View Full Version : Noticed something about my upstrum today

06-17-2011, 07:58 AM
Was practicing at lunch today when I noticed something about my upstrum. I pinch my thumb and pointer finger together like I'm holding a pic and my downstrum is the top of the nail on my pointer finger and my upstrum is the top of the nail on my thumb. Most things I've read suggest the nail of the pointer finger for the downstrum and the pad of the pointer finger for the upstrum. Do you think thumb nail on upstrum will produce more volume vs upstrum using the pad of the finger? Are upstrums supposed to be more muted than downstrums?

06-17-2011, 08:39 AM
I believe somewhere there is a video of Jake explaining this same technique. I remember him talking about holding the thumb and pointer finger together like you'd hold a business card.

06-17-2011, 09:02 AM
I was going to suggest penicillin, but then realised I misread the title.

06-17-2011, 12:51 PM
Ah, good question... best to explore both styles! My nails produce brighter tone; my fingers' pads produce deeper tone. Both sound nice in different situations. The contrast is nice, too.

06-17-2011, 01:36 PM
I strum the same way using my thumb on the upstrum. I have tried different ways and this is the way that feels most natural to me.

mm stan
06-17-2011, 06:40 PM
I use the thumb in some instances to strum too...up and down...

06-18-2011, 07:48 AM
I use the thumb in some instances to strum too...up and down...

That's the way I almost always strum. I've played guitar for years without a pick, so when I took up uke I transferred the same strumming and picking patterns over. I used my index finger to strum on occasion, but the thumb is more natural for me.

As far as whether upstrums are supposed to be more muted, I think it all depends on the sound you're after. Little quirky differences aren't neccesarily bad; they can may one's style unique!

06-20-2011, 09:54 AM
I strum the same way, as if holing a pick, index nail down, thumb nail up. That style gives you much more volume, but a more harsh sound as well. Mix it up a bit and try other things if will allow you more diversity in your playing styles... sticking to one thing (like strumming style or how you play your E chord) will limit your options later down the road, its easier to learn this stuff now