View Full Version : beginner. OUCH!

04-30-2010, 09:43 PM
Hi guys!

I got my ukulele early this morning and had been playing it all day! I am super excited. I moved home after graduating from my undergrad and yay, ukulele arrived!

It's my first time playing any type of string instruments. My fingers are still getting used to it (ie, they are in so much pain.. ). I know everything takes practice but I feel like I'm doing something wrong with my strumming because 1st, it doesn't sound smooth no matter how hard I try and 2nd, it hurts so much..

For strumming, should I be using the flesh part of my index finger? or using the nail?

For fingers on fret, are there specific "fingerings" for each chord or can you alter them based on how they flow in the chord progression?

Any comments and tips will be awesome! Thanks!

04-30-2010, 10:00 PM
Welcome to UU! ok let's see....

1) Usually your nail, unless there's a part where you want the sound it makes when you use your skin.

2) Do you mean change the chord shape, or change which fingers go to which note? For the former, if it sounds good, then sure, why not. If the latter, use whatever is comfortable to you. (This will be the answer to many questions along the way haha)

And as you will aaaallways hear it's

practice, practice, practice. You started playing today? Don't worry, it's just the learning curve, everyone's been there :) You'll find your groove soon enough

As for the pain, that's good. You'll eventually develop callouses which make it virtually painless to play.

Good luck and have fun!

05-01-2010, 02:47 PM
....And as you will aaaallways hear it's

practice, practice, practice. You started playing today? Don't worry, it's just the learning curve, everyone's been there ...

Yeah- I definitely second that! It'll take a while for your fingers to get used to it, but I'd say if you play for even just 20 minutes a day - I think that you'll find that in a couple of weeks you'll not only have less soreness in your fingers - but you'll find that your fingers (strumming and fretting) start to know what to do without so much thought on your part.

The biggest thing that helped me was just to make sure that I grabbed my uke once a day - even if only for 5 minutes it that's all the time I had that day - and just strummed something...anything at all!

There's so many good video tutorials on this site and Youtube - especially ones made for beginners.

good luck!

05-01-2010, 03:55 PM
Keep at it. It just takes a little time to find your everything, but it will come.

05-01-2010, 04:14 PM
Getting used to the instrument is part of it. I also noticed that my first uke the action was set really high and it definitely caused me more pain on my fretting fingers than I needed to endured. When I bought the higher end uke later, it was an amazing difference.

What kind of uke do you have and is it hard to make ceertain chord shapes. For example is it easier to play the C chord vs. G7 or the F chord. On the G7 and F chords is it harder to push the string down on the first fret?

For the strumming hand on the downstroke I use my nail on the index finger hitting the part of the nail that is closest to the middle finger. And on the upstroke, I use the fleshy pad on the index finger.

Good luck!

05-02-2010, 03:11 AM
The best way to learn any instrument relatively quickly is to practice every day. The more you put your fingers in those awkward positions, the more they will get used to being there. When it hurts, take a break and stretch your fingers and arms.

05-02-2010, 01:55 PM
As for the ouch part: it takes about two weeks for your calluses to build up enough so it won't be hurting. Play often, for short amounts of time, throughout the day. I found using Aveeno lotion on my fingertips helped too. You WANT those calluses! My fingers hurt *and* were numb for about two weeks, but now I can play pretty much as long as I want.