Lesson Description

Essential Chords Lesson 4 SS
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Essential Chords Course (D & Bm)
This video will help to strengthen your muscle memory of chord switching between the D chord and the Bm chord and build upon muscle memory gained in previous videos in this course.


  1. I would love it if after each of the essential chords lessons you included links to songs that we could play together as a beginner (without fingerpicking). Because as we practice it’s nice to actually put them to some kind of song where you could play along as a beginner and utilize those new chords.

  2. How can I support the ukuelele with my thumb and then switch chords ? The ukulele just falls down. I can change chords without losing the ukulele when it’s resting in my palm, but i find it impossible to D and Bm like that.

    1. Hey Tsushi,

      Aldrine answered your question in this week’s Thursday Live Lesson. He goes over your question right at the beginning of the lesson. If you have any more questions and would like them answered in this format, you can leave your questions here, and catch Aldrine’s answer either live, or on the replay which is usually posted sometime the following day.

      -Kira (UU Staff)

      1. I don’t use chopsticks though, i use tchopsticks, haha. Thanks for the explanations, didn’t expect to get a private lesson ! you guys answered it perfectly ! I just gotta let my hands figure it out then.

  3. Hi everyone, just joined the club really enjoying these exercises they’re tough and enjoyable at the same time. Love the site loads of great things to try out, well done U U .?

  4. Hi UU guys. I’m new to this and just joined your UU+ program. These exercises are great. I am finding it tough to shift between chords while supporting the neck of my Ukulele. I see you have a strap in the video which allows you to let go of the neck without having it fall off your lap… Any tricks for those of us without straps?…

    1. Hey amford,
      Glad you are enjoying the exercises. Sorry it took us a while to get back to you, but if you check out this Thursday Live Lesson replay, Aldrine talks about supporting the ukulele during chord changes. He also talks about different kinds of straps. All of the questions have time stamps below the video to help you find the right spot. Hope this helps, and if you have any more questions just let us know, we are always here for you. If you want, you can leave any questions on the Live Lesson Question Forum and Aldrine will answer it in the next Thursday Live Lesson.
      -Kira (& the UU Staff)

  5. I am having all sorts of trouble getting the Vimeo to buffer and play. Essential chords lesson four does not play at all

  6. The Bm being played in the videoin the video does not match the Bm on the Essential Chords Reference Guide. It also doesn’t match with other chord charts. It looks like he is playing the Bm7.

    What’s up with that?

    1. Hey ukulelebob!

      Yup – at around 2:12 in the video Aldrine says that the chord is a “Bm7” but that he refers to this as simply Bm. This occurs often and throughout the website, as this is something that Aldrine usually does (substitute the Bm7 for Bm or vice versa). Feel free to play it either way, with or without the extra finger on the G string 4th fret – the differences between the two are very slight, especially if your ukulele is strung with traditionally with a high G. And if you have any questions or need anything else at all, let us know, we’re always here for you!

      -Aaron (& the UU Staff)

  7. I’m having a hard time when playing a chord that requires all 4 strings to be depressed at the same time (Bm, etc.) When I do , it sounds dead. Also, when I use one finger to hold 4 strings down, I can’t reach the G string in the 4th fret. Is there a trick to it or just more practice?

    1. Hey gloworm!

      Because everyone’s fingers are different, you will definitely have to experiment with finger placement in order to get a good, even bar across the strings. Aldrine did a quick tutorial on How to Hold Bar Chords, so keep those tips in mind (especially using your thumb to support the bar), and play around with the placement of your barring finger. Possibly move it closer to the tip of your finger or more toward the palm of your hand and find a spot that really fills in all of the strings without getting a muffled sound. Try it out and if you can, send a video or photo of you barring a chord, and we can provide you with even more personalized tips and suggestions to get your bar chords clean! Have a great day & keeps strummin’

      -Aaron (& the UU Staff)

  8. Aldrine -For the “Practice your chord switching” below the videos in the mp3 blocks I can’t figure out what the actual chords you are playing. Yes, you’ve named them to start but I can’t quite catch all their names and although I’ve printed out the Essential Chords page I can’t figure out where to find each sequence in each lesson so I can jot them down for practicing along with you. Help please Aldrine.

    1. Hey mcplunk7!

      Thank you so much for being a part of the Underground! The way that the Essential Chords Course is structured, each lesson introduces 2 chords to you. Learn each of the chords thoroughly before moving on to the next lesson. The “Practice Your Chord Switching” mp3s are just another resource to help you practice the chords that have already been taught in the previous lessons. During the audio tracks, Aldrine is calling out the names of chords that you have already learned, so your job is to switch to that chord as soon as the next strumming pattern starts. He is calling out chords randomly, so there is no real “sequence” to them – the idea is that you just need to be ready to switch to whatever chord he says, sort of like a “Simon Says” game for ukulele chords. If you’re having trouble strumming in time, just focus on your left hand and practice switching to the chord. Eventually you can add the strum in later, but the point is to be able to recall the chord as soon as Aldrine calls it out. You can jot down the sequence if you want, but it’s sort of defeats the purpose of this exercise. Keep those fingers nimble & if you have any other questions, let us know!

      -Aaron (& the UU Staff)

  9. I have found this entire Essential cords the best class yet for learning to play the uke…especially these audio cord switching exercises… good job..

  10. hi. these lessons are great. Been doing that Practice Your Chord Switching audio after each lesson. Very helpful. It appears the one for lesson 4 doesn’t work. It speaks three words, then cuts off. Is it me? or my computer? or is it a problem on your end? You might want to check. Thanks.

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