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View Full Version : Do Uke Players ever stop using "One Finger per Fret" fingering?



deFontie
01-06-2013, 03:40 AM
I have been playing the mandolin for four years, and I just got a ukelele for Christmas. I love it! I just have one question...

The book I am using to teach myself the uke uses the "one finger per fret fingering". When you need to play the fifth fret, you just move every finger up a fret.

However, when I was first taught the mandolin, I also used this one finger per fret fingering. After about 6 months, when my fingers had become more flexible from playing the mando, my teacher showed me a new fingering: the first finger plays the 1st and 2nd frets, the 2nd finger plays the 3rd and 4th frets, the 3rd finger plays the 5th and 6th frets, and the 4th finger plays the 7th fret.

I was wondering if uke players also end up switching to this fingering, because if they do, then I will be able to start using it from the get-go because my fingers are already flexible enough to do this (because of my mandolin experience).

Thanks for your help!

HBolte
01-06-2013, 03:54 AM
Don't know if I'm right or wrong. I use 1st finger on 1st fret, 2nd finger on 2nd, 3rd on3rd...

Chris Tarman
01-06-2013, 04:05 AM
If you're already able to do it on mandolin, I see no reason why it shouldn't work on a uke. Give it a shot!

Kem
01-06-2013, 05:09 AM
I think the "whatever works for you" rule applies here.

Harold O.
01-06-2013, 06:53 AM
If you press a piano key with your elbow, it sounds the same as if you pressed it with your finger. Same concept applies to ukulele fretting.

The book you are using is probably geared to beginners. The authors have to give some sort of direction to the reader. They are not rules, more like guidelines and a reasonable place to start. Suggestions such as using your ring or pinky finger to make the standard C chord are meant to develop habits that will make it easier to transition to the next chord, etc.

Your mandolin experience will prove quite helpful as you learn where the notes are on the ukulele. As a strummer, I rarely use a pick. But a well-picked ukulele produces some wonderful sounds.

deFontie
01-06-2013, 07:02 AM
I still haven't got a real answer here. Do all uke players use one finger per fret when they get better, some of them, or none of them?

BIGDB
01-06-2013, 07:14 AM
To me it all really depends on the song you're playing and where the next note will be and you always want the best sound so what ever feels right to you will usaually give you the best sound so if I were you I'd ignore what the book says and do what feels right and always anticipate where the next note is and try to be in the best position possible

That's what I think

Harold O.
01-06-2013, 07:18 AM
KEM said it. "Whatever works for you."

Now if you are polling the populace, my guess from your three options is "some of them."

I started holding the strings how I was first shown. As I progress, I don't think about it as much and let my fingers fing whichever way they can. Sometimes I make a D chord with one finger holding down the strings (typically the middle), other times I see I am using two fingers. A few players in my circle use three fingers every time. "ALL ukulele players" is a bit too broad a blanket.

UkuEroll
01-06-2013, 07:22 AM
I still haven't got a real answer here. Do all uke players use one finger per fret when they get better, some of them, or none of them?
When I took lessons on guitar I used the one finger per fret, but as stated above it really depends on what note is coming next. I was taught the minimun movement style, which basically means trying to play the next note with as little movement of the fretting hand as possible. Hope that makes sense!

wallyboy
01-06-2013, 07:53 AM
if you are looking for yes no answer, i would say yes, simply because of easy transition, being a newbie, i go from f to dm by flattening tip of finger, on the other hand i do b flat with individual frets, if you take lesson in a car you are taught in a certain way then after you pass your test you really learn to drive

deFontie
01-06-2013, 08:27 AM
I have decided to go with the "one finger per fret" where each finger only plays one fret.

pulelehua
01-06-2013, 09:45 AM
It's actually quite hard to play one piano key with your elbow. John Lennon's attempts in 1965 are a good illustration of the difficulties encountered.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPpK-jTb_BE

Markr1
01-06-2013, 11:37 AM
The acid trip they were on at the time had a lot to do with that attempt of John playing with his elbow and messing up on the backup vocals and him and George laughing uncontrollably at each other.
Sorry for taking this thread off track.
It's actually quite hard to play one piano key with your elbow. John Lennon's attempts in 1965 are a good illustration of the difficulties encountered.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPpK-jTb_BE

jop
01-06-2013, 11:50 AM
There is one major difference between the mandolin and the 'uke: The mandolin is tuned in fifths, and thus you have to go down the neck to 7th fret before the next string 'takes over'. So playing a mandolin is much more along the neck (meaning each finger has to take care of more frets) rather than the 'ukulele's across the neck (in quarts and major thirds - ignoring reentrant tuning) where 'one finger - one fret' is just about right. In short: different instruments - different styles... but whatever gets you there is right.

Jens

HBolte
01-06-2013, 01:01 PM
The acid trip they were on at the time had a lot to do with that attempt of John playing with his elbow and messing up on the backup vocals and him and George laughing uncontrollably at each other.
Sorry for taking this thread off track.

Sorry but there was no acid use by the Beatles in 1964. Lennon later in '68, yes.

Plainsong
01-06-2013, 01:05 PM
Sorry but there was no acid use by the Beatles in 1964. Lennon later in '68, yes.

Thanks, I was going to point out that it was because they knew this roller coaster was done, and no one could hear them anyway. As for the OP, you won't get a scientifically polled response, so take advantage of what you can do, and do what works for you.

deFontie
01-06-2013, 01:24 PM
There is one major difference between the mandolin and the 'uke: The mandolin is tuned in fifths, and thus you have to go down the neck to 7th fret before the next string 'takes over'. So playing a mandolin is much more along the neck (meaning each finger has to take care of more frets) rather than the 'ukulele's across the neck (in quarts and major thirds - ignoring reentrant tuning) where 'one finger - one fret' is just about right. In short: different instruments - different styles... but whatever gets you there is right.

Jens

Thanks! I was actually wondering myself if that were true. I think I'll go with one finger - one fret.

blue_knight_usa
01-06-2013, 05:57 PM
You should be able to do whatever is most comfortable and most effecient, as sometimes moving between frets, notes and chords you develop shortcuts or using one finger on two strings, I even use one finger on three strings in several places, so I think whatever works for you is what you should practice. Sometimes trying to force yourself into someone elses style makes things frustrating and then you end up having more stress figuring things out than fun. Good luck, it's an awesome instrument with unlimited potential!


I have been playing the mandolin for four years, and I just got a ukelele for Christmas. I love it! I just have one question...

The book I am using to teach myself the uke uses the "one finger per fret fingering". When you need to play the fifth fret, you just move every finger up a fret.

However, when I was first taught the mandolin, I also used this one finger per fret fingering. After about 6 months, when my fingers had become more flexible from playing the mando, my teacher showed me a new fingering: the first finger plays the 1st and 2nd frets, the 2nd finger plays the 3rd and 4th frets, the 3rd finger plays the 5th and 6th frets, and the 4th finger plays the 7th fret.

I was wondering if uke players also end up switching to this fingering, because if they do, then I will be able to start using it from the get-go because my fingers are already flexible enough to do this (because of my mandolin experience).

Thanks for your help!