Ah, one of the fabled ukulele chords Bb. It’s not uncommon on either the guitar or the ukulele for a beginner to be plodding along merrily, playing their C’s and A’s and D’s and E’s, and then to be blown off filter when encountering those in between chords: the Bb’s, the Eb’s, the Db’s. It’s confusing, hard to read, and no fun at all, and why are sharps and flats kind of the same thing but not really!?
This can and does often result in an aspiring musician dropping the hobby forever, or at least for a very long time, as frustrating as it can be. However, dropping out at this point is disastrous, for once you have mastered this barre like shape, you are off to pastures far greener, where the fog of unknowing is lifted and so much is left open to you.
The foundational shape that we use to play Bb is considered foundational because it is so integral in understanding other chords too. Without this shape, we would be hard pressed to play the ukulele chords Bb, B, or A, and a plethora of other such chords.
It may seem daunting at first, because it is and because it requires slightly more of us than those first open chords, but to let such a cartoonish foe best you would be foolish, when you are made of so much more.
Ukulele Chords Bb in the 1st Position
Traditionally, in playing this chord we would do so in a manner similar to the way that a C chord or an F chord is played on a guitar, with the fretting hand forming a downward line pointing towards the headstock.
Typically you will want first to place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the highest string in terms of altitude, the top G string, sounding out the requisite Bb tonic.
Then you will want to use your middle finger, placing it on the 2nd fret of the string just below the top G string, the C string, sounding out the major 3rd of the Bb triad, D.
Finally you will want to use your index finger to barre, to press down more than one string simultaneously. Here, you will be seeking to use the index finger to press down on both of the lowest strings left, the E and the A strings, respectively sounding out the remaining F and Bb to complete the cyclical rendering of this major triad, of ukulele chords Bb and Gm, the latter of which the relative minor of Bb major.
This can be a challenging chord to sound out, at least for those initially starting out and especially for those as yet unaccustomed to the concept of barring chords, double stops, or otherwise just playing more than one note with one individual finger and its adjoining fingertip.
Ukulele Chords Bb in the 2nd Position
As we have already established, this can be a particularly testing chord for those just starting out, and especially for those with little to no prior knowledge of barring chords and using double stops to play more than one note with one finger at a time. However, this is an infinite amount of times more true for those afflicted with certain health conditions.
It is not uncommon for those with arthritis to pick up an instrument like this, a necked, stringed and fretted instrument with which they might best exercise their muscles that ail them so, in order perhaps to gain a foothold against this more ravaging of ailments.
This is a vital chord to learn, as we have discussed, not least because it unlocks so many other chords, but also because it can be the key through which we might play a whole host of other songs of which we are fond. I am willing to bet that a panoply of your favorite songs are originally composed in keys that befriend the ukulele chords Bb and Gm, its relative minor.
Chords like this take repeated diligent practise and repetition for the hands and fingers to acquire the muscle memory for which they are destined should you indeed keep at it. Using a slight modification of the chord like the one outlined in the above diagram can be a sure fire way of wrapping your head round it, taking it slow and steady in steps.
This variation of the chord is defined for those who, whether through arthritic means or otherwise, are not able to fret and sound out the entire body of the chord. The variation here detailed will sound exactly the same and, despite the removal of one of only four notes, makes no difference. The notes that make up a Bb major triad – Bb, D, and F – are all still present. The missing note was merely an octave repetition of the root Bb.
So, there you have it! Your introduction into the world of ukulele chords Bb and G minor, a spring board from which you will hopefully be able to jettison yourself into the stratosphere of ukulele scholarship, showmanship and delight.
This is only a beginning, and I would encourage to use every one of your senses to pave a way forward that is completely structured around, changing chords to suit your bounds of comfort and any ailments you may be suffering.
FAQs Ukulele Chords Bb
This will largely depend on the context within which the Bb is seeking to be replaced. If, for example, the person seeking to replace the Bb major triad is doing so for composition reasons, looking for a replacement chord in the chord sequence of a song, this is entirely up to their discretion, and if following the laws of Western classical composition will largely be dictated by the chords that have come before and have yet to come. In literal theoretical terms, however, the Bb major triad is comprised of the exact same notes as a G minor triad, its relative minor, so this could make for a slightly more interesting harmonic replacement.