How to: Ukulele (Intermediate)

Evan Rosser, Columnist

Before proceeding with this tutorial, it is recommended that you look over the How To: Ukulele Tutorial (Beginner) article and make sure you understand the concepts and skills explained in that article. It will help when beginning with this tutorial.

In the previous tutorial we introduced the ukulele to you, and discussed the strings and four basic chords. This tutorial will go on to teach you four more chords, at more of an intermediate level, picking the strings, and tuning them to the A and E string.

Advance Tuning:

Not all the time will you be near a piano or have an electric tuner for your ukulele. Fortunately the ukulele itself can be used as a tuner. Play the A string and listen to its pitch. Then press down on the second fret of the G string and play it. Try to match the A string’s pitch to the second fret, G string pitch. After that play the E string and listen for its pitch. Now, press down the fourth fret of the C string and play it. Listen to its pitch. Try to match the E string and the fourth fret on the C string. Your ukulele should now be appropriately tuned.

Picking instead of strumming:

Picking is the act of holding down on one fret and playing a single string. Sometimes not even holding down on a fret. It produces a single note, and often picking patterns are played much faster than strumming patterns. Take note of each strings order of notes on each fret.

A string: Open A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A.

E string: Open E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E.

C string: Open C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, C.

G string: Open G, G#, A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G.

 

Chords:

A Chord:

To play an A chord, press down on the second fret of the G string with your middle finger, and press down on the first fret of the C string with your index finger. Now strum.

D Chord:

To play a D chord, press down and bar on the second frets of both the G string and C string with your index finger, and press down on the second fret of the E string with your middle finger. Now strum.

D minor (Dm) Chord:

To play a Dm chord, press down on the second fret of the G string with your middle finger, press down on the second fret of the C chord with your ring finger, and press down on the first fret of the E string with your index finger. Now strum.

B Flat Chord:

To play the B flat chord, press down and bar the second frets of the E string and A string with your index finger, press down on the third fret of the C string with your middle finger, and press down on the fourth fret of the G string with your ring finger. Now strum.

Once you have learned how to play the above four chords, and learned some picking patterns, combine them with the four chords taught in the How To: Ukulele Tutorial (Beginner) article and practice new, more advance songs.