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If you’re looking for simple guitalele chords to learn, you’ve come to the right post!

Like the guitar, the guitalele is as much a chordal instrument as it is melodic.

Thus, you’ll want to know the most common chords on the guitalele!

In this article, I will show you fourteen basic guitalele chords that should enable you to play along with countless guitar/guitalele tunes.

These chords will not look strange if you are a guitar player or have prior knowledge about guitar chords.

(If you’ve read my post about guitaleles, you know the guitalele is tuned like a guitar with a capo on the fifth fret.)

For example, the A major chord on the neck of a guitalele has the shape of an E major chord on the neck of a guitar.

And a C major on the guitalele has the same shape as the G Major on the guitar.

You’ll likely notice similarities like these for each chord listed below if you are a guitarist.

Let’s get to it.

A Major

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Besides A being the start of the musical alphabet, the A Major chord is one of the most common guitalele chords you will come across.

So it’s the perfect place to start learning your guitalele chords!

First, note that all the guitalele strings are used in the formation of this chord.

(In other words, you don’t mute any strings when playing this chord.)

To play this chord, place your index finger on the first fret of your third string. which will make a C# note.

Then place your ring (3rd) finger on the second fret of your fourth string which will make an A.

And finally, place your middle (2nd) finger on the second fret of your 5th string which will make an E.

Go ahead and strum all the strings.

This should result in a rich sound from this beautiful chord.

If it sounds off, try picking each individual string making sure each rings clearly.

If any don’t, you may not be pressing down the string hard enough, or your fingers may be touching adjacent strings, preventing them from resonating properly.

C Major

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The C Major is an important chord regardless of the instrument, you are playing.

If you are a guitar player, you will notice the C Major chord on the guitalele is the same as the G Major chord on the guitar.

To play this chord, place your 2nd (middle) finger on the third fret of the sixth string which makes a C note.

Then place your 1st (index) finger on the second fret of your fifth string.

Lastly, place your ring or pinky (3rd or 4th finger) on the third fret of your high A string.

Although these are the most commonly used fingers to form these chords, use whichever fingers are most comfortable for you!

D Major

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First, take note of the star marking on the sixth string in the above chord diagram indicating that you don’t play this string for this chord.

There are two common ways to play this chord.

But remember, use whichever fingers feel most comfortable to you.

One way is to place your first, second, and third fingers on the second fret of strings two through four.

Or, you can place your second, third, and fourth fingers on this same fret and strings.

Some even bar strings two through four with their index finger leaving open the first.

However, I find this last method the most challenging way to form this chord.

Again, choose whichever is most comfortable to you.

E Major

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To form the E guitalele chord, use your index finger to bar all the strings (except the 6th) on the second fret.

Again, barring just means laying your index finger across several strings to press them down.

Then, you will make use of your remaining three fingers.

Use your 2nd finger to hold down the fourth fret of your fourth string.

Then place your 3rd (ring) finger on the fourth fret of the third string.

And finally, use your fourth (pinky) finger to press down the fourth fret of your second string.

F Major

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The F major guitalele chord has the same as the C Major guitar chord.

Consequently, if you are playing F shape chords on the guitalele, you are playing in the key of C.

To form this chord, hold down the first fret of your second string with your first finger.

Then press down the second fret of your fourth string using your second finger.

Lastly, press down the third fret of your fifth string using your third finger.

Using these finger placements alone forms a simple F Major guitalele chord.

However, if you want a fuller sound, you can press down the third fret of your sixth string with your pinky as indicated in the chord diagram.

G Major

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First notice that this chord shape indicates you don’t play the fifth or sixth strings.

To form the rest of G major guitalele chord, place your ring or middle finger on the second fret of your first string.

Then put your ring or pinky on the third fret of your second string.

Lastly, put your index or middle finger on the second fret of your third string.

A Minor

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This chord is one of the simplest chords on the guitalele.

Also, it is the same shape as the E minor chord on the guitar.

Simply put your second and third fingers on the second frets of both your fourth and fifth strings.

Then strum all the strings on your guitalele.

Remember, you can use whichever two fingers are most comfortable for you to form this chord.

B Minor

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This is another chord which requires using your index finger to bar the strings.

To play this chord, bar (hold down) all the strings on the second fret using your index finger.

Then use your ring and pinky fingers to hold down the fourth frets of your fifth and sixth strings respectively.

You may notice that the B Minor chord is simply the A minor chord barred using your finger like a capo to shift this chord shape up a couple of frets.

You may also notice that this makes sense on a music theory level.

If you know the A minor chord shape, you know that barring on the first fret with this same chord shape will make the A# minor chord.

And barring on the second fret like you do for this chord makes the B minor chord.

Knowing simple music theory like this enables you to form almost any chord you want, anywhere on the neck without consulting a chord chart.

E Minor

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Note that the 6th string remains muted while playing the E minor chord.

To form the rest of this chord, bar the second frets of the remaining strings with your index finger.

Then place your second finger on the third fret of the second string.

Your third finger holds down the fourth fret of the third string.

And lastly, your pinky will hold down the third fret of your fifth string.

G Minor

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Just like the D Minor chord on the guitar, the 5th and 6th strings are muted.

Go ahead and place your index finger on the first fret of the first string.

Then put your ring finger on the third fret of the second string.

Lastly, place your middle finger on the second fret of the third string.

Keep your fourth string (G string) open and strum the chord, being careful to avoid the muted A and D strings. 

A7

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Seventh chords, just like its major and minor counterparts, are also important to learn because they pop up in a lot of songs.

To play the A7 chord, place your index finger on the first fret of your third string.

Then place your second and third fingers on the second frets of your fifth and fourth strings, respectively.

Finally, place your pinky on the 3rd fret of your 2nd string. Go ahead and strum all the strings to hear the A7 chord.

D7

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One way to play this chord is to bar the second frets of strings four, three, and two with your index finger.

Then, hold down the 3rd fret of your first string (the C note) with your second finger.

Strum all the strings except the muted 6th string.

Another way to play this chord is to hold down the second frets of your fourth, third, and second strings with your first, second, and third fingers respectively.

Then hold down the third fret of your first string with your fourth finger.

Strum all the strings except the muted 6th string.

E7

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To form the E7 chord, place your index finger on the first fret of your fourth string.

Then put your second finger on the second fret of the fifth string.

Your third finger will hold down the second fret of the third string.

And lastly, your pinky will hold down the second fret of your first string.

Go ahead and strum all the strings, including the open (unfretted) ones.

G7

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The G7 guitalele chord has the same shape as the D7 guitar chord with the sixth and fifth strings muted.

To form this chord, place your second finger on the second fret of the third string.

Then put your index finger on the first fret of your second string.

Lastly, place your third finger on the second fret of your first string.

This however creates a small triangle chord shape.

Play all the strings (including the open G string) except the muted sixth and fifth strings.

Conclusion

Chords are a very important part of music on instruments like the guitar and the guitalele.

In fact, sometimes I feel like musicians who play less chordal instruments (like the violin) are missing out on the fun of chords and the style of rhythm guitar and guitalele.

Knowing these basic guitalele chords will enable you to play countless songs.

I hope you enjoy the process of learning them.

Let me know if you have any trouble in the comments!

I’ll do my best to help.

Student of Guitar

How to Learn Guitar

© 2019 Student of Guitar

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