Always Wanted to Write a Song on Ukulele? Try These Chord Flash Cards


Songwriting is an art, one that can seem quite daunting if you’ve never done it before. There is so much to consider, including lyrics, melody, chords, rhythmic feel, and more. In this fun exercise, we will focus on igniting that creative spark with chord progressions.

ukulele chord flash cards
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This set of flash cards uses the number system for chords in the C major scale [for a primer on the number system, see the lesson on page 46 of the Spring 2024 issue]. Take the flash cards and put them into a bowl or bag. Reach in and choose three or four at random. You may choose how many beats each chord gets per measure, but I’d recommend starting with four beats to give yourself an easy start.


Keep in mind that this is just a starting point and that some will sound better than others. Once you have created some of these progressions yourself, you can add some variations. Here are some suggestions to try:

  • Always start your progression with the I chord, and let the rest be random.
  • Always end your progression with the I chord, and let the rest be random.
  • Double the amount of flash cards so you can repeat some chords.
  • Use fewer chords (maybe only allowing yourself three chords, for example).
  • Use more chords per measure or beat.
  • Make jazzy flash cards using seventh chords and add them into the mix.

There are endless possibilities with this fun exercise—it can help you be creative in ways you’ve never tried.