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MoreUke
09-06-2011, 10:29 PM
I took a couple of lessons from a gent that is a 2nd generation Ukulele player and also has a degree in music education.

He mentioned that every chord has 3 different possible fingerings on an Ukulele. Tonight I was looking at one of those fingering charts that has all the chords and their fingerings. There were 120 different chords on the chart. If every chord has 3 different possible fingerings on an Ukulele that means there are 120 x 3 different chord positions which equals 360 different chord positions.

Does this sound correct?

Have a Great Day,
Jim

Ken Middleton
09-06-2011, 11:42 PM
There are probably a lot more than that.

There are 12 different notes. Let take one of them: the note C.

There are many different types of chord e.g. C, Cm, C7, Cm7, C6, Cm6, C9, Cm9, C13, Cm13, Cdim, Csus, etc. That's 12 and there are a lot more, particularly if you include exotic jazz chords.

Each of these can be played in far more than 3 versions (not inversions). Let's say at least 5 (actually many more).

So that would be

12 x 12 x 5 = 720

The actual figure is much higher.

Uke Republic
09-07-2011, 12:38 AM
So the next time someone says "The ukulele is a simple instrument"...

kerley
09-07-2011, 01:19 AM
The question here is around your statement "...charts that has all the chords..."

Did the chart state it was a definitive list of every possible chord? (rhetorical question :))

Imagine it was covering the most common chords in which case 10 of each note would be a good start.

Kanaka916
09-07-2011, 05:28 AM
In all honesty, Ken is right . . . there's a lot more . . . Brian's Chord List (http://chordlist.brian-amberg.de/en/ukulele/standard/C/bb.html)

MoreUke
09-07-2011, 06:00 AM
I had no idea!

Thank you.

Have a Great Day,.
Jim

patico
09-07-2011, 06:03 AM
if you add odd fingerings, the list grows !!!

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
09-07-2011, 06:36 AM
Oh no, a math problem. I can't resist...

Suppose you've got a soprano ukulele with twelve frets and that you can stretch from the first fret to the twelfth. Then you could fret each string at any of thirteen positions (open or at any of the twelve frets). That's thirteen choices of position for the first string, thirteen choices for the second string, thirteen choices for the third, and thirteen choices for the fourth. If it doesn't matter which fret we choose on any one string, this gives us 13 x 13 x 13 x 13 = 28,561 possible chords for a twelve-fret ukulele. The same technique yields 16 x 16 x 16 x 16 = 65,536 chords for a fifteen fret ukulele, 83,571 chords on sixteen frets, 130,321 on eighteen frets, etc.

Of course, this count includes many terrible sounding chords consisting of four random notes, and many chords that would be physically impossible for a single person to fret.

It's more difficult to count chords when we are constrained by which frets can be physically reached by the average player. That's a good math problem!

OldePhart
09-07-2011, 07:04 AM
Oh no, a math problem. I can't resist...

Suppose you've got a soprano ukulele with twelve frets and that you can stretch from the first fret to the twelfth. Then you could fret each string at any of thirteen positions (open or at any of the twelve frets). That's thirteen choices of position for the first string, thirteen choices for the second string, thirteen choices for the third, and thirteen choices for the fourth. If it doesn't matter which fret we choose on any one string, this gives us 13 x 13 x 13 x 13 = 28,561 possible chords for a twelve-fret ukulele. The same technique yields 16 x 16 x 16 x 16 = 65,536 chords for a fifteen fret ukulele, 83,571 chords on sixteen frets, 130,321 on eighteen frets, etc.

Of course, this count includes many terrible sounding chords consisting of four random notes, and many chords that would be physically impossible for a single person to fret.

It's more difficult to count chords when we are constrained by which frets can be physically reached by the average player. That's a good math problem!

Actually, your arithmetic is flawed. Given all your parameters there are actually fourteen choices for each string (open, any of 12 frets, or not played)... :)

John

Kanaka916
09-07-2011, 07:12 AM
OK, let's not get too technical . . . suffice to say there is more than 720 chords for an 'ukulele. Do we all agree?

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
09-07-2011, 07:23 AM
Actually, your arithmetic is flawed. Given all your parameters there are actually fourteen choices for each string (open, any of 12 frets, or not played)... :)

John

Oops. Nice catch, John!

My arithmetic is correct, it's my assumptions that are flawed. I forgot to state that I was counting "chords" which sound all four strings. If we're allowed to leave any number of strings tacet, we have 14^4 = 38,416 "chords" on a twelve-fret ukulele. Uh oh, now anyone familiar with basic music theory can quibble with us counting single notes---and pairs of notes---as "chords".

It'd take more time out of my morning than I can spare to sort through the music theory, anatomy, and mathematics required to properly answer this question. I'll say it again, this is a good problem!

But using our work and MoreUke's chord chart, we have proved the following result: If C is the number of possible chords on an N-fret ukulele, then 120 < C < (N+2)^4.

At least we've got lower and upper bounds. ;)

Dan Uke
09-07-2011, 08:00 AM
I had a hard enough time learning how to play the C chord!!! LOL

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
09-07-2011, 08:19 AM
OK, let's not get too technical . . . suffice to say there is more than 720 chords for an 'ukulele. Do we all agree? Heh, I was typing my long, technical reply to John as you posted this.

So few chances to do any math in day-to-day life, I always give it a go.

I'm pretty sure that the number of chords needed to start having a great time with the ukulele is around 2. ;)

Kanaka916
09-07-2011, 08:52 AM
No sweat . . . you guys are great, have fun with it.

sukie
09-07-2011, 11:18 AM
Heh, I was typing my long, technical reply to John as you posted this.

So few chances to do any math in day-to-day life, I always give it a go.

I'm pretty sure that the number of chords needed to start having a great time with the ukulele is around 2. ;)

Nope. One. Remember "Elephant Town"? :-)

pulelehua
09-07-2011, 11:53 AM
In a more real world way, take the C chord. I like these C chords

0-0-0-3 (the "regular C chord)
0-0-3-3 (the "power" chord version - which I only like with a bluegrassy (0-0-2-3) leading to a hammer-on
5-4-3-3
0-0-0-7
0-0-8-7
0-0-8-10
0-0-12-15

And I DO use them all a lot. There are other variants, but these are MY favourite C majors. 7 versions of 1 chord.

There's a whole world in those 4 little strings.

Jane
09-07-2011, 02:38 PM
Amazing! Little did I know...

ksiegel
09-07-2011, 10:12 PM
Counting the chords is easy:

"One, two, three, many, many, lots."

There - I'm done.

....-Kurt

Seanmc
09-08-2011, 01:20 AM
In all honesty, Ken is right . . . there's a lot more . . . Brian's Chord List (http://chordlist.brian-amberg.de/en/ukulele/standard/C/bb.html)

Does Brian's list refer to low g tuning?
It has what I would consider 1st position C as C/G.