View Full Version : E Chord Breakthrough

09-10-2010, 05:28 AM
Hi everybody, this is my first post on the wonderful UU forum - my name is T. J. and I just got my first (and second) ukulele this summer. When I first started, playing the E chord seemed impossible, so I started off using the "thumb on the fourth fret" method. After looking around the internet, I realized that was "cheating" and didn't want to pick up a bad habit, so from then on, I would usually try to switch it to an E7 or use the 4447 formation. Unfortunately, they didn't always sound good with the song, so usually I would just skip over tabs that had a lot of E chords.

Anyway, today I was trying a new song and one of the main chords was Eb, which I wasn't familiar with. So I looked up how to form it and it seemed pretty easy. Then, halfway through playing the song the second time, I realized, DUH! the Eb is just the E one fret down. So I tried a "real E" (index on 1 and ring finger on 2,3,4) and it sounded great. So now maybe I can go back and try all those tabs I skipped!

I guess the moral of the story is that if you try a chord or strum that just won't work, don't abandon it forever - give it a try once a month or so and maybe you will surprise yourself with how much you have improved.

Ronnie Aloha
09-10-2010, 06:06 AM
LOL. Great discovery! I have actually stated using my bent middle finger to play all three stings on my D chord. I would sometimes get my fingers jammed together when playing it with three fingers and its a little more comfortable than smashing down the tip of my index finger on the 4th and 3rd with my middle on the 2nd.

09-10-2010, 06:49 AM
Nice one, hard work pays dividends

09-10-2010, 07:03 AM
Good stuff. I wouldn't worry about the "cheating" thing - I always use E7. I actually met a guy who's been playing uke for 60 years last week at an acoustic singaround session, and we did some blues stuff (me strumming whilst he picked over the top), and he asked me how I was changing from the dreaded E chord so fast - he didn't notice the difference between E and E7 for the entire 4 hours we were there!

So if a guy with 60 years of playing experience can't tell the difference then I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. :)

09-10-2010, 11:45 AM
Hi T.J.,
congrats on the breakthrough. Same for me. Although from other posts it seems the general notion is that there is no cheating with the uke. It's "whatever works".

09-10-2010, 11:59 AM
Hey T.J.,

Great break through. I too had trouble with E at first. Like you at first I avoided it. But coming back to it later I was able to make it work. I can't do what you do because my ring finger will not been that much and I end up muting the A string. What works for me is to use my middle finger for the G & C strings and my ring finger for the E string.

Now if I can only master that G# maj chord ;)