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bostoncreampuff
11-07-2015, 10:03 PM
Hey guys
So I got chubby fingers...
I love sopranos yet they are not the most comfortable for me to play... I don't think I can play clean D either!

I am just wondering if this is something that can be overcome by practise or am I just doomed not to be able to play sopranos?

coolkayaker1
11-07-2015, 10:33 PM
Practice and it'll come, young Jedi.

Ukulele legend, the late John King.

http://youtu.be/q7eCz8SC86U

johnson430
11-08-2015, 05:09 AM
I agree with kayak.
Practice... and then practice some more.

actadh
11-08-2015, 05:41 AM
My issue was flexibility - I could not do a clean D (2220) either.

So I stayed with a concert for several months, did the Uncle Rod practice sheets every day http://ukulelebootcamp.weebly.com/uploads/2/2/4/8/22489722/ukulele_boot_camp_2013.pdf

and the Ukulele Mike left hand finger dexterity tutorials he has on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pse641zHpP8

I moved to a soprano easily after that.

Pukulele Pete
11-08-2015, 05:44 AM
Try playing D by barring the three strings with your index finger . It just takes practice . And more practice.

kypfer
11-08-2015, 07:51 AM
Try playing D by barring the three strings with your index finger . It just takes practice .

... There's another way :confused:

Seriously though, I've just got my tape measure out and measured the string spacing on all eight of my ukuleles, soprano through to baritone. ALL of them have a spacing between the top and bottom strings of more than 28mm but less than 30mm on the second fret ... yes, I was surprised too!! In context, one of my Fender electric guitars has a spacing of less than 35mm across all six strings at the second fret ... that is a tight squeeze!

As often, YMMV ;)

philrab66
11-08-2015, 10:09 AM
Hey guys
So I got chubby fingers...
I love sopranos yet they are not the most comfortable for me to play... I don't think I can play clean D either!

I am just wondering if this is something that can be overcome by practise or am I just doomed not to be able to play sopranos?

Use 2 fingers for D middle finger on C&E index on G

Camsuke
11-08-2015, 10:49 AM
My issue was flexibility - I could not do a clean D (2220) either.

So I stayed with a concert for several months, did the Uncle Rod practice sheets every day http://ukulelebootcamp.weebly.com/uploads/2/2/4/8/22489722/ukulele_boot_camp_2013.pdf

and the Ukulele Mike left hand finger dexterity tutorials he has on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pse641zHpP8

I moved to a soprano easily after that.

Laura makes a very good point here. You may consider starting with a Concert size to begin with and then move to Soprano once you have developed your playing to a stage where you are happy.

spookelele
11-08-2015, 11:07 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlMVx8jUZi8

Pukulele Pete
11-08-2015, 12:04 PM
I like Martin sopranos partly because they have a wider nut than alot of other ukes. That little bit extra width make a big difference for me.

coolkayaker1
11-08-2015, 12:04 PM
http://youtu.be/ka_bZfV8SC8

brimmer
11-08-2015, 12:58 PM
Playing small ukes takes extra practice. Your aim will improve.

ukuleleden
11-09-2015, 03:27 AM
I had played guitar since the 70's, and in 2011 purchased my first ukulele. I went with a Tenor becuase it seemed the most logical coming from the guitar's fret spacing. Well, soon I after I realized that I really wanted a Soprano and quickly found that it wasn't any more difficult to play, just that I had to take a more precise approach and on certain chords a different hand angle moving my wrist towards the direction of the headstock which quickly allowed me to make fast and precise chord fingerings without any buzzing or muting. It will take time and practice!

It's also helpful to learn different chord shapes for the same chords which is helpful when setting up different chord progressions. These days my go to uke is a Soprano, though I still play Concerts and Tenors. Good luck, YOU WILL get there!

Petey Forrest did a few entertaining, well-made and thoughtful videos about this topic. Here is his video on D and E chords, for example:


http://youtu.be/Wkz-mLK6fsQ

SoloRule
11-09-2015, 03:53 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlMVx8jUZi8


That looks painful. My fingers and wrist would hurt like crazy.
I guess this proof that hand / finger size made no difference?

ukuleleden
11-09-2015, 10:56 PM
After seeing that, I no longer fear a Sopranino or Bambino uke! LOL! ;)

DownUpDave
11-10-2015, 01:12 AM
After seeing that, I no longer fear a Sopranino or Bambino uke! LOL! ;)

After seeing that I feel completely inadequate. Some serious skills going on there.

MMaestro
11-10-2015, 11:18 AM
I think that only practice and then tons more practice will alleviate some of your finger angst...as you keep working at it your hand will naturally find the best way that works for you and your hand type. Try pressing each fret as close to the next highest fret as possible to make room for your other fingers. As you saw in the smallest ukulele video above anything is possible, if you want to do it you will find a way that's the beauty of passion. Keep rockin' that uke!

bazmaz
11-11-2015, 12:25 AM
I have fat fingers. I love sopranos.

Fat or big fingers do pose a challenge but that challenge CAN be overcome with practice.

What gets me down is then the constant myth gets trotted out that if you have big hands you really need a large scale ukulele. Nonsense. For me, what offers more comfort than a larger scale is the right neck profile and a wider nut.

If I look at ultra small ukuleles - things like the iUke are just too narrow for me. I own a hand made sopranino from John Daniel - same scale as the iUke but massively more playable for me and nothing to do with the scale - it has a far wider neck!

ukuleleden
11-12-2015, 07:40 AM
My issue was flexibility - I could not do a clean D (2220) either.

So I stayed with a concert for several months, did the Uncle Rod practice sheets every day http://ukulelebootcamp.weebly.com/uploads/2/2/4/8/22489722/ukulele_boot_camp_2013.pdf

and the Ukulele Mike left hand finger dexterity tutorials he has on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pse641zHpP8

I moved to a soprano easily after that.

+1 million! I can't recommend enough the dexterity exercise shown by Mike Lynch in his video. As he recommends in his video, making that a required starting warmup each time you pick up the ukulele will pay dividends in the weeks, months and years to follow. And the free Uncle Rod PDFs are a must download for anyone starting off or looking to get a decent regiment of practice/learning in their ukulele schedule.

Rodney.
11-15-2015, 05:58 AM
... There's another way :confused:

Seriously though, I've just got my tape measure out and measured the string spacing on all eight of my ukuleles, soprano through to baritone. ALL of them have a spacing between the top and bottom strings of more than 28mm but less than 30mm on the second fret ... yes, I was surprised too!! In context, one of my Fender electric guitars has a spacing of less than 35mm across all six strings at the second fret ... that is a tight squeeze!

As often, YMMV ;)

It's the combo of string-spacing and fret-spacing, and fingerflexibility. XXL sized hands here.
I can only comfortably play either soprano or baritone. Concerts and tenors get my fingers cramped and twisted and hurting and.., well, you get it.
Example: I can barre the D-chord on each instrument, but when switching to and/or from a D-chord I just can't get it on both the concert and tenor. Anyway, happy with my soprano and baritone.

Xtradust
11-18-2015, 03:38 AM
I'm 6 foot 230 pounds and I have chubby fingers. When I first started I bought a tenor because I needed that extra space. But then I realized like was said above that the strings are all pretty much the same distance apart. I think a little more space between the strings would have really helped more than the length of the scale. I find that I need to stretch my fingers on a tenor and cram on a soprano. It's a trade off.
I love vintage ukes and most of them are soprano, so I had to stick with the soprano. it took me awhile before my middle finger would bend at the first joint so I could barre a d. I'm still not perfect at it. Sometimes I make a d by cramming three fingers on all three strings. Dm is my real issue. but it's just about practice. I can play them both now.

Pukulele Pete
11-18-2015, 03:44 AM
This makes me think of that old adage , ..." Anything larger than a soprano is cheating. " .