Ukulele Beginners - Basic Ukulele Theory - part 3 - Minor Chords

2 Apr 2011

Ukulele Beginners - Basic Ukulele Theory - part 3 - Minor Chords

In our last guide HERE we looked at Major ukulele chords.  It is important that you know the majors, but you will not get very far without some variations on these chords.  In this theory guide we look at Minor Chords.

A minor chord is a variation on the major chords we looked at last time, and is shown in chord notation with a small "m" after the Chord, like Am, Cm etc.  The minor chords are often referred to as the sad chords, and provide real expression to you songs.

When we looked at the major chords (on the link above) we saw that a major chord is made up of the 1st, third and fifth of the scale of the chord you are looking for.

A minor chord is exactly the same, but the third  is played down half a tone (or flat).

Using our example from the last lesson on the A chord, we learned that the A was made up of the notes A, C# and E.  On the Am, we need to take that middle note, the third, down a half tone and flatten it.  Taking a C# down a step takes it to a C.  We therefore know that for Am, we need the notes A, C and E on the Uke.

Looking at the notes on the strings, the A note remains the same as in the Major A chord - the G string and the second fret.  Unlike the A chord though, for the Am, the next note is not a C# but a C.  We know that the third string on a uke is a C when played open, so it doesnt need fretting.  The first and second strings also can be left alone because they play A and E respectively, so work for this chord.

And thats it.  To turn any major chord into a minor, just take that third, middle note in your chord down a half tone.  Easy - try it with the other major chords you learned.

Good luck!


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