In yesterday’s 3 Questions feature ukulele jazz master Lyle Ritz revealed his favorite chord shape. Today, I’ve posted an artist’s representation of that shape…the F9. A great way to start to understand these shapes is to number each note of the chord. The F9 chord contains the notes F-A-C-Eb-G (1-3-5-b7-9). Since there are only four strings on a ukulele and five notes to this chord, one note will have to be eliminated. Usually the doomed note is the first note in the chord, also called the root. In this case we will dispose of the F. That leaves us with the 3rd note of the chord (A) on the 4th string, the flat 7th (Eb) on the 3rd string, the 9th (G) on the 2nd string and the 5th (C) on the 1st string.
By knowing the scale degree of each note of the chord and what string it falls on, you are able to alter any of the notes to create different extended chords. For example, if you move the C on the 1st string up two frets you’ve created an F13 chord. Now might be a good time to take a brisk walk outside…with your uke.