The ukulele chords Dm and its related brethren D major and D7 can be a vital tool to mastering your repertoire of chords, to being able to play on the spot and even composing your own songs altogether with this series of songs. If you wrap your head around the inherent theoretical logic of these chords, their harmonic and melodic framework, there’s no doubt you’ll be able to improvise over these very chords.
It is songs like these that bring out the inherently sweet tones of the ukulele, the beautiful plinky timbral quality whose foundations are laid by the nylon composition of the strings themselves and whose sound is brought to life by beautiful ukulele chords that the ukulele chords Dm and its related brethren D7 and D major, central songs in the Western tonal canon.
To understand the unique quality of each essential chord type, it can be helpful to practice chord variations that are based on the same root note. For instance, you can focus on these chords we have in question, the ukulele chords Dm, D and D7 in rapid succession, discovering in the process that it’s often just one note that makes all the difference between them.
Ukulele Chords Dm Explained
Following the major and minor scale formula, we can deduce from the root note onwards what the notes of the corresponding chord will be.
If our root note is D, which it is in this instance, then we can work onwards. Since we are looking for the minor triad, we will be seeking the minor third and the perfect 5th. In this example, the minor 3rd for D is F, with the perfect 5th coming in the form of A.
The more astute of you will have noticed that the only difference between a major triad and a minor triad is the difference between the third scale degree, major in the former and minor in the latter. So, for a major triad with a root note of D, we simply take that minor 3rd F and augment (sharpen) it by one semitone, so that it is now F#.
You can do this in reverse too, working with the major first: identify the 1st, 3rd, and 5th scale degrees in a D major scale which are D – F# – A; because the chord Dm is a minor triad, diminish (flatten) the 3rd scale degree a half step in accordance with the minor triad formula, which results in the notes D – F – A for the D minor chord.
Ukulele Chords Dm Variations
As with any chord worth its salt, this minor triad can be found in plenty of positions up and down the fretboard, some more simple and welcoming to beginners, and some more complex and further up the fretboard for use in combining with more adept fingerstyle arrangements all around the instrument.
This is the classic and go to ukulele chords Dm position, what many would be inclined to refer to as the root position of this fabled minor triad.
This shouldn’t present any difficulties to any aspiring and beginner ukulele enthusiasts, even those transitioning from guitar, as this chord shape is highly redolent of the E major shape that many a beginner guitarist will no doubt have got to grips with.
This is another classic permutation of the D minor triad on the ukulele, close enough to the bottom of the fretboard where the chords are usually sounded out to be in common usage and among the various root chords in a ukulele enthusiasts tool kit, ready for playing in improvisational and compositional situations as bridges between chordal choices.
This shouldn’t present any difficulties to any aspiring and beginner ukulele enthusiasts, even those transitioning from guitar, as this chord shape is highly redolent of the A major barre shape that many a beginner guitarist will no doubt have got to grips with.
Transposable as the A major barre shape and the E major barre shape are up and down the fretboard corresponding to the root notes in question, all of these shapes are barrable and transposable too, so get stuck in!
This variation of the ukulele chords Dm is certainly the most complex we will have before us today, and is more or less unnecessary for being so convoluted. These kinds of shapes, more reminiscent of a spider than a ukulele chord, are difficult to move to quickly from other shapes and on the fly, so proceed with caution.
So, there it is, this series of variations of the ukulele chords Dm and the relative major of D minor, B major. The instrument is still ripe for discovery and invention, so see if you can learn the notes that form this minor triad and formulate your own variations of the chords, for your compositions and improvisations in the future and forever more.