First things first. Let me introduce you to my favorite one chord song. Lowrider by War. You can strum along with this song with one chord: G7. Give it a go and come on back and we’ll look at some different funky ways of playing G7.
Moving G7 up the neck:
Maybe you used this version of G7 (see diagram below) to jam along with the video clip. It’s the one of the first chords most of us learned on the uke:
G7 chord in open position:
It’s important to remember that this shape is not the G7 chord. This shape is one WAY to play the G7 chord. A chord is a group of three or more notes. As you can see in the diagram above the G7 chord is comprised of four notes: G, B, D, and F (in any order). Anywhere on the neck of the ukulele that you can play these notes across the four strings you can play a G7. These different versions of the chord are called INVERSIONS or VOICINGS. Please find another INVERSION of the G7 below.
G7 on the third fret:
Here’s another inversion of the G7 chord on the seventh fret:
(The big number to the left tells you which fret you are on.)
You have to bar the seventh fret with your index finger to play this one.
Here’s a G7 on the 10th fret:
You need to bar across the 10th fret for this one.
Here’s a diagram that shows all four different INVERSIONS of the G7 chord laid out on one fretboard chart. Each INVERSION has it’s own color. Hope it makes sense to you. NOTE: The red inversion includes an open G note. You don’t have to use a finger to fret that one.
Why use different INVERSIONS of chords? Here are five reasons:
1. It can add interest to songs that have long periods of the same chord. (See video below)
2. It can add texture to group playing. If one person is playing the open chords, it adds a different texture for another player to play the same chord in a different inversion.
3. There are a variety of strumming styles that are only possible with inversions up the neck. (See video below)
4. Chord Melody! Chord Melody involves playing the chord and melody at the same time. If the melody note is up the neck of the uke then you need to find the chord in the same area. You need inversions up the neck to do this. (Please tune in next week to see how this works!)
5. You can use inversions to create solos or riffs. (See video below)
Here’s a little video to help expand on this week’s lesson. Take what you learn in the video and go back and jam along with Low Rider some more! Hope you enjoy it:
All for this week. All the best,
P.S. I am regularly adding new lessons to Ukulele in the Dark. Please subscribe to my mailing list below to receive every lesson right when it comes out. Be sure not to miss a thing!