How to Read the Ukulele Chord Diagram?

- Apr 10, 2019-

When you first start using the ukulele, it is very overwhelming when you look at all the different chords and their shapes. They are very intuitive and easy to understand, but some symbols may require some explanation. Once you know how the chord diagrams “work” you will be happy to see them on the songs page as it will really help you speed up learning a song.

The basis

The UkuTabs chord diagram is easy to understand, I have been as simple as possible. You should imagine watching on the Ukulele in front of you, you are looking at the fingerboard above the motherboard. The string is represented as a vertical line (G C E A string from left to right) and the note is a horizontal line.

All different chord shapes are represented by dots. Each dot represents the position of the finger. In the example on the left, you can see the G chords. Then how do you put your fingers? You play the C string in the second sound, the E string in the third sound, and the A string in the second sound. The small circle (o) at the top of the G string means that you must open the string (ie don’t put your finger on it).

This is a basic chord diagram, and most of the time you will see such a chart. However, there are some symbols that require some explanation.21 Inch Soprano Mahogany Ukulele 2

Higher fingerboard

Sometimes you will see numbers on both sides of the chart. These are a certain timbre number, because sometimes the string plays higher on the fingerboard (if it is not displayed, it means note 1 -> 4). In the example on the left, the A string is played at the sixth sound, the C string is played at the fifth sound, and the G string is played at the third sound.


When you see a small “x” at the top of a string, this means you should not play the string at all. In other words, you have to mute it. You can do this by placing one or more micro-finger fingers on the strings without bothering them. An example is shown on the left (same example as in “High Up The Fretboard”).

Text chord

Sometimes in the notes of a song or when you talk to people about chords, you don’t see chord diagrams, only four simple numbers. For example, when you see “0232”, it represents a G chord. So the four numbers refer to each string of ukulele (sequence: GCEA). This is useful for quickly telling someone how to play a chord. The second example in this guide is: 35×6.

Ukulele Chords Chord Charts

Here you can find the soprano, concert and tenor Ukulerds UkuChords chord leaderboard. It has all the major chord diagrams, and you can download print-friendly PDF or “poster” charts.

Edit by Bonnie

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