Playing guitar and ukulele together - sairfingers

Hi all.
I have two girlfriends (just to be clear, that’s friends who are female😄) who got uke’s for Christmas. I’ve pointed them in the direction of Justin’s ukulele lessons and I’ve even bought them both his ukulele song book.

Once they’ve learned a few chords it would be fun if we could jam together. Any tips? How do we get into the same key etc?

@DarrellW I’ve tagged you Darrell as I know you play uke.


Tuning on Ukulele is G C E A so if you put a Capo on your 5th fret you’re ready to go!
Have fun!


Excellent Darrell. Thank you. They’re already complaining about sore fingertips and neither wants to cut their nails! We’ll see how it goes!

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Hello @sairfingers ,
Of course you understand that a video should appear in a while of a jam session with these 2 ukulele ladies and you … :wink:
Greetings and wish you a lot of fun, Rogier


:see_no_evil: :see_no_evil: :see_no_evil:


Look for songs with the easy chords, G F A C Am G7 A7 C7 these are the easiest chords to start with, a bit different from guitar!

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Over the rainbow is not a super difficult one for uke and an old time classic :slight_smile: there definitely is a version for acoustic too, could come together pretty nicely!

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That’s true, but if you’ve got a couple of ukes in the mix I’d eschew the capo and just play the normal guitar chords. The different voicing of the same chord on guitar and uke will sound cool together. I don’t think you need to do anything special. If they’re playing a song in the key of G, for example (G, C, and D chords), you can play your usual G, C, and D chords (and G major melody lines, et cetera) and you’ll all be in the same key.

Lol. Well, that could be an obstacle. You could point out that it’s only a big deal on the fretting hand, but I’m not sure how much that would help. Dolly Parton uses open tunings to get around the issue, allowing her to play with nails on both hands, but even she cuts her fretting-hand nails down when “she’s serious” about writing or playing.


This lesson from Justin came up on YouTube very recently, maybe there’s something here you can all play together.


Absolutely, but with the two extra strings you can play the same chords in lower register, I used to play the bottom 4 strings picking out bass notes like it was a low G Uke and fingerpick while Uke was strummed; either way works well.

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@sairfingers I came across this the other day and thought of you. If your two girlfriends can’t play with you they could always form their own imaginary band.


Very entertaining, dude has talent and great creativity.

A talented guy. That was great!

I am as likely as not being obtuse and about to publicly reveal my ignorance (again), so on that note …

I don’t understand the need for the question.

I assume that the uke’s are being tuned to the same reference note as the guitar, using a tuner. In which case a G is a G whether played on the guitar or a uke?

As discussed later in the post, it would be helpful to pick a key that simplifies the chord shapes used on the uke. The equivalent of Justin starting the guitar journey with A D and E.

I imagine that two or three chord songs would be the way to go and just the difference in tonality between a uke and a guitar would make a duet interesting. A trio may be more challenging to make interesting if they are both playing the same type of uke.

Sounds like lots of fun possibilities down the line if they stay the course.

They are tuned to the same notes obviously but not in the same octave.
Ukulele tuning is G C E A except for Baritone which is D G B E (same as top 4 strings on guitar) and Bass which is the same as a Guitar Bass.
If you play the same chord names then yes it’s ok, but I found that playing guitar with a capo on the 5th fret fitted in better.
E isn’t a beginner chord on a Ukulele, it’s one of these:

This, I fear, will be the issue. They are both already saying they’ve been at this for two weeks and thought they’d be playing Beatles songs by now. That and the fingernails and “I don’t want ugly calluses on my fingers”…….:weary:

Oh dear, the prognosis is not looking good.

I know, which contributes to the possibilities in a uke-guitar duo. As well as the totally different sound of a uke (assuming one finds the sound of a uke pleasing).

I meant A D E on guitar and assume that there are an equivalent set of simple chords on the uke. Actually I know there are from when I got my wife a uke and printed her some chord boxes, I just can’t recall what those chords are.

Think of playing A D and E chords using E and A shape barré chords on guitar, those are the shapes on the top 4 strings minus the barré of course, that’s the nut on the ukulele.

Had a quick look in my files and seems like the way to go is to teach the uke learner C G F Am on the uke. And then as long as the guitar player has F under the fingers one is good to go playing songs in the key of C.

Perhaps that adds some challenge vocally, but for just playing songs presents loads of options.

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