Have you ever wondered how to make any chord across the ukulele fretboard?
All it takes is some simple ukulele chord theory.
A lot of ukulele players don’t realize there isn’t just one way to play a single chord on the ukulele. You can play chords in multiple positions and places on the fretboard.
Sometimes when playing the ukulele you want to find a way to add variety to the sound. Playing chords in different positions is a great way to do this.
In today’s intermediate-level lesson, you take the first step to being able to play any major, minor and diminished chord across the ukulele fretboard by tapping into the power of a three-note chord called the triad.
You start off today by learning the G major triad in three positions: root position, first inversion, and second inversion.
If you know these G major triad positions it’s quite easy to use these same positions to come up with any other major triad in another key (more on that another time).
Be sure to refer to the Fretboard Cheatsheet to locate the notes across the fretboard.
A triad is a three-note chord. The major triad is made up of the 1st, 3rd, and 5th scale degrees of a major scale.
Keep in mind one fret on the ukulele equals one half step. Two frets equal one whole step. Half steps and whole steps are terms used to describe the interval or spacing between two separate notes.
In a major triad, the 1st and 3rd scale degrees are separated by two whole steps (or four half steps). The 3rd and 5th scale degrees are separated by one and a half whole steps (or three half steps).
How the notes of a triad are arranged determine the inversion. There are three ways the notes of a triad can be arranged:
- Root position (1-3-5)
- First inversion (3-5-1)
- Second inversion (5-3-1)
See the three G major triad positions in the following notation.
You can also see the G major triad positions in the following fretboard diagram.
The most important thing to memorize at this point is the root position, first inversion, and second inversion G major triads. These positions show up and repeat in all kinds of ways in the music you make!