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JogoBruh
04-19-2009, 03:21 PM
Hey, my friend has been playing his ukulele for several weeks and he got me into it so I decided to order one online. Whenever I play with his uke, I strum with my thumb, and I've seen some videos online saying it's ok to strum with a thumb while others instruct you to use your index finger. Does anyone have any advice on this?

toria.lx2
04-19-2009, 03:31 PM
Well I guess it doesn't really matter, as long as your comfortable and it sounds fine. In my opinion, strumming with your index finger is better because it's more flexible, especially with scratching/chunking. Sometimes I strum with my thumb, but only for certain strum patterns. But if you find strumming with your thumb easier, then go ahead and do yO thAng! :P

koalohapaul
04-19-2009, 03:33 PM
It's definitely okay to strum with your thumb. Some of the greatest modern and older ukulele players use their thumb. The most famous would be Ohta-San. He uses his thumb almost exclusively. His son, Herb Ohta Jr., also uses his thumb a lot, although he also uses the index and middle fingers to pick and strum.

It comes down to a matter of comfortability and tone. Some people find it more comfortable to strum with the thumb, while others like using the index finger. The angle at which you glance the strings will also affect the tone that is produced. Generally speaking, thumb struming sounds fuller, while finger strumming sounds brighter.

smgold101
04-19-2009, 03:35 PM
If you can learn to do be more comfortable with your index finger i think it would be better for you for a buncha reasons. I think this topic has already come up couple times. If you search about it (just click search button next to New Posts) you should find tons of useful stuff. But in the end its all personal preference i guess. If ya really wanted to you could use a pick!(i dont recommend it sounds tingy)

smgold101
04-19-2009, 03:39 PM
You may not need everything in here lol (oh deach) but there is useful stuff
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11634&highlight=thumb
Im sure you can find other threads too though
Hope it helps :)

-Seth

generem
04-19-2009, 04:18 PM
I use both thumb and index finder when strumming...I'm more comfortable with my thumb.. But if I need more volume, I switch to only my index...

There is no right or wrong way... use which ever your more comfortable with :shaka:

salukulady
04-19-2009, 04:20 PM
I have seen Bill Tapia live several times. He always only uses his thumb....and he's amazing and 100+ years old.

ichadwick
04-20-2009, 01:23 AM
Thumb, fingers, elbow... whatever works. I use anything that reaches the strings. And I sometimes use a pick, too, but don't tell anyone - some folks get righteously upset if you admit that. ;)

Daionsavage
04-20-2009, 04:15 AM
Thumb, fingers, elbow... whatever works. I use anything that reaches the strings. And I sometimes use a pick, too, but don't tell anyone - some folks get righteously upset if you admit that. ;)

Yikes... I thought I had left the pick vs fingers issue back at the bass player community :uhoh:

dberlin
04-20-2009, 11:00 AM
To me, as a total uke noob,... I found my ringfinger to be sounding the best at first, haha :rolleyes:

However, I'm still trying to get my indexfinger to sound as good as the thumb because that finger makes it easier to chunk and to pick -> for me.

But there's also an uke instructor on youtube who uses his thumb all the time.
e.g.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfz-hYsbo_c

~Dan

Spooner
04-20-2009, 11:51 AM
The only thing NOT allowed is you can't strum with your friend's finger.

You know the saying...you can pick your friends and you can pick your nose but you can't pick your friend's...well...you know the rest. :p

JogoBruh
04-20-2009, 01:23 PM
Haha alright thanks everyone! I'll try and practice my index finger in the future but for now I'll use my thumb

I'm so excited because my ukulele should arrive tomorrow!

GabeF
04-20-2009, 03:44 PM
well i started out playing with my thumb but its hard for certain strumming patterns with chunking so now i only pick with my thumb but strum with my finger

MisoHappy
04-20-2009, 06:16 PM
Personally, I use my ear

Chunks in songs will happen smoother if you use your index and middle fingers. And to me, it sounds a little too clean, while using nails is clean and sharp.

And I know it doesn't matter, (I don't really care) but it also appears nicer using your fingers....*shrug*

Ukeguy510
04-20-2009, 09:30 PM
I use a combo of both sometimes. Down strum with the index finger while my thumb hits the G string for that extra bit of sound. Adds a nice touch ;) But yeah, you can't go wrong with anything your comfortable with.

Woodshed
04-21-2009, 03:46 AM
It's definitely okay to strum with your thumb. Some of the greatest modern and older ukulele players use their thumb. The most famous would be Ohta-San. He uses his thumb almost exclusively.

But Ohta San uses it in a very different way to most people. For a start, he only does down strokes (same story with Bill Tapia I believe). And he isn't strumming out songs as accompaniment but to fill in between solo lines; which takes advantage of the fact that thumb strums are weaker.

This video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqwo6yGswOk) has a right-hand close up. You can see his uses his thumb nail for melody notes and chords and the pad of his thumb for the back up strums.

8890
04-21-2009, 06:22 AM
Personally, I use my ear
Now, that I want to see! :p Can you post a video?

cloudswinger
04-21-2009, 10:37 AM
I find that when I thumb strum, either it's softer because I use the pad, and not the nail, or it snags the corner of my thumbnail. I'm also trying to get the finger-thumb strum down.

ricdoug
04-21-2009, 11:21 AM
I mainly use my thumb and index finger for both picking and strumming. With the callouses on each, it sounds like I'm using a pick. Also, I use my other thumb to fret the G string on chords such as the F7 (on a GCEA reentrant tuned soprano). Ric

Ukuleleblues
04-21-2009, 01:00 PM
I used to be able to play part of the xmas song "Do You see what I see" by fretting with my nose. Kind of broke up Xmas set a little.

MisoHappy
04-21-2009, 01:09 PM
Now, that I want to see! :p Can you post a video?

No, I'm just kidding, lol :p

I actually tried it just now, and it hurts :(

UkuEroll
04-22-2009, 03:07 AM
I've been looking at loads of vids all over the net, and it seems to me that everyone has there own way of playing, if it sounds good then, IMHO its up to you, I use my index finger and my thumb, somtimes together somtimes on there own.

Its all good