Expanding your repertoire of chords is one of the fastest ways to improve your ukulele playing, as well as to get more enjoyment out of the instrument in general. Playing chords is one of the easiest and commonest ways to use the ukulele for accompaniment but knowing a wide variety of chords also makes it easier to play different melodies on the instrument.
It’s especially important to be able to play a range of different types of chords, too. For example, you should work on learning a range of both major and minor chords at the very least if you are attempting to learn to play the ukulele. The C minor chord is one of the easier minor chords to learn, and mastering its shape will make it easier for you to tackle other chords with similar shapes, too.
If you’d like to learn more about playing the Cm chord, then our guide is here to help. We discuss how chords are made in general and how the Cm chord more specifically functions. Then, we go over some of the different chord shapes for Cm and some famous songs that have featured the chord.
Looking for more chords? Check out our guide >>> Easy Ukulele Chords for Beginners to Learn First
Like all minor chords, the Cm ukulele chord is based around the minor triad. A triad is a chord that consists of three notes, and these notes can be thought of as the foundation of any chord. Even more complex chords are essentially based around minor or major triads at their heart.
We can construct the C minor triad with the notes C, Eb, and G. These notes represent the root, minor third, and perfect fifth of the minor triad respectively. Words such as third and fifth are intervals, which simply refer to the distance between the root note and another measured in semitones.
How to Play
There are many different ways to play a particular chord. Even though the ukulele only has four strings, any chord will have multiple voicings, which are essentially just different ways to arrange the notes of a particular chord. In the case of the C minor ukulele chord, we have three different chord shapes for you to try out. Some are more complex than others, and each has its own characteristics and qualities.
This is the standard Cm ukulele chord shape. Fortunately, it’s rather easy to play, despite being a partial barre chord. Barre chords have something of a reputation in the ukulele world as being tricky to play. This is due to the fact that playing them generally requires using your finger like a bar across the whole fretboard. This can feel awkward and cause considerable tension to build up in the fretting hand.
However, the Cm ukulele shape leaves one of the strings open. This generally means that the shape is considerably easier to make and hold for longer periods. To play this Cm ukulele chord shape, simply bar the fretboard at the third fret with your first finger which leaving the G string open.
If you do find yourself struggling with this chord shape, try to limit the tension in your fretting hand as much as possible. Keep your hand relaxed, and make sure you aren’t squeezing the neck of your guitar with your thumb. Practice the chord shape until you can consistently form and hold it. Make sure you take frequent breaks, though!
Cm Chord Shape Variation #1
This is a slightly more advanced barre shape that beginners to the ukulele may struggle with initially. To play this chord shape, barre the fretboard at the third fret with your first finger. Then, fret the G string at the fifth fret with your third finger.
To really nail this shape, it’s absolutely crucial that you have as little tension in your fretting hand as possible. Letting your fretting hand get too tense when playing this shape can cause you to choke the strings on the uke, which muffles them.
Cm Ukulele Chord Variation #2
This closed chord shape is a nice alternative to the other barred options. To play this chord shape, fret the G string at the 8th fret with your fourth finger, the C string at the 7th fret with your second finger, the E string at the 8th fret with your second finger, and the A string at the 6th fret with your first finger.
More Cm Chord Variations
Songs that Use the Cm Ukulele Chord
- Bon Jovi – You Give Love a Bad Name: Bon Jovi’s epic tale of heartbreak and seduction is a testament to the potential power of the Cm chord.
- The Beatles – She Loves You: Featuring a lovely blend between upbeat and melancholic, She Loves You employs the Cm chord as a point of tension to great effect.
- Survivor – Eye of the Tiger: Do we even need to explain what makes Eye of the Tiger so great?