Introduction: How to Play C, F, and G Chords on Ukulele

This Instructables set is here to help you play three common chords for the ukulele. Hopefully, by the end of this page, you will successfully have learned how to play C, F, and G.


1 Ukulele

Step 1: Learn the Parts of the Ukulele

For this instruction set, the parts of the ukulele shown in the photos will be referred to as the "neck" and "body". The neck is where the frets are and where you will hold down strings to play chords. The body has a large hole in it, and this area is usually where you will strum.

Step 2: Hold a Ukulele

If you’re right-handed, the neck of the ukulele will be carried by your left hand. The body will be held by your right hand. If you’re left-handed, the opposite will be most helpful for you. The hand you are using nearest the large hole of the instrument will be what you use to strum.

Most of your grip will be at the neck since your strumming hand needs to be free to move. Standing up while playing requires your arms to help keep the ukulele closer to your body.

Step 3: Learn the Frets

If you look at the neck of the ukulele, you can see that it is divided into sections by long, thin strips. Each section will get smaller from the head of the instrument to its body. The first fret is right under the head of the instrument, and as you go down, the numbers increase.

Step 4: Learn the Finger Names

Each finger that holds down the strings is numbered. The numbers on chord diagrams will show which fingers you need to place on which string and on which fret. Your index finger will be referred to as the first finger; the middle is the second; the ring finger is the third; the pinky finger is the fourth.

Step 5: Learn the Strings

From top to bottom, the strings are named G, C, E, A. Diagrams representing a chord will usually have numbers on these strings.

Step 6: Learn About Chord Diagrams

Chord diagrams are images representing the strings on the ukulele. They will usually have numbers, and these numbers represent your fingers. In order to play the chords, people will look at chord diagrams as references. For instance, the chord in this image is A minor. It requires you to place your second finger on the top (G) string in the second fret.

Step 7: Strum

With the hand on the body of the instrument, use your thumb to apply a pulling motion on each string from top to bottom. The motion will become more comfortable with more practice, but each string should resound clearly. Strumming gently will produce a softer sound, and strumming more roughly will produce a louder sound.

Step 8: Play C Chord

To play the C chord, you will place your third finger on the third fret on the bottom (A) string. Strum.

For any of these chords, if there is a metallic or "buzzing" sound, you may need to press the string(s) harder into the fret. Take care not to press too hard to the point of pain. It will also help if you press the strings with more of the tips of your fingers rather than the pad/front.

Step 9: Play F Chord

To play the F chord, you will place your second finger on the second fret on the top string. Then you will place your first finger on the second to the bottom string (E) on the first fret. Strum.

Step 10: Play G Chord

To play the G chord, you will place your first finger on the second to the top (C) string on the second fret. Also in the second fret, you will place your second finger on the bottom (A) string. Lastly, you will place your third finger on the second to the bottom string (E) on the third fret. Strum.