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NeciaPL
01-01-2015, 09:21 AM
What style do you prefer : fingerstyle or strumming ?

janeray1940
01-01-2015, 09:32 AM
Fingerstyle. I don't sing, and strumming becomes very boring very fast when one isn't a singer (in my humble opinion, anyway).

Rllink
01-01-2015, 09:39 AM
I like both. Why limit yourself? You know, you can even combine them if you want.

guitharsis
01-01-2015, 09:50 AM
Fingerstyle. I don't sing, and strumming becomes very boring very fast when one isn't a singer (in my humble opinion, anyway).

Yes, I agree.

guitharsis
01-01-2015, 09:52 AM
I like both. Why limit yourself? You know, you can even combine them if you want.


Do like playing (strumming) with a local Ukulele Group on occasion.

janeray1940
01-01-2015, 09:54 AM
Do like playing (strumming) with a local Ukulele Group on occasion.

Agreed - I should have made it clear in my reply that I was referring to strumming alone :)

Down Up Dick
01-01-2015, 09:59 AM
Fingerstyle. I don't sing, and strumming becomes very boring very fast when one isn't a singer (in my humble opinion, anyway).

Some tunes I strum, but I don't like the words, so I whistle. One could also play a harp, if he/she knows how. :old:

sukie
01-01-2015, 10:14 AM
Fingerstyle. I don't sing, and strumming becomes very boring very fast when one isn't a singer (in my humble opinion, anyway).

Exactly.
Have you heard me sing? Play Guava Jelly and your ears will hurt

wickedwahine11
01-01-2015, 10:34 AM
I can't carry a tune in a bucket so strumming is out for me unless I am in a group and someone else is singing. So it is all finger style, all the time for me.

OregonJim
01-01-2015, 11:28 AM
Strumming is okay for a short while, but it gets boring awfully quickly, even with singing. Most people seem to stick close to open position, and I can see why. Trying to form anything but the simplest chord shapes further up the neck requires extremely thin and nimble fingers! :) As a result, all songs begin to sound the same because the chord voicings never vary. Fingerstyle maximizes the limited range of the instrument.

Laouik
01-01-2015, 12:00 PM
Fingerstyle. I don't sing, and strumming becomes very boring very fast when one isn't a singer (in my humble opinion, anyway).

Ditto.

I once tried singing. Four men were lost and the stock market went down 27%.

brimmer
01-01-2015, 12:01 PM
As a non-singer, I prefer fingerstyle, or strumming while picking melody notes between strums. Got to have the melody...

Debby
01-01-2015, 12:27 PM
I like playing both ways. I can sing with either. But I have to admit....as a guitar player, the reentrant tuning on a ukulele really threw me for a loop when it comes to fingerstyle. -esp for my thumb, lol. I almost put a low G on my uke, to fix that problem, but I don't like to give in. I got it worked out.

Sorry for all my grammar errors. I'm typing this from my phone...and I'm a lazy typist on my phone.

IamNoMan
01-01-2015, 12:59 PM
I like playing both ways. I can sing with either. But I have to admit....as a guitar player, the reentrant tuning on a ukulele really threw me for a loop when it comes to fingerstyle. -esp for my thumb, lol. I almost put a low G on my uke, to fix that problem, but I don't like to give in. I got it worked out.I like to play both ways as well. As a singer I have to dumb down, KISS it. when I'm singing. Singing and playing the melody line at the same time (doesn't work for me.) -edit. I will take a break between verses for the complex tasty stuff.


...I prefer fingerstyle, or strumming while picking melody notes between strums....this works for me.

LloydAZ
01-01-2015, 01:10 PM
Mostly fingerstyle, but strumming is good when you're with a group.

Tootler
01-01-2015, 02:25 PM
I started with ukulele because I wanted to accompany my singing. If I want to play melody, I have other instruments that I play that are essentially melody instruments.

I mostly strum but do finger pick on some songs. Strumming is about providing the rhythm for the music and you need to adapt your strumming to the natural rhythm of the song. While singing, it's best to keep it simple. After all the focus should be on the song and interpreting the lyrics but it is possible to vary the strum between the verses to provide interest in the accompaniment. George Formby was a very good example of this.

The person who said strumming rapidly becomes boring even when singing, I suspect is not looking to adapt his strums to suit the song and the rhythm of the song and to find ways of providing an interesting accompaniment. You can also provide interest by mixing strumming and fingerpicking in a song and also adding in melodic fragments, especially in introductions. I confess, I'm not very good at melodies on the ukulele. Though I know or can work out where all the notes I want are, I've not played much melody so can't play quickly enough to play a melody at the desired tempo for a song. When I finger pick I simply play arpeggios. It works for me at the moment, but I aim to keep on improving but it's not a quick process.

No. 1 rule. Have fun. I do that but I don't really push myself too hard. I simply aim to learn things as and when I need them for a particular song.

itsme
01-01-2015, 02:33 PM
Mostly fingerstyle, but strumming is good when you're with a group.
Same here. I'm not really a singer but I can carry a tune and fit in with a group, and all the uke meets I've been to have been singing/strumming pop songs. On my own, it's mostly classical fingerpicking.

JJFN
01-01-2015, 03:40 PM
I like to do both. However when combining both methods I have trouble transitioning from one to the other. It's nice to strum along with tunes, t's also nice to pick. I'm working on Ave Maria, I certainly wouldn't attempt to sing that lovely tune, but the pick strum combo is really beautiful. Everyone have a Healthy and Happy New Year.

ukemunga
01-01-2015, 04:18 PM
When I finger pick I simply play arpeggios.

Aha! So that's what they call what I do. Or try to... It's almost the melody but not really. Didn't know it had a name but I like it. Fingerstyle with melody next unless I've learned too many bad habits.

itsme
01-01-2015, 04:35 PM
Aha! So that's what they call what I do. Or try to... It's almost the melody but not really. Didn't know it had a name but I like it. Fingerstyle with melody next unless I've learned too many bad habits.
Arpeggios form a solid foundation of fingerpicking.

Try this Bach prelude, it's based entirely on arpeggios.

http://ukuleledavarnaudd.free.fr/documents/bwv846%20prelude%20%28ukulele%29.pdf

Jim Yates
01-01-2015, 05:53 PM
I like to do both. I enjoy playing melodies and accompaniments. I'm not a great singer, but I'm OK and sometimes use the mouth harp or kazoo, in a rack, for playing the melody.
74576
Strumming chord melodies seems to work well on ukulele, using a chord shape that puts the melody note on the first string, or the second will work if the first is muted.
Coming from 55 years of guitar playing, the re-entrant tuning threw my finger-style off a bit, but I found that the tuning allows the thumb to play some melody notes on the high G string.
I've also played the 5-string banjo for about 35 years and these skills make the re-entrant tuning an advantage. Any tune that works for clawhammer style, also can be adapted to Carter-style playing on the uke.
I do like to play tunes on the ukulele that have more complicated chord progressions and will usually put down the uke and grab a guitar, banjo... if I'm playing a tune with 3 or 4 chords.

fretie
01-01-2015, 07:38 PM
Like a lots of other peeps here, I prefer fingerstyle when I'm on my own because my singing is ear torture. However in groups, I like to strum and try to add interest by playing chords in second and third positons when it suits.

Phluffy the Destroyer
01-01-2015, 08:42 PM
Arpeggios form a solid foundation of fingerpicking.

Try this Bach prelude, it's based entirely on arpeggios.

http://ukuleledavarnaudd.free.fr/documents/bwv846%20prelude%20%28ukulele%29.pdf

:agree:

You can also sing to arpeggios, which makes them useful for singers as well...

Tootler
01-01-2015, 11:58 PM
:agree:

You can also sing to arpeggios, which makes them useful for singers as well...

Which is basically what I do. It's a good alternative to strummed chords and it's also possible to work both into a song.

1300cc
01-02-2015, 12:33 AM
Fingerstyle. I don't sing, and strumming becomes very boring very fast when one isn't a singer (in my humble opinion, anyway).I agree.........

philpot
01-02-2015, 07:12 AM
Both! It's far more fun that way. Right-hand techniques have been my favorite thing to work on the past few months.

Jim Yates
01-02-2015, 08:14 AM
I like to play melodies using double stops. Sometimes I will hit 2 strings with my index finger in an upward (towards the palm) direction and sometimes I will pluck them with my thumb and index.

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CeeJay
01-02-2015, 12:00 PM
Both! It's far more fun that way. Right-hand techniques have been my favorite thing to work on the past few months.



Right on.

Also may we please define "strumming" for it is verily written that there is strumming and then there is ----- strumming :music:

kypfer
01-02-2015, 01:07 PM
Is it just me ... I really dislike questionaires that don't give all the valid options :mad:

In addition to "strumming" and/or "fingerstyle" there really should be "clawhammer" and "plectrum/melody" ... possibly even a "none of the above" option!

For the record, I use all four styles, to a greater or lessor degree, primarily depending on the nature of the music I'm playing, but also considering the tuning on the instrument I'm playing at the time ;)

CeeJay
01-02-2015, 02:04 PM
Is it just me ... I really dislike questionaires that don't give all the valid options :mad:

In addition to "strumming" and/or "fingerstyle" there really should be "clawhammer" and "plectrum/melody" ... possibly even a "none of the above" option!

For the record, I use all four styles, to a greater or lessor degree, primarily depending on the nature of the music I'm playing, but also considering the tuning on the instrument I'm playing at the time ;)

"None of the Above ...now that I find intriguing....but you get my vote ....and if you see my Auntie Gill and her significant other Dennis the Bus Driver give 'em a wave...

PS

You may want to check out Season 150...banging on about "Noo" Jersey ...give 'em something from the real deal eh why not ??

Tootler
01-02-2015, 02:19 PM
Haway CJ!

Have you posted owt for Season 150 yet?

If not, it's time you did. We need to keep NE England's score up you know .... Never mind NJ

CeeJay
01-02-2015, 02:35 PM
Haway CJ!

Have you posted owt for Season 150 yet?

If not, it's time you did. We need to keep NE England's score up you know .... Never mind NJ

I have just returned from Whinfell Forest Centre Parc New Year week celebrations..so have missed the wretched tidings and the goings on at 150.....if time and tide permit may try one tomorrow
......oops, well off topic ...slips onto banana skin and scoots furiously back onto track ....Halllelujah Strum Strum...:D

Nickie
01-02-2015, 04:48 PM
Fingerstyle. I don't sing, and strumming becomes very boring very fast when one isn't a singer (in my humble opinion, anyway).

Me too....

flailingfingers
01-02-2015, 04:58 PM
I love to sing and that's what my uke is for- accompanying singing. I also add turnarounds and intros and cute little riffs for fun as I learn them. I also really vary my strums adding some plucking, etc as I improvise. I was taught early on not to play set strumming patterns unless playing with a group. I appreciate good melody/ chord fingerstyle but it's not for me and I don't want to spend the practice time to get good at it. Gets in the way of the joy of singing.

linear
01-02-2015, 05:04 PM
On guitar, I tend to do either flatpicking or fingerstyle, but on the uke it's so easy to combine the two that I generally do that.

Jim Yates
01-05-2015, 05:44 AM
Haway CJ!

Have you posted owt for Season 150 yet?

If not, it's time you did. We need to keep NE England's score up you know .... Never mind NJ

?????????????

Tootler
01-05-2015, 06:17 AM
?????????????

Check out the Seasons of the Ukulele. A sub forum of contests.

CeeJay lives near me.

Down Up Dick
01-05-2015, 06:39 AM
Strumming is okay for a short while, but it gets boring awfully quickly, even with singing. Most people seem to stick close to open position, and I can see why. Trying to form anything but the simplest chord shapes further up the neck requires extremely thin and nimble fingers! :) As a result, all songs begin to sound the same because the chord voicings never vary. Fingerstyle maximizes the limited range of the instrument.

I agree, and that"s why I'm working with "add-in" chords and especially new strums. I'm trying to make myself play faster too, but I'm just naturally a slow person, and it's difficult.

When accompanying a song, it's the singing that's important--not the accompanying. :old:

greenie44
01-05-2015, 06:54 AM
I love to sing and that's what my uke is for- accompanying singing. I also add turnarounds and intros and cute little riffs for fun as I learn them. I also really vary my strums adding some plucking, etc as I improvise. I was taught early on not to play set strumming patterns unless playing with a group. I appreciate good melody/ chord fingerstyle but it's not for me and I don't want to spend the practice time to get good at it. Gets in the way of the joy of singing.

I'm with you, but as I play more and more, I am adding more 'filigrees' to my chord playing that starts to verge on picking. I also have worked out a couple of instrumentals, just in case, you know . . .

CeeJay
01-05-2015, 07:54 AM
I don't understand this thread actually, unless you are using a flatpick (US)plectrum (UK)or your tootsies,however you play the strings then surely it is a "fingerstyle".

hmmmm...I can't sing either....grunt a bit ...but *sing*.......nahhh.

Not sure about these "this or that" threads...I would have thought, hoped that all styles and systems should be equally valid in musical currency to the tune of "I play the Uke".. :cheers:

Jim Yates
01-05-2015, 01:35 PM
Strumming is okay for a short while, but it gets boring awfully quickly, even with singing. Most people seem to stick close to open position, and I can see why. Trying to form anything but the simplest chord shapes further up the neck requires extremely thin and nimble fingers! :) As a result, all songs begin to sound the same because the chord voicings never vary. Fingerstyle maximizes the limited range of the instrument.

I agree, and that"s why I'm working with "add-in" chords and especially new strums. I'm trying to make myself play faster too, but I'm just naturally a slow person, and it's difficult.
When accompanying a song, it's the singing that's important--not the accompanying. :old:

I don't consider up the neck inversions to be too difficult, and I have fairly chubby fingers. I have recently obtained a soprano uke and even on it, I seem fine up to the 7th fret. There are just a few closed chord forms that you need to add some variety to your playing. If I had to stick to what guitar players call cowboy chords, I'm sure I would've given up the uke long ago. As it is, I find it an interesting instrument both to strum and pick. A simple three or four chord song played with all first position chords is a great way to get started, especially if you sing or have a partner who does, but if your interest is in playing the ukulele rather than accompanying folk songs, you'll eventually want to move on.

CeeJay
01-05-2015, 02:33 PM
A simple three or four chord song played with all first position chords is a great way to get started, especially if you sing or have a partner who does, but if your interest is in playing the ukulele rather than accompanying folk songs, you'll eventually want to move on.

Not having a go at you here Jim .. but you make a point that intrigues me about chordophones and some of their users......it seems that there is almost a "snob" value placed on where people play on the neck and a patronising well he/she only plays in the XX position attitude ....

The soprano can begin to sound a bit brittle and tinny after the 7th and is almost unhearable after the 12th (if indeed you have a sop with a
continuing neck)..... if normally aspirated....Concerts give more fret per mile...I have a wry thought that if you never play at the first position then you may as well not have those frets but then the frets that you would have left would become the first position and then you would eventually end up with a box with a hole ....which you could not even use as an ashtray ....or is this getting a bit ZenTao Ist positional ??

And it is not just ukelele players..geetarists are as bad .....

However Jim ..tsk tsk ,your last line is a bit combatative n'est pas ? Do you not consider Folk Tunes to be music....? :D

Although, the definition of Folk Music is somewhat wider a brief on your side of the Old Salty than over here I believe....

Nickie
01-05-2015, 02:52 PM
CeeJay, I gotta love you....you're funny as hell....would that I were as clever....
This thread is great, I love fingerpickin, and I enjoy strumming, and like to incorporate kind of a blend of the two sometimes. I wish I were a good singer, people say they like my voice (Sweet Adelines wanted me, but I don't do acapella) but frankly, a microphone in my face scares the beejeesus outta me....there are only three of us in my club that do instrmentals in open mic, and the other (guys) are way the heck better than I. But I continue to strive.
It's true that a concert has way more voice than a soprano...I can't make a soprano sound any better than dogpoop, but I admire the dickens out of anyone who can.

fisher00
01-05-2015, 03:07 PM
Ahhh, so I'm not alone! I avoid singing at all costs, and want more out of the uke so I'm having a red hot go at finger picking. My difficulty is finding suitable tunes to learn on. I do also practice strumming some tunes, but invariably migrate back to fingerstyle.

janeray1940
01-05-2015, 04:10 PM
The soprano can begin to sound a bit brittle and tinny after the 7th and is almost unhearable after the 12th (if indeed you have a sop with a
continuing neck).....

Despite the fact that I mainly play fingerstyle, and I mainly play soprano - I have to agree with this! I've got tiny hands and have no trouble fretting up to the 16th fret, but when I'm working on an arrangement that goes past 12 or 13, I switch to concert. For fingerstyle on soprano, I find that first position to 10th fret sounds fine, and anything higher than that is iffy. I'll admit that part of it may be technique - still trying to figure out what modifications I can make, if any.

Jim Yates
01-05-2015, 07:50 PM
Not having a go at you here Jim .. but you make a point that intrigues me about chordophones and some of their users......it seems that there is almost a "snob" value placed on where people play on the neck and a patronising well he/she only plays in the XX position attitude ....

The soprano can begin to sound a bit brittle and tinny after the 7th and is almost unhearable after the 12th (if indeed you have a sop with a
continuing neck)..... if normally aspirated....Concerts give more fret per mile...I have a wry thought that if you never play at the first position then you may as well not have those frets but then the frets that you would have left would become the first position and then you would eventually end up with a box with a hole ....which you could not even use as an ashtray ....or is this getting a bit ZenTao Ist positional ??

And it is not just ukelele players..geetarists are as bad .....

However Jim ..tsk tsk ,your last line is a bit combatative n'est pas ? Do you not consider Folk Tunes to be music....? :D

Although, the definition of Folk Music is somewhat wider a brief on your side of the Old Salty than over here I believe....

I love folk music. I've devoted most of my playing time to folk tunes for the last 55 years. I see nothing wrong with accompanying folk songs with open chords and I spend much of my guitar time doing just that, but I like to do other things on the uke (and the guitar). I have many friends who have no desire to go beyond playing first position chords on the ukulele and I enjoy their performances very much. I many enjoy recordings of folks who are basic musicians or who play no instruments other than their voice. My voice is not good enough to stand on its own, in fact, until about 20 years ago, I restricted myself to being a side man who did very few vocals.
I have not abandoned first position chords, but I also enjoy using chord inversions and extensions.

I'm pretty sure no one I know on either side of the Old Salty has ever arrived at a satisfactory definition of Folk Music, but I've heard people trying for years.

Big Bill Broonzy - All songs are folk music. I've never heard no horse sing it. (also attributed to others)
Michael Cooney - If you know who wrote it, it's not folk music.
Michael Cooney in a less serious vein - If it takes more than two trips to get your gear from the car to the stage, it ain't folk music.
Catfish Willie - It's a four letter word that starts with "F" and ends with "K" and if you use it, they won't play your songs on the radio.

I usually think of some kind of oral tradition being involved, but prefer to label the music I play as Eclectic Acoustic if a label is required.

CeeJay
01-06-2015, 05:56 AM
I love folk music. I've devoted most of my playing time to folk tunes for the last 55 years. I see nothing wrong with accompanying folk songs with open chords and I spend much of my guitar time doing just that, but I like to do other things on the uke (and the guitar). I have many friends who have no desire to go beyond playing first position chords on the ukulele and I enjoy their performances very much. I many enjoy recordings of folks who are basic musicians or who play no instruments other than their voice. My voice is not good enough to stand on its own, in fact, until about 20 years ago, I restricted myself to being a side man who did very few vocals.
I have not abandoned first position chords, but I also enjoy using chord inversions and extensions.

I'm pretty sure no one I know on either side of the Old Salty has ever arrived at a satisfactory definition of Folk Music, but I've heard people trying for years.

Big Bill Broonzy - All songs are folk music. I've never heard no horse sing it. (also attributed to others)
Michael Cooney - If you know who wrote it, it's not folk music.
Michael Cooney in a less serious vein - If it takes more than two trips to get your gear from the car to the stage, it ain't folk music.
Catfish Willie - It's a four letter word that starts with "F" and ends with "K" and if you use it, they won't play your songs on the radio.

I usually think of some kind of oral tradition being involved, but prefer to label the music I play as Eclectic Acoustic if a label is required.

As I wrote Jim I was not dissing you at all...and I love the quotes ....especially Catfish Willie's


Folk Music over here though has a seriously bad image of bearded men in chunky Arran sweaters sticking their fingers in their ears and singing into their forearm about a "Blighted Swain Defloralising a Blushing Maiden Whom is Nancy and also Running Away with a Saucy Sailor in the company of about Seven Thousand Elves" and usually in a combined Devonian-Norfolk accent....which is geographically impossible.....


I prefer the Soprano and Concert size Ukuleles and fingerstrumpick...sort of.

Nickie.You make me blush from shame.

Tootler
01-06-2015, 09:45 AM
A simple three or four chord song played with all first position chords is a great way to get started, especially if you sing or have a partner who does, but if your interest is in playing the ukulele rather than accompanying folk songs, you'll eventually want to move on.


I love folk music. I've devoted most of my playing time to folk tunes for the last 55 years. I see nothing wrong with accompanying folk songs with open chords and I spend much of my guitar time doing just that, but I like to do other things on the uke (and the guitar). I have many friends who have no desire to go beyond playing first position chords on the ukulele and I enjoy their performances very much. I many enjoy recordings of folks who are basic musicians or who play no instruments other than their voice...

Jim,

In spite of your protestations, your remarks about accompanying "simple 3 and 4 chord songs and folk songs" here and elsewhere on the forum do come across as somewhat pejorative.

I play folk music and sing folk songs but the ukulele was by no means my first instrument. I went for ukulele a few years ago after having never quite managed to get on top of guitar as an instrument I could use to accompany myself singing and I had always seen myself as primarily a wind instrument player - I've been playing recorder for 60 years now, though with a few breaks having first started in primary school. I had tried concertina and I still play it but I found song accompaniment on it didn't really work for me, so when I saw an absolute beginners ukulele workshop I signed up and that was it. It took a bit of time to get the basic chords and to be able to play in anything other than C but actually singing with it was never a problem. I confess I've fallen in love with the ukulele it's like a lot of instruments used in folk music simple on the surface but there's a lot more to it once you start to explore it. It's just a matter of what direction you want to take it.

That said I'm perfectly happy using first position chords and strummed accompaniments to the songs I sing as I believe there is more to self accompaniment than knowing and being able to play a lot of chords/chord inversions. It's about interpreting the song and keeping the accompaniment simple but at the same time complementing the song so that you focus on interpreting the song. The melodies of folk songs don't lend themselves to the kind of extended chord met in jazz. The melodies are often modal so accompaniments don't tend to fit the I, IV, V vi model either, so when working out accompaniments you need to be flexible at look at how to harmonise a melody which at one time was almost certainly normally sung unaccompanied. Even so basic major and minor triads with maybe the odd seventh and occasional sus chord for flavour are all you really need.

Songs that I consider difficult don't necessarily involve complex chords but rather it's how to sing it in such a way as to convey to others your understanding of the meaning of the words.

I enjoy a wide variety of music but the music I mostly play with the ukulele is folk song or folk influenced pop.

As to the definition of folk there are long and often very heated arguments in the folk music world about what folk music is and the examples you gave are among the more light hearted, but that it's based on a body of songs/music that were originally orally transmitted enjoys widespread support.

I also play classical music on the recorder but that's for elsewhere.

Manalishi
01-07-2015, 12:23 AM
I play both styles,but mainly strumming! Could be that
because in a previous life, I was a rhythm guitarist in a
band or three,that it comes more naturally to me!