Beginners are not the only ones who need chord charts from time to time. Any player can need a reference for some of the less common chords. However, a full chord chart can be extremely confusing for a beginner, not to mention trying to read a Ukulele tab. Baritone ukulele chords are even harder to find and keep track of due to their alternate tuning.
In this ukulele lesson, we’ve eliminated any chords that would be too complicated or difficult to start with. Here are five easy baritone ukulele chords for beginners to learn first, and once you learn these, not only will you be able to play a great selection of songs, but you’ll be ready for more advanced songs and chords.
Baritone Ukulele Tuning Options
There are some important things you should know before trying to use a chord chart. There are two tunings that are commonly used for baritone ukuleles. The first one is a standard ukulele tuning. Standard tuning is transposed to a lower octave suitable for a baritone uke than what you’d find for a soprano, concert, or tenor ukulele.
The more common tuning for a Baritone Ukulele is a standard guitar tuning. The open notes are D-G-B-E, from the lowest pitched string to the highest. This style of baritone tuning is popular for guitarists and those wanting a little deeper sound than a traditional ukulele will provide.
It is important to know these differences when looking at a chord diagram. If you’re in gcea tuning the root note for a baritone chord diagram will be completely wrong.
In this way, the chord diagrams may be useful or useless, it depends on the individual tuning. If the chords sound wrong, check it to ensure that you use the correct chord chart for the tuning. Before buying any ukulele book check to see what tuning it works in, many ukulele beginners have been thrown off by this!
Standard Ukulele Tuning
Guitar style Baritone Ukulele Tuning
We also don’t recommend that beginners try to read sheet music right away. Music sheets, or ukulele tabs, often look complicated and can make the beginners doubt their ability to move their fingers quickly enough to play all the notes correctly.
Baritone Ukulele Chords for Beginners
Here are the five baritone chords that we recommend beginners learn to play first! These all use the DGBE baritone tuning we mentioned earlier. We’ve tried to order them from the easiest to the hardest to play.
A great drill to practice is to strum a chord and then switch to another one. Strum that and switch back to the first chord. Along with this, We’ve put together 8 tips to help you learn Ukulele, check it out!
As we mention in that guide, don’t be in a hurry to play fingerstyle ukulele or use an advanced strumming pattern! Easy baritone ukulele chord progressions are a great place to start. Get a good feel for the each chord shape before adding in complicated strumming patterns!
G Major Chord
The simplest chord of all. Place your index finger on the 3rd fret of the E string.
E Major Chord
The index finger is on the 1st fret of the G string. The middle finger is on the 2nd fret of the D string.
A Major Chord
Very similar to the A chord on the Guitar, the lowest 3 strings are held at the 2nd fret.
C Major Chord
In one of the easiest ukulele chords, the index finger is on the 1st fret of the B string while the middle finger is on the 2nd fret of the D string
D Major Chord
The 5th chord we want to mention is the D major chord. Guitar players will be familiar with the chord diagram for this one as it’s the same as it’s guitar counterpart.
These five chords alone will literally let you play hundreds to even thousands of songs. With these chords, you can play countless 2 and 3 chord songs for baritone ukulele.
The other good news is that many of these chords will translate well to playing a standard ukulele. Even better, they do very well with the highest four chords on a guitar and can often translate exactly! Ukulele beginners can find early success and fun just by getting good at these basic baritone ukulele chords!
Are the Chords For A Baritone Ukulele Different?
The standard tuning for a Baritone Ukulele is D G B E, which is different than the other three common sizes of ukulele. This results in the basic chords also being different.
If you want to play your baritone ukulele using standard ukulele chords and tuning, you need to tune it to G C E A.
Is it Easy To Learn Baritone Ukulele?
Most guitarists will find it very easy to learn the Baritone Ukulele because the tuning is the same as the bottom four strings on a guitar, you are simply taking out the two bass notes. Ukulele players may find it more difficult to learn since the chords and notes will be in completely different locations from what they are used to.
What Key is A Baritone Ukulele in?
Standard Baritone Ukulele tuning is in the Key of G. The individual notes are D G B E
What Are the 4 Notes on a Baritone Ukulele?
When you play the Baritone Ukulele in standard tuning it is set up with the open notes being: D3-G3-B3-E4 from low to high. Notice this isn’t tuned in the reentrant fashion that standard Ukulele sizes often are tuned to. This tuning matches the top four (highest) strings on a standard six-string guitar
The Final Notes
Full ukulele chord charts are fairly easy to find. As you progress as a ukulele player you’ll want to find a good one. The biggest thing you’ll want to check on is to make sure the tuning is what you’d expect! Our favorites can be found at HalesOwen and UkuleleBooGaloo.
When you are looking for baritone chord charts just be careful, often standard or reentrient tuning charts are mistakenly labeled as baritone! Or even more confusingly, the other way around! Take your time to make sure that the tuning is correct before looking at chord charts!