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Thread: Switching chords

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    2

    Question Switching chords

    Hello!

    I am brand new to the ukulele, and I'm having lots of fun! I am also having a little difficulty switching chords. The song I have started off learning has me changing between a G chord and an A chord, and then between a G chord and a Dm chord. The way I am playing now, this requires that I shift my hand position, but when I do the neck is unsupported and starts to move.

    I can't figure out how to shift my hand position smoothly, without interrupting the song. If this question is answered elsewhere on the site, please feel free to redirect me. Otherwise, can someone help me learn how to shift my hand position without bringing the song to a halt while I reposition?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    371

    Default

    Do you use a strap to support your uke? If not, cradle the body on your hip and stomach. Hold the uke about 45 degrees upright. Angle wrist slightly down from the headstock.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    2,255

    Default

    What size uke are you playing? Soprano? Concert? Tenor? Baritone?
    I use a strap for exactly this reason. I don't have to worry about controlling the uke while changing chords or notes.
    If your fingers are long enough, you can cradle the neck in the curve between the thumb and the forefinger whilst changing chords. But, it can be difficult.
    Soprano you can hold the body tight to your stomach/ribs using your right arm/forearm. Leaving your left hand free to move to change chords. Lots of vids on YouTube to show you the better ways to hold it. Look at how other players hold it.
    Concerts and tenors require more pressure to hold the uke in place.

    If you're sitting down and can rest the butt of the uke on your leg, it's easier to play, but you still have to control the neck.

    Practice changes between two chords 20 times or more until it gets natural and you build muscle memory. Then the next two chords and so forth. You can do this watching TV, without playing the strings. Practice 10 minutes or so.
    Last edited by Kenn2018; 03-30-2020 at 11:38 AM.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
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    Thank you! Paying more attention to the angle really helped, and I'm STARTING to get the hang of using my forearm to grip. Practicing the chord changes is starting to get a little easier three days in; I think my fingers have accepted that they are going to need to grow some callouses and aren't complaining quite as much now!
    Last edited by Fierceful; 03-30-2020 at 07:11 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Pickering, ON, Canada
    Posts
    6,023

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fierceful View Post
    Thank you! Paying more attention to the angle really helped, and I'm STARTING to get the hang of using my forearm to grip. Practicing the chord changes is starting to get a little easier three days in; I think my fingers have accepted that they are going to need to grow some callouses and aren't complaining quite as much now!
    If you weren’t struggling with chord changes having only three days playing under your belt I might be jealous and never talk to you again

    It takes much experimentation and repetition but technique is improved through lots of doing. Like many others I use a strap on everything from sopranos on up. Whatever works is acceptable, that’s the beauty of this little instrument. Welcome to the ukulele and to UU, enjoy
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields walnut pineapple super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Enya Nova *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

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