Alright UUers! We have a very special Uke Minutes for you this week, bringing you the quick-and-dirty rundown of CHORD FAMILIES!

Ever wonder why certain chords sound good together? Want to write a song in a certain key, and wondering what chords to use? Well this episode of Uke Minutes was made especially for you!

Step 1: Pick a key. Any musical key you want to play in.
Step 2: Find the major scale. Click HERE to review major scales and how to find them.
Step 3: Number the notes in your major scale 1 through 8

Now, numbers 1, 4, 5, and 8 will be major chords. Numbers 2,3, and 6 will be minor chords. And 7 will be a diminished. That's it! You've got your chord family!

All of these chords will sound good together, so if you are writing a song, go ahead and choose which ones you want and arrange them in a specific order. Once you've done that you've got a new chord progression to your very own song!

This also applies to figuring out the chords to an existing song.
If you can figure out what key the artist is playing in, more than likely, many of the other chords in the song will be taken directly from the chord family for that key.

Have fun with this one guys! Also, Don't forget to SIGN UP for Next week's OPEN MIC (Wednesday, June 25 2008 - 3:30 pm HST / 6:30 pm PST). It will be broadcast right here on this page for the world to see! See you there!

- UU Staff

What Should I Learn Next?
"7th Chord Shapes"
"Major 7th Chord Shapes"


  1. Well done, this is a very basic tenet of music theory that everyone should know. It’s also fundamental to working out basic vocal harmonies–you can easily harmonize a melody line by playing it in two note chords based on that structure. Hmm I should make a lesson on that 🙂

  2. awesome uke minutes lesson. this is gonna be really helpful when i’m trying to come up with progressions for new songs!

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