Tips on Playing a D Chord on a Ukulele

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Playing a D chord on the ukulele is pretty classically played. Get tips on playing a D chord on a ukulele with help from a critically acclaimed musician in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Ukulele Lessons
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Video Transcript

Hey there, my name's Jessica Delfino. I play the ukulele, and I also teach other people how to play the ukulele. And today, I'm going to talk about some tips on how to play the D chord with a little bit more ease. So, your D chord is pretty classically played, something like this. Which would be your pointer finger across the second fret. So, your hitting every single string here, G, C, E and A are all fretted. And then, your pinky finger is going to come down to the fifth fret on your A string. And you're going to have something like this. So, basically, this is not the most simple chord in the world to play. And the reason why, is because you're covering one, two, three, four, five frets using a barre chord, which is not very easy. And your pinky, which doesn't have a lot of strength in it. But if you want to make this a little bit easier, there's a couple things you can do. One thing you can do, is you can take your pointer, your middle and your ring finger. And place them on the second fret, just side by side, G, C and E, and you can play the D that way. Now, a lot of people ask me, what the difference is between playing this way and this way. And the difference really is this very specific sound, your A chord, either not being fretted, or being fretted. And that's why it doesn't really make a difference whether you play this way, or this way. Because these two sounds are complimentary to each other and they don't affect the tone of the chord very much. However it's a lot easier to play it like this, than it is, like this. Now, some people have a lot of trouble taking three fingers, and fitting them side by side on the second fret. I have a tenor ukulele right here, so I have a lot of room on the fret to move around. But if you're playing a D chord on your soprano ukulele, this little, tiny thing. And so, you have you know, adult size fingers, you want to fit them onto your, this tiny, little space. It's not easy for everybody, so I'll tell you a really good trick. A really good trick, is you take your fingers. And you actually kind of I guess, scallop them, you know, where you put them sort of in front of each other. So, it almost makes like a fan shape. And you really crunch them together. So that they're almost like, you know, how like, you tie two legs together in a three-legged race. It's that kind of concept, just like that. If your fingers are too big to do this, you can also just use two fingers on that chord, right there. And finally, if you just really prefer playing your D with your barre finger, but for some reason you can't make a barre. Try using the side of your finger, which has a little bit more bone in it, than the fleshier part of your finger. So, turn it facing the headstock and then, bring your pinky down. And sometimes that will be a little bit easier. And those are a few tips on how to play the D chord.

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