Learn to play ukulele : How to read uke chords?

How to read uke chords?

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Type: Lesson

A chord diagram is a schematic way to transcribe a chord.

Here is how it looks like:

C chord - ukulele


How to read a chord chart:

  • At the top (in yellow), you get the name of the chord, here "C"
  • A diagram consists of four horizontal lines and four vertical lines. Number of horizontal lines can vary depending on the number of frets needed to play the chord.
  • Vertical lines represent the four strings of the ukulele. The leftmost line is the G string, the right the A string.
  • Horizontal lines are the frets, the top line being the nut
  • On the diagram, there are dots located in between two frets. For example here we have a dot placed on the A string, the first string starting from the right. It is placed between the third and fourth line, meaning that we have to fret the A string on the third fret.
  • In this example, we only have one dot, but there can be up to 4 dots (one per string)
  • Symbols at the top indicate if the strings should not be fretted (left open, the "o"), or not be played (the "x").

One important thing to remember about chords: one single chord exists in many different positions. Usually, diagrams found on uke tabs always correspond to main positions.

Lesson by , 07 Jun 2013

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