Nothing wrong with the basics, but it can be fun to fancy things up a bit.

Everybody Loves a Cowboy

One of the wonderful things about ukulele is that it’s so easy to get started on.

I was lucky in that many family members in my home were musicians — piano, guitar, mandolin, and more.

And there was lots of singing. (Not to trying to overplay the “idyllic” card here, but that aspect was pretty nice!)

But looking back, I realize that all the songs were:

  • folk songs, 
  • including, a lot good ol’ Texas cowboy songs (family was from Texas)

And I loved ‘em and can still play ‘em.

But as I learned more about music, I kept hearing a phrase that people seemed to use a bit derisively:


And what I finally figured out was “cowboy chords” was shorthand for “easy chords” or “beginner chords” or (probably most accurately, “open chords” meaning chords with open strings).

And these were the chords, the “pros” would say, beginners would use when sitting around the campfire playing cowboys songs. 

Hence, “cowboy chords.”


I love cowboy songs and I use cowboy chords! (And so do all the so-called pros — they just have to show a little ATTITUDE — that’s what makes them pros 🙂 ).


Is that if you ONLY know cowboy chords, you are LIMITED.

  • you can’t play “up the neck” (where the melody lies)
  • you can tranpose on the fly (to switch pitch up or down to match your singing voice or another instrument)
  • you can’t easily work out runs and riffs that sound so good as intros and outros and the noodly bits between verses


When I started piecing together the ideas behind “movable chords,” was when I finally started sound less like a cowboy, and more like a musician.

The irony is, I can still play cowboy songs (or any other style), but I can play them in more interesting arrangements, that are more professional and more fun for me and my listeners.


You will not leave this workshop without understanding movable chords!

That’s my promise. 

I know how much these ideas have meant to me and it’s honestly exciting to share them and know that I can help you make such a big jump in your uke playing.

  • We’re meeting four weeks in a row (starting on Thursday).
  • You’ll have ongoing access to me for Q and A throughout the process.
  • And we’ll leave no stone unturned.

I won’t be happy until I know you truly understand how movable chords work and how they make your uke playing more professional and more fun.

If that sounds good to you, you can sign up over here.

— Danno

PS: Some classic cowboy chords are C, F, G — you can play a LOT of song with those and be an awesome cowboy 🙂

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