As you’re first getting started on the ukulele, Gm will probably be one of the first of 10 or so open chords you will learn. It’s not the hardest, not the easiest, somewhere in between.
If you’ve been struggling so far, don’t worry – we’ll walk you through the process, step by step.
Here’s how to play the Gm ukulele chord.
How To Play The Gm Chord
Gm is a three-finger open chord. It requires the use of your index, middle, and ring fingers.
First, place your index finger on the first fret of the first string.
Second, place your middle finger on the second fret of the third string.
Finally, place your ring finger on the third fret of the second string.
The fourth string can remain open. Since the Gm chord is made up of the notes G, Bb, and D, another G in the mix doesn’t hurt the chord one bit.
A three-finger chord is naturally more challenging than a one- or two-finger chord. But in the grand scheme of things, Gm isn’t too bad. Some players find the stretch a little uncomfortable at first, but usually find a comfort level with it after some practice.
If you’re having trouble “bridging the gap,” then check to ensure your fingers, hand, and wrist aren’t tensed up. While you do need to apply pressure to the strings for them to sound clearly, there should not be any excess tension buildup in your hand.
As with any chord, we always need to watch out for dead / muted notes. The most likely place for this to happen with the Gm chord is the second and first strings. Usually, the cause is a lack of proper arching / curling of fingers.
Without sufficient arching, your middle finger could end up muting the first and second strings, and your ring finger the first string.
While practicing the chord, pick each note individually to ensure all notes are ringing out clearly, and adjust where necessary.
Also, either practice making and breaking the chord, or transitioning in and out of Gm. Making the shape once and strumming a bunch of times does not equate to real practice.
What Is The Gm (G Minor) Chord?
The Gm chord is both an open chord and a minor chord.
Open chords always have an open string (or two, or three, or four) in them. They are considered among the easiest type of chord to master.
Minor chords have a distinct quality. When played alone, they have a darker characteristic. You could also say that they sound sad or a little incomplete.
Fun fact – the Gm chord on the ukulele, if transferred over to guitar, becomes a Dm chord. This is because the ukulele is effectively the top four strings of the guitar, five frets up. Additionally, the Gm chord shape is fundamentally “movable,” as most things are on the uke.
The Gm chord shows up most commonly in songs that are in the keys of Gm or Bb (which is the relative major). Gm does appear in other key signatures too though. The most common chords in the key of Gm / Bb are Gm, Bb, Eb, and F.
In the following section, we look at songs that prominently feature the Gm chord. Practice these to work on your skills.
What Songs Use The Gm Chord?
While it isn’t necessarily thought of as a uke friendly key (nor is it necessarily thought of as a guitar or piano friendly key), there are plenty of famous songs in the key of Gm.
Below you will find good beginner to intermediate numbers you can sink your teeth into. Some are harder than others, so do keep that in mind as you begin to work on these.
“Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac
One of Fleetwood Mac’s most infamous acoustic ballads (if not the most notorious), “Landslide” has been covered by artists far and wide, including The Chicks, The Smashing Pumpkins, Tori Amos, Miley Cyrus, Harry Styles, and more.
It’s a tad depressing, but lost love is an experience shared among many, if not most, and “Landslide” specifically captures the falling apart of a long-term relationship as evidenced by this lyric: “Well, I’ve been afraid of changin’ / ‘Cause I’ve built my life around you.”
The version found in the video is in the right key, but it’s relatively advanced. Instead of playing along with barre chords, see if you can play along with as many open positions as possible (though you may end up having to learn a few barre chords anyway).
“Roxanne” by The Police
The opening chord to The Police’s 1978 reggae rock hit, “Roxanne,” is in Gm. The rhythm is very reggae-ish, making it a fun song, even for beginner and intermediate uke players to tackle.
To be able to learn the entire song, you will need to learn some barre chords. Like I said earlier, in the key of Gm, it’s basically inevitable.
The video above will walk you through the paces, though, showing you exactly how to play each chord in detail. Good luck!
“Tainted Love” by Soft Cell
While it seems to toe the line between the keys of G and Gm (which isn’t totally unheard of), Soft Cell’s 1981 new wave hit, “Tainted Love” has relatively few chords. It may not be 100% beginner friendly, again because of the barre chords, but it might be about as close as we get.
The video above offers a solid breakdown of the song, so if you’re up to the challenge, simply follow the directions, practice plenty, and you should be able to get the hang of it.
Gm Ukulele Chord, Final Thoughts
While the Gm chord isn’t that hard to learn, the key of Gm can present certain challenges. That’s the dichotomy we must live with as ukulele players.
Fortunately, you can learn virtually anything on your instrument, even if you must take it one note at a time. It may require patience and perseverance, but the effort is worth it. So, don’t despise small beginnings. Keep working at it and you will get better.