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katysax
06-22-2014, 08:10 AM
I know this has been discussed a bazillion times, but here it goes.

I've been playing guitar for 50 years and uke for about 15. It's not that I can't play the first position E Chord shape, it is that it is incredibly hard to play it cleanly. It's worse on the guitar because it's a hard one to bar. On the uke the problem is, even on a tenor, there is just not quite enough room and if you are finger picking you need precision.

So like a lot of players I have a number of workarounds and I almost never play that shape. I'm fine with just three strings. And, if you think about it on the uke tuned reentrant the top and bottom string are playing the same note so it really is easy to work around.

But I wonder, does anyone really ever play this chord cleanly and fluently without muting a note or playing in a different position or substituting the G string for the A string?

Icelander53
06-22-2014, 08:12 AM
http://ukuguides.com/how-to/how-to-play-the-horrific-e-chord/

janeray1940
06-22-2014, 08:17 AM
I've never really had trouble with it, not even on a soprano (but then I've got little hands). I use 4 fingers for the shape, rather than the half-barre that I see a lot of others (particularly guitarists) use. I think I was fortunate in that I learned it first as just another moveable chord shape rather than a single troublesome chord, so I just practiced it up and down the neck a lot in the beginning. And in comparison, for me playing it in first position is much easier to do cleanly than further up the neck!

iamesperambient
06-22-2014, 08:26 AM
I know this has been discussed a bazillion times, but here it goes.

I've been playing guitar for 50 years and uke for about 15. It's not that I can't play the first position E Chord shape, it is that it is incredibly hard to play it cleanly. It's worse on the guitar because it's a hard one to bar. On the uke the problem is, even on a tenor, there is just not quite enough room and if you are finger picking you need precision.

So like a lot of players I have a number of workarounds and I almost never play that shape. I'm fine with just three strings. And, if you think about it on the uke tuned reentrant the top and bottom string are playing the same note so it really is easy to work around.

But I wonder, does anyone really ever play this chord cleanly and fluently without muting a note or playing in a different position or substituting the G string for the A string?
I'm ok ok concert and bigger sized ukes playing the standard E shape which is a B on guitar or baritone no problem but on soprano sometimes its a little
cramped but i can still do it. I find Fmajor7 or Cmajor7 (on baritne) the most difficult to hold down and switch to other chords this is the only
one which gives me trouble, i often play it in barre chord form because its just easier. I wonder why this isn't labeled as the 'evil' chord its so much
more awkward to hold down.

Dane
06-22-2014, 08:27 AM
Try slanting your finger barring the other three notes. That should make it so you clear the A string, but are still holding down each note on the other 3.

katysax
06-22-2014, 09:41 AM
My finger is not flexible enough to bar the other three notes and not mute one string. Slanting my finger doesn't work for me. It's actually a little easier for me to make a two finger bar on the top two strings. I have spent hours over the years trying to train my hand to do this and I can't do it. To be clear I can play the chord using all four fingers - that seems to work best for me, and I have plenty of workarounds. I've just never been able to fluently switch to that chord and play it cleanly with any consistency. Fortunately second position E is easy, and there are plenty of workarounds. (I see that some chord charts refer to the E I am referring to as the third position E, but what it shows as 1st and 2d position is as hard as FMaj7 first position). When I want to change chords fast I usually just bar the 4/3/2/ string and mute the first. Musically it just eliminates doubling the note.

And yeah, FMaj7 is a tough one too. At least with FMaj7 the fingers are spread out. The issue with F Maj 7 is getting the changes. And, the difficult FMaj 7 is almost never needed because when that chord comes up you can play it with just playing 3/4 strings on the fifth fret or barring the fifth fret and adding the 7th fret on the first string.

iamesperambient
06-22-2014, 09:47 AM
My thumb is not flexible enough to bar the other three notes and not mute one string. Slanting my finger doesn't work for me. It's actually a little easier for me to make a two finger bar on the top two strings. I have spent hours over the years trying to train my hand to do this and I can't do it. To be clear I can play the chord using all four fingers - that seems to work best for me, and I have plenty of workarounds. I've just never been able to fluently switch to that chord and play it cleanly with any consistency. Fortunately second position E is easy, and there are plenty of workarounds. (I see that some chord charts refer to the E I am referring to as the third position E, but what it shows as 1st and 2d position is as hard as FMaj7 first position). When I want to change chords fast I usually just bar the 4/3/2/ string and mute the first. Musically it just eliminates doubling the note.

And yeah, FMaj7 is a tough one too. At least with FMaj7 the fingers are spread out. The issue with F Maj 7 is getting the changes. And, the difficult FMaj 7 is almost never needed because when that chord comes up you can play it with just playing 3/4 strings on the fifth fret or barring the fifth fret and adding the 7th fret on the first string.

That chord is actually very useful, as a guitarist i find my self using fmajor7 quite a bit.
At least on baritone theres no issues with me being able to use the chord. When i play
smaller ukes i use a barre chord version and it works, but id be lying if i said it sounded
better than the standard shape (which has a lot more emotion to the tone of it).
I find it very cramped and awkward to hold and to switch all fingers in that position
and to play it i find it very awkward/uncomfortable. I can do it but it doesn't always
sound 'clean' this has been the only chord to give me issues in the 10 years i have been playing.

Dane
06-22-2014, 12:20 PM
My thumb is not flexible enough to bar the other three notes and not mute one string. Slanting my finger doesn't work for me. It's actually a little easier for me to make a two finger bar on the top two strings. I have spent hours over the years trying to train my hand to do this and I can't do it. To be clear I can play the chord using all four fingers - that seems to work best for me, and I have plenty of workarounds. I've just never been able to fluently switch to that chord and play it cleanly with any consistency. Fortunately second position E is easy, and there are plenty of workarounds. (I see that some chord charts refer to the E I am referring to as the third position E, but what it shows as 1st and 2d position is as hard as FMaj7 first position). When I want to change chords fast I usually just bar the 4/3/2/ string and mute the first. Musically it just eliminates doubling the note.

And yeah, FMaj7 is a tough one too. At least with FMaj7 the fingers are spread out. The issue with F Maj 7 is getting the changes. And, the difficult FMaj 7 is almost never needed because when that chord comes up you can play it with just playing 3/4 strings on the fifth fret or barring the fifth fret and adding the 7th fret on the first string.

Here's a few variations to try of the same notes, no switcheroos, just different finger placements or angles. I personally just use 4 fingers, or the 2 finger and pinky method.

http://i.imgur.com/VhPeNvr.jpg

Ukuleleblues
06-22-2014, 04:14 PM
Its real easy, just smile, do some jirations, play the root real loud and cough.

Sylvan
06-22-2014, 04:41 PM
Dane - Thanks for posting those pics. This chord has alway been a bit troublesome to me also but I just learned an easier way to do it from your photos.

peaceweaver3
06-22-2014, 04:47 PM
Uh, yeah, I do. :o Consciously, deliberately, and I have purposely written a song or 2 that include it. (Read: Tons of mentally if not physically painful practice, and thankfully I have thick hair, otherwise I'd have a lot less!) But no chord on a uke will get the better of me, because, in the words of a famous fellow, "I'll be back!"

Rllink
06-22-2014, 05:33 PM
From day one I've heard that the E chord is difficult and from day one I've been working on it. While it certainly is not my best chord, I can get in and out of it well enough, but lately I've been substituting an E7 for the E in some of the songs that I have been working on. I don't substitute the E7 because it easier, which it is, but because I think that it sounds better. I don't know if that is a good habit for a beginner, substituting chords I mean. I also don't know if my ear is experienced enough to know if one chord really does sound better or not, but I've been doing it anyway.

iamesperambient
06-22-2014, 05:47 PM
From day one I've heard that the E chord is difficult and from day one I've been working on it. While it certainly is not my best chord, I can get in and out of it well enough, but lately I've been substituting an E7 for the E in some of the songs that I have been working on. I don't substitute the E7 because it easier, which it is, but because I think that it sounds better. I don't know if that is a good habit for a beginner, substituting chords I mean. I also don't know if my ear is experienced enough to know if one chord really does sound better or not, but I've been doing it anyway.

i dont think substituting 7th chords is a good idea it changes the vibe of the song
and really doesn't sound as good. Its best just to practice hard and you will eventually get it
i kicked the E chords ass just Fmajor7 i have minor difficulty with switching very fast but
im working on that one.

bonesigh
06-22-2014, 06:10 PM
I do it this way (picture number 2) but my first finger is bent at the first knuckle just behind the nail. I find it very easy to get clear notes this way though it does sting a bit sometimes! (:


Here's a few variations to try of the same notes, no switcheroos, just different finger placements or angles. I personally just use 4 fingers, or the 2 finger and pinky method.

http://i.imgur.com/VhPeNvr.jpg

PhilUSAFRet
06-24-2014, 03:36 AM
I quickly figured out that I had to rotate my fretting hand towards the headstock so that it rests in the crook between the base of my thumb and my hand. In that way, I am able to cleanly play the E in the usual way with the improved finger alignment on the fret. Not sure it will ever be the "quickest" chord to get into and out of.

23skidoo
06-24-2014, 05:24 AM
I rarely play the standard first position E (4 4 4 2), though I can.... I usually barre the 4th fret and use my pinky to play the 7th fret on the A string (4 4 4 7).... it's an easy shape to grab and I like the voicing (usually) with the 7th fret E on top.

When I do play (4 4 4 2), I tend not to use my pinky..... I fret the C string with my middle finger, E string with my ring finger, the A string with my index finger, and then wrap my thumb around to grab the 4th fret on the G string. It's a habit I picked up playing guitar.... some folks frown on it, but if it was good enough for Jimi Hendrix....