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View Full Version : Who uses a pick to play uke?



shalomjj
08-28-2016, 09:16 AM
Hi! I love playing uke and have found that I really like using a light pick to play it for both strumming and picking out songs. I even am learning tremolo on it. I know most uke players favor using the fingers only, but was wondering if any serious players out there also use a pick? :)

SteveZ
08-28-2016, 09:58 AM
I doubt I qualify as "serious," but I use a pick all the time.

Gary52
08-28-2016, 10:00 AM
I occasionally use one, but only for picking melodies. I've tried felt, leather, and plastic picks, and find that I prefer a small plastic one.

WhenDogsSing
08-28-2016, 10:06 AM
I always use a Dunlop .38mm white nylon pick.

janeray1940
08-28-2016, 10:24 AM
Ernie Ball thumb pick, sometimes, especially for tremolo (or when my thumb nail breaks off, which happens a couple times a year!). I file the pick down and shape it in a way that I find works best for me - more rounded and less pointy than off the shelf.

stevejfc
08-28-2016, 11:04 AM
I'm way too clumsy, so no. Bare finger picking and strumming only.

JackLuis
08-28-2016, 11:36 AM
I started to use a pick because I was used to it from the steel string guitar, but soon learned to use my fore finger with the nail at 90 degrees to the strings. I find that I have more control and can modulate the volume better that way. I may be wrong, but I'm having a lot of fun.

Pier
08-28-2016, 11:47 AM
take a look (and listen) to the Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain, they pick a lot :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLgJ7pk0X-s

kypfer
08-28-2016, 12:02 PM
I use Dunlop nylons for melody picking, a 0.60 mostly, but an 0.73 on my baritone. I have used thinner picks, especially on a soprano, but with practice I've found I prefer the tone from a thicker pick ... that may change ;)

I use a felt pick, specifically a "Jumping Cow" artificial felt pick for strumming sometimes. I've tried other felt picks but they've all been too hard, this one's almost "floppy" !?!

I do also finger-pick with nails, with greater or lesser success, and thoroughly enjoy a good claw-hammer session when the mood takes me, again with nails.

It might be suggested that the only thing I don't do on the ukulele is play it "traditionally", strumming with the tip of the forefinger.

I enjoy myself :music:

Domiuke
08-28-2016, 12:10 PM
I often saw players with a pick when they play outside, in the street or on stage

SailingUke
08-28-2016, 12:13 PM
I use a pick when strumming in a group, just to save my finger nails for more serious playing.

Nickie
08-28-2016, 12:20 PM
I don't, but my wife uses one for her 8 string uke. She says it's impossible for her without it.

UkerDanno
08-28-2016, 01:07 PM
I used a Mahalo felt pick when I first started playing, because I didn't know any better. I think it helped me get started and get the strumming rhythm down. After probably 6 mos. or so, I just started using my finger and have never "picked" it up since...3+ years later.

Chopped Liver
08-28-2016, 02:22 PM
Ernie Ball thumb pick, sometimes, especially for tremolo (or when my thumb nail breaks off, which happens a couple times a year!). I file the pick down and shape it in a way that I find works best for me - more rounded and less pointy than off the shelf.

Ooo! That's a good idea! Thanks!

Mivo
08-28-2016, 02:38 PM
I tried a pick once, but having had no previous exposure to string instruments that use them, it just seemed weird and limiting. I felt like I had no real control, especially over the volume, though this is no doubt a matter of experience. I do like feeling the strings under my fingers, though.

I read about hybrid styles where players use fingers and a pick when learning about guitar techniques that I can use with my incoming guitarlele. That actually sounded interesting (more options), and is something I want to explore down the road.

hollisdwyer
08-28-2016, 09:10 PM
I have been using one of those leather Honu Picks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvCSWsvwszk
AT first I couldn't get the hang of it but have picked it up again and find it is useful when I want to achieve some volume during group playing.

ukulelekarcsi
08-28-2016, 09:28 PM
Lyle Ritz is the only professional I can come up with. Del Rey always uses finger picks, as did the late Bob Brozman, but that's not the kind of picks you were asking about.

Dan Gleibitz
08-28-2016, 09:45 PM
'Serious players'? Taylor Swift does, and she's managed to make a quid out of it. :D

I use a pick if and when a song demands it. Works great for playing palm-muted chords, rock guitar style. Also good for soloing/shredding!

UkingViking
08-28-2016, 10:19 PM
I tried it a little bit. I find it quite loud compared to fingers, and hence not as suited for playing in a house where you need to consider others. So I stick to finger picking. I never used the pick a lot on my guitar either, so perhaps I lack the proper technique.
I bought a thumb pick some time ago, for som experimenting that I haven't gotten around too yet. The seller said that he never heard of anyone using a pick on an ukulele. Glad to hear that he was wrong :-)

mrStones
08-28-2016, 10:31 PM
I tried some times to play the pick when I played bass... but I was never able to do it properly and I did not like the sound that produced so I never put much effort in learning.
I never tried to use a pick on uke... but I personally find fingers the perfect tool to give all notes the right "expression" ( I really don't know the terminology... in italian we say "il colore", the colour but I doubt "colour" is the right translation)

Camsuke
08-28-2016, 10:33 PM
I tried some times to play the pick when I played bass... but I was never able to do it properly and I did not like the sound that produced so I never put much effort in learning.
I never tried to use a pick on uke... but I personally find fingers the perfect tool to give all notes the right "expression" ( I really don't know the terminology... in italian we say "il colore", the colour but I doubt "colour" is the right translation)

Colour is a great description, well done.

SoloRule
08-29-2016, 01:00 AM
I use guitar thumb pick. Each note comes out loud , clear , even and ring beautifully!
I usually record one with pick, one without and compare which one sound better. It's all depend on the arrangement. If it's just simple melody, the thumb pick is a winner. Just be very careful not to hit the wood, it may leave you some pick marks. Has not happened to me but I have seen scars on other people ukes.

chainyanker
08-29-2016, 02:52 AM
Alaskan finger pick, always.

Down Up Dick
08-29-2016, 03:13 AM
I use Dunlop nylon picks on my Lanakai Banjolele tuned to CGDA. I'm using it as a tenor banjo. :old:

Croaky Keith
08-29-2016, 04:33 AM
I've tried various picks, but just go back to using, mainly, my thumb, occasionally fingers, you get used to how hard to pluck the strings after a while. :)

Steedy
08-29-2016, 05:00 AM
I seldom use a pick, usually for a single-note melody etc., but I find these Wedgie rubber picks produce a nice sound on ukulele:

Wedgie rubber picks (https://www.amazon.com/Wedgie-WRPP31S-3-1mm-Soft-Rubber/dp/B0002Z2D0I/ref=sr_1_2?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1472482653&sr=1-2&keywords=wedgie+rubber+picks)

actadh
08-29-2016, 06:46 AM
No pick for me. No nails. either.

kohanmike
08-29-2016, 07:43 AM
For the almost 50 years I played guitar, steel string acoustic and electric, I only used a pick, but when I started playing uke 3 years ago, I didn't use a pick, just fingers. I haven't touched my guitars since, and started playing bass uke about 2 years ago fingers only.

PeteyHoudini
08-29-2016, 03:19 PM
I am curious to know what size of ukulele you use a pick on? Do you use a pick on a soprano, concert, tenor or baritone? I wouldn't use a pick on a soprano. What do you all think? hehe

Petey

Choirguy
08-29-2016, 03:43 PM
You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose.

Off topic...but it is late (relatively...back in school) and time for bed, and I'm getting silly. Not sure where I heard that the first time. Is that a Jack Handy saying?

ukulelekarcsi
08-30-2016, 09:30 PM
Lyle Ritz is the only professional I can come up with. Del Rey always uses finger picks, as did the late Bob Brozman, but that's not the kind of picks you were asking about.

Kitty Lux of the UOGB uses a simple single pick (flatpick) as well.

kaizersoza
09-01-2016, 08:24 AM
I use a pick when I am playing live and also with other uke players, I use a pick when jamming with a guitar player, it helps to cut through a little, at home I mainly use a finger or thumb or both

shalomjj
09-03-2016, 03:42 AM
I am going to be working through the Uke aerobics and think I'll do each lesson with both fingers and pick so I stay versatile :) Good input everyone! Thanks and God bless! Jason

Camsuke
09-06-2016, 11:57 AM
Hi! I love playing uke and have found that I really like using a light pick to play it for both strumming and picking out songs. I even am learning tremolo on it. I know most uke players favor using the fingers only, but was wondering if any serious players out there also use a pick? :)

Here is a wonderful example of using a pick and fingers.


http://youtu.be/IlGUfBrLmak

Mivo
09-06-2016, 12:52 PM
Here is a wonderful example of using a pick and fingers.

Amazing performance, thanks for sharing the link! (That loose string captivated my inner cat. ;))

jollyboy
09-06-2016, 01:04 PM
Aaron Keim uses picks.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsiPBlN-75M