Even if you never have touched an ukulele before you can today play your first chords. It is a perfect instrument to use when you sing your favorite songs. Let’s take a look at the chords!
Here you have the chord C on ukulele:
C: 0/4 0/3 0/2 3/1
The number before the slash indicates which fret to press down. The number after the slash tells you which string to play.
3/1 for example means, press down the third fret on the first string. 0/2 means, play the second string without pressing down a fret.
We will need two more chords in order to accompany this song. Here is F-major:
F: 2/4 0/3 1/2 0/1
The last chord for you to learn is G7:
G7: 0/4 2/3 1/2 2/1
Here are the lyrics to the first verse:
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
Was blind, but now I see
I will place the chords in parenthesis immediately before the syllable where you shall play the chord. Let’s take a look at the first line:
A-(C)mazing Grace, how (F)sweet the (C)sound
One way to play the ukulele chords is to strum the chord once everytime you will see a new chord in the lyrics. This will create a peaceful background to the song.
Now it is time for you to play the rest of the song:
That (C)saved a wretch like (G7)me
I (C)once was lost, but (F)now am (C)found
Was (C)blind, but (G7)now I (C)see
In this chord version you are playing the song in the key of C assuming that you have tuned your ukulele in C. This means that the strings are tuned in the following pitches:
First string: A
Second string: E
Third string: C
Fourth string: G
The first string is the string nearest your feet if you play your uke the ordinary way.
You can strum the strings with you left hand thumb. For your left hand I suggest the following fingerings:
C: 0/4 0/3 0/2 3/1(ring finger)
F: 2/4(middle finger) 0/3 1/2(index) 0/1
G7: 0/4 2/3(middle finger) 1/2(index) 2/1(ring finger)
If you want to sing the song in a higher pitch we can transpose the song up one whole step to the key of D. Here are the chords:
D: 2/4 2/3 2/2 0/1
G: 0/4 2/3 3/2 2/1
A7: 0/4 1/3 0/2 0/1
Now you only have to replace the C-major chords with the D-major chords in the following way:
C becames D
F becames G
G7 becames A7
As the most difficult part is not to hold down a chord but to shift between them I suggest that you practice shifting between two chords at a time by strumming one stroke on each slowly until you can do it easily.