An exciting way to take your ukulele playing to the next level is to find new ways to play the same chord on ukulele.
Yes, there are often several different ways to play the same chord on ukulele, and I include many of these chord variations in the Ukulele Tricks Chord Library, but you might be wondering why you’d want to find a different way to play a chord on ukulele.
There are many reasons for why you’d find a new way to play the same chord:
- Make a chord easier to play
- Add variety to the song you’re playing
- Find a new sound
- Blend together with an accompanying ukulele player
- Voice a melody note in a chord to be the highest note in the chord (for example, like in chord melody)
In this lesson, I introduce you to the world of finding chord variations on ukulele by showing you how to play a C major chord on ukulele in five different ways.
Watch the video to learn the five different ways to play a C major chord on ukulele.
C Major Chord: Variation #1
This is the C major chord you’re probably most familiar with.
To play C Major Chord Variation #1 on ukulele, place the ring finger on the 3rd fret of the bottom A-string. Let the other strings ring open.
C Major Chord: Variation #2
Let’s find new ways to play this common chord.
To play C Major Chord Variation #2 on ukulele, press down or barre the index finger on the bottom two strings at the 3rd fret, place the middle finger on the 4th fret of the C-string, and ring finger on the 5th fret of the top g-string.
C Major Chord: Variation #3
As we find new chord variations, we work our way up the ukulele fretboard. As you go up the fretboard, the notes contained in the chord are notes in a C major chord played at higher octaves giving the chord a different timbre or texture.
To play C Major Chord Variation #3 on ukulele, place the index finger on the 5th fret of the top g-string, ring finger on the 7th fret of the C-string, and little finger on the 7th fret of the bottom A-string. Let the E-string ring open.
C Major Chord: Variation #4
You may recognize the following fretting hand shape from the G chord. Although like a G chord, this is a C chord variation because of its higher position on the ukulele fretboard.
To play C Major Chord Variation #4, place the index finger on the 7th fret of the C-string, ring finger on the 8th fret of the E-string, and middle finger on the 7th fret of the bottom A-string. Let the other string ring open.
C Major Chord: Variation #5
Things are starting to get a little cramped this high up the fretboard!
To play C Major Chord Variation #5, place the middle finger on the 9th fret of the top g-string, index finger on the 8th fret of the E-string, and little finger on the 10th fret of the bottom A-string. Let the C-string ring open.
When to Use These C Major Ukulele Chord Variations
You can use any of these C major chord variations in a song where you see a C chord.
For example, if you’re learning a jazzy song, like those in the Jazzy Strummin’ course, you probably want to opt for Variation #2 of the C major chord above to get a nice muted jazzy strum.
But, if you’re playing a chord melody song where the highest melody note is a G note, then, you might want to use Variation #5.
And if you’re playing at your ukulele club with a dozen other ukulele players, instead of playing the same chord variation as your fellow band members, maybe you use Variation #3 to “fill out” the sound and create a nicely blended tone!
Finding chords across the ukulele fretboard is almost limitless. To find more chord variations across the ukulele fretboard, check out the chords in the chord library and scroll through the different variations.