Posts

Master Ukulele Chords Your Guide to D, Dm, and D7

A Complete Guide to Mastering the D, D7, and Dm Ukulele Chords

How to play ukulele chords: D major, D minor, and D7

The D, D7, and Dm ukulele chords are essential chords all beginners should learn how to play.

For many beginners, the D chord will be one of the first ukulele chords you learn how to play. However, you may not learn at first that the D chord can be played in several different positions, and in variations such as D minor (notated as Dm) and D seventh (notated as D7).

Choosing the best position to use for a particular chord during a song depends on its proximity to the other chords in the song, and the sound you want to achieve.

When you’re making chord changes, it always helps to choose the fingerings that are nearest each other to reduce the time switching from one chord to the next. Keep reading for several suggestions on how to play D, Dm, and D7 ukulele chord.

How to Play the D, D7, and Dm Ukulele Chords

Here are five positions you can use to play the D chord on the ukulele, as well as three positions for D minor and D7. Below, we’ll go into more details about how to play these common chords. Tip: Save this image on your cell phone to use during practice sessions!

Ukulele chords: How to play D Major, D minor, D7 (Infographic)

SEE ALSO: How to Tune a Ukulele for Beginners

Playing the D major (D) Chord on Ukulele

The D chord ukulele players generally learn first is the major D chord in first position, played on the second fret from the nut.

Place your first finger, which is the index finger, on the fourth string at the second fret. Your second finger (the middle finger) goes on the third string, and your third finger (the ring finger) on the second string, all at the second fret. Leave the first string open and strum.

Congrats: you just played the D chord! Here are four more ways to play the same chord:

  • Lay your first finger flat across all the strings on the second fret and place your pinky on the third string on the fifth fret away from the nut.
  • You also can place your first finger across the first two strings at the fifth fret, place your second finger on the third string on the sixth fret, and your third finger on the fourth string on the seventh fret.
  • Another option is to place your first finger on the second string at the fifth fret, your second finger on the third string at the sixth fret, your third finger on the fourth string at the seventh fret, and stretch your pinky to the first string at the ninth fret.
  • Lastly, you can put your first finger on the fourth string of the seventh fret, your second finger on the third string, your pinky on the first string of the eighth fret, and your ring finger on the second string of the ninth fret.

Playing the D minor (Dm) Ukulele Chord

Once you have the basic D chord down, you can move on to the Dm ukulele chord.

The simplest way to play the D minor chord is to leave the first string open, place your first finger on the second string at the first fret, and your second finger and third fingers on the third and fourth strings at the second fret.

Here are a couple more ways to play the Dm ukulele chord:

  • Lay your first finger across the first three strings at the fifth fret and place your third finger on the fourth string at the seventh fret. You can also use the same fingering and place your pinky on the first string at the eighth fret for an additional high note.
  • A slightly more complex version requires you to place your first finger on the fourth string at the seventh fret, your second finger on the first string at the eighth fret, your third finger on the third string at the ninth fret, and your pinky on the second string at the tenth fret.

Playing the D7 Ukulele Chord

The D7 ukulele position adds a seventh note to the D chord and gives the chord a twangy sound.

The simplest way to play a D7 chord is to lay your first finger across all strings at the second fret and place your second finger on the first string at the third fret.

Here are three more ways to play the D7 ukulele chord:

  • Lay your first finger across all strings at the fifth fret and place your second finger on the third string at the sixth fret.
  • Another version requires you to put your first finger on the third string at the sixth fret, your second finger on the fourth string at the seventh fret, and your ring finger on the second string at the eighth fret.
  • You also can play the D7 chord with your first finger on the fourth string at the seventh fret, your second finger on the second string at the eighth fret, with your third finger on the third string and your pinky on the first string at the ninth fret.

The best way to learn ukulele chords is to practice playing songs for beginners. Working with a ukulele teacher is a great way to find songs that are appropriate for your skill level and will help you advance quicker. Search for a ukulele teacher today to get started!

If ukulele lessons are too expensive an option for you, you can also try taking online ukulele classes, which are a much more affordable option. Good luck learning the D chords and remember to have fun!

Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

Photo by Ffion Atkinson

easy ukulele songs

How to Play 10 Songs on the Ukulele Using 4 Simple Chords

4 basic ukulele chords to play easy ukulele songsThe ukulele is a beginner-friendly, fun little instrument that you’re never too young or old to try out. A few extra bonuses – it’s affordable, portable, and there are many easy ukulele chords.

If you don’t already own a uke, you can start by choosing among the three most common ukulele sizes for your first instrument: the soprano, concert, or tenor. They all use the same tuning, but the main difference is in body size (tenor is the largest). You should be able to purchase a starter uke for between $50 and $100.

Keep reading to learn 10 easy uke songs that you can start playing today, even if you’re a beginner!

How to Play 10 Easy Ukulele Songs with 4 Chords

Step 1: Tune Up and Learn 4 Basic Ukulele Chords

Standard ukulele tuning is G-C-E-A, which lends itself nicely to the key of G. To play the songs in this blog post, all you’ll need to do is learn the fingerings of four chords and get comfortable transitioning between them. The four basic ukulele chords are: G major, C major, D major, and E minor (Em). Once you familiarize yourself with them, you can play any one of the easy uke songs here, including hits from Bob Dylan, Adele, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift, and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Learn the Chord Shapes and a Simple Down-Strum Pattern

Below you’ll find chord diagrams for these easy ukulele chords. Finger them carefully, making sure you’re sounding all the notes clearly. Adjust your fingers as needed if you hear muted or muddy notes or chords. Before you attempt to play any of these songs, first practice each chord with a down strum, using your right hand thumb.

basic ukulele chords for beginners

These easy ukulele songs are all in the time signature known as 4/4, meaning there are four beats in every measure, and each one of those beats is a quarter note. So, to prepare for learning these songs, play each chord four times. Start with the G chord, playing several measures of four consecutive down strums at a slow tempo. Then move on to the C chord, then back to the G chord, and then the D chord. Try tapping your foot as you play the chords, strumming each chord for four counts.

Optional Rhythmic Strumming Pattern

Once you have that simple down strum and foot-tapping working, you can try this more interesting strumming pattern consisting of:

Down, Down-Up-Down, Down-Up-Down, Down-Up-Down, Down-Up-Down, Down-Up-Down, Down-Up

This pattern is fairly easy, though it might look harder than it is. Just break it down to an independent down strum to start off with, followed by 5 groups of Down-Up-Down, ending with Down-Up. You can either use your thumb or a felt pick. Please note: the down stroke (down strum) symbol most commonly used is: Π and the up stroke (up strum) symbol most commonly used is: ∨.

Step 2: Pick an Easy Ukulele Song!

Once you’re comfortable moving from chord to chord, you’re ready to try playing one or more of the easy ukulele songs listed below. The order of the chords in these 10 songs are as follows. Here are 10 more easy ukulele practice songs for beginners.

1. “Blowin’ In The Wind” – Bob Dylan

  • Verses: G, C, G, G, C, D, G, C, G, G, C, D
  • “The answer my friend” refrains: C, D, G, Em, C, D, G

2. “Brown Eyed Girl” – Van Morrison

  • Verses: G, C, G, D, G, C, G, D, G, C, G, D, G, C, G, D, C, D, G, Em, C, D, G
  • “Do you remember when we used to sing: ”sha-la-la-la-la-la-la” refrains: D, G, C, G, D, G, C, G, D, C, D, G, Em, C, D, G

3. “22” – Taylor Swift

  • G, D, C, D

4. “I Won’t Back Down” – Tom Petty

  • Verses: Em, D, G, Em, D, G, Em D, C, Em, D, G
  • Choruses: C, D, C, D, C, D, Em,, D, G, Em, D, G

5. “Someone Like You” – Adele

  • Verses, Choruses and Bridge: G, D, Em, C
  • Pre-chorus: D, C, D, C, D

6. “Your Mama Don’t Dance” – Loggins & Messina

  • Verses: G, C, G, C, G, D, C, G
  • Bridge: C, C, C, C, D, C, G

7. “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” – Creedence Clearwater Revival

  • Verses: G to D (for verses),
  • Choruses: C, D, G, Em, D C, D, G, Em, D——C, D, G, Em, D—–C, D, G

8. “Bring It On Home” – classic blues song recorded by countless artists

  • G, D, G, C, G, D, G, C, G, D

9. “This Magic Moment” – Jay And The Americans, Lou Reed, etc.

  • Verses: G, Em, C, D
  • Pre-chorus: Em, C, G, D
  • Choruses: G, Em, C, G, Em, G, Em

10. “Tougher Than The Rest” – Bruce Springsteen

  • Verses: G, C, D, C, G, D (for verses)
  • Bridge: Em, C, G, C, D, G, Em, C, G, C, G, D, G

It helps to listen to these songs as you’re learning and play along so you can hear where the chord changes happen. You can also look them up on a site like Ultimate Guitar which shows where the chord changes occur relative to the lyrics of the song.

Need some extra help mastering these ukulele chords and songs? Try taking online or in-person lessons with an experienced ukulele teacher to take your skills to the next level. Search for a ukulele teacher today!

Jeff S

Jeff S. teaches ukulele and guitar lessons in Perth Amboy, NJ. He is both a songwriter and performer, and has taught music business and songwriting at various universities and music schools. Learn more about Jeff S here!

 

Interested in Private Lessons?

Search thousands of teachers for local and live, online lessons. Sign up for convenient, affordable private lessons today!

Photo by Victor Engmark