UD#100 Uke Bar-o-Phobia

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UD#100 Uke Bar-o-phobia!
from Ukulele in the Dark with Guido Heistek

Full disclosure. I don’t love barring, and I try to avoid it when I can. It’s tiring. So, in a series of chord shapes, if there is an opportunity to get up on my finger tips, I take it.

For example, this chord shape would suggest barring with the index finger, as it has two notes on the same fret.
Barring would look like this.

However, I prefer to fret it like this, unless I have a really good reason not to.

More comfy!

Sometimes you don’t really have a choice.

There are chord shapes that pretty much require barring, like this one.
It’s possible to play with finger tips but not particularly practical.


Much better like this!

Your choice of whether to bar or not will be affected by several factors, including hand strength and size.

If you NEVER bar, you are probably missing out on some efficient fingering options.

HOWEVER, if you are someone who finds themselves barring as a matter of course, it may be helpful to explore using your finger tips when you can. You may find it makes your playing less grippy and more elastic: LESS TIRING.


I’ve arranged a chord progression that very closely resembles a quite famous jazz standard by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.

The chord progression can be played almost entirely with the finger tips. However, a few of the shapes, I think, are best played with barring. Give the exercise a play and see if you can figure out which of the shapes I think require barring. Watch the video below to get the answer.

Here is the chord progression. Click for a printable PDF.

And, here is the video!

So ends Ukulele in the Dark #100! Here’s to 100 more. Thanks for being with me.

See you next time,

All the best in your playing!


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