
08-24-2010, 11:28 AM
All chords give me fits. However, after hour upon hour of hard practice, I have been able to master the dreaded Am7 and the beastly C6 chords!

Finally some real progress!!!

Its easier if you strum with your left hand for these.

Nelson-Fritata
08-24-2010, 11:34 AM
Em for me aswell, but only when i play over the rainbow/what a wonderful world. Somehow the change from C to Em gives me some trouble, especially if i don't sit down. Maybe i should try strumming Em with my left hand...

Hippie Dribble
08-24-2010, 12:27 PM
hi byjimini

I think that's C6 isn't it (open strum, i mean)?

ukecantdothat
08-24-2010, 12:34 PM
Any barre chord. It's one reason I play more uke than guitar lately. I have a hypersensitive nerve in the first joint of my index finger, so repeated pressure there will eventually make it flare up. I can get away with it for a while, then it's substitution time, which is easy enough since most of the stuff I play is fairly simple.

KevinV
08-24-2010, 12:46 PM
The stickler for me is first position F7, or the same fingering in any key up the neck. F7 as in 2313. My pinky wants to take its time and not get with the program of the other 3 fingers as they land. I've been isolating this chord to overcome.

70sSanO
08-24-2010, 05:52 PM
Sometimes 1st fret barre chords Bb and Eb don't sound clean enough.

The Gm (3235), Am (5457), Bm (7679) sound great re-entrant but are difficult to change to quickly.

The chord shape I avoid the most is the G shape up the neck such as an A chord (2454), B chord (4676), etc. I usually just cheat and play a barred F shape.

John

Brad Bordessa
08-24-2010, 06:35 PM
The one I can't figure out by listening to the song!

cocohonk
08-24-2010, 08:35 PM
It takes me forever to form any chords with the shapes resembling 2413 or 1322 anywhere on the neck. Is there some easier way to do it?

Ron
08-24-2010, 09:22 PM
Has anyone said E? I HATE E.
Em - no prob but if I have an E to play I just go to E7

Hippie Dribble
08-24-2010, 11:09 PM
Has anyone said E? I HATE E.
Em - no prob but if I have an E to play I just go to E7

g'day Ron from across the Tasman. I think you could pretty safely apply those semtiments in your signature to Tassie as well mate!!!

Just on the "E" chord, have you tried playing it with your index finger barred across the 4th fret and your pinky on the A string 7th fret. Some people find this easier though it has a higher tone. From there you can just slide everything down 2 frets for your D. It's also easy to move to a B from there - just make the triangle "G" shape, but starting at the 6th fret. Then again, just slide down 2 frets from there for your "A" chord....just a few thoughts from a hack. all the best. eugene

Dibblet
08-24-2010, 11:30 PM
Fmaj7. Damn that chord!

Try barring the first fret. For me it's easier like that because I don't have to be quite so accurate with my index finger. There's also 5500.

Pueo
08-25-2010, 05:04 AM
Fmaj7. Damn that chord!
:agree:Hee hee I was waiting to see if someone would mention this one. It is pretty much the only chord that trips me up consistently. I need it for Space Oddity by Bowie, what I tend to do is play F, get my pinky in place for the Fmaj7, and then the ring finger gets tucked in by the second beat of the chord (usually) but sometimes my ring finger just bonks and won't cooperate. I try to play that song every day just to master it!

Kanaka916
08-25-2010, 05:20 AM
When that particular chord (Fmaj7) comes up, I tend to use the 2nd inversion (5557 or 5500), it's easier to transition to the next chord. Again. that's just me!

Regster
08-25-2010, 05:24 AM
amen bro, grrr despise the e chord alot

Pueo
08-25-2010, 06:51 AM
When that particular chord (Fmaj7) comes up, I tend to use the 2nd inversion (5557 or 5500), it's easier to transition to the next chord. Again. that's just me!
Oooh, thanks Kanaka, I will try that.
I do appreciate what was said earlier in the thread about not avoiding chords because they are difficult, but if you find another chord that flows better, that's probably the "right" one to play.
On guitar there are often multiple positions and/or strings that a particular phrase can be played, and many times some are nearly impossible to manage and others are really easy. I always figure the really easy one must be the "correct" one, because why would the artist want to torture themselves?

donzamacleod
08-25-2010, 06:56 AM
g# most of the time I have no problem with it. Just when I change from some chords my fingers never arrange themselves fast enough!

byjimini
08-25-2010, 07:24 AM
Oooh, thanks Kanaka, I will try that.
I do appreciate what was said earlier in the thread about not avoiding chords because they are difficult, but if you find another chord that flows better, that's probably the "right" one to play.
On guitar there are often multiple positions and/or strings that a particular phrase can be played, and many times some are nearly impossible to manage and others are really easy. I always figure the really easy one must be the "correct" one, because why would the artist want to torture themselves?

Exactly. Obviously if you were playing Em all the time instead of E then you'd be ballsing it up, but I say find the most comfortable positions and stick with them.

deepeepee
08-25-2010, 07:31 AM
It's not just me then, odd that so many people have certain chords that for some reason just do not flow. I have been playing " Beyond the Sea" for most of the afternoon, I find it a great tune generally and also a really good one for practicing chord and key changes. I am seriously considering do dome kind of video blog on my you tube channel about me learning to play the Ukulele ( I have only used it to upload videos of stuff I have sold on ebay so far ). I have broad shoulders so can handle some duff comments, but I will be able to see progression ( hopefully ) as I only picked a Ukulele up for the first time 6 weeks ago it is probably a good a time as any to start. Just pick songs withoout Em and it should be fine. Fingers crossed.

SailingUke
08-25-2010, 07:52 AM
amen bro, grrr despise the e chord alot

try 4447, it is the "C" shape up two full steps.
4445 is an "E7"

2225 is a "D"
3336 is a dreaded "Eb"

misterpk
08-25-2010, 08:22 AM
For those evil D shaped chords, rather than playing it as a barre chord using your first and second finger, one of the guys in town plays it by putting his first finger on the first string, using his second finger to hit strings 3 and 4, and using his 3rd finger to the second string.

Example for E. chord:

4 - 2nd finger (middle)
4 - 2nd finger (middle)
4 - 3rd finger (ring)
2 - first finger (pointer)

I find this to work a lot better than trying to bar the 4th fret with my middle finger. Try giving that a shot. YMMV of course. :)