Arts & Entertainment, Music

Demystifying Chords

Jake Shimabukuro

Lesson time 23:26 min

Jake introduces you to chord grouping. You’ll learn how to play one-finger chords, two-finger chords, three-finger chords, and stair chords.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: One-Finger Chords · Two-Finger Chords · Three-Finger “Triangle” Chords · Stairs Chords


[00:00:00.00] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:11.76] - All right, chord grouping. This is-- I love chords. You know, my approach to chords is let's just make it as simple as possible. And-- and I guess, well, let's start. Let's start with the easiest chord, the A minor 7 chord, OK? [00:00:29.09] And what it looks like is this. [00:00:31.26] [00:00:32.19] [00:00:33.59] Love that chord. So simple. That's all you got to do. [00:00:36.62] [00:00:37.28] Just that. You don't have to hold anything down. [00:00:40.55] [00:00:41.34] Right? So let's take this chord, and let's combine it with our C chord, which is 0, 0, 0, 3, which we talked about before. So you're just going to put your index finger there, or your middle or your ring, which-- whichever you feel most comfortable. And we're going to strum that. [00:00:57.18] [PLAYING INSTRUMENT] [00:00:59.91] And let's go to A minor. [00:01:01.20] [00:01:02.01] Or, the A minor 7 chord. [00:01:03.65] [00:01:04.64] Back to the C. [00:01:05.48] [00:01:08.81] A minor 7 chord. [00:01:10.23] [00:01:12.61] Very good. Just like that, OK? It's just those two simple chords, you know, A minor 7 and C. [00:01:19.36] [PLAYING INSTRUMENT] [00:01:20.13] That's all you've got to do. And there's a few tricks that I remember some of my old instructors used to show me. You know, one of the things they would do is when you would hold a chord, you know, they would kind of stick a pencil under your fingers, you know, to make sure that you were just making contact with the tips of your finger, and, you know, the sides of your finger or the other parts of your finger was not too close to the other strings, you know, where they could deaden the string. [00:01:48.66] Sometimes, you know, when we play the chord, it sounds maybe something like this. [00:01:53.70] [00:01:55.58] Like-- [00:01:55.95] [PLAYING INSTRUMENT] [00:01:58.05] It's not coming out, you know? It's the-- the notes sound like they're stuck, right? They're stuck in there. It's like, why are they coming out? So the thing is, you know, you want to stay on your fingertips-- very, very important. [00:02:08.76] And then that way the strings that fall behind your fingers will be able to resonate. They'll be able to ring properly, and give it a little bit of color and just make the sound, overall, just richer. [00:02:24.90] [PLAYING INSTRUMENT] [00:02:31.14] So we're going to start with all of our basic one-finger chords first, right? So we got our C, which is 0, 0, 0, 3. [00:02:38.12] [PLAYING INSTRUMENT] [00:02:39.27] Now, a simple F chord, in this case, is 0 0 1 0. So you're just taking your index finger, putting it in 2, 1-- second floor, room 1, just like that. And you're going to strum all those strings together. [00:02:54.27] [00:02:55.51] Technically it's an F add 9 chord, OK? But we're just going to call it an F chord. [00:02:59.64] [00:03:00.95] OK? Just ...

About the Instructor

Called the “Jimi Hendrix of the ʻukulele,” Jake Shimabukuro won worldwide acclaim for his fresh and fearless musical interpretations. Now he’s sharing his approach so anyone can experience the joys of the ʻukulele, from the simple chords that make up hundreds of songs to more complex fingerings and compositions. Learn how to adapt songs you love for ʻukulele or write your own. Stop worrying and start strumming.

Featured MasterClass Instructor

Jake Shimabukuro

Jake Shimabukuro teaches you how to take your ʻukulele from the shelf to center stage, with techniques for beginners and seasoned players alike.

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