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Down Up Dick
05-04-2017, 05:39 AM
I had a very good, first flatpicking session yesterday, but I found that the volume was too low. I was playing with my finger pads, but then I switched to a Dunlop .38mm flat pick and solved the problem.

Flatpickers, do you use finger pads or finger nails or a pick?

I know many Ukers don't like using flat picks, but it sounded okay to me. :old:

RichM
05-04-2017, 06:00 AM
I'm one of those players who doesn't like using a flatpick on the ukulele. It's not because I don't like picks; I have several thousand of them in my house, and I use them on guitar, mandolin, and metal fingerpicks on the five-string banjo. It's just personal preference; I've tried it both ways, and I prefer playing with bare fingers, both for the tone and the tactile experience. There's no right or wrong, play the way that feels and sounds best to you!

Down Up Dick
05-04-2017, 07:19 AM
I'm one of those players who doesn't like using a flatpick on the ukulele. It's not because I don't like picks; I have several thousand of them in my house, and I use them on guitar, mandolin, and metal fingerpicks on the five-string banjo. It's just personal preference; I've tried it both ways, and I prefer playing with bare fingers, both for the tone and the tactile experience. There's no right or wrong, play the way that feels and sounds best to you!

Yes, but do you use the pads of your fingers or finger nails? :old:

Rllink
05-04-2017, 07:31 AM
You got me to check, because I've not thought about it for a long time. I use the pads of my fingers, but I have evidently developed a technique were I pluck by hooking the string and pulling it out, instead of just strumming the single string with the finger. It is very subtle, and I don't yank in or anything, it is just a little hook and pluck. I don't even think about it until you brought it up and I played a little to see. I wonder if at some time down the road I started doing that just because of what you are talking about.

RichM
05-04-2017, 07:35 AM
Yes, but do you use the pads of your fingers or finger nails? :old:

For fingerpicking, pads. I keep my nails too short for them to be of any practical use in fingerpicking.

Fuzzbass
05-04-2017, 07:37 AM
Me, too, always kept nails very short for bass playing. Use a pick half the time on my basses as well :-)

RichM
05-04-2017, 07:40 AM
Me, too, always kept nails very short for bass playing. Use a pick half the time on my basses as well :-)

Finger plucking is one of the joys of playing bass for me! The only time I'll use a pick is when I'm playing something like Led Zeppelin's "Rock n Roll" and I'm playing that same "A" a thousand times in rapid succession.

Down Up Dick
05-04-2017, 07:49 AM
For fingerpicking, pads. I keep my nails too short for them to be of any practical use in fingerpicking.

Yeah, me too. :old:

Croaky Keith
05-04-2017, 08:41 AM
I mainly use my thumb, side of the pad, when I'm picking melodies, but If I try arpeggiating, I tend to hook the tips slightly under the strings to play them.

I have tried with a pick, but it feels alien to me.

Down Up Dick
05-04-2017, 09:18 AM
I mainly use my thumb, side of the pad, when I'm picking melodies, but If I try arpeggiating, I tend to hook the tips slightly under the strings to play them.

I have tried with a pick, but it feels alien to me.

I like to use the thumb as you do when I'm just sampling a tune. But I feel that it's not the "right" way to pick, so I then try to follow instructions. I know . . . so don't tell me that there is no "right" way, but I am certainly not modern. Do you include chords in your fingerpicking?

Anyway, as I said before, I can pick with my fingers, but I can't seem to get enough volume. I know that some Ukers use their fingernails, but mine are short.

Anyhow, i'm just wondering what other peoole do. Thanks for the post. :old:

One Man And His Uke
05-04-2017, 09:34 AM
Pad player here too. When I was in my teens a very very long time ago I grew the nails on my right hand for picking guitar, but not for a long time now. I've also experimented in the past with a thumb pick for a while. I tried finger picks but never got on with them. I still use a flat pick to play guitar and mandolin, and even hybrid pick on guitar a la Richard Thompson. But for Uke it's just pads. That works for me.

southcoastukes
05-04-2017, 03:30 PM
Anyway, as I said before, I can pick with my fingers, but I can't seem to get enough volume... :old:

Enough volume for what?

Camsuke
05-04-2017, 04:39 PM
I had a very good, first flatpicking session yesterday, but I found that the volume was too low. I was playing with my finger pads, but then I switched to a Dunlop .38mm flat pick and solved the problem.

Flatpickers, do you use finger pads or finger nails or a pick?

I know many Ukers don't like using flat picks, but it sounded okay to me. :old:

I'm a little confused by this question Dick,
Fingerpicking is done using your fingers
Flatpicking is done using a flatpick
These are two completely different techniques.
Are you referring to the attack on the plucked string? Whether it's blight & crisp or more of a mellow sound?

Down Up Dick
05-04-2017, 07:29 PM
The sound wasn't loud enough. Sorry about the confusion. :old:

Croaky Keith
05-04-2017, 09:39 PM
In that case, it's like when I record my acoustics playing melodies, you just have to dig in deep & give it a good ole twang. :)

anthonyg
05-05-2017, 03:07 AM
I fingerpick with my nails which are moderate in length. Sometimes long if I don't get around to filing them enough. I reenforce my thumb nail and the two fingers I pick with with acrylic which is thick and this allows me to get a smooth round edge on my nails.

This is all done so that I can pick with quite a bit of force and be LOUD. Its just my style.

Anthony

Jim Yates
05-05-2017, 04:32 AM
For the last eight or nine years, I've been paying a visit to Lily's Nails regularly to get my index, bird and ring fingers reinforced with acrylic. I started with just the bird finger for playing clawhammer banjo, but this made my guitar picking unbalanced, so I decided to get three ails done. My ails extend about a sixteenth of an inch past the end of my fingertip and this seems to suit me fine. The acrylic nails work just fine for ukulele fingerpicking. I don't get my thumbnail reinforced since I pick with the side of my thumb. I'll sometimes use a blue Herco thumbpick on guitar, but never on ukulele.

janeray1940
05-05-2017, 04:35 AM
I use a thumbpick, since my thumb nail won't grow out, but natural nails on the rest of my right hand fingers. They're not long, just long enough to make contact with the strings, and much louder than just the finger pads.

bratsche
05-05-2017, 04:58 AM
I use my finger pads, as nails would interfere with my viola bowing. I have to clip them to the quick two or three times a week (they're soft, but grow fast), so I've never had the experience of plucking with them. It's a challenge to get an even sound as my thumb, first and second fingers are all padded differently. I don't use the others.

I've tried to avoid using a pick on my ukes, having tried at the outset and found that they sound "clicky", and that the fingers give a better tone. My picks are all 1.5 to 4mm thick, and I consider the former too light for my mandola playing, but evidently too heavy for the delicate uke strings. And I'm finding, as a newbie at this fingerpicking, that it's also a challenge to keep my pinkie from reflexively tightening and curling high up above the rest of my hand. Beats me why it wants to do that - it never does when I'm playing with a pick.

Achieving a loud volume can be difficult, especially in fast passages. I try to do the hook and pluck thing on slower ones, but there's no time on faster ones and the sound can be a little harsh and "brushy", especially when my first finger (which has the least flesh on the tip) plays on a wound string.

But challenges make life interesting, and keep the mind young. ;)

bratsche

Down Up Dick
05-05-2017, 05:11 AM
I've found that if I pick higher up the strings (towards the nut) I get a little more volume. I don't really wanna use a pick, but I don't wanna mess with my (clawhammer) nails either. So, I guess that means learning how to pad pick better.

Boy, if it ain't one thang, it's a nuther! :old:

bratsche
05-05-2017, 05:26 AM
Me too. I'm plucking much more over the end of the fingerboard than I ever have to do on my mandola. Getting more volume there must have something to do with playing close to the middle point of the vibrating string length. If I shorten that length by going into higher playing positions, then I pluck more over the soundhole.

bratsche

sopher
05-05-2017, 06:55 AM
I have acrylic nails on my thumb, index and middle finger. I find it not only adds volume when needed, but also a lot of versatility. I can strum and pick with just flesh, with just nails, or with a combination of them. This gives me a variety of tones that I can get. Combine that with moving up and down the fingerboard and quite a lot of different sounds are available. Stumming with my thumb side or nail gives me two very different sounds, - 1 like pad picking and one like using a pick - but I don't have to pick up and throw down the pick to alternate between these sounds within a song.

Nickie
05-05-2017, 12:37 PM
Finger pads, strictly. I dig in good and hard when I need volume. Fingernails don't work for me, they snag the strings, which means my nails have a lot of curve, and my angle isn't right.
The 8 string needs to be flat picked, it's almost impossible to fingerpick that thing.

Tootler
05-06-2017, 11:42 AM
Finger pads for me. My nails have got more brittle as I've got older and they split if I let them grow. I don't find a particular problem with volume. I can get enough for what I need. I don't really play melody. My finger picking is mostly picked arpeggios for song accompaniment.

2manistrings
05-06-2017, 01:42 PM
You got me to check, because I've not thought about it for a long time. I use the pads of my fingers, but I have evidently developed a technique were I pluck by hooking the string and pulling it out, instead of just strumming the single string with the finger. It is very subtle, and I don't yank in or anything, it is just a little hook and pluck. I don't even think about it until you brought it up and I played a little to see. I wonder if at some time down the road I started doing that just because of what you are talking about.

I just checked, myself. Seems I do the same thing. :)

Also, I don't use a pick on uke or guitar, because I can't seem to keep it in my hand. I've just learned by trial and error how to get the tone I want with my fingers. I think on uke, at least for me, if I want loud fingerpicking (which I do), I pick with purpose--like I mean it, maybe a little harder than I would if just noodling or practicing quietly.