View Full Version : Fingerpicking style on soprano?

07-11-2009, 08:27 AM
As someone who continues to have problems with fingering on soprano size ukes, I wonder if there are significant differences among soprano ukes that might make fingerstyle (a la Ritz, or Ohta-san) easier?
For example, are there differences in the neck width that might allow for easier fingering for longer/bigger fingers? My Kiwaya KS-5 is a neat little uke, but even after many months of practice I find it hard to do clean picking, even at slower tempos. Perhaps the neck is narrower than some? (I don't know for sure since I haven't played a wide range of sopranos)
Anyway, can other soprano players make comparisons?

07-11-2009, 08:40 AM
The width of the fretboard at the nut and the amount of taper of the fretboard vary from uke to uke, althought factory made instruments keep it in a fairly narrow range. Individual luthiers, on the other hand, can vary those measurements considerably, depending on the size of your hands. The down side to deviating from the standard very much is it may be difficult to sell a custom instrument, if you decide to do so.


07-11-2009, 09:34 AM
A long neck soprano will give you more room between frets, but maybe not a wider neck. But, I find that extra room is very helpful especially when playing higher on the neck. My long neck soprano is a concert neck on a soprano body. I have even heard of tenor neck on a soprano body, but they are more rare. I find it is easiest (for me) to play the tenor scale. I think the shorter scales are less forgiving to my fingering mistakes (usually meaning unintentional bending of notes). But, I have only been playing a few months.


07-11-2009, 10:42 AM
Oscar Schmidt makes a wide neck for some of their ukuleles just for fingerpicking, but you have to call them direct because the supply is very limited.

07-11-2009, 04:39 PM
The string scale length of ukes vary as well. My RISA electric soprano has a scale that's more than an inch longer than my custom soprano. Having short stubby little fingers, I like the custom's scale a little better. You might find a soprano with a longer 14-inch scale easier for picking.

07-13-2009, 04:04 AM
Thanks for all the different ideas and stuff to look into.