Anchor Finger

I created this exercise for my mother in law, who is new to the uke, and it occurred to me that I should post it here too.

When I start teaching someone who has never held a ukulele before I show them a C chord… 1 finger, 1 string, 1 fret strum. What could be easier! Now that they’re hooked I add Am (same formula) and then challenge them with F… which they inevitably find not impossible.

The last hurdle to mastering the holy grail of uke chord combos though, is not so easy. With a C, Am, F and G you can play 80% of the rock covers out there. But that G chord… 3 fingers, 3 strings, unfamiliar hand position… transitioning there from other chords… sad face.

Here’s a technique that might help with transitioning to the G chord. I’ll call it “Anchor Finger”. It’s easier to pick up and put down fingers in the right place when you’ve already got a finger down. That down finger acts as a reference for your mind and muscles. Of course the chords you’re playing have to be just right to be able to do this.

This exercise is just a chord progression that allows you to keep your second finger down on the first string second fret the whole time.

It’s basically a couple variations of G, Cmaj7, C and G with repeats, where you play C while keeping your second finger down behind it even though you don’t hear that note.

Here is the tab.

Anchor Finger Lesson ukebrew PDF

Note: I don’t mean to imply I am the original inventor of this technique. I’m sure teachers have been telling people to anchor their fingers for a long long time.

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