UD#77 Right Hand Calling Left Hand

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UD#77 Right Hand Calling Left Hand
Ukulele in the Dark with Guido Heistek


Please fret this chord:

Do it again and notice how you are using the fingers of your fretting hand. Do you fret the notes of the chord simultaneously or one at a time? If you fret the notes one at a time, which finger do you fret with first?

Usually, I see beginner students fret the Em chord like this:


First, the index finger…


…then, the middle finger…


…and finally, the ring finger.


Is there any problem with fretting the notes in this order?

Well, maybe yes.

For strumming and simple picking patterns we usually strike the strings in a downward direction, starting on the G string and finishing on the A string. So, it doesn’t make sense to start by fretting the note on the A string. If we need this note last, why fret it first?

If I observe my beginners fretting chords I notice that they usually begin by fretting with the index finger and then move on to the middle and ring finger, and then the pinky if necessary.

You may have heard that when we strum chords it is handy for all the fingers involved in the chord to come down simultaneously, not one at a time. This is true. However, when we play finger-picking patterns like in UD#73, it can be helpful to fret the notes of the chord as we need them. This can give us more time to transition between chords. Either way, strumming or picking chords, it is useful to break the habit of always starting with the index finger. So, I’ve come up with a little exercise for doing this.

In the following video we’ll use these chords. Give em’ a strum and have a look at the video, where I’ll walk you through the exercise.

Here is the video:


That’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed the lesson.

See you again soon,



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!


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