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Thread: Why not strum w/thumb?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2017


    There is no right or wrong way to long as you're using some part of your hand. But there are some liabilities of using the thumb which off-set the richness which you hear. When you use the thumb, the last digit on the hand, your hand is beneath the strings and you are forced to move back above the strings to initiate another strum. Alternatively, if you use one of the other fingers, then your thumb is still available for another downstroke, if you need it. This could matter if you want to strum triplets. it probably doesn't matter if you are just strumming quarter notes.

    My recommendation is to develop your style (my style is to use my ring finger for downstrokes and my thumb knuckle for upstorkes; that's just what seems natural to me). Develop your style and perfect it, and when it doesn't fit the requirements for something new, then expand your style to use some new finger. Eventually you will have control of all your fingers and it will merely be a matter of choice for you as to which finger you use.

    So, don't get frustrated because you aren't doing everything right now. Take it step by step and make sure that your current stroke can play the song you want to play. There's no point in beating yourself up because you can't perform a tremolo a la Taimane or Jake when your song doesn't really need that flourish
    Last edited by ripock; 05-05-2018 at 04:58 PM. Reason: I drank four beers and the enzymes required me to take a bathroom break

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    It's a dry heat


    Whatever makes the music come out.
    “Justice is like a train that is nearly always late,” mused Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko.”

    “62,400 repetitions make one truth.” - Bernard Marx, character in Brave New World, Alduous Huxley

    Dig In-finity! - The Naz, in the words of Lord Buckley

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Capital District, New York


    The Ukulele Police will be after you if you use your thumb, just like they are after me because I have very short (they break if I try to grow them) fingernails, so I usually use the pads of my fingers and thumb.

    Oh, wait: There are no Ukulele Police....

    There really is only One Rule for playing ukulele - Have Fun!

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  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    NorCal 916


    I merged the responses of your 2nd thread to the first one. No reason to post the same question twice to elicit more responses.

    Nana ka maka; ho`olohe ka pepeiao;
    pa`a ka waha.

    Observe with the eyes; listen with the ears; shut the mouth.
    Thus one learns.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2018


    Thanks, everyone, for all of this helpful feedback! You've given me lots to think about and great reasons to develop other strumming techniques.

    The people on this forum are so nice. I really appreciate that.

    Kanaka916 - Thanks for merging. Apologies if posting the same message in two areas is frowned upon.

    Best to all,

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