Lesson Description

In this quick lesson, you'll learn some tricks to help you hold the E Chord on the ukulele. The E chord is definitely one of the most challenging chords to hold on the ukulele and unfortunately, its also a very common chord used in many songs.

The most common way to hold the chord is to have your ring finger bend backwards and hold the top 3 strings on the 4th fret with one finger. For some people, this position is no problem, as their fingers naturally bend that way. Unfortunately for many of us, our fingers just don't bend this way. If you are younger, it is possible to train your fingers over time with stretching to train your finger to bend just enough to clear the strings. For those who are a bit older, if the bend in your finger does not come naturally, you can also hold the chord using all your fingers, with your pointer finger barring the 2nd fret, and the rest of your fingers holding the three strings on the fourth fret. This position is harder to switch in and out of, but if your finger just doesn't bend backwards, this may be the best way to achieve a clean E chord.

If you are UU+ member, you can login and get access to two additional videos to help you practice the stretching exercises to help you play the E chord.

BONUS practice exercises for UU+ Members! (To sign up for UU+ today, CLICK HERE)
Train Your Fingers to Play the E Chord - Finger Stretches
A finger stretching exercise to help your fingers bend correctly to hold the E Chord

Train Your Fingers to Play the E Chord - Chord Switching


  1. I’m a pro guitar player, and I’ve always had trouble bending inward on my ring, middle, and pinky finger. I find this exercise of the week helping in general, though, which is fantastic! Great lessons; for both beginners and veteran musicians looking to learn on a new tool.

  2. Thanks for the tips I have a real hard time (as I think most will) with that E chord but the 4447 is way easier I have no problem with the D have been doing that for years but will work hard to get the regular E too.

  3. I’ve spent 30+ years working construction so I don’t think I’m ever going to persuade any of my knuckles to hyper-extend. My strategy for holding the E and D chord shape is to us my middle finger, pushed as flat as it can go to stop the G and C strings and my ring finger tucked in close behind, in a more vertical orientation, to stop the E string. Seems to work for me, and it’s the best I can get out of my hands anyway.

    1. Hi Peter, try holding this chord instead. 4447. This is still an E chord, just a high inversion. It’s slightly more difficult to change chords from that to the other open chords though, but I’m sure it will be better on your knuckles.

  4. Well THAT explains why it is so hard for me, I broke that ring finger at the first joint and it healed bent down. I’m working on a three finger squish that seems to be getting it though. Thanks!!! 🙂

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