Bb (A#) Ukulele Chord
Played '' on the soprano - Standard Tuning (GCEA). Alternative name: Bbmajor.
View this chord in: G-Tuning (DGBE)D-Tuning (ADF#B)Slack-Key Tuning (GCEG)
Don't know how to read a chord? Read this first.
The Bb major chord can either be played as a half or full barre chord. For the full barre chord we place our whole finger over the first fret, with the top slightly hanging over. Make sure that your finger presses every string down, it may take slight adjustments. For the half barre we just use the top joint of the index finger to press down the E and A strings. Whichever barre you choose the middle finger is then arched and pressed down on the second fret of the C string. And finally, our ring finger makes the same shape to play the third fret on the G string.
- Type : triad (major)
- Intervals :Bb (T), D (3M), F (5J),
- Formula : 1 3 5
- Alternative notation : 3 2 1 1
- Tuning : Standard Tuning (GCEA)
Alternative Bb (A#) positions
Sorry, we do not have more positions for this chord.
- Same Fingering (9):B, C, Db, D, Eb, E, F, Gb, F11,
Scales related to this chord
Selection of famous scales you can play on a Bb chord to improvise great solos on your Uke.
- Scales that fit:Bb Major, Eb Major, F Major, Eb Melodic minor, F Melodic minor, D Harmonic minor, Eb Harmonic minor, C Natural minor, D Natural minor, G Natural minor, G Blues, Bb Major pentatonic, G Minor pentatonic, Bb Overtone, Ab Overtone, D Altered, E Altered, Db Altered bb7, D Altered bb7, D Super locrian, E Super locrian, Db Ultralocrian, D Ultralocrian, Eb Hawaiian, F Hawaiian,
Create your own Bb ukulele chord pattern using the notes of the Bb arpeggio / intervals on the fretboard :
Got questions? Want to share a tip or simply talk uke? Join the conversation!
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By Ted Parrish, ukulele extraordinaire and co-author of Ukulele for the Complete Ignoramus!
To be or not to be – Bb, that is.
Beginning ukulele students often have this common experience: You are rolling right along, strumming and singing, you got your C chord down, Am, F, even G. Then you have to play a Bb and you decide to take a break. Forever.
The Bb is the most dreaded beginning chord for the aspiring ukester. Let’s break it down and see why it is so difficult (because it is, you’re right), and the proper way to play this chord so that it will become as easy as the other chords.
The Bb employs what is known as a “barre” (pronounced “bar”). Your first finger has to press down on two strings at once – the first and second strings both at the first fret. This is the barre. Then, your second finger frets the third string at the second fret, and your third finger the fourth string at the third fret. Here is a diagram:
Most folks struggle with the barre part, and some try to add a pinky in there to use four fingers on the chord, or just try to ignore the first string. But, once you understand how to properly barre, you will be better able to play the chord. Here is the important hint: do not bend your first finger at the first knuckle. You need to straighten, actually even back-bend the first finger a little bit to apply a flat surface to the two strings. Your finger will bend at the second knuckle. Then, arch and curve the other fingers as normal. If you try to barre by bending at the first knuckle, your fingers won’t be able to play the other notes. Here is the wrong way:
And here is a picture of a proper barre, and a full Bb:
It takes some practice to get it to sound good, but once you do you will love the Bb. Not just because it is such a useful chord, but because it is a moveable shape you can take up the neck (one fret higher is a B, for example). Good luck, and keep on rockin’ the uke!
Master the Bb Chord on Ukulele With These 3 Easy Steps
One of the most challenging chords to master for beginner ukulele players is the Bb major chord (said B flat).
To play a Bb chord, position your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the top g-string, middle finger on the 2nd fret of the C-string, and use the index finger to barre or press down on both bottom two strings at the 1st fret.
With notes on all four strings and a challenging barre position, the Bb chord can be problematic, especially if you have arthritis, but its a chord you need to know how to play because it gives you the opportunity to learn a whole bunch of new songs in the key of F, Bb, and more.
Ive written on playing a Bb chord on ukulele before, but in this video lesson, lets go a bit more into depth and get three tips and tricks for how to confidently play the Bb chord, and after the video at the bottom of this post, get a fantastic bonus tip from a fellow student for how she tackles the Bb chord with arthritic fingers.
Remember a chord like this one takes practice and repetition in order for your hands and fingers to build the muscle memory required to execute the chord cleanly every time. Take it slow and youre sure to see improvement!
A Bonus Tip From a Student With Arthritis
After I posted the video lesson on the Ukulele Tricks YouTube channel, I receive an awesome tip from a senior ukulele player who has to get creative with ukulele chords because of their arthritis.
This student says:
Brett as a senior uke player, my arthritis has bent my fingers, so barring chords is out of the question. even just holding two strings. Ive found I have to modify everything. So, for Bb, I just play the GCE strings so much easier. Equally for the wicked E, which is impossible for arthritic hands, I either substitute with an Em, Em7 or E7, depending on the song. Ive found that you have to go with what works, and not what is correct best advice given to me by a very pro player.
What this person is suggesting is an alternate Bb chord position that is played like so:
In this alternate Bb position, place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the top g-string, middle finger on the 2nd fret of the C-string, and index finger on the 1st fret of the E-string. Either mute or do not strum the bottom A-string, so it does not ring out.
To mute the bottom A-string, chances are your index finger from the position will be touching or resting on the bottom A-string to prevent it from ringing out. Be careful though not to press too hard or the bottom A-string might buzz. Youll be required to adjust accordingly to prevent this string from ringing out.
Sometimes thinking about alternate positions can be helpful to tackling those challenging chords. Dont be afraid to modify chords and look up alternate positions in the Ukulele Tricks Chord Library. Theres no shame in that and at the end of the day you have to find what works best for you!
Finding an Easier Way to Play a Bb Chord on Ukulele
A common question I see in the Strumming Tricks video lesson course, as well as in email, is about how to play a Bb chord. If you arent familiar, a Bb chord is played on the ukulele as shown in the diagram to the left.
As normally instructed, to play a Bb chord, use your index finger to hold down or barre the bottom two strings of the ukulele at the 1st fret; place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the third string and your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the top string, as shown in the following picture.
A common way to play a Bb chord
This position requires you to bend your index finger in what can seem like a really difficult and uncomfortable way. If you struggle with stiffness or even arthritis in your fretting hand, this position can seem near impossible. Not to mention, this way of playing a Bb chord requires quite a bit of strength.
In my conversations with you, a lot of you have found an alternative way to play a Bb chord that works extremely well. To play a Bb chord, rather than barring only the bottom two strings at the 1st fret, barre all the strings with your index finger. This means, you hold down all four strings at the 1st fret with your index finger. Then, position your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the third string and your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the top string. Check out the following picture to see a Bb chord played in this alternate position.
An alternate way to play a Bb chord
Note: Ensure the end of your thumb is firmly planted on the neck of the ukulele to provide leverage and support.
The benefit to this alternate position is that you are able to keep your index finger extended, rather than bending it in an awkward way. Many find this much more comfortable, and because you are using the entire index finger to hold down the strings, the amount of strength and energy required to fret the strings is a little less.
I want to hear from you. How do you play a Bb chord? Any tips that you have for your fellow ukulele players? Post your comment below!
.How to Play the Bb Chord on Ukulele in 3 Easy Steps
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