View Full Version : Probably a silly question regarding picking on the fretboard

09-25-2009, 04:02 PM
Okay, so I think this is a silly/weird question, but bear with me, I've only been playing for about 10 weeks.

I've started doing a bit of picking, and I presumed that you picked over the 12th fret like you would strum, but when I try to I sort of end up making scratching sounds against the fretboard and it's hard to get my nails around the strings. When I try picking lower, it's not the most comfortable on my arm.

Am I doing it totally wrong? Any suggestions? Thanks so much, guys!

09-25-2009, 04:23 PM
I pick just past the fretboard usually, but it kind of depends on the uke (i.e., how many frets it has), and I usually strum just past where the neck joins the body, but again, it depends.

Besides the nail thing you mention, I usually like (and this me here) a slightly more focused sound when I pick and a little more warmth when I strum, and this does it for me.

Some people like the sound of strumming further down, some people strum all the way up past the soundhole, some people pick way back on the neck...some folks loves hamhocks, some folks loves pork chops, some folks loves vegetable soup...

...different strokes...

Try picking in different spots and pick what's comfortable and what sounds good to you. If you ain't comfortable, your music will tell on you.

09-25-2009, 04:28 PM

There is no right or wrong place to fingerpick. In fact if you experiment you'll find that picking right over the soundhole gives a deeper tone while picking next to the bridge gives a more nasally twang. Where you fingerpick depends on two factors: what feels comfortable in your hands and what sounds good to your ears. Don't pay attention to what's considered "correct." Just play around until you find what sounds and feels like a sweet spot.

09-25-2009, 05:22 PM
How are you holding your uke? If you're cradling your uke with the strumming arm, changing picking positions can be awkward and uncomfortable. Maybe using a strap will open up some more comfortable picking positions.

09-25-2009, 07:10 PM
Thanks for all your helpful replies!
Yes, I am cradling it, but I'm considering getting a strap, or at least grabbing a bit of string and trying that for the mean time.
I think I'll also try sort of resting it in my lap more like a guitar so I can get my fingers down to the soundhole as I think on this particular uke that's where it'll sound good picked.

Thanks again, you guys rock!