View Full Version : Weird plastic sound when I'm fingerpicking

06-04-2016, 05:43 PM
When learning finger style solos, I find sometimes the strings will make some plastic "ticking" sound from time to time. I don't know how to describe it, but I do hear the sound appear often in the YouTube videos and seasonal ones as well.

My guess (but not sure) is that I use lots of power in the right hand to pick the strings. Then when I pick the following notes on the same string, it hits my hand and makes the weird plastic sound.

I really don't like the sound, so this means I shall not pick the string too hard? Is this true? Any thoughts?

Edit: Thanks for the replies! I upload a practice video using my smartphone. Actually the problem I'm talking about is amplified by the low sound quality... So please bear with my poor finger-picking for a while. The strings are Aquila's on my Makala Dolphin.

I try to pluck up, but maybe not enough... And I do notice the problem goes away when I use less power in picking. Maybe I pluck the string too hard?


Inksplosive AL
06-04-2016, 06:18 PM
Put up a video or point out one that you hear this sound in would be my advice for more help.

phil hague
06-04-2016, 10:31 PM
It might be just a string vibrating against a finger nail. So perhaps just try to keep your nails a fraction further away from the strings. I have had something similar which I think was my nail on my little finger just brushing a string which was vibrating.

06-04-2016, 11:40 PM
New guy here, so take it for what it's worth.

My son, who plays classical guitar, pointed out the other day that when I'm finger picking, I'm plucking the strings away from the uku instead of a more sideways movement. I seem to get more of a ticking sound from my nails the way I was doing it, cleaner going sideways.

Croaky Keith
06-05-2016, 12:20 AM
My first thought as well - the strings vibration hitting your finger nail before it is clear of the string. :)

06-05-2016, 09:15 AM
When you fingerpick, are you plucking "up"?

Or are you plucking "sideways"? If you are plucking "up", try pulling the string toward you or away from you so it does not hit the uke.

This video shows what I am talking about starting at about the 2:15 mark when using fingernails.

I do not use nails, but can still "pinch" the strings.

06-05-2016, 09:37 AM
I used to get a squeaking sound when playing Aquila strings... which is why I don't use them anymore. The Southcoast strings are way better for me!