Open Position D Major Chord Ukulele Chord

Alternate fingers for a D Major , Open Position Chord

Chord Fingering

  • 2 3 4

    Smaller set of fingers than 1 2 and 3 together

  • 2 3 3 -

    if you can raise the third finger barre off string one so it sounds open this fingering is possible. It all depends on the flexibility of ones finger joints.

  • Other fingerings are explored in the text to the right.

D Major, Open Position

"C" Tuning (gCEA or GCEA)

Numeric scale degree formula based on a major scale: 1 3 5

D Major Scale

D

E

F♯

G

A

B

C♯

E

G

B

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

9

11

13

The notes of D are : D F# A.

Chord Fingering

Fingerings are recommended but not mandatory!

There are usually several alternate ways to finger any particular chord. Depending on the context of how a chord is being used, one fingering might be more efficient than another fingering.

Chord Fingering

  • 1 2 3

    Not easy for larger hands and requires you to turn you hand slightly.

  • 2 3 4

    Smaller set of fingers than 1 2 and 3 together

  • 2 3 3 - if you can raise the third finger barre off string one so it sounds open this fingering is possible. It all depends on the flexibility of ones finger joints.
  • 2 2 3 or 1 1 2 -

    If you can raise the barre off string one so it sounds open this fingering is possible. It all depends on the flexibility of ones finger joints.

    I use this 3 2 2 fingering a lot.

  • 3 2 4
  • 2 1 3

    This gets a little tight on smaller ukes and larger hands

  • 1 1 1 -

    if you can raise the barre off string one so it sounds open this fingering is possible. Again this fingering depends on the flexibility of ones finger joints.

  • Thumb -

    although this is possible, especially on the smaller soprano and concert ukes it is not recommended.

I recommended that you explore and develop alternate fingerings for your chords. Alternate fingerings free up other fingers for adding notes to chords or to grab melodies.

Common Names for Those Musical Digits?

cartoon_hand_LH_with_numbers

Here are the common fingering notations I've encounter over the course of my studying ukulele and guitar.

Fingering for chords is typically expressed using Arabic numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and T for Thumb.

For the plucking hand, in fingerstyle, the Spanish classical names and what are commonly used in English are shown.

cartoon_hand
  • Thumb ( t ), not really a finger but a digit. In classical guitar notation this is Pulgar (p)
  • Index ( i ) finger. In classical guitar notation Indice (i)
  • Middle ( m ) finger. In classical guitar notation Medio (m)
  • Ring ( r ) finger. In classical guitar notation Anular (a)
  • Pinky ( p ) finger. In classical guitar notation Mignolo (c, x or e)

Spanish: p i m a, English: t i m r

If you're studying legit classical guitar technique the classical terms are what you will encounter. For all else I recommend simply using the English terms.

timr_string_assignment_ukuleleWhen playing all four strings, each finger can handle their own string. On ukulele it's a simple finger to string assignment, your thumb handles string , your index finger handles string , your middle finger handles string and your ring finger handles string . A simple one finger to one string assignment. For guitar, there are fifteen possible four string/four finger combinations, not all are practical.

When playing any of the three, possible three string sets. You can use the thumb, index and middle fingers.

For the two string pairs any combination of t i m r is possible depending on the musical context.

The final decision as to what fingering combination to use will be a musical one. But it is definitely worth exploring all possible combinations.

The Fingerpicking series of lessons explores these fingering possibilities.

D Major, Movable Barre Form

"C" Tuning (gCEA or GCEA)

If the above voicings of the D chord give you trouble this alternate voicing and fingering might be better.

Chord Fingering

  • 1 1 1 4

    This is pretty much the only usable fingering.

The open position D chord and its movable form as well as most common open position chords are covered in my book: Ukulele Chords

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A Guide to Ukulele Chords

Covering the basic ukulele chords that ALL ukulele players SHOULD know. Plus, an introduction to movable chord forms, rock chords, how to transpose chords, jazz chords and more.

ISBN-13: 978-0-9714044-7-2 Published: January 2009 Pages 54

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Ukulele Chords

This mini (1/2 size) chord book is the perfect size for every ukulele gig bag or case and a great addition to you music book library.

Ukulele Chords covers basic open position and basic movable form chords. From these two chord categories a variety of songs and styles can be played.

Seventh chords, Major Sevenths, Minor Sevenths, Diminished, Augmented chords sus and add chords.

Tunings: C with low or high G - (GCEA or gCEA).

ISBN-13: 978-1-60321-000-3 Published: March 2007 Pages 44

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