Monday, September 15, 2008


Sometimes the back of the class is where you find out the good stuff. I have a friend that has been playing music for a long time. He is another multi-instrumentalist and he plays most everything without any sheet music. He’s always a big proponent of learning barred chords because as he puts it, “it opens up a whole new world on the ukulele.” He’s got a wealth of experience and I’m going to try and share as much as I can with you the reader.

I am the HumbleUker because I’m still plodding along learning a little bit here and there. But as the club was strumming our normal beginner song I needed a diversion to keep my interest. I was watching Larry’s fingers as he was strumming along: C, Am, F6, G7 (using F6 in lieu of F). This creates a very compact group of fingering within frets 3 thru 5. (I think those players that have gotten their fingers acquainted with the Bb-chord-shape will be able to make these changes quite easily.)

Try it… C Am F6 G7 C Am F6 G7 {4 Strums each}
I drew this chart using AutoCAD 2005 LT purposely in order to emphasize the (5433) C and how by adding the pinky on the E-string you get the (5453) Am. Then notice that the ring finger is used to barre the 5th fret to get the (5555) F6. Lastly bounce out of the F6 to hold the (4535) G7 chord. And repeat. (F7, D7 and G9 are shown as other possible fret moves). I had to photograph my drawing in order to paste it in the blog.

Mike DaSilva just added the song, Surf, to the Berkeley Ukulele Club songlist,
This song uses the exact same sequence of chord shapes just shifted down to frets 2 thru 4.

Try it…. B G#m E6 F#7 B G#m E6 F#7 {4 Strums each}
If this is helpful please let me know. I'm going to keep talking to Larry and hope to continue posting tidbits of the wisdom he shares.

1 comment:

  1. This is good stuff! I've sat in the back with Larry M and could tell that still waters run deep. He's got lots to offer and is nice. Great job on the tabbing it out clearly. I've been working on fingerpicking of late, so now I'm motivated to get back to reviewing those chord inversions!