Chords are the building blocks of just about all music, and having a wide repertoire of ukulele chords at your disposal enormously widens the range of music that you’re able to play on the instrument. Having said that, there is a handful of chords that are used far more widely on the uke than others.
One such chord is the D minor chord. D minor is likely one of the most widely used minor chords of all in Western music, so learning to play it early on in your ukulele journey can enable you to play any number of classic songs. The chord isn’t restricted to use in popular music, either; you’ll find it commonly throughout folk and jazz music, among other genres.
We’ve compiled this guide on the D minor ukulele chord to break the chord down for you, as well as explaining some of the different ways you can play the chord. So, if you’ve been trying to find some different ways to play the D minor chord on the ukulele or just learn more about how the chord works, look no further!
Looking for more chords? Check out our guide >>> Easy Ukulele Chords for Beginners to Learn First
Like all minor chords, the chord of D minor is based on a minor triad. Triads are clusters of three notes or tones played simultaneously, and make up the foundation for almost all types of chords. Minor chords are made up of a root note, minor third, and perfect fifth. This contrasts with major chords, which are made up of a root note, major third, and perfect fifth.
Terms like ‘third’ or ‘fifth’ in this context refer to the interval between a given note and the corresponding root note. An interval is the distance between the two notes in semitones. Major and minor triads have a fairly different character, but the difference between these two kinds of triads is just a semitone!
The D minor chord on the ukulele contains the notes D, F, A, and D again. Note that it is possible to play the chord by potentially leaving out one of these notes in favour of another that makes up the D minor scale. Different ways to play the same chord are called voicings, and the next section of this article explores a few of the different voicings you can use to play the D minor chord on the ukulele.
How to Play the D Minor Ukulele Chord
This is the most widely used chord shape for D minor on the ukulele. If you’re new to the uke, then it may look somewhat complicated, as it requires that you fret three of the four strings on the instrument. However, we feel that this shape is relatively easy to play, as it allows you to keep your hand in a relaxed, natural position.
Play this chord by fretting the both the G string and C string at the second fret with your second and third finger respectively. Then, fret the E string at the first fret with your first finger and leave the A string open.
Not only is this chord relatively easy to play, but you’ll find that the same shape crops across repeatedly as you learn to play more and more chords on the uke. So, it’s helpful to master the D minor shape early in your ukulele journey, as it will make life much easier when you try to learn new chords further down the road.
D Minor Chord Shape 2
This is another way to approach playing the D minor chord on the ukulele. Fretting all four strings at once can prove tricky, but it also gives the chord a much fuller, richer sound. There are two ways that you could go about playing this chord. You could fret the G string at the second fret with your first finger and then fret the C, E, and A strings at the fifth fret with your fourth finger.
You could also try to fret the G string at the second fret with your first finger, and then fret the C, E, and A strings at the fifth fret with your second, third, and fourth fingers respectively. We recommend that you try both shapes and see which feels more natural to you.
D Minor Chord Variation 3
This D minor chord shape has a nice ringing, open quality to it. As with the second variation, there are two different ways you might want to go about fingering this particular chord shape. One option would be to fret the G string at the seventh fret with your third finger, and then fret the C and E strings at the fifth fret with your first finger, leaving the A string open.
However, some may find it awkward to fret two strings at once with their first finger without fully barring the fretboard. If this applies to you, you could fret the C string at the fifth fret with your second finger while fretting the E string at the fifth fret with your first finger.
More Dm Chord Variations
Songs that Use the D Minor Ukulele Chord
As mentioned above, the D minor chord is used widely in a number of genres of music. So, the chord has been used in countless classic recordings throughout the years. This list covers just a few of them:
- Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the Name: This classic, tuned in drop-d, features some of the biggest riffs we’ve ever heard in popular music, many of which are based around the D minor chord.
- Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall: Pink Floyd’s iconic song of youthful rebellion owes a great deal to the chord of D minor.
- Green Day – 21 Guns: Something of a departure from Green Day’s earlier material, 21 Guns showcases a lovely melody with harmony based partially on the D minor chord.