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wrbriggs
12-13-2012, 11:08 AM
I've been playing strummed and flatpicked guitar for a little over a year and a half, and recently received a ukulele as a gift (Kala KA-C). Strummed, it sounds quite nice, and I started playing my way through the "Complete Idiot's Guide to Ukulele" book; as soon as I set out to learn some of the simple fingerpicking patterns, I immediately noticed that the fretted strings have maybe 1/4 the volume of the open strings. Is this just expected, and I need to compensate by picking harder?

katysax
12-13-2012, 11:57 AM
My guess is that you are just not used to the difference in sound between flatpicking a steel string guitar and fingerpicking on nylon strings. You might not be fretting cleanly, but my guess is that you just aren't used to the difference in sound. Don't pick too hard it won't sound good. I don't pick hard at all.

anthonyg
12-13-2012, 10:45 PM
I've been playing strummed and flatpicked guitar for a little over a year and a half, and recently received a ukulele as a gift (Kala KA-C). Strummed, it sounds quite nice, and I started playing my way through the "Complete Idiot's Guide to Ukulele" book; as soon as I set out to learn some of the simple fingerpicking patterns, I immediately noticed that the fretted strings have maybe 1/4 the volume of the open strings. Is this just expected, and I need to compensate by picking harder?

Strumming is always louder than picking however there shouldn't be that much difference between picking an open or fretted string volume wise. I'm a bit bamboozled. Yes nylgut/nylon strings aren't as bright as steel strings. Nothing wrong with picking hard. Sometimes I really snap the strings back.

Anthony

OldePhart
12-14-2012, 01:51 PM
Picking far up the neck on some ukes can be pretty underwhelming, but picking around the first few frets shouldn't be bad at all. Sometimes it just takes a while to find the right strings for picking further up the neck. That Kala probably came with Aquilas and I've not been too impressed with their sound up the neck. You might try some Worth or Martin fluorocarbon strings if you're going to do a lot of picking.

John

BBert
12-15-2012, 12:34 PM
Since we're sorta on the subject, I recently got a Pono Acacia Tenor with whatever strings they set them up with. Picking the strings sounds marvelous. When I strum with my fingernail it sounds dull, dead, flat, terrible. Any advice?

Maybe I'll just learn to finger pick and call it good? :)

Gwynedd
12-16-2012, 03:37 AM
A lot has to do with strings as has been said here. I changed from Aquila to Southcoast--Dirk has a number of styles of strings that sound brighter when finger picked, which is how I play (though I grew up as a strummer.) Change your strings until you find some that sound the way you desire. If Aquilas are too "barky" then try Southcoast or D'Addario. There will always be a string that sounds better to you and feels better, as well.

Lori
12-16-2012, 05:28 AM
:agree: Yes, strings can make a difference. You should try out several different kinds and see what sounds best on your uke. For example, in many cases Aquila is good for strumming, but Worth's is good for fingerpicking. You might also try UU member Ken Middleton's Living Water Strings, I have liked them so far (and I do mostly finger picking). http://www.kenmiddleton.co.uk/Pages/LWS.aspx

Another thing to consider, try less pressure when fretting. Guitars require a "death grip" power that is maybe too much pressure for the uke.

–Lori