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View Full Version : the damn E chord!!



Band-aidformyUke
02-25-2011, 05:22 PM
i'm so frusterated with my short fingers!!!!! any substitutions or tips on it? :(

cb56
02-25-2011, 05:31 PM
Seems to me I've seen a thread about it somewhere.....
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?29-Ukulele-Beginners

Plainsong
02-25-2011, 05:49 PM
Depending on where the next chord is, like for example, A, you could use E7 and get away with that a lot of the time. Or again, depending on the song and how it sounds, you could do an Em maybe. It's not correct, but you could say it's your own arrangement. If it sounds good, then why not? Or you could bar the 4th fret and then octave the root of the chord with your pinkie on the A string something like 4 frets up I think. In some songs that'll sound great and in others not-so-much. Or you could leave the G string open and not play it, only fret C, E, and A strings and only play those.

Or you could change the key of the song?

Coconut Willie
02-26-2011, 03:27 AM
Yes you can get away with the E7. (most of the time!)

molokinirum
02-26-2011, 03:33 AM
Look at this thread for tons of solutions!!!
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?12703-The-E-Chord-Is-there-an-alternative

ThursOctApr
02-26-2011, 03:39 AM
I'm sure you already know this, but practice!!

I remember when I first started playing the ukulele.. I NEVER thought I'd be able to play the E chord properly. Never. But if you keep at it, one day you'll be able to do it. And probably a lot sooner than you think! By all means play the substitutions for now, but if you never try to play the E chord, well - you'll never be able to!

Good luck! Practice and perseverance!

bazmaz
02-26-2011, 05:10 AM
It is a pain isnt it.

There are alternatives, and you can also get away with cheating (but only on some songs)

Have a look at - http://gotaukulele.blogspot.com/2011/02/ukulele-beginners-tips-dreaded-e-chord.html

spookefoote
02-26-2011, 05:44 AM
Grow longer fingers

Steiner
02-26-2011, 06:17 AM
Bar the 4th, and pinky on the 7th fret of the A string. Ukulele Mike style.

joeybug
02-26-2011, 07:04 AM
I hate it too and I've been playing 6 months! I guess one day my fingers will bend that way, but right now they just don't!

ksiegel
02-26-2011, 07:59 AM
Bar the 4th, and pinky on the 7th fret of the A string. Ukulele Mike style.

I don't know Ukulele Mike, but that's how I've been doing it all along.

Occasionally, depending on chord progression, barre second fret, then use ring finger on 2nd, 3rd,and 4th strings. The middle finger, oddly enough, lays over index - I guess I'm crossing my fingers, hoping the chord sounds true. (g)

-Kurt

Ronnie Aloha
02-26-2011, 08:26 AM
I don't know Ukulele Mike, but that's how I've been doing it all along.

Occasionally, depending on chord progression, barre second fret, then use ring finger on 2nd, 3rd,and 4th strings. The middle finger, oddly enough, lays over index - I guess I'm crossing my fingers, hoping the chord sounds true. (g)

-Kurt

I do it the same way except I place my middle finger over the ring finger to help press down on the bottom three strings.

sukie
02-26-2011, 09:09 AM
I hated it and I've been playing for 3 years. I don't hate it any more. It's called practice. Sorry.

Plainsong
02-26-2011, 05:36 PM
I hated it and I've been playing for 3 years. I don't hate it any more. It's called practice. Sorry.

Well isn't every problem just an issue of practice? I'm sorry I haven't practiced enough for you.

Craig Chee
02-26-2011, 05:46 PM
A lot of time I play the E Chord with 4 fingers:
Pointer on A string (2nd fret)
Middle on G string (4th fret)
Ring on C string (4th fret)
Pinky on E string (4th fret)

This also allows a little more movement as each string is controlled by a different finger. And it was just way more comfortable for me :)

Nickie
02-26-2011, 05:55 PM
The E chord should be banned!

Craig Chee
02-26-2011, 05:57 PM
The E chord should be banned!

Too bad it's like the holy chord for guitarists haha. I jumped in a country band's set and 90% of the songs were in E...

brucemoffatt
02-26-2011, 07:20 PM
so, if you strum slowly through each string while fingering the E chord as 4442, you'll notice the note on the A string is a duplicated note. In other words, the same note is already provided. Just baring the GCE strings provides you with the notes required for GMajor, the root, 3 and 5. If the 4442 pattern is a problem, just barre 444x with the pointer or middle finger and let the same finger damp the A string. Presto magico, easy peasy E-zy.

OldePhart
02-27-2011, 09:03 AM
If you really want to master any chord that is giving you problems, concentrate on it! Okay, reading that sounds pretty obvious and like I'm being snarky, but that's really not the case. Find chord progressions that are common and work intensely on them for short periods of time. For example, if you're playing in the key of A then you're probably having a lot of changes from A to E and back again, and maybe from A to D to E and back to A. If you're playing in the key of E then you're probably moving from E to A and back, E to B and back, and E to B to A and back to E.

So, what you do is you spend just five or ten minutes of each session practicing those changes - then go play songs you enjoy playing that don't involve the E chord. Maybe at the end of your practice session do another five or ten minutes of the boring, painful, "woodshed" work on those problem transitions. What you'll discover is that each day the transitions get a little easier and a little easier. Suddenly, one day you realize that the E chord is no harder than any other, you just had to develop the muscle memory.

If you only play an E chord when it shows up in a song that you want to play it might take you months to get enough of that muscle memory built up to feel comfortable with it. If you spend hours on hours on a chord that's not much fun you'll get frustrated and discouraged. But, if you just do the "grunt work" in little bites that are less annoying you get better much faster.

John

sukie
02-27-2011, 12:08 PM
Well isn't every problem just an issue of practice? I'm sorry I haven't practiced enough for you.

Yes. Most problems are due to practice.

If people don't practice, they aren't going to get better. What's to apologize for? Or be snarky?

angeltreats
02-27-2011, 12:40 PM
I must be weird... I never realised that people hated the E chord till I joined this forum. It never really gave me any problems even when I first bought my uke. I play 4441 and bar GCE with my ring finger.

I have to be honest though, I'm double jointed and my fingers bend in strange ways that they probably shouldn't :D

joeybug
02-27-2011, 01:22 PM
I must be weird... I never realised that people hated the E chord till I joined this forum. It never really gave me any problems even when I first bought my uke. I play 4441 and bar GCE with my ring finger.

I have to be honest though, I'm double jointed and my fingers bend in strange ways that they probably shouldn't :D

I think if I played it more often, I would get the hang of it, my first stumbling chord was E7 (I know, it's easy, but brain just didn't compute!) so maybe it's just the E chords for me, since I stumbled with Em too! Now though I play them both no probs!

GX9901
02-27-2011, 01:34 PM
I do it the same way except I place my middle finger over the ring finger to help press down on the bottom three strings.

Whoa Ronnie, I just tried placing my middle finger over my ring finger in the way you've described, and that takes some serious finger gymastics! LOL!

I think when first I started, I played the E using a finger on each string. Eventually I tried barring the three strings on the 4th fret with my ring finger while the index finger hold the A-string, and that's how I play E now. Either way seem to work for me but barring the 3 strings on the 4th fret seem to make changing in and out of the chord faster.

OldePhart
02-27-2011, 03:49 PM
Well isn't every problem just an issue of practice? I'm sorry I haven't practiced enough for you.

I don't think sukie was trying to be condescending. He (she? not sure) is just trying to describe something that most of us who have been playing for a while (in my case guitar rather than uke) have discovered - you kind of wake up one day and realize that many of the things that used to drive you nuts have become so easy that you just don't think about them anymore. And, the only way you get there is through practice - be it a short time of concentrated practice as I've described or many months of more casual "playing practice." It's all practice and in the end it's the only thing that brings improvement.

This sad truth was really hard for me to face. I'm one of those people who just happen to be blessed with the ability to learn almost anything very quickly from a book. There have really only been two exceptions in my life, one was music and the other competitive shooting (action pistol). While the latter came very naturally to me, and the former very difficult, the sad truth was that I was able to learn all the "theory" stuff very quickly from books, but actually putting it into practice boiled down to a lot of "shed work."

John

sukie
02-28-2011, 05:34 AM
I don't think sukie was trying to be condescending. He (she? not sure) is just trying to describe something that most of us who have been playing for a while (in my case guitar rather than uke) have discovered - you kind of wake up one day and realize that many of the things that used to drive you nuts have become so easy that you just don't think about them anymore. And, the only way you get there is through practice - be it a short time of concentrated practice as I've described or many months of more casual "playing practice." It's all practice and in the end it's the only thing that brings improvement.

This sad truth was really hard for me to face. I'm one of those people who just happen to be blessed with the ability to learn almost anything very quickly from a book. There have really only been two exceptions in my life, one was music and the other competitive shooting (action pistol). While the latter came very naturally to me, and the former very difficult, the sad truth was that I was able to learn all the "theory" stuff very quickly from books, but actually putting it into practice boiled down to a lot of "shed work."

John

Thank you, John. That was exactly what I was trying to say in as few words as possible. (I'm a girl)

I have been trying to play 2227 for over 2 months now and I still don't have it. Actually I can do it on a concert, but not on a tenor neck. If I practiced it more I probably would have it by now.

p.s. I am NEVER condescending. It is not my nature.

ksiegel
02-28-2011, 06:57 AM
i, Sukie.

For the E chord, wouldn't it be 4447, rather than 2227?

A D is either 2220 or 2225, so an E would be 4442 or 4447... I think.. At least, that's what my ears tell me. I tend to play the E as 4447 - most of the time.

When I started out with guitar mumbledyfarfle years ago, I'd play that shape (A B on the guitar) using my index finger on the first string 2nd fret, and the other three fingers stacked on each of the strings on the 4th fret. over the courseof 40 years, it evolved into a barre on the 2nd fret,and the ring finger barring 4th fret on 2, 3, and 4. When I started with the ukulele in November,I just found it easier to play 4447, barring the 4th fret, and pinky on 1st string 7th. The hand seems to fall into position naturally, and almost neutral position, and is easy to pull into other chords when i need to change.

I don't know if any of that rambling made sense, or helped, but it works for me.


-Kurt

I've got short, stubby fingers - my wife and I have noticed that our fingers are the same length, but my palms and half again as wide and long as hers.

(But she still won't try playing the Uke, darn it!)

sukie
02-28-2011, 12:19 PM
i, Sukie.

For the E chord, wouldn't it be 4447, rather than 2227?

A D is either 2220 or 2225, so an E would be 4442 or 4447... I think.. At least, that's what my ears tell me. I tend to play the E as 4447 - most of the time.

When I started out with guitar mumbledyfarfle years ago, I'd play that shape (A B on the guitar) using my index finger on the first string 2nd fret, and the other three fingers stacked on each of the strings on the 4th fret. over the courseof 40 years, it evolved into a barre on the 2nd fret,and the ring finger barring 4th fret on 2, 3, and 4. When I started with the ukulele in November,I just found it easier to play 4447, barring the 4th fret, and pinky on 1st string 7th. The hand seems to fall into position naturally, and almost neutral position, and is easy to pull into other chords when i need to change.

I don't know if any of that rambling made sense, or helped, but it works for me.


-Kurt

I've got short, stubby fingers - my wife and I have noticed that our fingers are the same length, but my palms and half again as wide and long as hers.

(But she still won't try playing the Uke, darn it!)

I don't know what note it is. I just know that's what I should be playing. It's in "Strawberry Fields Forever". I'm playing with the barred 2th fret but my pinky just can't quite reach yet. Well, sometimes I can but it doesn't sound very pretty.

I guess my point was just that some things are hard and practice is the only thing that will help.

OldePhart
02-28-2011, 01:05 PM
2227 would be ADF#E - a Dadd9

Often you'll see folks doing 2225 D chords (or 2223 D7) with the pinky hammering on the 7th fret for a bluesy feel.

John

ksiegel
02-28-2011, 02:54 PM
2227 would be ADF#E - a Dadd9

Often you'll see folks doing 2225 D chords (or 2223 D7) with the pinky hammering on the 7th fret for a bluesy feel.

John

I'm with Sukie on that one.. I can't quite reach the 1st string 7th fret with my pinky while barring the 2nd fret, most of the time.

On those rare occasions when I can, it sounds muddy.

I could try on the Harmony soprano, but then my hands get cramped up on many of the other chords - frets are a little too narrow for my hands.

(I think my next ukulele will be concert sized, for variety.)

-Kurt

ricdoug
02-28-2011, 08:09 PM
E7 works 90%+ of the time. Ric

Plainsong
02-28-2011, 09:32 PM
I don't know what note it is. I just know that's what I should be playing. It's in "Strawberry Fields Forever". I'm playing with the barred 2th fret but my pinky just can't quite reach yet. Well, sometimes I can but it doesn't sound very pretty.

I guess my point was just that some things are hard and practice is the only thing that will help.

I'm sorry I misunderstood you. I mean we all know "practice" is the answer to most of our questions and downfalls. As for trying to bar the E chord at both frets, my finger doesn't bend right. It's been broken, so it's possible that it really just doesn't do that. Or it is equally sure that I'm just thick about it. :)

There's one song in my rep so far that cannot use E7 or the 4447 E, or a change to Em, and that's Hotel California. Nothing else will do in the place of E, but E. Lately I've been able to hit 2444 using my fingers and not a bar shape, and I've been able to make it sound like it should sound, important because of the picking within the chord.

But when I miss it, oh ouch ouch ouch, move on quickly.... :D The superconcert's wider neck and frets allow for the most leeway there to get the fingers where they should be.

Ambrosius
03-01-2011, 01:27 AM
How do you do your d-chord?

For us short and fatties, - there is a way to do this.

I had problem with my d-chord as well. On my tenor, not space enough for three fingers (which is natural on a guitar), and "fretting" the top three like some double jointed folks do, I soon discovered I could forget. I have still pain in my long finger, trying to do that. I found my way do do d-chord was to use two fingers, - the long on the g and c strings and ringfinger on the e-string. Shortly after I started to do the d-chord like this, I red that one of the real big guns did the same (don't remember who).

The thing is, doing the d-chord like this, - it is as easy to do the e-chord as well, - with the index ideling and unemployed ... I think my e-chord must be one of the worlds most beautiful :-)

Huna
03-01-2011, 03:26 AM
I like barring the chord with my index finger and either use a pinky up the fretboard on the A string or just don't play that string (mute it). The note is redundant anyway and not necessarily that helpful.

Plainsong
03-01-2011, 03:34 PM
I've never had a problem getting the fingertips to line up while fretting a D chord. I do use 3 fingers, and from my soprano to a tenor to a wide necked Kanilea, it's never been an issue. Most of my fat is carried elsewhere than my fingers I guess (though I'd classify them as short and pudgy). :D

ukernotpuker
03-01-2011, 03:49 PM
Practice but an E7 is a good alternative in most cases