Learn to play ukulele : Barre Chords

Barre Chords

New to Uke?
Learn how to play with simple and easy to understand Ukulele Lessons for beginners.
Level: Beginner
Type: Lesson

At first, your barre chords will sound clunky. This is normal. You will need to build up your muscle memory and the strength in your hands.

  • Place your thumb on the back of the neck and squeeze. Many players bring their thumb around the neck; this may be a habit left over from playing the guitar. Sometimes that's appropriate, but it will make barre chords very difficult.
  • For Bb (3211), start by learning to play the C7sus4 (0011)
  • Then progress to Gm7/Bb6 (0211)
  • Play the Bb chord. Use it in various songs. Songs in the Key of F use Bb. The more you play any chord, the easier it becomes. Many beginners shy away from playing barre chords out of fear or frustration. Don't let that get to you. Face that Bb head on. It becomes easier and then second nature. Really!
  • Bb is a movable chord, meaning all 4 strings are in use. Bb becomes B, C, C#/Db etc as you move the form toward the body of the uke.
  • For full barre chords, help your index finger with your middle finger until you can barre with only your index finger.
  • All the tip of your index finger to hang over the neck, toward your chin. This will allow you to use the stronger part of your finger.
  • Check to see if the strings are getting the right amount of pressure by playing each string individually. The "honesty" test will let you know which strings are not getting enough pressure. You can then adjust a bit to get all the strings to ring out clearly.

Keep going! It took me awhile to get really comfortable with Bb and I'm still working on more complicated chords.

No worries! You'll get there when you get there!

Lesson by , 27 Apr 2017

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