Exercises for Improving the Left Hand Technique on the Ukulele
The following exercises are to help you become more familiar with moveable chords and extend your dexterity down the neck of the fret board.
Finger an A chord without using your Index Finger. Now as you slide up the neck one fret at a time add the index finger to barre any open strings as far as the 5th fret.
You can apply this exercise with any open chords you know, it is worthwhile to call out the chord names as you move down the neck, this way you will become familiar with where the different chords are situated and begin to put tonal variations at your command. In other words next time your ukulele group picks a song from the books you can sound different to everyone else playing the basic first position chord shapes.
Are the above exercises causing you pain or the notes not sounding clear?
The video below by Phil Doleman goes into clear steps on forming barre chords properly. From over 30 years personal experience and observation of players on stringed instruments, there is one common factor which was a Eureka moment for me when I discovered it 4 years into playing a steel strung acoustic guitar ……. The experienced player forms the barre shape but only applies fretting pressure when he strikes or picks the strings.
A great way to practise this is to squeeze the barre shape and release the pressure rhythmically as per Jazz. Gerald Ross shows this in his beginning swing videos below.