The infamous E chord. There’s no doubt about it, it’s extremely awkward to play on a ukulele. The shape feels unnatural and it hurts your fingers. I have been playing the ukulele for over 7 years and I still struggle with it.
I’m going to show you a much easier way to play it. You only need two fingers for the fretting. It’s not a shortcut and it’s not cheating. If anything it’s going to make you a better player doing it this way.
Stop worrying about the pain in your fingers and keep reading to explore the E chord in more detail.
How to Play An E Chord
The "Correct" Way
To add some context let’s quickly get to grips with the official way to play the E chord. You would use your first finger on the bottom A-string. Then your pinky on the E, ring on the C and lastly your middle finger on the G string.
The Easy Way
Its time to crawl out the cave you have been hiding in. The E chord has shed its scary skin and been reborn. For this way of playing it, we are only using 2 fingers.
If barring chords is a new concept to you, it’s worth checking out this guide on how to play them effectively. The short answer is, you place your first finger across multiple strings.
This isn’t the magic bullet that’s going to have you instantly playing E chords on the ukulele. But there are many benefits of doing this way. Let’s take a look at them
This shape is what we call a movable chord. You could do this same shape two frets down and that you create a D Major chord. Interesting to note that if you go down another two frets. You wouldn’t be barring anymore and you are left with a C Major shape.
The biggest benefit would be that it’s going to lower the hurdle. Tackling the E chord can be enough to put some people off playing the uke altogether. As a beginner in something, we are always seeking out the path of least resistance. Overcoming these issues is what gives us more confidence.
Lets Learn A Song
Time to take what we have learnt and apply that to a song. We will be using our new E major chord and the A Major chord.
Rolling Stones - Satisfaction
Moving from the barred chord to the open chord is great practice for strengthening your fingers. For this song all you need to do is switch between the two of them.
D D U D U D D U D U D D U D U D D U D U
So now you have mastered the dreaded E chord. It’s time to play it faster. I spent 20+ hours working on this technique that is guaranteed to increase your speed on the ukulele.