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trademen
11-01-2011, 10:22 AM
I see a lot of people saying that one should strum down with the nail of the index finger, and up with the flesh of that finger. But when I watch most videos on youtube it looks like they are just strumming up and down with their thumb. I'm currently playing mine with a strumming motion of the thumb and it does not sound....bad, per say. But I'm a little confused as to how one should strum with your nails without having your hand really far away from the strings.

BadLands Bart
11-01-2011, 10:27 AM
There are no set rules on how to play a ukulele. If you like to strum using your thumb and you like the sound you get...then you are good.
BUT...try to strum using different styles and fingers, it will open up a whole world of uke playing for you.

hoosierhiver
11-01-2011, 10:35 AM
There are no set rules on how to play a ukulele. If you like to strum using your thumb and you like the sound you get...then you are good.
BUT...try to strum using different styles and fingers, it will open up a whole world of uke playing for you.

I second that, well said.

SailingUke
11-01-2011, 10:41 AM
There are no set rules on how to play a ukulele. If you like to strum using your thumb and you like the sound you get...then you are good.
BUT...try to strum using different styles and fingers, it will open up a whole world of uke playing for you.

Another vote for this, with the addition, if we all strummed the same, we would sound the same, boring.

trademen
11-01-2011, 10:48 AM
would anyone be able to suggest a guide (preferably video) on the exact technique of strumming with your nail?

PhilUSAFRet
11-01-2011, 02:05 PM
While most players may "use" the thumb with some strumming techniques. it is not the norm to strum only with the thumb. Here are a bunch of sites..Pick some!

https://www.google.com/#hl=en&sugexp=kjrmc&cp=17&gs_id=1b&xhr=t&q=how+to+strum+a+ukulele&tok=0Y982-patlRcJ9BellDuww&pf=p&sclient=psy-ab&source=hp&pbx=1&oq=how+to+strum+a+uk&aq=0&aqi=g4&aql=f&gs_sm=&gs_upl=&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=c5de1d072ea03349&biw=792&bih=356

RawrGazzawrs
11-01-2011, 02:29 PM
Straightforward answer on how a lot of people strum...
down with the nail of your index, up with the nail of your thumb so your thumb and index make a cross
up and down with the flesh side of your index
down with the flesh of your thumb and up with the flesh of your index.

But they arent the only ways of strumming, so keep that in mind i guess...

modern day ukuleleist
11-01-2011, 02:40 PM
A lot of people do strum with their thumbs, which works if you build up a callous.

I did for a long time because my fingers always used to get stuck on the strings while strumming.

Best thing to do:
-Use your index finger and thumb
-Start off very slowly and very lightly strumming the strings (almost so light that you're just gliding your fingers over the strings)
-Practice at the slow speed for a while (until you get used to the wrist/arm motion)
-Then gradually increase the speed of strumming and how hard you strum, while focusing very hard on not getting your fingers stuck (don't focus on anything else, like the chord you're playing, just focus on strumming)

After a while you get used to it. It might not come quick though.

23skidoo
11-02-2011, 03:36 AM
UU's 'Uke Minutes' video series has a lot of great intro videos to basic techniques. Here's the one for 'Basic Strum'


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYzf6cFSD9E

If you go through these videos in order, they get progressively more complex, for the most part. Covers a wide variety of different strumming styles.

I use my thumb all the time, by the way. Usually when I'm going for more of a bluegrass mandolin sound - I get a sharper, brighter attack with my thumbnail, more like strumming a guitar or mandolin.....

mandrew
11-13-2011, 12:20 PM
I strum with index finger and thumb. Some renowned players use the thumb for about everything! Watch Ohta San and see that he uses mostly thumb and index finger, not only for strumming, but for picking also. He found out what worked for him.

Big_e
11-13-2011, 01:22 PM
With the way Ohta San strums, he doesn't need a strap since he cradles the uke with the other 4 fingers as he plays. I can see this being of an advantage when hitting hard chords like Em or any barre chord.
Ernest