10 Ways to Play an E Chord on the Ukulele

The E chord – the bete noire of all ukulele players. Trying to cram all your fingers into a tiny space on the fretboard. Impossible. So here are ten possible ways to play the E chord. Try them out and see if you like any of them (I don’t).

1) The Way the Books Tell You

Index finger – A string 2nd fret
Middle finger – G string 4th fret
Ring finger – C string 4th fret
Little finger – E string 4th fret

Disadvantages: A lot of fingers to fit into a small space.

2) The Double Up

Index finger – A string 2nd fret
Middle finger – G and C strings 4th fret
Ring finger – E string 4th fret

Disadvantages: Takes some practice to get the hang of.

3) The Treble Up

Index finger – A string 2nd fret
Ring finger – G, C and E strings 4th fret

Disadvantages: You need to have your ring finger leave the strings at a difficult angle so you can still hear the A string.

4) The G-String Block

Index finger – A string 2nd fret
Middle finger – Muting the G string (stopping it from sounding by resting against it rather than fretting it)
Ring finger – C string 4th fret
Little finger – E string 4th fret

Or with your thumb.


5) The Treble Up and Block

Ring finger – G, C and E strings 4th fret
A string muted with any finger (including the underside of the ring finger).

If you stop the A string ringing in the triple-up, you will still have and E chord as the G string is giving you the same note. You can use individual fingers along with a mute to make this chord.

6) The Fourth Fret Lay-Across

Index finger – Barre across all strings at the 4th fret.
Little finger – A string 7th fret.

Like a C chord moved up four frets. It’s one of my favourite ways to play it.

Disadvantages: The barre takes some practice. Can be a big jump to and from open chords.

7) The Blocked E7

Index finger: G string 1st fret
Middle finger: Muting C string
Ring finger: A string 2nd fret
E string open

Like an E7 chord with the middle finger muting the C string rather than fretting it. Or you could use the underside of your index finger to mute the string.


Disadvantages: Sounds a bit nasty as you have a big ‘thunk’ in the middle of the chord.

8) E5

Index finger – A string 2nd fret
Ring finger – G string 4th fret
Little finger – C string 4th fret
E string open

Disadvantages: No major third note so it’s not a major chord. In some songs this it doesn’t really matter.

9) Up the Neck

Index finger: E and A strings 7th fret
Middle finger: C string 8th fret
Ring finger: G string 9th fret

The Bb chord shape moved up the neck.

Disadvantages: A long way to travel if you’re playing open chords.

10) Thumb Lay-Across

Index finger – A string 2nd fret
Thumb – G, C and E strings 4th fret

Disadvantages: Makes changing to and from other chords difficult. Almost always sounds horrible.

View Comments


  1. Armelle April 23rd, 2009 9:42 am

    I vote for n°2.
    I’m having problems with the versions involving muting a string. The muted string still makes a slight sound.
    As for n°3, my ring finger doesn’t reach the E string.

    And I could use n°4 but I just don’t strum the G chord (like you mentioned on ukulele 101). I still can’t manage to mute it by “touching and not fretting it”.

  2. HaileISela April 23rd, 2009 10:41 am

    you forget another one:



  3. Mick Bordet April 23rd, 2009 10:53 am

    #6 – it may be far from perfect, but it opens the way for descending chord runs and frees up fingers for melody lines.

  4. Bertrand April 23rd, 2009 10:54 am

    There’s another nice E chord with the open E string close to the E7, just doubling the fundamental instead of playing the seventh :
    Index finger : G string 1st fret
    Middle finger : A string 2nd fret
    Ring finger or Little finger : C string 4th fret
    and open E string – which gives a powerful E

  5. Bertrand April 23rd, 2009 10:56 am

    HailelSela was faster than me on this one, although I’d rather write it 1402 (from G to A)

  6. J-Hob April 23rd, 2009 11:07 am

    Nice idea! ;-)

    I usually play it as the treble up, still find it a bit tricky though – I have problems with the tendons in my hands and too many barre chords in a short space of time makes my hands hurt! I’m hoping that more and more practice this will ease with time.

    There’s some nice other ideas there too, I’ll have to give some of them a shot.

  7. HaileISela April 23rd, 2009 11:13 am

    oh, sorry if I mixed the order up. I always get confused wether it is 1402 or 2041…

  8. ronhale April 23rd, 2009 12:13 pm

    If I really, really must I modify no. 1 & use my thumb on the G string. Things are a wee bit less cramped, & I use my thumb quite a bit on that string anyway.
    You’re much too easy on no. 1, the official book method. Unless one has freakishly small hands or is very, very young it is virtually impossible to finger cleanly to get a good sound (on a soprano, anyway). Now, the people who write the books know this, of course, & yet continue to push this fingering on beginners to their utter frustration & dismay.
    No. 6 is one of my favorite shapes & easily is my choice from the offerings. The barre notwithstanding, this should be shown to beginners either along with the official fingering, or better yet, in place of the official fingering. Mark Nelson uses this shape (& not the official shape) in the chord chart in his fingerstyle solos book.
    A uke barre is not much of a hurdle for new players & is not in the same league as the guitar barre, which some players never learn.

  9. cardboardfrog April 23rd, 2009 1:23 pm

    its gotta be the treble up, if you have the fingers that are long enough its fiiiiiiiine.
    i found E chords tricky to start with but it really is my favourite now, just works so neatly as a barre chord.
    btw woodshed, snazzy jumper!

  10. Zakulele April 23rd, 2009 1:31 pm

    I’ve trebled up since day one.

  11. Howlin' Hobbit April 23rd, 2009 5:16 pm

    I mostly use a variant of #3 or #6 (as explained), depending on which sounds better in the tune.

    The variation I do on #3 is to barre the 2nd fret instead of just trying to grab the A string there. This does two things:

    1) It moves your hand around the neck a bit, helping to ameliorate the “difficult angle” problem.
    2) It makes pressing the other three strings with your ring finger easier since you are only holding down a two fret distance instead of four. In other words, the amount of pressure you need to apply with the ring finger is lessened somewhat because of the smaller distance between the string and fret.

    I’m looking at my point #2 there and hoping it makes sense. Basically, if you look at the distance between the strings and the 4th fret when they’re open (i.e. just pressed against the nut) and compare it to the distance when you’re fingering the 2nd fret, you’ll see that it’s a reduced distance.

  12. byjimini April 23rd, 2009 6:01 pm

    E7 does me fine.

  13. todd April 23rd, 2009 6:09 pm

    “So here are ten possible ways to play the E chord. Try them out and see if you like any of them (I don’t).”

    you’re speaking for more of us than you think….. ;)

    I’ve always done #6 because I have big meat hook hands, but I’m gonna play around with number 4 a bit and see what happens…..



  14. Charles April 23rd, 2009 10:14 pm

    Number 3 for me.

  15. zym April 23rd, 2009 11:02 pm

    excellent post.

    I tend to either use the ‘Fourth Fret Lay-Across’ or ‘Treble Up’

    But being naturally lazy, i might start going for the ‘Thumb G-string block’ :D

  16. Josh Gordon April 24th, 2009 1:02 am

    I do the treble up with my little finger and use the ring finger to help add a bit of pressure. But thanks to Bertand for that open-e version — it sounds the best of any of them.

  17. Anne April 24th, 2009 5:26 am

    #1 is the only one I can even get to work halfway. My fingers will not bend the other ways!

  18. Neil Jackson April 24th, 2009 12:41 pm

    I never realised E chord was so problematic until I read Ukulele 101. I’ve always used the method 3 treble up but much appreciated discovering the blocked E7 technique. Particularly after getting a tenor uke for Christmas.

    The fourth fret lay across is one I’m definitely going to use as it’s easy to play.

    I really appreciate the work you’ve done here Woodshed.

  19. Woodshed April 24th, 2009 1:17 pm

    Armelle: I find #3 quite tricky as well – seems to be a popular choice though.

    HailelSela and Bertrand: That’s a good one. Completely slipped my mind. I find it a bit tricky to switch to from some chords.

    J-Hob: Yes, I am a genius for coming up with it ;)

    Mick: Good point. I do use it a lot in arrangements (although I try to avoid E when I can).

    ronhale: I do understand why it crops up in the books. It’s the only way to do it without introducing new techniques.

    cbf: Rockin’ the argyle.

    Zakulele: I thought that was the hardest one, but it seems very popular.

    Hobbit: Thanks! I’d never thought of doing it that way.

    byjimini: You can get away with it in some places (e.g. the key of A) but it doesn’t work everywhere.

    todd: Those are the two I use most often.

    zym: I think I might write How to Play Lazy Ukulele.

    Josh: It does sound good (so long as you’re bang in tune and the intonation is good).

    Anne: Buy new fingers?

    Neil: Thanks. Glad you found it useful.

  20. LonnaB April 24th, 2009 1:39 pm

    Great post.

    I had been using methods number one and ten- depending on the song. The treble up feels comfortable, and I’m sure I’ll use that more in the future.

    Photos look great- very helpful.

  21. mictoboy April 24th, 2009 4:03 pm

    fantastic stuff mr ‘shed. this is exactly the kind of thing that I love ukulele hunt for, and the ideas in the comments are also worth serious investigation :)

  22. Jeff/HumbleUker April 24th, 2009 5:10 pm

    I have another. Play the Bm chord. Index finger barred completely at 2 and ring finger on the 4th fret G-string only. Then flatten the ring finger across the GCE strings. I think it is very much like a #3 but the hand is a little more relaxed.

  23. Alice April 24th, 2009 10:01 pm

    I have little girly hands, so I can do E just fine *smug face*…

    Well after a few dozen attempts.. And it sounds… okaaayy..

  24. Woodshed April 25th, 2009 7:17 am

    Lonna: Thanks. I should probably do more photos and videos.

    mictoboy: Cheers!

    Jeff: Thanks. I think that’s the same shape Hobbit uses. I’ve been trying it out but can’t get the hang of it.

    Alice: Show off!

  25. Pauline April 25th, 2009 9:42 am

    This is interesting. I have been trying to figure out chords so I don’t need to use my index finger. I had surgery on it last year and its now shorter than it should be and painful. I use my thumb a lot but its so tricky

  26. Marcy April 25th, 2009 5:36 pm

    I do one of three things:

    Do the double up.

    Try E7. If it sounds OK, I use it.


  27. Josh Gordon April 25th, 2009 9:04 pm

    When we’re doing circle jams, if the guitarists in front of me have been doing a few too many songs in E, I take revenge by doing a song in F. (The clever ones just capo up, but still.)

  28. Dan April 26th, 2009 4:50 am

    What about the transpose-the-entire-song-up-a-half-step method? That is the one I use most often.

  29. Woodshed April 26th, 2009 9:02 am

    Pauline: Sorry to hear about that. I hope the post was some use to you.

    Marcy and Dan: Transposing works well most of the time – particularly when the song is in E or A. But sometimes it creates more problems than it solves.

    Josh: Eb is a good key for pissing off guitarists ;)

  30. Olivia May 16th, 2009 1:38 am

    Haha, thumb across is actually the one that ends up sounding the best for me, but yeah, it’s not exactly convenient.

    Blocked E7 feels nice, too bad for that ‘thunk.’

  31. Woodshed May 16th, 2009 2:02 pm

    Olivia: Some people do swear by the thumb technique. There must be something wrong with my thumbs.

  32. Blog bebowy» Archiwum blogu » Tonacja “U” :) May 16th, 2009 6:38 pm

    […] strona medalu – okaza?o si?, ?e jedynie s?uszny, rockandrollowy chwyt E dur na ukulele jest niezagrywalny. :] Przynajmniej w chwili […]

  33. sqfnyc June 25th, 2009 4:46 pm

    easiest way to do it ever, and extremely comfortable on soprano:

    444x <—as in mute the **A** string, not the g string

    i figured this one out when i was doing an acoustic cover of hey ya on uke. you have to slide up to the e chord wicked fast from d and so it makes their chord shape identical so you can just slip right up there and simply rest your pinky on the a-string. really i don’t know why the e is so dreaded xD

  34. Ukulélé Blog : Tout pour bien débuter !» L’accord E (Mi) November 6th, 2009 9:52 pm

    […] ou l’auteur nous donne dix façons de faire cet accord (ou de s’en rapprocher) ! 10 ways to play an E chord on the ukulele. Certaines sont un peu farfelues mais ça vaut le coup d’œil, de plus ce site est pas mal du […]

  35. Hatman November 7th, 2009 9:09 pm

    I use my thumb to fret the G C and E strings then use my index finger to fret the A string

  36. Spacemonkey January 1st, 2010 9:00 pm

    On E, I just mute all of the strings and sing a little louder ;)

  37. Kowala February 27th, 2010 12:20 am

    I’ve been using the first way (the way the books teach you), but I angle my hand up towards the pegs, so it’s kinda awkward. Of course, I’m a beginner, and might be doing something terribly wrong, but I don’t think so, and it’s easier than any other way I’ve tried.

  38. oddycog February 27th, 2010 10:03 pm

    I prefer number 6, the fourth fret lay across but sometimes use number 4. However in that case I block the G string with a barre on the first fret on the C, E & A strings but with my fingertip touching the side of the G string which mutes it.

  39. Herman Vandecauter March 1st, 2010 10:59 am

    You forgot two good sollutions! http://twitpic.com/160ikj & http://twitpic.com/160idz

  40. Woodshed March 2nd, 2010 10:20 pm

    Herman: Thanks very much for the suggestions.

  41. kiah May 6th, 2010 6:53 am

    how can i play an Em/G?

  42. Herman Vandecauter May 6th, 2010 8:17 am

    EM/G EM with G on the bas side but in the case of a uke there is only an octave up. 0 4 3 2 works perfect. The 0 is a G!

  43. CurtainGuy May 29th, 2010 12:44 am

    Another good way to play an E is the way I’ve seen Julia Nunes do it. I have a JuNu lesson on my channel where I briefly go over it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcESh9ccvEQ

    It’s around the 1:18 mark.

  44. kate May 29th, 2010 10:34 pm

    :o why does noone go for #10? it always sounds good? and you just need to be kinda quick when you change to other chords :) but thanks this was really helpful. before when i saw a song had an e in it i was like BACKSPACEBACKSPACEBACKSPACE now its one of the best chords:D

  45. Woodshed May 31st, 2010 9:40 am

    kate: I have to disagree. #10 is my absolute least favourite. But if it works for you.

  46. sharp21 June 13th, 2010 10:21 pm

    What about:


    Just sound the E string open for the E chord. Works for me!


  47. Woodshed June 14th, 2010 5:05 pm

    sharp21: That is a good one. But it does miss out G# so you don’t get a major sound.

  48. Ukeguyeli July 29th, 2010 1:43 pm

    I dunno if its because i play lefty.. but the E chord is easy .. you just bar G C E 4th fret, and put your pointer finger on the A string 2nd fret. :D

  49. Woodshed August 3rd, 2010 4:36 pm

    Ukeguyeli: I’m guessing you haven’t reversed the strings. So, no, that wouldn’t work for righties.

  50. Worleyboy October 16th, 2010 5:20 am

    I found a way to play an E that suits me best, sounds acceptable, and isn’t on here. Here’s how it goes:

    Index finger: First fret- G string
    Middle finger: Second fret- A string
    Ring finger: Fourth Fret- C string
    Pinky finger: Fourth Fret- E string

    This way avoids cramming three fingers on the third fret like the books show you how to do it.

  51. Woodshed October 17th, 2010 9:35 am

    Worleyboy: Thanks for the suggestion.

  52. Kelly November 6th, 2010 10:45 pm

    Number 6 (Fourth fret lay across) is fantastic!!! I’ve been trying to do 3 (treble up) and it’s sounded like somebody sticking a fork into the throat of a parrot. This works SO much better!!

  53. Woodshed November 7th, 2010 1:42 pm

    Kelly: Glad you found one to suit you.

  54. Tumultuos November 23rd, 2010 1:32 am

    I’m with the Howling Hobbit on this one. Barre the 2nd fret (like #3 but extend your index finger all the way up the fret!) and bar the GCE on the 4th fret with your ring finger. This is great for muting and hammering on strums when playing bluesey numbers and I don’t get my hands all twisted up. #6 is a nice variation and just as easy!
    Easy to move in and out of to other chords too.
    Chin up…F7 and Ab are waaaay nastier!

  55. Woodshed November 23rd, 2010 10:41 pm

    Tumultuous: Thanks. I’ll give it a try.

  56. Lewis January 2nd, 2011 5:40 pm

    As a guitarist, I actually find #1 pretty easy. If you’re used to playing the A major open chord, it’s a skoosh to stick another finger on.

    If you want a tricky chord, guitarists have to learn the B major shape, it still gives me cramps.

  57. Freya January 3rd, 2011 11:58 am

    I like using #6. Although it is quite high pitched, it sounds nice and ‘bright’. I played the guitar and uke, actually, I found the uke surprisingly easy to learn. Although I do get a few people asking me ‘Is that a violin you’ve got there’ as I walk around school with it.

  58. rory January 14th, 2011 7:38 pm

    if any of you play the guitar you would use the first 1. bar the second fret with your index and then bar the G C and E with your ring finger

  59. Woodshed January 16th, 2011 10:38 am

    rory: Thanks for the suggestion.

  60. Annie February 22nd, 2011 4:16 am

    I’ve been whining about the E chord on my uke and stumbled on this site. Wow! 9 other options! Now that I’ve tried them all, I actually think the way my book shows (#1) is the easiest. Cracks me up. :-D

  61. jimmy t March 7th, 2011 9:15 am

    As a guitar player it’s #6 for me – barre is second nature. But yes, changing back to open chords is a bit tricky

  62. gavin March 27th, 2011 10:55 am

    I prefer no 3. I have no clue why, it was just the first thing I did when I saw the E chord. It’s just a little too hard to put your three fingers on that tiny ukulele neck. Don’t know, maybe this is the way it has to be done.

  63. Woodshed March 31st, 2011 2:50 pm

    Annie: Ha ha ha!

    jimmy t: I like number 6 too. I think that’s the one I most often use.

    gavin: I find that one really tricky. It’s a good option if it works for you, though.

  64. Ben2sk8 April 13th, 2011 11:52 pm

    i like to do number 3, but bar with my thumb barrinf over the top of the neck

  65. UkeGirl100 June 26th, 2011 9:51 pm

    This would be a little easier to read if you put some of the little diagrams in (you know, the picture with the dots where you hold the string down). Otherwise, it’s great — in my uke adventure, playing an E in a way that sounds half-way decent is one of my toughest challenges.

  66. Kokopeli June 27th, 2011 5:58 pm

    number 10 saved my life! thanks!

  67. Ukelapa July 24th, 2011 5:36 pm

    I never realized that the E chord was problematic for people.. I guess I have small fingers. #1 is just fine.
    I tried a couple of the other ones too, but #1 still makes easier progression from most other chords. Probably because I’m already used to it..

  68. Ellie August 4th, 2011 12:22 pm

    i put my ring finger on the a string 2nd fret and use my thumb as a bar over GCE 4th fret. I find it easy than using my finger

  69. keith August 11th, 2011 7:22 pm

    I use the double up,having fairly large fingers, i find it impossible to use three fingers, just not enough room, but the double up i find much easier, took a while to get used to it, but now it’s fine.

  70. Woodshed August 12th, 2011 7:21 am

    Ellie: It’s not what I’d recommend. But if it works for you, go for it.

    keith: I use that one too. Even with my tiny, girlish fingers.

  71. Jezza September 29th, 2011 8:36 am

    I rekon stuff the soprano and go buy a tenor..

  72. Nic Farra October 4th, 2011 5:08 am

    I’m the only one in the civilised world to like E. I use my first and second fingers and I have no probbles changing chords. It’s a bendy old world with Nic around.

    By The Waay, this must rate as one of the longer running threads, eh!

  73. Woodshed October 4th, 2011 10:31 am

    Nic: Haha! Yeah this definitely counts among the most commented posts.

  74. Dan October 21st, 2011 4:38 pm

    I’m not sure if this has alreay been said, but i’m a technical musician and I learned all the chords the ‘Dan’ way. I barre fret 4 and put my little finger on fret 7 on the A string, so it’s basically just the common C chord moved up the fretboard.

    I’ve just checked and it’s up there on No. 6, that’s embarrasing.
    I like No. 6.

  75. Lorraine Bow October 30th, 2011 8:56 pm

    One of my pupils pointed this post out to me, as it seems he’s not enjoying the E chord either. I teach #1 ‘the way the books tell you’ which is entirely possible if you use the very TIPS of your fingers and make sure your hand is pushed forward of the fretboard to achieve this.

    A little perseverance is all it takes. It’s worth it!

  76. marilla December 20th, 2011 2:52 am

    Huh. I’ve never had a problem with this chord. I just barre fret 2 with my first finger and use 2 3 and 4 on the 4th fret. I struggle more with b flat major.

  77. JaceyC January 6th, 2012 5:29 am

    I hate E chord and E chord hates me…
    I usually use E7 and pretend I am playing it correctly (although it sounds different).

  78. Woodshed January 6th, 2012 8:50 am

    JaceyC: That’ll usually work if the song is in A.

  79. Jess February 2nd, 2012 10:26 am

    extremely useful! thank you so much!

  80. Woodshed February 2nd, 2012 12:18 pm

    Jess: Thanks. Glad you find it useful.

  81. Eugene Kurenko April 8th, 2012 6:20 pm

    –2– b middle finger
    –0– e open string
    –4– e pinky
    –1– g# index finger

  82. Olivier April 25th, 2012 6:21 pm

    Hey guys,
    Thanks a lot again for tips.

    But I have a question :

    E chord is obviously a F***ing difficult chord ; but is this not as difficult as Eb ?

    (I’m a beginner in ukulele and my english is not very good neither…!)

    Thanks a lot for your answer !

  83. Josh April 25th, 2012 6:47 pm

    Olivier — Eb is easier. 0-3-3-1. (Yes, 3-3-3-1 also works, and is exactly as hard as the 4-4-4-2 E, but 0-3-3-1 is just a wee stretch.)

    I’ve kinda gone to the dark side, though; my usual E is now 4-4-4-7. (Number 6 at the top.) It’s worth getting that position down anyway, since it’s a real nice alternate voicing for (for example) a D chord, and allows you to move around easily from, for example, E to Emaj7 to E7 to E6.

  84. Olivier April 26th, 2012 6:53 pm

    @Josh : thank you !! You saved my life !

  85. annabel May 5th, 2012 1:08 am

    My kid,not i play the ukulele. Since she has small fingers, what should she do to play E?

  86. Lorraine May 5th, 2012 10:28 am

    Here’s a small child playing E #1 – the way the books tell you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErMWX–UJZ4&feature=youtube_gdata_player – it’s entirely possible. Have faith & practice often. :)

  87. Leah December 30th, 2012 12:19 am

    I just avoid songs with the E chord on them.

  88. Louis January 18th, 2013 4:18 pm

    It would appear I’m on my own but #10 is just so much easier for me and with a little practice I can now get to it quickly from virtually any other chord and et it to sound good! use my thumb quite regularly on the g string anyway

  89. Luis January 24th, 2013 5:49 am

    I hated the E chord. I tried all of these, but I found that #2 with practice worked out very well. Now I don’t dread the E chord. The technique also works well for the D chord, and makes alternating between the two much easier.

    Thanks for the article.

  90. Woodshed January 24th, 2013 8:09 am

    Luis: Glad you got to grips with it!

  91. petri January 26th, 2013 7:38 am

    I use the last oneand its easy. It’s sounds okey. I’m 13 And think its the easiest one so the most people with a bigger hand(my hand is very small) will could play that

  92. Arlo James Barnes January 28th, 2013 6:21 am

    Number 6 does sound nice, but I think I will stick with 3. It is easier to bend the ring finger without muting the A string if one braces it from the top with the pinky…the downside to this is that it makes it slower to transition to a chord requiring the pinky.

  93. NightOwl January 28th, 2013 10:09 am

    E-chord always spelt trouble… Ever since ‘Hotel California” ive enjoyed E7, so your #7 with muted C is comfy for my limited experience !!!

  94. Kristoffer Jonzon February 26th, 2013 1:25 pm

    This is a great site! Been playing for two months alwas trying to avoid the dreaded E chord, been using the E7 instead if it suits. I hate The Treble Up. But #6 was good. Thanx!

  95. Woodshed February 27th, 2013 12:47 pm

    NightOwl and Kristoffer: Glad I could help!

  96. Lex March 31st, 2013 6:09 am

    Sooo… if E is difficult because you can’t fit your fingers in, wouldn’t D also be difficult for the same reason?

    Personally I find the stretch from 2nd fret to 4th fret the challenge, so I barre the a string 2nd fret, and depending on where I’ve come from/where I’m going use either index-middle-ring, or middle-ring-pinky on the GCE 4th fret.

  97. Walter April 14th, 2013 3:08 am

    This is great. Just to see options helps a lot. I’ve been using the double up #2 method but seeing the 4th fret lay across #6 makes a lot of sense and sounds nice.


  98. john rushton April 14th, 2013 7:31 am

    I use a ‘D’ chord moved up a couple of frets, flattening the a string with my palm so I doesn’t play, sounds ok to me

  99. Woodshed April 14th, 2013 7:55 am

    Walter: Glad it helped.

    john: Yep, that’d work.

  100. Maree May 22nd, 2013 4:28 am

    why not just bar it with your thumb?

  101. Woodshed May 22nd, 2013 11:24 am

    Maree: Because it sounds bad and it’s restrictive.

  102. Alice October 6th, 2013 5:08 pm

    The first one, weirdly enough! :D Got used to playing D so it’s sort of the same, to me at least. xD

  103. Doc Kazoo January 3rd, 2014 5:50 pm

    Thanks for this post. I am a beginner with the ukulele and have trouble with the E chord. I had no idea there were so many options. This gives me lots of ways to practice and find one that works best for me.

  104. Woodshed January 3rd, 2014 9:57 pm

    Doc: Thanks! Hope you find one you like.

  105. Shirel February 17th, 2014 11:21 pm

    Thank you so much for the fourth fret barred E!!!! I am a guitar player by nature but the arthritis in my hands made it impossible for me to play my 61 Gibson any more but my NeoKlezmer band demands that I play some kind of rhythm instrument so I picked up the Uke. On one of the songs I play a very simple E-F progression. Easy if you play guitar. SUCKS if you play UKE. Now I just bar the E and slide it up one fret for F. It’s int eh song Et Dodim if you go give a listen. That’s me on rhythm guitar and singing. But now that will be on the UKE! YAY!!!

  106. Woodshed February 18th, 2014 8:59 am

    Shirel: Glad I could help!

  107. Ksenia July 11th, 2014 3:45 pm

    I have little fingers so there are no troubles with number 1, whereas typical 1402 is hard like hell :)

  108. Woodshed July 12th, 2014 10:55 am

    Ksenia: Glad you found one that works for you.

  109. Dani October 27th, 2014 3:37 pm

    Hm, I found my way to play that bloody E when I first learned it, and it’s not in this, haha wow. Didn’t expect that.
    Describing it your way,
    Index finger – A string 2nd fret
    Ring finger – E string 4th fret (with the very tip)
    And then I bar G and C on 4th fret with my thumb.
    Still uncomfortable, but everything I’ve tried is even worse:)
    So maybe there’s 11 then?

  110. Woodshed October 28th, 2014 6:50 am

    Dani: I’d definitely recommend against using your thumb to fret.

  111. Dani December 12th, 2014 2:33 pm

    Oh, why exactly, if you don’t mind me asking?

  112. Nathan December 31st, 2014 5:08 pm

    I used number ten, but with my middle finger on the second fret of the A string instead of my pointer finger. This allowed me to turn my thumb parallel to the fourth fret (I have small hands).
    Hope this helps! :)

  113. Annie September 18th, 2015 7:07 am

    It’s good I have a super tiny hand! Still difficult but not so much as if I had big fingers :))) (Im a girl btw)

  114. steve December 19th, 2015 7:57 am

    I like 6 and 10 but the more I play it 6 is winning me over.

  115. Jesus March 13th, 2016 11:39 pm

    I didn’t learn any of these; the E I learned is much easier than any of these!

    Index finger: G on the 1st fret
    Middle finger:A on the 2nd fret
    Ring finger: C on the 4th fret

    It was cumbersome to do at first, but after a couple of days its like nothing.

  116. Nola March 17th, 2016 4:56 pm

    Thanks so much for the many ways to play this chord. I am glad they weren’t all stretched out as I have small hands and cannot reach many chords.

  117. Woodshed March 17th, 2016 10:02 pm

    Nola: You’re very welcome!

  118. Tom McMillian April 24th, 2016 2:05 pm

    Working on playing Wagon Wheel – I love having the option now of playing the E chord so many different ways. I’m working on using the “Blocked E7” method. Works great between the A & F#m chords! Thank you

  119. Woodshed April 24th, 2016 8:20 pm

    Tom: Glad it helped!

  120. Al September 7th, 2016 2:56 am

    I learned something like #3 only, I’ve been barring with my index finger across all 4 strings on the 2nd fret and then bar the G, C, E with my middle finger on the 4th fret.

    Your 3 is easier with the same result.

    This was easy for me because I’ve been a guitar player for about 25 years and these kinds of bar chords come second-nature to me. It’s just a “D” slid up 2 frets.
    Thanks for the tips!

  121. Jay Dunning August 4th, 2017 5:09 am

    I use method 1. It is hard but if you work at it – hard work at it! You will succeed! I have seen some really bad habits formed on this chord like using the thumb!!! Aaagghhh . . . What a shocking habit to learn. Learn to play correctly and with constant practice you will succeed. I’ve only nbeen playing for 64 years so what do I know???

  122. Dennis Coulson August 18th, 2017 12:17 pm

    I have issues with years of, shall we say,abuse on both hands. I get frustrated when I jam with my guitar buddies because they don’t realize E is an awkward chord on the uke. I’ve tried many ways. In the beginning I just played E7 and sometimes Em depending on the tune. Then I met a fellow uke player that told me a trick. He said that the G string can be played open as a cheat for quite a few awkward fingerings. Now to play the dreaded E chord I play index on A 2nd fret and ring on C 4th fret. Not only easy, it makes chord changes a breast. (Play Em but lift middle finger)

Sorry, Comments Are Broken Right Now