Ukulele Beginners - Basic Ukulele Theory - part 4 - 7th chords

22 Apr 2011

Ukulele Beginners - Basic Ukulele Theory - part 4 - 7th chords

In our last guide HERE we looked at Minor Chords, and in this post we turn to 7th Chords.

A 7th chord is shown on chord sheets as A7, C7 G7 etc, and are an important part of adding more feel to your music playing.

If you remember our basic chord theory for the major chords, we learned that a major chord was made up of the root, third and 5th notes from the major scale of the chord you are forming.  A major 7th chord simply adds another note that is a third above the root note.

On a ukulele this is usually achieved by taking the higher of the root notes and dropping it down two half tones.

If we take the C chord which is fingered 0003 we have a C note on the open third string, and also a C note on the 1st string that you have fingered at the third fret.    This is also the higher of the two C notes in the chord, so if we drop that down to half tones (ie two frets) the chord fingering becomes 0001, and that plays you a C7!

Let's try that with the A chord, which is fingered 2100.  The two A notes we have created in that chord are on the 4th string at the second fret and the open 1st string which is naturally tuned to A.  The highest note on a re-entrant tuned uke is actually the 4th string at the 2nd fret, so we drop that down two half tones and that take you to the nut.  Therefore we play that open and the fingering becomes 0100 - which is an A7 chord.

Let's turn to G7.  A standard G chord is fingered 0232.  In that chord we have a G on the 4th string, and a G on the 2nd string at the 3rd fret.  If we drop that G on the second string down two half tones we get a G7 and  the fingering would be 0212.

Try it with the other major chords!


  1. Hi BazMaz... Just found your website and have been having a good read of all your posts... amazing! Thnx for all the great information. I'm a beginner and getting to terms with chords... Not only do I find the E chord difficult, but also the C#m (first finger on 1st fret G string, second finger on 4th fret C string, third finger on the 4th fret E and A strings)! I have recently seen what are called "slash chords" and do not really understand them! Can you pls explain how they are "constructed"? Also can you mention about where the thumb should go on the back of the fretboard? I have watched Aldrine Guerrero on Ukulele Underground and his thumb seems to extend over the top of the fretboard up to the first knuckle... is this "good" form?

    Charles (Brisbane, Australia)

  2. Hi Baz I'm a little confused by your wording. There's Major 7th and Dominant 7th. What i feel you're describing here are Dominant 7th chords.

  3. correct - these are dominant 7th chords - these are the most common 7th chords you will see on ukulele chord charts. Maj7th chords are slightly different.


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