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View Full Version : Fingerpicking positioning



matakazer
09-21-2015, 12:53 AM
I notice most people rest their pinky on the ukulele when finger picking but it doesn't feel natural to me. I like to keep all my fingers in the air.

What is the correct good practice?

Picker Jon
09-21-2015, 04:30 AM
I've seen some people do it but by no means most players. There isn't a right and wrong way, just personal preference. For me there seems no advantage in putting your pinky on the soundboard, it deadens the tone and restricts movement of the picking hand.

sukie
09-21-2015, 04:57 AM
On the flip side -- it affects stability when picking. My teacher encourages it.

Rodney.
09-21-2015, 05:21 AM
Do whatever feels right. I do rest my pinky on the baritone, but it's in the air on my soprano.

kypfer
09-21-2015, 11:28 AM
I do both, anchored and free-floating, depending on instrument, style of playing and even the style of music ... and it's not just the pinky I anchor either. For "thumb-picking" (dunno what else to call it ... playing melody with my thumbnail instead of a plectrum) I'll anchor my first and/or second and/or third finger to the body of the ukulele, usually on the edge of the upper bout, so my thumb "knows" exactly where it is over the strings, just above the sound-hole at the end of the neck ... nice mellow tone ;) and, unusually for me, no real need for a strap, though I'll use it anyway, out of habit :)

johnson430
09-21-2015, 12:11 PM
I notice most people rest their pinky on the ukulele when finger picking but it doesn't feel natural to me. I like to keep all my fingers in the air.

What is the correct good practice?

For "correct and good practice" I would say not to anchor.
I started out a year ago learning finger-style with an anchored little finger but have since been breaking myself of what I would call a "bad habit for my playing style".
There is tension in the anchored finger which leads to tension in the hand and I found that limiting as I progressed as a player.
Your hand will learn where it needs to be without the anchor.

One tip, put your arm to your side, shake out your arm to relax it then pretend you are holding the handle of a suitcase at your side and finally bring your hand up to the uke with that hand position. That should improve your form greatly.
It might be a little hard to get until you learn the muscle memory but the future uke player inside you will thank you later down the road.

janeray1940
09-21-2015, 12:30 PM
There was a really thorough discussion of this a while back in this thread (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?104998-Thoughts-on-Anchoring-the-RH-Pinky&highlight=pinky+anchor). There really isn't a right or wrong, but if I had it to do over I'd start by *not* anchoring the pinky. For whatever reason, I developed that habit early on and I find that it can be a bit of a hindrance at times - I think the bit about tension in the previous post might be exactly what I'm encountering.

k0k0peli
09-21-2015, 12:36 PM
Depends on preference, training, habit, comfort, playing style, size of hands and instrument, etc. When I use fingerpicks on steel-string small lutes (mandolin, tiple, cuatro-menor) or a flatpick I do not anchor a pinky. When I pick with bare fingers, whether on steel or composite strings, I tend to anchor -- unless I feel like picking down the neck or against the bridge. I feel more need to anchor when playing smaller 'ukes without straps than with the tiple or baritone and their straps. And fingerpicking chords allows more leeway than picking melodic lines which DO need the stability. Anchor for precision; flop around for freedom.