View Full Version : Beginner - Strumming

03-16-2011, 08:45 AM
I recently ordered my first ukulele (Lainiki LU-21) and await it's arrival. This is probably a silly question but I was wondering what people usually do starting out, use a pick to strum or just use their fingers?

03-16-2011, 09:23 AM
I believe that the majority of players play with just their fingers and not a pick, though I think you CAN play with a pick if it feels more comfortable.

I just picked up my first uke yesterday actually so I am no expert. But coming from my guitar background I usually played with just my fingers in order to quickly switch from strumming and finger picking.

I would say use your fingers to strum, especially while learning if you can do it comfortably.

03-16-2011, 09:23 AM
I always use my fingers, whether picking or strumming, I am fairly new, I did a little of both, but more strumming learning chords. I found a few very simple picking songs on the web and learned those too for some variety.
Do what feels best to you and most of all do what you enjoy so you will stick with it! Have fun!

03-16-2011, 09:37 AM
Typically the ukulele is strum and/or picked with the fingers. It cases where a pick of some sort was used, the felt pick was used traditionally. Although, like a guitar, it is a fretted instrument, it really requires a different approach in order to remain faithful to its' characteristics and idiosyncrasies. I think after you start playing, you will see the kinds of control that you have with your fingers and hand.


03-16-2011, 09:52 AM
growing out the fingernails on the strumming hand a bit helps if you need to.

Coconut Willie
03-16-2011, 10:01 AM
As you will find out, when playing the ukulele...there is no hard and fast rule, it's what feels good to you and what works!!! Try both ways, although, when using a pick you are limiting yourself.

mm stan
03-16-2011, 12:29 PM
Try Growing some nails on you dominant hand for picking and strumming, and keep you fretting hand nails short.....see how it works for you...experiment and find what you like best...Good Luck and Happy Strummings..

03-16-2011, 02:27 PM
No right way but I started using my thumb & index finger , both or individually and started picking with both (nails short) as I like to feel the very edge of the strings with my fingertips. It will come with practice, you will get to know where the strings are with your fingertips. Like everyone says, whatever feels good & works for you

03-16-2011, 06:25 PM
I think most people will suggest that you don't use a pick and for the most part I agree. The only time I would suggest using a pick is if you're using metal strings. You just don't get the same pluck-iness that you get with nails and nylon strings.

03-17-2011, 04:21 AM
you should definitely learn how to strum with your finger. the strumming technique is slightly different from the guitar, and takes a little bit to get used to. with practice, it shouldn't take too long to get used to. congrats on your first ukulele and happy playing!

Nico of Ukulele Journey

03-17-2011, 11:57 AM
I started off playing guitar, and on guitar I usually prefer to use a pick. In fact I keep one in my wallet just in case. At this point, it's almost a psychological thing that I *need* to have that pick to play guitar or I don't feel comfortable.

But for the uke, I like to use the fingers. I don't know if it's the nylon strings or what, but something about the feel of the strings on my fingertops is just pleasant--like I'm in tune with the instrument more. I think it's worth learning to use your fingers. Good luck!