C is probably the first chord that almost everyone learns on ukulele. It’s simple to play and it sets you up in the key of C which is one of the easiest keys to play in. Let’s take a look at the C chord in a little more detail.
The chord of C comprises of the notes C, E and G which also happen to be the top 3 strings on your ukulele (albeit in a slightly different order). If you were to play just those top 3 strings without hitting the bottom string, you’d be playing a C chord. You’ve just played a C chord without fretting a single note.
The classic C chord which everyone learns first drops your third finger onto fret 3 of the bottom string on your ukulele. This note is a C. You’re effectively doubling up your C note when you play this chord. That’s 2 C notes and the additional G and E.
The reason I’m telling you all this is that you don’t need to play it that way. As long as you have the notes C, E and G you can play it any way you like.
C Chord Variation
Let’s take a look at a variation on our familiar C chord. This time instead of putting your third finger on the third fret of the bottom string, put it on the seventh fret of the bottom string. Like this…
This time instead of doubling up our C note, we’re doubling the E note. Give it a strum and listen. Notice the subtle difference? That high E makes a really sweet sounding variation.
You can throw this into your playing in place of the regular C chord that you normally play. Sometimes you’ll find it fits really well and adds a new dimension.
Another C Chord
Now let’s try another variation. We’re going to switch it up a little for this one. Drop your index finger on the 7th fret of C string. Place your second finger on the 7th fret of the A string and your third finger on the 8th fret of the C string. Leave the G (top) string unfretted. Essentially you’re playing a G chord shape at the 7th fret.
Strum down and listen. You’re playing a C chord again, only again it has a different feel to it.
There are many different inversions that form the same chord. It’s definitely worth spending at least some of your time getting to grips with them. A little fretboard knowledge goes a long way here.
Check out my post on chord inversions if you’d like to know more.