View Full Version : Type of pick used???

04-03-2018, 08:30 AM
Well as you guessed....new here and a question I cannot seem to find the answer to readily.

What pick if you use one do you use to play the uke?

Material & thickness is what I guess I am looking to.

04-03-2018, 09:05 AM
Well as you guessed....new here and a question I cannot seem to find the answer to readily.

What pick if you use one do you use to play the uke?

Material & thickness is what I guess I am looking to.
There are some people who use picks, and I'm sure that they will check in here in time, but most ukulele players do not use picks. They strum with their fingers.

04-03-2018, 10:54 AM
I play with picks. I use the same that I use on all my plucked stringed instruments - Dunlop Jazz III. I use the factory standards and also those made by custom makers in the same shape, just different materials such as bone, horn, and wood.

04-03-2018, 12:09 PM
These are the best picks for ukulele that I have found: Wedgie Rubber Picks (https://www.amazon.com/Wedgie-WRPP31M-3-1mm-Medium-Rubber/dp/B0002Z2CZY/ref=sr_1_3?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1522792924&sr=1-3&keywords=wedgie+rubber+pick&dpID=41rBfFC76lL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch)

If you must use a pick, they give a nice clear sound, without any 'pick click'. They do tend to wear on the edge, especially if you play hard at all.

When I first started playing ukulele, I ordered them by the 18-pack. But I seldom, if ever, use a pick anymore, and use my nails and fingertips now.

Peace Train
04-03-2018, 01:03 PM
I don’t use a pick too often, but I do prefer them for soeed and clarity on some classical songs I learned early on—it’s what I got used to and was hard to switch to fingerstyle for these particular songs after I’d already learned. I went through a variety of picks before settling on two—Gibson THIN which I believe are celluloid, and felt picks. It’s really a preference of what’s comfortable for you and helps to try firsthand. Luckily one of my local music shops had a jar-full on the counter to try before you buy. Hope this helps.

04-03-2018, 02:30 PM
Will take all advice here under careful consideration. I did see the felt picks. I may try some of those. I use to play a little guitar about 10 years ago and used a variety of picks. My favorite to get a jazz type pluck was a lignum vitae pick. Looked like a dinosaur crapped it out but wow what a nice little medium to make a pick out of.

04-04-2018, 12:25 AM
My favourite pick is a homemade one. Made of a rubbery plastic flexible flooring material that I fished out of a trash bin years back. My uke teacher liked them so much he loaned me a punch designed to make the usual rounded triangle shape. I would post a picture but it is just a little grey triangle.

I use them on my Fender 52 concert because it sounds right. I don't use them often on my Martin T1k because it doesn't sound so good. Although sometime my strumming fingers are sore with worn nails so I strum with the pick. On my steel string electric, I use a very thin plastic guitar pick.

Felt and leather picks seem too thick and rigid. I imagine a softer and more flexible leather might be good. Look around to see what you have on hand. You can cut a pick with scissors, doesn't have to be perfectly shaped.

04-04-2018, 12:58 AM
I use a pick when my finger nails are worn down to the meat... For me the best sound would be medium felt pick. It probably gives the best sound, IMHO. Doesn't have that super sharp sound to it if you were to use a plastic pick. The downside is that it wears out easily. My second pick I use is a plastic thumb pick but you have to show restraint or else you get the super sharp sound. Where if you're just using the fingers, no restraint needed :)

04-04-2018, 03:32 AM
Leather pick, if I use one at all.
Usually just the pad of my fingers or thumb

04-04-2018, 03:49 AM
I think most people don't use a pick for ukulele.
It's a nylon strung instrument, like classical guitar, and it really shines fingerpicked.

That being said, you can use any pick of your preference.
The question is as broad as asking guitarists what picks they use. The answer is, whichever pick you prefer.

If you are concerned about damaging your ukulele top, it would be a good idea to get one of those plastic pickguards that just stick onto the top.
You may need to cut it to size if it's designed for guitar.

For example, here's a guitalele I fitted with one of those aftermarket pickguards:

04-04-2018, 04:27 AM
The best pick for ukulele is the Mahalo felt pick, available on ebay

I started out with a pick like these, but eventually, switched to just strumming with my finger. I think it gave me a good start, but not something to stick with. :shaka:

04-04-2018, 04:30 AM
The major issue with using a pick is that the top of your uke is 2 - 3mm thick, maybe a bit less. If it is a softer wood, or even a harder wood, about five attacks with the wrong pick can put a hole in the top of your uke. If you are madly strumming away, that can be over in about five seconds. So you need to think about the pick in terms of the damage to the top, as well as the sound you want. .

That's why you use a felt pick and don't strum so hard, besides, you're supposed to be strumming just off the end of the body at or near the center of the strings. :D:shaka:

04-04-2018, 04:35 AM
I have loads of picks, and tried them all when I first got a uke. None of them, thin or thick, hard or soft material, satisfied me. The sound of bare finger flesh was best by far. Problem was, I didn't know how to use my fingers to play. So I determined to learn. I briefly tried growing my nails, but now trim them back like I did before. Bare fingers sound better than nails to me. And I'm still learning...


04-04-2018, 04:52 AM
I use thumb pick whenever I feel that my nail is not at the right length. I just use a guitar plastic thumb pick and file it down to eliminate the click click click sound.
Here is one of my videos using a thumb pick .


Uke Don
04-04-2018, 06:02 AM
Nice playing Brenda. Very expressive, as usual.

04-04-2018, 06:15 AM
Nice playing Brenda. Very expressive, as usual.

Thank you Don
I have tried so many different picks but none work
I asked MM Stan what theHawaiian players use. He said file it down so that’s what I did. The down side is the strings wear out faster !

04-04-2018, 06:52 AM
I use a pick with everything. For almost all (including ukes) a "medium" (0,7mm) nylon pick works fine for me. The "Jazz III" and standard shapexs are favorites.

I'm not a strummer and play a lot of rock and country. The pick can influence the sound in several ways and it's fun to experiment with tunes tgat way.

04-04-2018, 10:07 PM
I don't use a pick on ukulele. Coming from mostly classical guitar b/g, I use my fingernails.

For steel strings, such as acoustic or electric guitar, I will use the cheap plastic or celluloid 'Fender' brand 'medium' or 'light' picks that I can find online for a dozen-pack sold for ~$1.50 @ ebay, etc...

I tried the Dunlop 'tortex' and 'ultex' picks and liked them well enough, but not wanting to spend $2 per single pick, I stopped buying them.

I play mostly a combination of campanella and/or flamenco style with the natural nails on my right hand, so using a pick on ukulele is really an anathema to me.

04-05-2018, 03:30 PM
I come from a steel stringed guitar. Have really been struggling with using my just nails and fingers as I have some issues with a childhood hand injury that makes a pick almost a requirement. I had tried felt picks but just couldn’t get along with them. After reading Steedy’s response I gave the Medium Wedgies a try. These have made my strumming and picking so much more accurate I cant even begin to explain. My skills are moving forward at a rapid pace now.

Thanks so much Steedy for the lead to Wedgies picks.



04-05-2018, 05:48 PM
You're welcome. We Steves have to look out for each other, you know! :cool:

Patrick Madsen
04-05-2018, 06:15 PM
If you're strumming with a hard pick and taking wood off the soundboard, I suggest you change your style. I am a fingerpicker but also use a Dunlop .60mm(Light gray) and .68mm(dark Gray)pick. I've done more damage to a soundboard with fingernails than I've ever done with a pick.

If you want to start out using a pick go with a light .38mm (White) Dunlop. They're very flexible and are easy to learn strumming with; as you get more profiecient, you can try heavier picks. Thumb and fingerpicks are fun also.

04-06-2018, 06:12 AM
When I use a pick, which is rarely, I like the larger triangular mandolin picks, with rounded off corners, you can get a good tremolo going with those. Examples would be Golden Gate, or some fake tort ones you can find on eBay. (no tortoises were harmed in the making of this post ;))