Ukulele Chords for the Migrating Guitarist

By | March 7, 2015

Here’s part three of a series I’m writing – a compendium of ukulele information with the migrating guitarist in mind. Read the previous installment: Tuning the Ukulele


If you’ve read the previous post in this series on tuning, you know that the four strings of the ukulele map – at least relationally – to the top four strings of the guitar: DGBE. This means that any chord form you play on those strings will be a chord – albeit a different chord – on the ukulele.

I’ll be using compact chord notation in this post. If you don’t know how XX0232 translates to a D chord on the guitar, be sure to read Compact Fretted Chord Notation before going further. I’ts quick, I promise.

Using the standard GCEA tuning, a D chord played on a guitar (XX0232) is a G chord on the ukulele (0232). So a chord as played on the top four strings of the guitar can be translated to the ukulele version by going up 5 half steps or frets.

The major open chord forms on the ukulele and corresponding guitar chords are as follows:

  • A [2100], Am [2000] – Like an E chord on guitar.
  • B [4322], Bm [4222] – Like an F# on guitar.
  • C [0003], Cm [0333] – Like a G on guitar.
  • D [2220], Dm [2210] – Like an A on guitar.
  • E [4442], Em [4432] – Like a B on guitar.
  • F [2010], Fm [1013] – Like a C on guitar.
  • G [0232], Gm [0231] – Like a D on guitar.

If you know all these chords on guitar, you can probably figure out the other variants of these on ukule based on this information. And if not, Google has found lots of ukulele chord charts.

Stay tuned for the next post in this series: Buying Guide

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