Ukulele E chord: 5 Different Ways To Play it

So you’ve gotten your first ukulele and you’re pretty excited about learning your first few chords. You were able to master the C, G, A and D chords easily.

And then... the E chord.

The major chord that is hated by most beginners.

Trying to fit all your fingers into a tiny space on the fret board can be very frustrating. So I decided to list down the various ways to play the E chord.

Just like any chord, there are several ways to play E. Here are the different chord patterns that you can use:

I’ve listed five methods on how you position your fingers following the chord diagrams above.

Try them and see which is most comfortable for you.

The regular position

This is how the books tell you to do.

Finger position:

Index finger - on the 2nd fret of A string

Middle Finger - 4th fret G string

Ring Finger - 4th fret C string

Pinky finger - 4th fret E string

If you have bigger fingers, then this method can be a nightmare. But with constant practice, you can still pull off this style of playing the E chord. I don’t have a problem playing the E with this finger position.

Treble Up

Finger position:

Index finger - 2nd fret on A string

Ring finger - 4th fret on G, C and E strings.

The only problem with this method is that there’s a possibility that your ring finger will interfere with the A string. Your ring finger should be slightly bent in order to avoid hitting the A string.

Treble up and muted A string

Finger position:

Ring finger - 4th fret on G, C and E strings.

Mute the A string using any of your fingers.

The 2nd fret on the A string has the same note/sound with the 4th fret on the G string. So even if you mute the A string, it will produce the same melody.

Fourth Fret Bar

Finger position:

Index finger - use it to barre across all strings on the 4th fret.

Pinky finger - 7th fret on A string.

If you are new to playing the ukulele, holding the neck in a barre position can be a big struggle.

Quick tip: If you have difficulty holding the barre chord with your other fingers pressing another string, try this - just do the barre chord position using your index finger.

For example, take a look at the image above showing the index finger on the 4th fret and the pinky finger on the 7th fret. What you need to do is remove that pinky finger and just leave the index finger holding the barre position. Try to move the index finger from one fret to another while strumming. Do this for a 5 minute interval until you feel comfortable doing it.

Once you get the hang of it, go ahead and include the other fingers (with this example, you use the pinky finger to press the 7th fret of A string).

High E

Finger position:

Index finger - 7th fret on E and A strings

Middle finger - 8th fret on C string

Ring finger - 9th fret on G string

The positioning is the same as the B chord but it starts on the 7th fret with your index finger.


There are even more ways to play the E chord but those 5 ways that I mentioned will help you move forward. With constant practice, you can learn this skill in no time.

That’s it for now. I hope you learnt something new today.

If you want to learn about chord progression, I recommend you study how to use the circle of fifths.

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