How to Chord a Banjo Ukulele

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Chording a banjo ukulele is a lot like chording a regular guitar. Chord a banjo ukulele with help from an experienced music professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Banjo Basics
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Video Transcript

Hey, this is Peter. Retrofret in Brooklyn, New York, talking a little bit about how you play a banjo ukulele, what the chord forms are on it. Basically it's exactly the same as a ukulele. So, if you're a ukulele player, all you have to do it is pick it up in all the forms you already know. Exactly the same. If you're a guitar player, gets a little more complicated but think of it as a guitar capo'ed the fifth fret and your two bass strings are missing. So what you know as a D chord works perfectly well here as a G chord because again you're a fourth up higher on the neck. You capo up the neck. So one, four, five in the key of G would look like this. It's a ukulele scale neck with what would have originally been gut strings, mounted to a small banjo rim. Got to get the strum going if you're not used to that. Looks like this. Get all your fingers moving and go. Except the sound is much louder and more obnoxious. So if ukulele players if you're tired of getting drowned out by your band, this could be your solution. But most of these were pretty cheap. This one is actually a very expensive, very fancy one. This cost about 50 bucks in 1925. So that was a pretty serious banjo ukulele. But people would take them away to camp or take them away on trips and it was considered the novelty instrument. Everyone had to have one in college if you went away to college you had to have a banjo uku. Often they show up with signatures of everyone in the frat on the head. But they're still fun today you can still find a lot of them. If you're a ukulele player or even a guitar player it's an entertaining way to annoy your neighbors and or band mates. This little introduction on playing the banjo ukulele. It's a lot of fun. You can't play sad music on this kids, you have to be happy. It's about the only way it works. You can be a little winsome. But that's about it. Otherwise music to enjoy.


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