Transposing on the fly


Well-known member
Oct 13, 2012
Well yes, people talk about CAGED, yet there are really only 3 fundamental shapes for the majors + the 3 variations for the minors. On a ukulele the F maj and G maj are fundamentally the same. The F maj is just the G maj slid down to the point that the nut is forming part of the shape. On a guitar this is C maj and D maj fundamentally being the same shape.
The next basic shape is 222x shape which can go with variants 2220 or 2225. subtract 2 from 2225 and you have 0003. On a ukulele thats Cmaj and D maj and on a guitar its PART of G maj and A maj. This is then slide up as a barre chord E maj on a ukulele or (hang in there), B maj on guitar.
The only shape left is 2100 on a ukulele as A maj (E maj, 022100 on guitar) which is always slid up as a barre to 2234 for b maj on ukulele or F# maj on guitar.

So 3 fundamental shapes really. At ukulele pitch you just need to work on your barre chord versions of the G maj and minor shapes, the D maj and minor shapes and the A maj and minor shapes.