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Ukulele Tab: Play Chord Progressions In C-Major With Tablature

Aug 18, 2007
With your ukulele you can play many nice and fun chord progressions. You will use ukulele tablature so you don't need to know sheet music.

The following chords presupposes that you have tuned your ukulele in the most common way with the first string with the highest pitch to an A.

We will first learn the two ukulele chords C-major and A7. In order to be able to show you how to play these chords I will present the ukulele tab notation I will use in this article.

Tablature is a form of notation that shows you how to put your fingers on your ukulele to play melodies and chords. The digit before the slash shows you which fret to play and the digit after the slash what string to play. Here is the C-major chord:

0/4 0/3 0/2 3/1

To clarify the before mentioned tab notation: 3/1 means that you press down the third fret on string one. I will also show you the fingerings for your left hand. The left hand fingers are usually numbered:

Index: 1
Middle finger: 2
Ring finger: 3
Pinky: 4

The fingering for the previous C chord is beginning with the fourth string: 0 0 0 3

Let's start to strum on the ukulele with this chord:

C / / /

You can use your right hand thumb to strum the ukulele chord progressions or use a pick.

This chord notation means that you strum once on the C chord when you see the letter C and then once for every following slash. Time for the next chord A7:

0/4 1/3 0/2 0/1 and the fingering 0 1 0 0

Now you can create your first progression:

C / / / A7 / / /

Remember to strum with your right hand in an even pace even when you change chords. This can be difficult at first so you might need to concentrate on practicing the changing part before you can play the progression.

Well, I guess you feel that the progression is not complete. You will need two more ukulele chords. Let's choose D7 and G7:

D7: 2/4 0/3 2/2 0/1 Fingering: 1 0 2 0

G7: 0/4 2/3 1/2 2/1 Fingering: 0 2 1 3

Now you can make a complete ukulele chord progression:

C / / / A7 / / / D7 / / / G7 / / /

The next ukulele chords you can use in the key of C are two minor chords, A-minor and D-minor:

Am: 2/4 0/3 0/2 0/1 Fingering: 2 0 0 0

Dm: 2/4 2/3 1/2 0/1 Fingering: 2 3 1 0

Remember to strum the chords in a slow even pace in order to feel the pulse. These progressions are turnarounds meaning that as you come to the end of the progression you can start all over again without stopping.

Here is the next ukulele chord progression:

C / / / Am / / / Dm / / / G7 / / / /

Now it's time for you to learn the F-major chord:

F: 2/4 0/3 1/2 0/1 Fingering: 2 0 1 0

Now you can play the previous chord progression with a variation using the F chord:

C / / / Am / / / F / / / G7 / / / /

You will end this practice session by playing a diminished C chord and a little longer progression. Here is the C dim chord:

Cdim: 2/4 3/3 2/2 3/1 Fingering: 1 3 2 4

Time for the progression:

F / / / Cdim / / / C / / / A7 / / /

D7 / / / G7 / / / C / / / C / / /

Now it's time for you to use these progressions to experiment with and create other combinations of chords. This will develop your ear, your musical ability and give you practice in the art of changing chords.
About the Author
Peter Edvinsson invites you to download your free ukulele tablature, sheet music, ebooks, music lessons and read his sheet music blog at Capotasto Music.
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