How To Memorize Ukulele Chords
Having a hard time memorizing each ukulele chord?
I bet you do.
Learning each chord shape on the ukulele can be challenging. And that’s true.
Many beginners turn pale when they see these 100-plus chords. They get petrified.
Think about this…
There are 180 chord diagrams included for all keys - A, Bb, C, Db, D, Eb, E, F, Gb, G, and Ab. Not to mention, the A#, C#, D#, and F# which in fact, have the same equivalent as the flat chords mentioned earlier.
To make things more complicated, you still have to include chord types such as minor, major, augmented, sixth, seventh, ninth, and diminished, etc.
Ugh! That’s a lot!
But, don’t worry you’re not alone.
In fact, even some of the most experienced players don’t know every chord in the book.
And that’s totally fine.
You DON’T need to sit down and memorize everything from the chord chart.
Truth is, all you need is to learn the chords that you will be using on a particular song that you wish to play.
Yup! That’s right.
But nevertheless, you still need to learn plenty of ukulele chords if you want to become better.
So today, I will share some tips that will help you improve as a musician. Here are the tricks that I use to learn and memorize as many chords as possible:
1. Make your own chord list. By the time you start learning your first song, you have to keep a list of chords that you put on your “Chord Bank”. Whenever you practice a new song and come across an unfamiliar chord, put it on your list. Now, it becomes one of your chords. As you progress and learn more songs, your “Chord Bank” will continuously grow and before you know it, you already have plenty of chords in your arsenal.
2. Pick songs you enjoy playing. This way you’ll have more fun and won't have a hard time practising more often. And you know what happens when there’s a repetition, right? You’ll be able to memorize the chords quickly.
3. Learn to use the shorthand way of naming chords. Let me explain. Can you follow someone instructing on the finger placement of a chord when it sounds like this:
“Put your third finger on the second fret of the first string, your ring finger on the third fret of 2nd string, and your index finger on the second fret of the third string.”
Did you get it? To be honest, I was a bit confused whilst trying to say it. Lol
But anyway, that’s the G Major Chord, if you’re wondering what that is.
So here’s a better way to make it simple. Meaning, we’ll use the SHORTHAND method.
First off, the strings. You name the strings from 1 to 4. Number 1 is the string at the bottom, which is closest to the ground. The number 4 is the string at the top, which is closest to the ceiling.
Now for the frets, Simply call them by number as you go up and down the strings.
Just to give you an example:
Here’s our favourite C chord. If we convert it into shorthand, it would look like this: 0003.
Oh! I forgot to mention, zero means there’s no finger on that string. That means, when you play the C chord, string #1 is fretted at fret 3 whilst the other three strings 4,3, and 2 have no fingers on each of them.
You want more example? Here’s another one.
Let’s play the A Chord. That would be 2100. How about the D chord? It is 2220.
Got it? Cool.
Once you start getting the hang of it, you can start picturing the chord patterns in your mind when you hear the numbers. And that, my friend, can help you remember the chords easier.
4. Finally, test, test, test. Have I mentioned this three times? Yup, you’ve got to test your knowledge. You can write down the chords in flashcards - Pick a random card and try to play the chord on your ukulele. Check if you played it correctly. Ukulelemate has a free ukulele chord chart that comes with your order so you can use that as a reference. You can do this with your friends and have fun!
Did you learn something new today? I hope this article made your life easier. If you have any questions, just let us know. Leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to answer it.