Is there an easy (learnable) way to switch from F to G chord?

Elysium82

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hey guys,

I am learning John Lennon's Imagines song from Bernadette and it calls for an FtoG change, but I am holding the ukulele (no strap, not supporting it on my knee either) and it is nearly impossible to change.

I have watched a few YT tutorials, but no success. I thought of using my index finger to hold the neck as I change and pivot finger 1 and 2 (from the F chord)- I know....it is hard to do this if the G chord calls for the index finger to be moved).

Once this is done (finger 1 and 2 are in place) then finger 3 would join in to complete the transition to G chord, but it is taking way to long to do this. I know the more I practise, the better it gets, but it is just a time-consuming change. There must be an easier way to do so.

Thank you.
 

Bluesy

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I'd try a strap. If you don't have a strap button, try a Uke Leash, hug strap, or Fremont uke strap.

I'm a uke leash fan.

You'll be able to concentrate on your play right away. You'll have plenty of time in the future to learn how to hold the uke without a strap if that is still something that's a high priority later.

Bluesy.
 

VegasGeorge

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I know this is cheating, but I sometimes move from first position F to G7 when the chord change has to occur very quickly. Whether or not this can be used depends of the particular situation. Often, it doesn't sound right. I realize that this next idea is a bit advanced for a beginner, but to make the chord progression smooth, and for the sound of it, I sometimes move from 2nd position F to 2nd position G. Of course that involves barre chords, and you may not be at that stage yet. But, once barre chords are available to you, you may find that transition easier. Lastly, just keep on practicing the F to G change. It will get easier.
 

ksiegel

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Use what Jim Beloff calls the "pinky G".

As Vegas George says, play the F, keeping the index finger anchored on the 1st fret, 2nd string, then hit the 2nd frets on strings 1 and 3, leaving the pinky free.

Then drop the pinky onto the 3rd fret 2nd string - the note is G.

To go back to the F, keep that index finger anchored, pick up the other fingers, and give the 2nds fret on the G string the bird. (middle finger)

Take a look at this article Jim wrote for Ukulele Magazine in 2016
 

ripock

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Elysium82,

people seem to be focusing on the particular chords of G and F. In my opinion, the chords are irrelevant. You could take any subdominant to dominant progression (e.g., Db to Eb) and you would have the same problem. Your problem is balancing the uke.

Of course, my first recommendation (since I always use a strap and play standing up) is to get a strap.

However, if you are dead set against using straps, then you need to realize that you have two hands and you need to use them both. In your case, you need your left hand free to make the transition. Therefore you have to use the right hand to stabilize the uke. There are two obvious techniques:

1. squeeze the uke against your body with your right forearm.
2. hook your fingers over the side of the uke to support it (https://i.ytimg.com/vi/nv6bd0eLlEY/hqdefault.jpg)
 

merlin666

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I don't use a strap and have no problem playing anything with my left hand. I use the traditional uke position that supposedly is taught in Hawaiian schools where you tuck the uke in with your right arm at the elbow. You're not supposed to hold it with your left hand.
 

UkingViking

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I gave up on traditional uke holding from the start.

I would try the 2324 G chord for as easy transitioning between F and G. But as merlin states, you should probably try not to support the uke with the left hand at all.
 

clear

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No strap needed, and you can do it very fast.

Fret the F chord with fingers # 1 and 2.
Move finger #2 to G chord position, move fingers #1 and 3 into G chord position.

Here's a video that may help you:
 
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VegasGeorge

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Here's a unique (I think) method to transition from F to G. Play your F as a barre cord in first position, using the barre finger on the nut itself. Then, just slide the already formed chord shape up a couple of frets, and you are playing your G. How cool is that? :cool:
 

UkingViking

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Here's a unique (I think) method to transition from F to G. Play your F as a barre cord in first position, using the barre finger on the nut itself. Then, just slide the already formed chord shape up a couple of frets, and you are playing your G. How cool is that? :cool:

That is also kind of what I tried to suggest in my post, though I probably wasnt as detailed.
 

smariat

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I thought I was the only one with this problem! I started to kind of lean back while changing the chords so that my uke rests on my body and doesn't fall.
I will try these suggestions.
 

Kyle23

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It's just one of those changes that you're going to just have to practice over and over. I know a lot of people don't want to hear that, but as you go, there will be WAY harder transitions that you will encounter. I tried to take a lot of shortcuts as a beginner, but it just leads to a lot of bad habits. This is one of the easier chord changes, so I suggest that you work on it over and over. Try this without strumming though and simply just do the left hand chord change itself. Turn on a movie, relax and just switch over and over. You'll get it after a bit, but it will be a process.

Also, I just pulled out my uke and when you hold an F chord, your ring finger can hang right over the 3rd fret 2nd string for the start of the G. All you need to do is add your other 2 fingers on the 1st and 3rd of the 2nd fret while putting your ring finger straight down!
 
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sunshiNee

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Hello I had the same problem when I picked up the uke 2 years ago... and I hate to say it just comes with practice and playing more.
At some point your hand just naturally balance the uke on its own. It's like hoping on a cruise ship you sway for the first little bit ;)