View Full Version : Memorizing chords

05-09-2011, 03:54 PM
Hi everyone! I had a stroke about 7 months ago now and decided to get on with my bucket list, which #1 was learning to play the ukulele. I have been playing for about 3 months now and find that I am still having trouble memorizing more than the basic (C,D,A,F,G,G7, etc) chords. I have to always have a small stamp of the chord to play it. I would like to memorize the fingering (even if I can't do it!) at a better pace. Does anyone have any memorization tricks? I am not a big fan of the computer generated flash cards.........Thanks everyone!

05-09-2011, 04:07 PM
You already know the chords. I would take on 3 at a time. No more, no less, and then you should be on your way. For a start, use C F G7. Hundreds of songs there!

05-09-2011, 05:29 PM
Welcome to uu. I know exactly what you mean because I had a stroke last June. The difference is I already knew the major chords. But as far as learning new chords, I learn simple songs with 2 or 3 chords, and then try another. It's a slow processes but I've got lots of time on my hands. A site that might help is www.doctoruke.com. He has a lot of songs and has a player that you can play along with. I don't know a lot about ukulele, but I know a little about the problem we're having. If i can help in any way, let me know.

mm stan
05-09-2011, 06:14 PM
Aloha Kim009,
Welcome to the UU and our forums and glad to hear you are doing better after your stroke...my way of remembering chords is I don't look at a chart and try to remember all of them..I would
go crazy too...What I do is learn songs, and when I learn them, I learn the chords.. every time I learn a new song, I learn new chords..it works for me.. Just like if you wanted to learn a language,
you don't pick up a dctionary and try to remember all the words...you use it as a reference, when learning.. just be patient, hope it helps Good Luck, MM Stan

Ukulele JJ
05-09-2011, 06:51 PM
Agree with all of the above. There's no need to just sit down and memorize random chords by rote. You'll eventually learn chords because they're in songs you're playing.


05-10-2011, 03:29 AM
Had that problem too, some of us can't learn chords the same way as others can. I have had a uke fo 60 years, just got serious and needed Ukulele BootCamp. I am getting pretty familiar with 5 pages of chords and now use them as my warm-up! Check out Uncle Rod!


05-10-2011, 09:01 PM
I'm using Uncle Rod's book camp too, and it's working. You can't beat it for the price (free).

05-11-2011, 09:08 AM
I've got a pretty naff memory but I find that learning the song helps me learn the chords etc. I know it sounds a bit daft but it's the familiarity of the chord which makes them easier to play. I often forget chords and chord shapes when i stop playing particular tunes.

05-11-2011, 01:39 PM
I find that knowing chord and scale theory helps immensely in remembering chords. Also, if you learn a handful of barre chord shapes, and know your basic theory, you can play almost anything in any key.


05-11-2011, 02:16 PM
There are great books to learn chord structure and theory like "Hal Leonard's Ukulele Chord Finder". I used to panic when I saw a chord I did not know. If you know what makes any chord a minor, sharp or 7th really help. (I still panic, but not as bad)

05-12-2011, 12:29 AM
According to me, you have to play songs until you learn them. I've started playing a short time ago and I'm starting feeling confident with chords just after I've been playing them in a song! So, keep on trying! ;)

05-13-2011, 12:17 AM
according to me, you have 2 (sensible) ways of learning chords:

1/ Learn the 3 basic open chords shapes A / F / C with their -few- very important extentions Major/minor/7th/6th, etc... depending mostly on the music you play

all the other chords are built on these and you will find them all, just taking these positions down the board... going 1fret down bring the chord 1/2 tone up.

2/ learn how chords are made (their name actually give you all keys to find the notes they're made of) AND your fingerboard (go for soprano, goes faster :) )

then you can make up as many chords you want, anywhere on the uke, without learning long and supid lists!!