Arts & Entertainment, Music

Playing Advanced Chords

Jake Shimabukuro

Lesson time 13:54 min

Jake teaches you advanced chord groupings, barre chords, the E-major chord, and higher-level techniques.

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

Topics include: Playing Barre Chords · The Dreaded E Major


[00:00:00.00] ['UKULELE PLAYING] [00:00:17.02] JAKE SHIMABUKURO: All right. Now we're going to get into advanced chord grouping. So we talked about the one finger chords, the two finger chords, the three finger chords, the different shapes. So the more advanced chords are chords where you need to use more than three fingers, or chords where you need to use one finger to hold down multiple strings, like bar chords, for example. So let's get into that. [00:00:43.43] [STRUMMING 'UKULELE] [00:00:49.51] Bar chords are-- oh, my goodness-- bar chords are tough in the beginning. You know? Because you have to take one finger and you have to hold it across all four strings and somehow put enough pressure, even pressure on all four strings, where you can get a clear-- [00:01:13.52] [PLUCKS 'UKULELE] [00:01:16.43] --note out of every string. [00:01:24.77] Now obviously, when you first start, it's going to sound something more like this. [00:01:29.42] [PLUCKS 'UKULELE IN MUTED WAY] [00:01:32.57] You're, like, why? Why are the notes not coming out? Right? [00:01:36.35] So just a couple of tricks-- so what I'm doing here is I'm just taking my middle finger and I'm just putting it over my index finger like that. And then I'm using my index finger to bar. So let's bar the fifth fret here. So we're going to basically hold 5, 5, 5, 5. [00:01:55.28] And we're putting the middle finger over the top. So now we have a little help from that middle finger, right? So now, I can apply more pressure. Because I have the strength of my index finger and the strength of my middle finger. [00:02:09.33] [STRUMS CHORD] [00:02:10.21] And sometimes, if that's still not working for you, use your ring finger. You know? Get a little help from your friends there. And then just squeeze. [00:02:22.19] Use your thumb. Use your thumb behind the neck to just squeeze and try to get a clear sound. I mean, throw your baby finger in there, too. [00:02:30.60] Look at that. That's kind of cool. I've never done that before. But you know, whatever it takes, you know, just to get a good clear sound. [00:02:38.15] [STRUMS CHORD] [00:02:40.04] Just like that. So bar chords are tricky. And the thing is, you don't want to hold it for too long when you're just starting out. Hold it for a few seconds, or just get a good clear sound. Let it ring. [00:02:52.37] And when it stops ringing, then let go. Shake out your hand. And then try it again. But the important thing is to let it ring. [00:03:01.28] Because you don't want to just like play it like this and go, oh, good. It came out. And then you just let it go. Right? And then it just stops, like this. [00:03:07.07] So you want to let the chord ring out. And you want to keep that constant pressure on there until the strings stop vibrating. And then just move it around. You know? [00:03:17.87] Bar chords are very useful. I'll show you something really quick. So the elevator that we talked about earlier, that's like your invisible finger. B...

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.

Explore the Class
Sign Up