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View Full Version : How in the world do you guys squish your fingers on a soprano for chords?



Ipcmlr
07-16-2013, 08:49 AM
I dont exactly have the largest hands.
In fact I have short fingers and about average finger fatness(LOL)
I started out with a concert and for that scale I can squish my fingers close enough for an E chord.

But when its time to play my beater uke which is a soprano I cannot make it sound clean.

The 3 fingers cannot cleanly fit on the single fret they have to be on while my 4th finger si pressing on the 2nd fret.

D chord is easier because you can angle your fingers more in parallel to the frets but chords like E I just cannot fathom how normal adults can play those cleanly.

I see big guys playing their tiny sopranos on youtube and think how in the world is that even possible?!

Help!

peewee
07-16-2013, 09:08 AM
http://ukulelehunt.com/2011/06/15/barre-chord-tips/

Ipcmlr
07-16-2013, 09:26 AM
http://ukulelehunt.com/2011/06/15/barre-chord-tips/

Thanks. I'll try it but it seems like im asking for trouble if I barre an E chord with my ring finger and index finger at the 2nd fret.
I might be wrong.

sukie
07-16-2013, 09:29 AM
It'll come. Really.

Pondoro
07-16-2013, 10:09 AM
E chord took me 4 years to get. I either changed a song to a different key, avoided the song, or substituted E7. Few group play-alongs use songs with E chords. There is an easier barre but I don't have a uke with me to ry it on - I think it is barrre 4, pinky on 7, but I might be wrong.

To play the harder version of E I played chords as follows, for 5 minutes per day:
A E B E C E D E F E F E D E C E B E A
A7 E B7 E etc...
Am E Bm E etc...

I started that excercise in year four and it got me over the finish line for E.

By the way I have big fingers and the three finger D was a pain for me for one year, but now I can do it on a tiny sub-soprano uke. Keep at it!

UkuleleHill
07-16-2013, 10:14 AM
I dont exactly have the largest hands.
In fact I have short fingers and about average finger fatness(LOL)
I started out with a concert and for that scale I can squish my fingers close enough for an E chord.

But when its time to play my beater uke which is a soprano I cannot make it sound clean.

The 3 fingers cannot cleanly fit on the single fret they have to be on while my 4th finger si pressing on the 2nd fret.

D chord is easier because you can angle your fingers more in parallel to the frets but chords like E I just cannot fathom how normal adults can play those cleanly.

I see big guys playing their tiny sopranos on youtube and think how in the world is that even possible?!

Help!

My ring finger will lay down, so I usually cheat the E with the ring finger pressing the G and E strings and then the pinky on the C...

Ipcmlr
07-16-2013, 10:32 AM
Well right now i'm either using the normal fingering for E or if i feel like it barre the 4th fret strings 2-4 with my thumb, index on 2nd fret 1st string.
I can only do this thumb barre comfortably on a soprano. Concert feels awful.

Pondoro
07-16-2013, 10:40 AM
Well right now i'm either using the normal fingering for E or if i feel like it barre the 4th fret strings 2-4 with my thumb, index on 2nd fret 1st string.
I can only do this thumb barre comfortably on a soprano. Concert feels awful.

Barres will come, it just takes time. Barres came a lot faster than the E chord for me.

Bill Mc
07-16-2013, 10:45 AM
Thanks. I'll try it but it seems like im asking for trouble if I barre an E chord with my ring finger and index finger at the 2nd fret.
I might be wrong.

Are you playing in D tuning ? Then the E is 2220 or 2225. In the first instance you only need the ring finger pressed down and backward bent at the joint to allow the 1st string to ring clearly; in the second instance the ring finger covers all the frets and the pinky the 5th fret of the 1st string. In either case it is a lot of practice if you have no prior experience with a guitar or mandolin. Don't give up as it is difficult. If you are in C tuning then the description fits the D chord.

Ipcmlr
07-16-2013, 11:02 AM
Are you playing in D tuning ? Then the E is 2220 or 2225. In the first instance you only need the ring finger pressed down and backward bent at the joint to allow the 1st string to ring clearly; in the second instance the ring finger covers all the frets and the pinky the 5th fret of the 1st string. In either case it is a lot of practice if you have no prior experience with a guitar or mandolin. Don't give up as it is difficult. If you are in C tuning then the description fits the D chord.

I am in C tuning.
4442.
I'm using my left hand for chords so if i were to attempt to barre it would be using my ring finger on the GCE strings with my index finger on the 2nd fret A string.

Ipcmlr
07-16-2013, 11:05 AM
Barres will come, it just takes time. Barres came a lot faster than the E chord for me.

Barres seem doable as long as the index finger is doing it. If its the ring finger i'm not so sure.... but i'm just a beginner so maybe it is doable.

Ipcmlr
07-16-2013, 11:07 AM
My ring finger will lay down, so I usually cheat the E with the ring finger pressing the G and E strings and then the pinky on the C...

This actually might work!!!!!
Thanks!

Hippie Dribble
07-16-2013, 11:12 AM
try 4447.

barre across all strings with index at 4th fret and just add pinky at 7th. Just a D moved up two frets...

:cheers:

Bill Mc
07-16-2013, 11:47 AM
I am in C tuning.
4442.
I'm using my left hand for chords so if i were to attempt to barre it would be using my ring finger on the GCE strings with my index finger on the 2nd fret A string.

You are correct. That is another way to make that chord. So a good exercise is to go from 4442, 4444, 4447,4444 and repeat.

fernandogardinali
07-16-2013, 11:50 AM
Life's too short to play the 4442 E chord. When the 4447 shape is too high pitched I make a barre on the fourth fret and mute the A string (444x). If you are playing with a high G, the first string (A) fretted on the second fret will produce the exact same note in the same octave as the fourth fret on the fourth string (G).

When those are too high pitched, I use this, based on the usual E7: 1402. It's a bit ugly because it has two strings playing the root in unison, but when playing with others it does the job.

strumsilly
07-16-2013, 12:08 PM
try 4447.

barre across all strings with index at 4th fret and just add pinky at 7th. Just a D moved up two frets...

:cheers:
that's the way I usually play it, and the A is right there at 6454, just lift the pinky, keep the barred 4th.

OldePhart
07-16-2013, 12:33 PM
When I first started playing I had a lot of years of guitar and bass behind me and I managed to convince myself that the soprano fret board was just too small. But, after a couple of years of playing concerts and tenors I accidentally discovered that my fingers would now cooperate well enough to play at least first position on a soprano. Since soprano is my favorite sound I often play it now, though I still want a really good tenor for some of the more complex stuff.

One thing to keep in mind is that the "right" way to form chords is just one of many ways and often the "alternative" ways might work better for you - some of them do for me. When I do play the E as the 4442 I do so using a full barre with my index finger at the 2nd fret and my ring finger in an arched barre at the 4th fret. However, I more often play the E as 4447 using an index barre at the 4th and my pinky on the 7th. Both of the above hold true regardless of whether I'm playing a soprano, concert, tenor, or baritone.

John

Shastastan
07-17-2013, 12:17 PM
This video helped me more than anything to learn "usuable for me" D and E chords. These fingers help make these chords movable as well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Wkz-mLK6fsQ

Ipcmlr
07-17-2013, 02:11 PM
Thanks to all who replied.
I'm giving the suggestions here a try.
Some working better than other :D

thanks!

Pukulele Pete
07-18-2013, 01:55 AM
The uke you have might make a difference . Ukuleles have different size nuts and neck width. I really like Martin sopranos , the nut width is 1 13/16ths I think. ( I'm too lazy to check)
I have other ukes with a narrower nut or neck width and they are harder to play.