The ukulele only has 4 strings. So if I were to want to make a 9th chord, is there an easier way than the way I've been trying? I've been doing things like


as a C9, which isn't too bad until I try to make a D♭maj9 chord, which totally sucks


It's a rather ridiculous stretch, though it gets better with dominant 9th chords or 7♭9 chords and much easier higher on the neck (where intervals are less distance). I've also tried using harmonics (7 frets up) to produce the higher extensions of the chord, but they're an octave too high and they are quiet. I also noticed that the stretch was way easier if I used index finger for both C and E strings, then ring for G and pinky for A strings, rather than barr(e?)ing the entire thing.

Note: I don't mean add9 chords, I mean omitting the 5th. I also don't mean omitting the root either, I can do that just fine. But I want to know whether anyone has seen any inversions besides root position that hopefully are less of a stretch. Also same for 11th and 13th if anyone knows any good voicings for those. Thanks for your help.

3 Answers 3


Well, it took me 3 months, but I've got some answers.

(Yes, how shameless of me to answer my own question.)

Here are some voicings I found that satisfy my original qualifications (keeping Root, 3rd, 7th, and highest extension, not too painful). These, of course, can be moved up and down the fretboard to different roots.

  • 5-3-6-5 C9
  • 4-5-3-7 G13 (also 4-5-5-7 to include the 9th)
  • 3-4-5-3 C13 (also 3-4-5-5 to include the 9th)
  • 7-4-7-9 E9 or Em9 (yes, I know this doesn't totally fit and it's a stretch, no pun intended)
  • 3-2-3-3 Gm(11)
  • 4-3-5-5 B7♯9
  • 7-4-7-8 E7♭9
  • 2-4-1-3 G13
  • 3-2-5-3 B♭maj9
  • 7-6-9-11 E13
  • 3-1-4-3 D♭maj13 or B♭m9
  • 7-6-8-6 D7♭9
  • 3-7-5-6 E♭(♯11)
  • 2-3-3-1 E♭(♯11)
  • 5-1-6-6 D♭maj13
  • 4-1-6-6 D♭13
  • 7-4-5-9 E9sus
  • 7-9-7-10 A9sus
  • 4-5-6-6 G7♯9♭13 (or, to trade the ♭13/♯5 for the ♯11, 4-5-6-4)
  • 3-4-4-6 C7♯9♭13 (or, to trade the ♭13/♯5 for the ♯11, 3-4-2-6)

I've by no means exhausted the list of voicings for 9ths, 11ths, and 13ths, so if anyone finds more, please let me know! :)


I'm not a ukulele player but, you should be able to construct your chords using 4-part voicing principles. On any chord, the root and the third have to be present to preserve the chord quality but you can substitute the 5th. And if you are playing with a bass player then you should be able to play the 3rd, 7th, and your extensions.


In general for four part harmony, chords needing more than four voices tend to drop the fifth. Sometimes if necessary, the root may be dropped.

  • 2
    I said literally everything you just said in my question (which I never edited, so no excuses).
    – user45266
    Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 2:34

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