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Rllink
06-05-2014, 06:53 AM
Since day one for me, people have been talking about the E chord and how hard it is to hit. Just today, someone was talking about the D chord and asking if people bar it or use three fingers. Someone else said that they used some other chord completely, to avoid using the D chord. Then there are people who want to throw their thumb up over the neck and cover those three strings for the D.

I am just a beginner, so I really don't know so much, but it seems to me that avoiding a chord may work for a while, but eventually it is going to show up and you are not going to be able to avoid it. I've been working hard on the D and the E chords, among others, and they are slowly getting better. But my point, is this something I should be trying to learn? Should I be using alternate chords? Does it make one a more versatile? I tend to spend a lot of time on those chords, and if there is an easier way, I'm all for it. On the other hand, I don't want to limit myself by not learning chords, just because they are tough to hit. A discussion would be good. Thanks.

SailingUke
06-05-2014, 07:03 AM
tabbing out a "D" 2225 this is a "C" chord slid up a step (2frets)
You can use the same shape at the 4th fret for an "E" 4447

Barre the 2nd with your index finger and use pinky on 5th.
Slide the shape up 1 fret for "Eb" and 2 frets for an "E"

RichM
06-05-2014, 07:06 AM
I think you said a mouthful. While learning different chord voicing and substitutions is always a good idea to improve your musicianship, avoiding "difficult" chords is kind of lazy and very limiting. If your goal is to be a better musician, hunker down and learn the hard chords. Barre chords can be difficult for the beginner, but I guarantee they will come with practice.

janeray1940
06-05-2014, 07:07 AM
When I first started learning to play, I was taught barre chords from the very beginning, and I was not exposed to any references whatsoever about this-chord-or-that being a difficult one to play. The result was that I just played them and didn't think about it - sometimes they sounded fine from the start, sometimes they were tricky, but I worked at it and got better. And sometimes I had to come up with my own ways to make them sound good, thanks to my midget-hands (I use 4 fingers instead of barring, or the other way around, often the opposite of what most people do).

All of that to say I'm not a believer in avoiding chords because they are difficult! Just learn them, and know that some will take more time than others before they are "easy." And some will never be "easy" (I'm lookin' at you, D Augmented!) :)

OldePhart
06-05-2014, 07:49 AM
Just put in the time to learn them...though that doesn't mean avoid learning the easy variations, too, because there are times when you really need them or they are just a nicer sounding inversion in a particular place in a particular song.

Find a way to learn to play every chord you need. After a while, all those chords you thought were hard won't be any harder than any other chord...and you'll be playing fluently while people who started at the same time you did but were too lazy to learn the "hard" chords will still be banging out floundering beginners renditions.

The easiest way to put it - there are no hard chords, just ones you haven't learned yet.

John

Shastastan
06-05-2014, 08:33 AM
The easiest way to put it - there are no hard chords, just ones you haven't learned yet

I have allowed my mind to be too influenced by others saying that certain cords are difficult. John's comment is simply put and the right way to develop a mind set, IMO.
The same thing applies to keys. Keep on doing what you are doing now--Practice.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
06-05-2014, 09:28 AM
I agree with OldePhart, just learn the chords you need to play the song you love.

In time you may or may not encounter the 'unfamiliar' chord again. If so, simply
re-learn it.

To me, a Chord Chart should look like a crossword puzzle where most of the chords
you will be using regularly are visible, and those you may never encounter are blacked
out :)

A chord chart is like a dictionary, providing 'all' the chords you may possibly use. Most
of the time, however, we will only be using a much smaller percentage of what is
available on a full/comprehensive chord chart :)

That said, learn and use what you need, store them away, take 'em out when you need
them... and have FUN!

If you haven't checked out the Boot Camp Practice Sheets, please feel free to do so.
link in my signature :)

keep uke'in',

Rllink
06-05-2014, 11:21 AM
I agree with OldePhart, just learn the chords you need to play the song you love.

In time you may or may not encounter the 'unfamiliar' chord again. If so, simply
re-learn it.

To me, a Chord Chart should look like a crossword puzzle where most of the chords
you will be using regularly are visible, and those you may never encounter are blacked
out :)

A chord chart is like a dictionary, providing 'all' the chords you may possibly use. Most
of the time, however, we will only be using a much smaller percentage of what is
available on a full/comprehensive chord chart :)

That said, learn and use what you need, store them away, take 'em out when you need
them... and have FUN!

If you haven't checked out the Boot Camp Practice Sheets, please feel free to do so.
link in my signature :)

keep uke'in',

I started out early on with your ukulele boot camp and it was excellent. It makes so much sense and really got me moving and improving. I still work on the songs in the song book. I am now concentrating on learning the chords to a dozen or more songs that I got off ultimateguitar.com, and I'm on the third week of Ukulele aerobics. I really like ukulele aerobics because I get a little bite to chew on every day, and every day I get a different aspect of playing the uke. Anyway, I'm having a ball with it, and thanks so much to everyone here for being here and giving out advise. It is appreciated.

Ukejenny
06-05-2014, 06:01 PM
Yes, the E chord takes a little time to learn, but once you learn it, you never have to learn it again. I love barred chords as well and love all the tidbits of wisdom I get on UU about where to play what and how to slide back and forth.

We have a ukulele club here, started in January, and we are doing songs with Eb, E and some other stuff. No harm in jumping right in.


tabbing out a "D" 2225 this is a "C" chord slid up a step (2frets)
You can use the same shape at the 4th fret for an "E" 4447

Barre the 2nd with your index finger and use pinky on 5th.
Slide the shape up 1 fret for "Eb" and 2 frets for an "E"

mm stan
06-05-2014, 09:46 PM
Aloha,
I am also in the same old school style as Old Phart and Uncle Rod, play what you can now and soon they will come...have fun and dont discourage yourself..
Find songs you like in the simplest keys and develop strength and dexterity..it may take some time but to me it is less of a struggle and fun
slowly as you develop skills and you get better on working tough chords which gave your problems initially and re visit songs you could not do before...this can work years and
decades ahead..good luck and happy strummings...
Like Uncle Rod says, Use the chord chart as like an index in the library, and you dont have to learn all the chords at one time. as you get better, learn different songs with chords your can play and build your chord library in your mind ..and then try songs with different or harder chords as you improve your skills.. As you learn new songs, you build your chord library slowly by memory...no one can remember all the chords one time, at least I cannot...this way you learn slowly the chord you use most often and remember them..there are chords you may seldom use now or ever that much.

ROME WAS NOT BUILT IN A DAY.... :)

igorthebarbarian
06-06-2014, 09:01 PM
I remember thinking the E chord was hard to hit, but with practice it's fairly do-able. I still don't really like Bb. A key point also, is to check the action to make sure it's low. That definitely can make a huuuuge impact on a new person in terms of getting the strings pressed down. High action makes it hard on the fingers.

Kyle23
06-07-2014, 01:37 AM
I'm guilty of putting off chords. I put off learning a Bb chord for months and months and when I actually sat down and spent time trying to learn it, I finally did. Putting them off may work for a little, but I was just throwing out songs that had that chord in them that I really wanted to learn lol it just seemed wrong. If I could go back, I would have just sat down and worked on that one chord until I got it. I was so excited to learn new songs, I would cheat myself and not put in the work to get that one chord and just skip it all together. Not a good idea.

JayMadison
06-07-2014, 03:21 AM
I think you said a mouthful. While learning different chord voicing and substitutions is always a good idea to improve your musicianship, avoiding "difficult" chords is kind of lazy and very limiting. If your goal is to be a better musician, hunker down and learn the hard chords. Barre chords can be difficult for the beginner, but I guarantee they will come with practice.

Also as a beginner its amaing to me how quickly people can change chords w/o even having to think about it

OldePhart
06-07-2014, 06:19 AM
Also as a beginner its amaing to me how quickly people can change chords w/o even having to think about it

If you stick with it and play a little every day you will find that within a few weeks or months you will be one of those people. :)

Playing a little every day, even if it's only 30 minutes broken up into a couple of sessions as you can steal a little time from something else is much better for making progress than is going all week without playing and then trying to "woodshed" for several hours on the weekend.

John

Rllink
06-07-2014, 06:28 AM
If you stick with it and play a little every day you will find that within a few weeks or months you will be one of those people. :)

Playing a little every day, even if it's only 30 minutes broken up into a couple of sessions as you can steal a little time from something else is much better for making progress than is going all week without playing and then trying to "woodshed" for several hours on the weekend.

JohnThat is what I like about the Ukulele Aerobics. I learn one thing every day. Nothing big at one time, but it all adds up pretty quickly. It has been working well for me.

kypfer
06-07-2014, 09:45 PM
Playing a little every day, even if it's only 30 minutes broken up into a couple of sessions as you can steal a little time from something else is much better for making progress than is going all week without playing and then trying to "woodshed" for several hours on the weekend. ... absolutely agree :) If your domestic situation allows, having your instrument in a position where you walk past it on a regular basis might encourage you to pause for just a minute to strum a chord sequence a couple of times before continuing with your chores. Even a basic exercise like this can induce "muscle memory", which is what it's all about. The difference at the end of a week can be quite dramatic ... you'll wonder what all the fuss was about ;)
Once you convince yourself you can learn new tricks, starting to learn a new tune/exercise/chord sequence or whatever will be far less daunting, as you'll have the confidence you can succeed ... and so it goes on :)

Kyle23
06-08-2014, 07:58 PM
Also as a beginner its amaing to me how quickly people can change chords w/o even having to think about it

You'd be surprised in how fast you actually transition into not thinking about it. When I first started I'd record myself a few times a week to see how I was doing and there's a 1 video difference of me staring at the fretboard and me looking straight ahead.

coolkayaker1
06-08-2014, 09:47 PM
When I first started learning to play, I was taught barre chords from the very beginning, and I was not exposed to any references whatsoever about this-chord-or-that being a difficult one to play. The result was that I just played them and didn't think about it - sometimes they sounded fine from the start, sometimes they were tricky, but I worked at it and got better. And sometimes I had to come up with my own ways to make them sound good, thanks to my midget-hands (I use 4 fingers instead of barring, or the other way around, often the opposite of what most people do).

All of that to say I'm not a believer in avoiding chords because they are difficult! Just learn them, and know that some will take more time than others before they are "easy." And some will never be "easy" (I'm lookin' at you, D Augmented!) :)

I agree with sister JR40 about plunging in with the barre chords early, and will add that it's important to work on picking with the "strumming hand" early. Get a basic chord pattern you like, and cease strumming and start picking-- any pattern that sounds reasonable-- and pick, pick, pick. The earlier one starts, the better.

pixiepurls
06-09-2014, 03:48 AM
Since day one for me, people have been talking about the E chord and how hard it is to hit. Just today, someone was talking about the D chord and asking if people bar it or use three fingers. Someone else said that they used some other chord completely, to avoid using the D chord. Then there are people who want to throw their thumb up over the neck and cover those three strings for the D.

I am just a beginner, so I really don't know so much, but it seems to me that avoiding a chord may work for a while, but eventually it is going to show up and you are not going to be able to avoid it. I've been working hard on the D and the E chords, among others, and they are slowly getting better. But my point, is this something I should be trying to learn? Should I be using alternate chords? Does it make one a more versatile? I tend to spend a lot of time on those chords, and if there is an easier way, I'm all for it. On the other hand, I don't want to limit myself by not learning chords, just because they are tough to hit. A discussion would be good. Thanks.

I do D with 3 fingers or two fingers... but D7 is a lot easier and you can bar it easier. I've found by playing D7 more I can even manage D major on a rare occasion correctly. My Ukulele teacher, who is legit said it just takes time and I try to relax and not get mad when I play that the chord sounds wacky as I try to bar. It will come with time Ive read on here many times people say it just takes time, so you must try for sure or it will never come I guess! :) If a song requires a chord then I just practice a zillion times until it sounds better. So pick songs you REALLY like heh!

RAB11
06-09-2014, 04:00 AM
I do D with 3 fingers or two fingers... but D7 is a lot easier and you can bar it easier. I've found by playing D7 more I can even manage D major on a rare occasion correctly. My Ukulele teacher, who is legit said it just takes time and I try to relax and not get mad when I play that the chord sounds wacky as I try to bar. It will come with time Ive read on here many times people say it just takes time, so you must try for sure or it will never come I guess! :) If a song requires a chord then I just practice a zillion times until it sounds better. So pick songs you REALLY like heh!

If you can barre to hit a D7 easily, try fretting the A-string, 5th fret with your pinky for another way to play D. I like to mix it up between that and the 2220 (I play with three fingers) in some songs.

Nickie
06-09-2014, 04:04 PM
I've played for over 3 years and I still say the E chord stinks....UGH

bunnyf
06-09-2014, 04:36 PM
Ditto Nickie. Been playing about 3 yrs too and I try not to avoid tricky chords but I sometimes just pick up the baritone when there are a lot of E chords in a song (A, in reg.tuning), or see if E7 will do, or play 2nd pos 4447. It's like those diminished chord. I love the way they sound, but find it hard to get to quick enough. I do force myself for the most part to stay at it and while I still struggle, they are coming along.

Shastastan
06-10-2014, 11:06 AM
I'm guilty of putting off chords. I put off learning a Bb chord for months and months and when I actually sat down and spent time trying to learn it, I finally did. Putting them off may work for a little, but I was just throwing out songs that had that chord in them that I really wanted to learn lol it just seemed wrong. If I could go back, I would have just sat down and worked on that one chord until I got it. I was so excited to learn new songs, I would cheat myself and not put in the work to get that one chord and just skip it all together. Not a good idea.

I had similar problems with the Bb chord. Then, I was looking at the 26 Ukulele Lessons on Jim DeVille's website. He presented the simple technique of moving your index finger, barring the E and A strings closer to the fret. I probably would have never figured that out on my own. I still need a little more work on changing chords, but by following Jim's technique I can at least do a clear sounding Bb chord now. Thanks, Jim!!

iamesperambient
06-12-2014, 07:20 AM
Since day one for me, people have been talking about the E chord and how hard it is to hit. Just today, someone was talking about the D chord and asking if people bar it or use three fingers. Someone else said that they used some other chord completely, to avoid using the D chord. Then there are people who want to throw their thumb up over the neck and cover those three strings for the D.

I am just a beginner, so I really don't know so much, but it seems to me that avoiding a chord may work for a while, but eventually it is going to show up and you are not going to be able to avoid it. I've been working hard on the D and the E chords, among others, and they are slowly getting better. But my point, is this something I should be trying to learn? Should I be using alternate chords? Does it make one a more versatile? I tend to spend a lot of time on those chords, and if there is an easier way, I'm all for it. On the other hand, I don't want to limit myself by not learning chords, just because they are tough to hit. A discussion would be good. Thanks.

if you use the pinky, ring and middle finges to hold the D chord its much easier to switch over to say A or other chords.
If you keep your fingers in that position with pink ring, middle (for d) you can slide that down to the 4th fret and place your pointer
on the 2nd fret on the A string (E chord) just the fingers you use allow to chord the chords makes it easier to slide into the next.
That barring over the D chord is a horrible idea especially if you wanna get into jazz you want to know how to slide into chords
in a smooth way and its mostly about what fingers you use to hold the shapes that really makes it a lot easier.

iamesperambient
06-12-2014, 07:23 AM
I've played for over 3 years and I still say the E chord stinks....UGH

it also makes it easier if you play guitar as its just a "b chord" on guitar or baritone
so ive been used to that shape for some years. Fmajor7 (on standard uke or Cmajor7 on baritone)
not the barre version the open version is the only chord i have trouble with still switching too I find
myself mostly using barre chords(moveable chords) for jazz anyway it sounds better.

Rllink
06-12-2014, 08:52 AM
I myself do not struggle with the "D" chord. Someone else was complaining about it. I still struggle with the E a little. I can hit it, but it never really rings out. It is a little muted. But with the D chord, I do it both ways and it works well for me both ways. If there is an "E" and a "D" in a song I use the three fingers as you suggest, but if there is a song that has a "D" that goes into a "D7" I like to make it a barre chord. I've also learned to play an F chord and hit the "C" on the A string with my little finger sometimes. It was a trick that I learned to do if you are doing fingerstyle plucking so that you aren't playing two "A" notes, which doesn't sound that good and you will do that if you are playing an "F" and you use all four strings. I throw it in there sometimes, and sometimes not. I see how it works.

iamesperambient
06-12-2014, 10:12 AM
I myself do not struggle with the "D" chord. Someone else was complaining about it. I still struggle with the E a little. I can hit it, but it never really rings out. It is a little muted. But with the D chord, I do it both ways and it works well for me both ways. If there is an "E" and a "D" in a song I use the three fingers as you suggest, but if there is a song that has a "D" that goes into a "D7" I like to make it a barre chord. I've also learned to play an F chord and hit the "C" on the A string with my little finger sometimes. It was a trick that I learned to do if you are doing fingerstyle plucking so that you aren't playing two "A" notes, which doesn't sound that good and you will do that if you are playing an "F" and you use all four strings. I throw it in there sometimes, and sometimes not. I see how it works.

it really depends on the style and song really.
For most cases depending on the chords i try to work the chords
in a way where i can slide into other chords (if im doing a lot of barre chords). There is also the barred E chord too barre all the strings with your pointer on the 4th fret and put your pinky on A string on the 7th fret i find this type of E a little easier to use and it works for most things but some songs that have a slightly deeper E chord this may not work with.

CeeJay
06-14-2014, 08:21 AM
Bb is a moveable feast as is ...probably ..any four fingered chord ..Bb shape slide down the fretboard plays as follows B C Db D Eb E etc ....

so try and think of those toughies as not just one chord but a bandolier of chord shapes that will be playable up and down the neck.....E at 4447 is D at 2225...at 5558 is an F and at 77710....? a Geeeeeeeee
and now I may have outstayed my welcome so I'm off.......