You finally figure out how to play that one ukulele chord that’s giving you all sorts of trouble, but when you strum:
No matter what you do, playing the chord sounds like fingernails scraping across a chalkboard.
Is this a problem with how you’re strumming? Is it an issue with your fretting hand? Do you just not have the strength yet to play a chord?
Every ukulele player at some point or another has gone to play a ukulele chord just to have the chord sound out with a dead thud. This is such a common challenge every ukulele player has to overcome. Even advanced ukulele players will encounter this problem and have to find a way to fix it.
Fortunately, most buzzing ukulele chords can be fixed with one easy trick.
Watch the video to learn how to fix your buzzing ukulele chords.
Don’t Forget This Last Buzzing Ukulele Chord Consideration
You can fix ninety-nine percent of buzzing ukulele chords with the above solution, however, there are other factors that can cause your ukulele to buzz on you.
For example, cheaper entry-level ukuleles are infamous for buzzing.
This has to do with the quality of craftsmanship. For example, cheaper ukuleles may have metal frets on the fretboard that are uneven or not properly filed down.
Most ukuleles can be taken to a luthier or local music shop who can often perform a “set up” on your ukulele to fix these frets that are catching on the strings, however, sometimes the cost to perform this service is more than the actual ukulele itself! So it may be in your interest to save up for a higher-quality ukulele.
Lastly, strings can buzz if you strum too hard or with too much tension. If you have a heavy hand, it doesn’t hurt to see what a lighter touch does for your tone and sound.
How to Get a Musical Sound From Your Ukulele
It’s one thing to play the right chords, but it’s another thing to sound musical.
When it comes to your strumming and chord technique, there are a variety of factors that impact how musical you sound:
- How you strum the strings
- How you position your fretting hand fingers to prepare for smooth chord changes
- How you adjust your strumming volume to create dynamics and emotion
If you struggle with strumming the ukulele in a musical-sounding way, there’s no better place to start than by joining me in the Strumming Tricks online course where I teach you how to play 20 songs in 7 distinct styles with musicality and expression.
Thank you Brett. That information was very useful to me. Lesley
Thanks Brett. Great tip.
Where did you get your strap?
Hey, Joanne, I recommend the Uke Leash brand straps. They are great!
I like that picture of you ,very nice, but I am not doing to well as My husband keeps calling me so it is going to take me some time I will just keep at it, he is not a well person so he has to come first —
Everyone progresses at a different pace, so that’s quite alright. I hope you continue to find time to play ukulele for your enjoyment! You deserve it!
Thanks, Brett. I never knew this. I thought I just needed to “bear down” more with my fingers! No wonder I’d get achy after a while. lol
Hah, ah, yes! That can happen where we are “over gripping” the neck causing our fingers to wear out quicker. Proper fretting hand positioning can relieve some of that giving you more leverage. I’m glad to hear this lesson helped with that. Thanks for your comment!
Love your lessons. Very informative, clear and easy to follow. Keep them coming! I need a little more time between lessons to learn and practice………but I just take my time and open your next lesson when I’m ready!
That’s great, Sherie! All my lessons including my premium courses are all set up for you to go at your own pace. Thanks for your comment and it’s great to have you!
Bless your heart, Brett. I’ve been playing over two years, with only your basic strumming course behind me, having the “buzzing” problem, especially with B flat and barred chords. Your reminder, because you must have told me in the course, has helped my chords ring true. Now if only I had fatter fingers. Mine are 88 years old and kind of scrawny. Thanks for all your playing tips.
Great job, Harpo! Funny you mention fatter fingers, since it seems to be when people have fat fingers they want thinner fingers. Keep working at it and you’re certain to see improvement with those barre chords. Also, be sure to review this lesson here on Bb barre chords: https://ukuleletricks.com/master-the-bb-chord-on-ukulele/
As always, thank you for the demo. Very helpful!
You’re welcome, Karen!
I appreciate your “stop the buzzing,” video. You have a gift for presenting information in a non-judgemental, positive, no ridiculing manner that makes me feel you are truly with me. Working together rather than lording over.
Thank you, Brett.
That makes me happy to hear, Mark! Music is about enjoying and playing together. Thanks for watching and your comment.
Thank you Brett. That video on Ukukele buzzing wa amazing. Such a simple little fix. I will definitely use it.
I’m glad this was useful for you, Marlene! Thanks for watching.
Yes, thank you Brett. I’ve been playing for about 2 1/2 years and although I know the mechanics and have learned lots and lots of chords, I know that I don’t yet sound “musical”. The tips above should get me started in the right direction!
Thanks for the tip, I will try to remember to place my fingers closer to the correct fret. I noticed that I have been making a lot of buzzing noises lately.
You’re welcome, Mandy! Thanks for your comment.
Wow – now I understand why my chords were ‘buzzing’. Thank you for this post Brett, I have learnt something today.
Great video, but you did not mention the angle of the fingers on the first joint to be above the strings below to avoid dampening the strings below. This can easily be fixed by arching the wrist forward to create a better arch on the tips of the fingers over the strings. Placement of the fingers behind the frets for senior’s is usually not the problem. Arching of the fingers is the fingers is the real problem with large fingers and arthritis problems. We are professional uke players and teachers
Sugar and Spice Band, Nanaimo, B.C. Canada
Thank you SO much Brett. If it weren’t for your generous posts, and free lessons, idk if I ever would’ve begun to play my uke. A few years ago, I had the honor of taking a shop class where creating our very own uke was offered! Piece by piece, we cut, sanded,.glued etc. It sat for a couple years before I was really inspired to try playing. I never thought I would be playing something so special. Thank you for your clear instructions for all us newbies, and also for your continuing to teach for all levels of playing, such a fun and fairly easy instrument! (I didn’t come from a musical family) blessings to you!
How cool, Linda! You made a ukulele and now you’re playing it! I’m glad to be apart of your ukulele journey.
Brett, I have a great deal of difficulty with the “G” cord. No matter what I do, I can’t seem to get the thud out of the “A” string. i have pressed so hard on the strings at this point that the nerve endings on my fingers are numb.
Do you have any suggestions?
Hey Linda! It’s possible it may be an action issue with your ukulele, where the string is rubbing against a fret higher up the fretboard. I would check for this! In this case, no matter how hard you press the string will most likely always buzz, in which case you may need to take your ukulele to the shop to have it “set up” by a luthier.