The E- Chord - Is there an alternative?

ripock

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I'm still trying to learn ear training, and someone suggested 4402 for an E on my low g uke. I'm trying to learn note breakdown as well, so if I have it right a standard E is made of notes BEG#B? This one would be BEEB. It sounds like an E to my ear. I even threw a tuner on it and it registered as an E.
Any reason this one wouldn't show as an alternate E chord? You seem to understand theory better, so I just thought I'd ask. Thanks.

That's a five-chord/power chord. It is lacking the third interval. The third interval is the one which determines if a chord is major or minor. So you have a gender-neutral chord and if it sounds right to you then it is right. Probably in some contexts it might sound a little pale. But the way I look at it: if it is good enough for Black Sabbath and Nirvana, it is good enough for us. Since you're finger picking, it might sound odd without that G#, but you won't know 'til you try it.
 

captain-janeway

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That's a five-chord/power chord. It is lacking the third interval. The third interval is the one which determines if a chord is major or minor. So you have a gender-neutral chord and if it sounds right to you then it is right. Probably in some contexts it might sound a little pale. But the way I look at it: if it is good enough for Black Sabbath and Nirvana, it is good enough for us. Since you're finger picking, it might sound odd without that G#, but you won't know 'til you try it.

Thanks riprock.
 

captain-janeway

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That's a five-chord/power chord. It is lacking the third interval. The third interval is the one which determines if a chord is major or minor. So you have a gender-neutral chord and if it sounds right to you then it is right. Probably in some contexts it might sound a little pale. But the way I look at it: if it is good enough for Black Sabbath and Nirvana, it is good enough for us. Since you're finger picking, it might sound odd without that G#, but you won't know 'til you try it.

You're right. It does sound a little off while fingerpicking. For strumming it feels SO much better. It's that wretched bent index finger that's messing up placement for a standard. Oh well I'll keep at it.
I'm trying to see if I can work it doing axx for the 4th fret (x=pinky). It might give me a smidge more room up to second fret
 

merlin666

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I didn't read the whole thread but have to admit that for years I always substituted an E7 and only recently explored other options for E. One that I dislike is where the E is doubled on C and E string. I find that in addition to the commonly used D shape an even more pleasing option is based on the Eb shape which also makes it movable i.e. 1442. This is not difficult to play and keeps root on 3rd string consistent with re-entrant approach, and can also be played and moved by barring the whole first fret.
 
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Jim Yates

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Barre the 2nd, 3rd and 4th strings at the 4th fret and mute the 1st string. On a re-entrant tuned uke, the 1st string is just duplicating the note (B) on the 4th string anyway, so including it doesn't make much difference.
 
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tm3

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Barre the 2nd, 3rd and 4th strings at the 4th fret and mute the 1st string. On a re-entrant tuned uke, the 1st string is just duplicating the note (B) on the 4th string anyway, so including it doesn't make much difference.
Great idea! I've been trying to play D with my ring finger only but keep muting the 1st string. Rather than be upset I'm now going to be happy that I have the E chord!
 

ripock

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Great idea! I've been trying to play D with my ring finger only but keep muting the 1st string. Rather than be upset I'm now going to be happy that I have the E chord!
exactly. Sometimes the only thing harder than playing a note is not playing a note. If I want to play an E major, I play an E6, but I play it sloppy that that the sixth is muted. The great thing about Jim's suggestion is that it works on every fret so that you can play every major chord. Conversely if you mute the G string and play the other three strings, you have a minor chord with the root on the A string
 
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Rllink

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For many years I avoided the dreaded E. But a year and a half ago I started playing guitar and that same fingering is one of the standards for going up and down the neck as a bar chord starting with the B. And it is a stretch on the guitar. So I made peace with it and now I embrace the E on the uke. I've changed my entire viewpoint on it and now I wonder why ukulele players struggle so much with it, including myself in the past.
 

Steedy

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Barre the 2nd, 3rd and 4th strings at the 4th fret and mute the 1st string. On a re-entrant tuned uke, the 1st string is just duplicating the note (B) on the 4th string anyway, so including it doesn't make much difference.
This, 444x is a bona fide E chord, easy peasy lemon squeezy! Also works for F, G, and A chords, etc. when moved up the neck.
 

merlin666

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444x in theory is ok but I find right hand string muting extremely difficult and for strumming I don't really want to lose 25% of the sound. With little practice a 1442 or 4442 can be accomplished from most other chords in the keys of A or E, and also moved up the neck to play other chords.
 

Steedy

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And, as ripock pointed out, muting the 4th string and barring the 1st three strings is a minor triad that can be moved up & down the neck. That's brilliant stuff!
 

ksiegel

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I usually play a 2225 for a D, and a 4447 for an E (4445 for the E7). Doesn't matter if it is a soprano, concert, or a tenor, it works fine for me.

Of course, on a Bari, it is 2100...

I know nothing about power chords, can't read notation, and it took me years to be able to tell people what frets to use to play certain chords - I just play by ear, and it either sounds right, or it doesn't.

When you start barring, you can get some wonderful variations by just moving a finger; I often switch from the C to the Am just changing my fingering from 5433 to 3453, but I was doing it before I knew that I was doing it.
 

merlin666

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I can't believe it only took 12 years to figure out the 444x though. Hats off to Jim, we are standing on the shoulders of a true ukulele giant. I'm glad I stuck with this thread.
Well this is in a Beginners forum so techniques that will take decades to master may be less useful than some more elementary approaches.
 

Jim Yates

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444x in theory is ok but I find right hand string muting extremely difficult and for strumming I don't really want to lose 25% of the sound. With little practice a 1442 or 4442 can be accomplished from most other chords in the keys of A or E, and also moved up the neck to play other chords.
I don't often use this form of E, but submitted it as a suggestion for the folks who were having difficulties with a 4 string chord. As for the 25% loss, I challenged a few folks to distinguish between the two on a re-entrant uke in a blindfold test and they had a lot of difficulty.
 
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ripock

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plus, 444X isn't achieved by right hand muting (unless you're left-handed). You just play 4444, but lift your finger up a little so that the A string gets choked instead of fretted. Or you can, if you like, barre 4444 with your index finger and use your pinky just to touch the A string thereby muting it.
 
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merlin666

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plus, 444X isn't achieved by right hand muting (unless you're left-handed). You just play 4444, but lift your finger up a little so that the A string gets choked instead of fretted. Or you can, if you like, barre 4444 with your index finger and use your pinky just to touch the A string thereby muting it.
Ah sorry for the mix up yes I meant left fretting hand. I have played guitar for many years and my desire to play jazz was thwarted by my inability to consistently do left hand muting. I try every few years and find it frustrating.
 

Harmias

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Easiest way I've figured out to do it is like this:

Use the first three fingers to hit the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th string on the the 4th fret, then use the base of your index finger to hit the 1st string, second fret.

Thank you for the advice, I will visit your youtube channel...
 

Jim Yates

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It has been mentioned that 444X is an E Major chord with the root on the 3rd string and X444 is a C#minor chord with the root on the 1st string.
If we barre all 4 strings, 4444, we have an E6 or a C#m7. These chords might work in place of the E or C#m, depending on the song. They'll just sound a little jazzier.