How To Play The E Chord Ukulele

Most of the chords that are played on the ukulele are really simple especially if you compare them to guitar chords.  

When someone starts learning how to play the ukulele, they usually start with easy chords.

In my humble idea, this is actually a smart plan for practicing.

Not only do you get to learn a lot of songs faster this way, but also it allows you to build calluses in your fingertips.

While I admit this way is more efficient, you can’t just learn a couple of chords and keep playing them forever.

Instead, it’s better if you work on building your steady base of ukulele chords.

A lot of times I come across people who have been playing the uke quite sometime now, yet whenever they figure out a song that has an E chord in it, they just skip it.

If you are a professional ukulele player or you ought to be one, you will have to learn to play the E chord sooner or later.

So in this article, we will go through what ways you can make that happens so please stay around and without further ado, let’s just jump right into it.

The first shape: 

  •    The index finger on the 2nd fret of the A string.
  •    The middle finger on the 4th fret of the G string.
  •    Ring finger on the 4th fret of the C string.
  •    Pinky finger on the 4th fret of the E string.

If you look up the E chord, this is the way that is going to pop up on your screen most of the times.

It’s the classic way and considered to be the standard E chord shape.

The disadvantage of playing this chord in this way is that a lot of fingers are fitting into such a small space.

Same frets, different fingers:

Another way to play the same shape is to put your finger on the 2nd fret of the A string as mentioned above, however, you will barre the other 3 strings with one finger.

This is known as “The Treble up”.

This is very difficult to play especially if you are a beginner but, if you will practice enough you can surely get the hang of it.

The second shape:

It’s called “The Double Up”

  •    Index finger on the 2nd fret of the A string.
  •    Middle finger on the 4th fret of the G and C strings.
  •    Ring finger on the 4th fret of E string.

This way is much simpler than the way mentioned above.

You use the middle finger on two frets which is why it’s called the double up.

It might take you some time to learn how to place your fingers in this matter through the song without muting any chords or causing any buzzing.  

Yet, mastering this is easier than learning to barre 3 strings for some people.

The third shape:

  • Index finger on the 2nd fret of the A string.
  • Ring finger on the 4th fret of the C string.
  • Little finger on the 4th fret of the E string.
  • Middle finger is muting the G string.

Muting the G string is the challenging part when it comes to this shape.

Some people play this shape without muting the G string, which makes it an E5 shape.

Whereas this might go unnoticed in some songs, it won’t fit in others so maybe you should try and see how it sounds if you want to play it this way.

Now these are the most common ways to play the E chord on the uke, however, some unpopular ways to play it are:

  • Ring finger barring E, C, G strings
  • Muting the A string with any finger or maybe using the lower part of your ring finger as well.

So basically it’s the treble up method we talked about it earlier but blocking the A string.

Also, you can play something like this:

  • Index finger barre across the 4th fret of all the strings.
  • The pinky finger on the 7th fret of the A string.

Again, the barre will take some practice, but this is a lot like the C chord moved up one string, which might make it a little easier.

If none of the above worked, try this:

  • Index finger on the 1st fret of the G string.
  • Ring finger on the 2nd fret of the A string.
  • Middle finger muting the C string.
  • E string open.

If you are already familiar with the E7 chord, this will be a piece of cake because this is the same way it is played except that you mute the C string rather than fretting it.

And lastly you can try to play:

  • Index finger on the 2nd fret of the A string.
  • Thumb barring E, C, and G strings on the 4th fret.

It’s my least favorite way to play the E chord.

It’s hard to change from other chords to playing the E chord in this manner and the other way around, especially if you need to make this change fast.

Conclusion:

Even though playing the E chord is a challenge for every ukulele beginner! It’s totally worth learning.

You can add a lot of songs to your playing collection if you learn it.

Add to this, for a lot of people, including myself, it is only fun when it’s challenging. This is the part that makes me feel satisfied and making progress.

My advice to you if you are trying to play this chord is to practice every day.  You don’t have to play a song right away, just play the shape of the chord, get used to it.

Make sure you can play a barre correctly, and when you feel like you are now familiar with it to a good extent, try to integrate it into a song.

Don’t try to go fast in your first trials, instead, take as much time as you need and focus in getting it right at first, then you can speed it up.

And last but not least, ENJOY!

ne2am
 

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