Why can't I play a G major chord?

Try arpeggios. They’re really meditative? (That’s in answer to the how to not go fast thing).

For chord switches, I have hypermobile joints, so they can get pretty much anywhere, but I have to be really careful how I stress them. So for that change, I actually rotate my hand quite a bit (and lift my arm), so that I’m chording in a way that doesn’t scrunch my ring finger the way yours is getting scrunched in that video. Similar to what I do for a D chord. Your exact ergonomics might vary, but I figure out what arm and hand position lets my fingers move in the ways they’re strongest, and I’m thinking a similar principle might work for you?

Also, just sit without your uke and move your ring finger, and change how you’re bending your wrist, and see if it’s smoother when your wrist is in certain positions.

Last idea, consider sistering your pinkie to your ring finger (don’t quite let it touch the string, but close). They share muscles, and you can use that for them to strengthen each other. I often add my ring finger down if I’m playing C chord with my pinkie, for example.

Hope something in there is helpful!
 
I'm going to give you some different advice that you didn't ask for (that's what I do!). Background: I'm permanently disabled, my hands don't work for sh--, and they are probably going to get worse not better as I get older—even without taking into account the whole getting older part.

You also seem to have some limitations, and one of the hardest parts is recognizing that you do and not being too hard on your yourself. This post doesn't sound like you are doing that, so I'd suggest that you just keep that in mind. To quote The Interrupters, "Be easy on yourself"

And if your limitations are amenable to occupational or other physical therapy—and you can get coverage for that—then make sure you do everything you can to maximize your ability (in general) which in turn will maximize your specific ukulele ability. That's none of my business, just keep it in mind.
 
Are you playing left handed on a right handed ukulele?
No I think the video just got flipped, so it's like looking in a mirror. Both me and the ukulele are right-handed.
 
And I'll throw in a "it gets better" type advice as well. I play right-handed upside down, and for a long time I had to keep a list of songs I couldn't play because they had a B or Bb. G#m was just out of the question. But i just kept working on them. Yes there are specific combos that give me trouble (B-D#7-G#m) when the transitions are fast but at least I can hit them all, and they get more clean every month. So, there is hope.
 
I feel your pain. ;)
I can’t claim this as my idea because I learned it from Jim Belloff’s book, Ukulele Fretboard Roadmaps:
1st position Gmaj:
Middle finger on C string at 2
Pinky on E at 3
Ring on A at 2
Why those specific fingers?
Economy of movement (leaves your index finger free to drop to the E string at fret 1, after releasing your pinky, to make Gdom7, while the other 2 fingers never move).
 
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At 60 I was out of time after the 2nd bar
At 200 I was in time for several minutes before I decided to stop playing.

I'm currently of the persuasion that different songs call for different approaches, and that our approach to things can change over time.

To use a simile, it's almost impossible to ride a bicycle slowly. It gets easier when you go faster. Dancing is often the same. You watch the steps slowly, ONCE, then cue the music and go.

There's definitely a school of thought that says that if you go at the "right" speed, but are practicing the "wrong" thing at the "right" speed, then you're just training yourself to do it wrong. Makes perfect sense, but I no longer see it that way. If your goal is perfection, well, maybe that's the way to go. But if your goal is to play songs, for YOU it might not work any better than it's been working for me. I'm finding a lot more success of late just going for it.

Two more notes. One, the official recording's BPM is not necessarily the boss of me. And two, whether it's G or Bb or a strum thing or a transition or whatever, at some point, you have to step out of the song, and just bang on the hard part until it gets easier. It doesn't take long, and for your own sanity, shouldn't take more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time. At least that's how it is for me. Better 5-10 minutes a day for a week than a single hour of nothing but F to G or whatever. THAT's what you call PRACTICE.

But when it comes time to PLAY, that's when you just go for it, mistakes be damned, or better, ignored. LOL It's called "play" for a reason, and if you're having fun, then so will your listeners, and they'll notice the mistakes LESS if you're going FASTER, and not stopping to "fix" the mistakes. Just go!

So the advice that sounds contradictory actually isn't. It's referencing the two poles of performance. Practice, and playing.

At least that's what I'm finding a couple of years in. LOL Hardly an expert, but I'm an old dog learning new tricks, and today for the first time, my wife recognized what I was playing on my very first runthrough, and she was pleased by it (the aforementioned When Doves Cry)), so I'm pretty pleased with how it's going.
 
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Your G on that vid you posted sounds pretty good to me, and it will get better in any case the more you play. You could also play the bottom 3 strings as a barre on the 7th fret for a G, using whatever finger you feel like using (you can either mute the top string or playing all 4 strings for a G6).
 
Whenever I pick up a uke I will spend some time playing random chords before I attempt to play anything. Even after playing for a few years there are still some chord shapes that are less comfortable than others, but over time they have improved significantly. You just need to stick with it and try to strum the chords slowly and smoothly. One other thing that helps me is doing some hand exercises (your basic hand grip thing). Personally I found that this helped me, over time, when playing the uke. Nothing crazy, just a few sets of 8-10 reps.
 
Yeah that makes sense
Bio, I've never been a fan of the "traditional" fingering of the G chord, as it gives us two "unison" G notes (i.e., the open fourth string, and the second string fretted at the third fret), and those two notes can have a tendency to ring slightly out-of-tune with each other-- not horribly, but just enough to make me wince a little. For that reason alone, I prefer the following alternate fingering when the song calls for a G chord: 4 2 3 0.
I'm not sure if that configuration would be easier for you to nail down or not (hopefully yes!). I like it because it eliminates the "unison" factor mentioned above, and sounds more "in tune."
 
I just did a little test. I tried playing without any chords at 60 BPM, and then I tried at 200 BPM

At 60 I was out of time after the 2nd bar
At 200 I was in time for several minutes before I decided to stop playing.

How do I deal with just having the inherent urge to go fast? (Queue Sonic X intro) It's so deeply ingrained that going fast is good and easy, and going slow is boring and frustrating.
Just an idea. If you are playing at 200 bpm but were only playing whole notes, Could you still stay in time?
 
I had a hard time with that G at the beginning, too. But as i read from your first post in this thread you mentioned that you move your index from A a string down. Perhaps it is more helpful to see these chords completely divided. When you leave the A try to imagine you wanna enter a new chord (G). Complicated to explain but it might be, that you still „hang“ on the A, which could do some mashup in your head. I write from Germany so please excuse my weird writing:)
 
I would "pausit" that it's the pause that's tripping you up :) your muscle memory has engrained in you the need to pause just a split second every time you play the G chord. I really liked someone's suggestion to try doing arpeggios for this chord change as a way to make the movement of each finger more independent. if you train your brain to know which finger MUST be placed first then you can task the other two fingers in the background, so to speak, to get in position. the arpeggio exercise forces/allows you to take some time and get this motion in your head. you'll know when it's there when you don't have to look at the fretboard so try forcing yourself to look away or close your eyes. see the G chord shape in your mind when you do. then listen to your fingers as they find that first anchor point on the C string. the others will come along.

so many good tips here...there's definitely something that will get you across the finish line :)

remember, what one man (or woman) can do, another can do!
 
Bio, I've never been a fan of the "traditional" fingering of the G chord, as it gives us two "unison" G notes (i.e., the open fourth string, and the second string fretted at the third fret), and those two notes can have a tendency to ring slightly out-of-tune with each other-- not horribly, but just enough to make me wince a little. For that reason alone, I prefer the following alternate fingering when the song calls for a G chord: 4 2 3 0.
I'm not sure if that configuration would be easier for you to nail down or not (hopefully yes!). I like it because it eliminates the "unison" factor mentioned above, and sounds more "in tune."
I like to play around with alternate fingerings, also. Sometimes for simplicity; sometimes just for fun. I keep the Pocket Ukulele app on my phone for this. Not the most intuitive interface, but it can provide up to 6 fingerings for almost any chord going well up the neck. Nice tool to inject variety into a tune by playing a chorus with a different voicing.
 
I had a hard time with it also. I discovered, on my own, that using the fingering for the G7 [index on E1, middle on C2, ring on A2] can be easily turned to a G simply by using the pinky on E3, same as Oldscruggsfan suggests.
 
Very confusing thread I didn't try to read all but noticed some weird references to BPM? So here a couple of tips:
  1. Focus on task at hand which is chord change. Don't get distracted with trying to strum pattern or make it sound nice or like a song. Just one downstrum then chord change, nothing more, back and forth.
  2. Start slow then pick up pace. Keep going until you fall into trance or can do it super fast. Learning chord changes is all about repetition.
  3. Only look at fretboard in the beginning. Maybe turn off the lights and do it in a dark room. When you play uke the fretboard is the last thing you want to look at.
  4. Don't forget the thumb. Your fingers are only as strong as the leverage they get from the thumb, so keep it behind the neck and not sticking out somewhere.
 
I had a hard time with it also. I discovered, on my own, that using the fingering for the G7 [index on E1, middle on C2, ring on A2] can be easily turned to a G simply by using the pinky on E3, same as Oldscruggsfan suggests.
^^^^That’s a far clearer explanation than mine.
 
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