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Tigeralum2001
01-21-2014, 06:52 PM
What fingerstyle techniques do you use and which is better:
1. Thumb on the G & C strings, and pointer on the E & A.
2. Thumb on the G, pointer on the C, middle on the E, ring on the A
3. Thumb on the G & C strings, pointer on the E, middle on the A

Today in class we started discussing fingerstyle technique and were told #1. I would have thought #2, but #3 feels more natural to me...

Anyhow my instructor said "One finger per string is like classical guitar. Hawaiians (which he is one) are too lazy for that, just use your thumb and pointer."

In reality, it probably won't matter much because I'll never play like Jake, but if I am going to drill the technique, which one sets me up for most success later and why?

sirwhale
01-21-2014, 09:33 PM
I too use thumb and the next three fingers, but I'm not 100% strict - it will change for certain parts for easier playing. Likewise, if I'm playing an alternating bass then my thumb will play G and C and if I'm playing patterns I initially learnt on the charango then I will use the thumb for G and C, index for E and middle for A.

Betelgeuxy
01-22-2014, 12:21 AM
I think it's worth adding - my guitar teacher used to tell me to not use the same finger for two consecutive notes on the same string, which is relevant to the ukulele.

xyz
01-22-2014, 01:35 AM
Subject beaten to death on these forums... If I were you I would try to learn equally this three techniques... and even try a lot more other techniques as well (there aren't only 3 !). I'd keep only what feels natural to me (after a good deal of practice). What is going to limit yourself later is to focus on only one technique to play everything.

My humble two cents...

Olarte
01-22-2014, 02:07 AM
Yep, why not use and mix different techniques?

As a classical guitarist, I use those techniques on ukulele, I also recently learned the two finger tequnique from one of Kimo Hussey's videos.

In fact I just did my own rendition of Hallelujah, where I use,the two finger tequnique, some strumming, chucking, and classical... http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?92015-Hallelujah-my-rendition-of-Kimo-Hussey-s-Instrumental


Subject beaten to death on these forums... If I were you I would try to learn equally this three techniques... and even try a lot more other techniques as well (there aren't only 3 !). I'd keep only what feels natural to me (after a good deal of practice). What is going to limit yourself later is to focus on only one technique to play everything.

My humble two cents...

sukie
01-22-2014, 02:33 AM
For the most part I use my thumb for G and C, my pointer for E and middle finger for A. But it gets mixed up a bit depending on the song. Sometimes two fingers play the same string.for consecutive notes on that string.

Kayak Jim
01-22-2014, 04:02 AM
Here's another recent thread on the topic- or close enough....

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?92188-3-or-4-finger-picking

bborzell
01-22-2014, 04:05 AM
I've been thinking about avoiding the crashing fingers thing and just cut down a cello bow.

SeattleSean
01-22-2014, 05:28 AM
Personally I'm a completionist and I like each string having its own finger.

I have been working through Aaron Keim's fingerstyling book and he recommends the thumb for G/C, then pointer and middle on E & A, respectively. The benefits of this from what I can see are that the thumb becomes like an engine, and then your fingers play the melody. I personally am not really comfortable with that, so I stick to one finger per string.

That said, I like the suggestions others have made to try out different techniques, since different songs and different situations may call for different things.

wickedwahine11
01-22-2014, 06:05 AM
I usually use thumb on G and my index finger for the other three. Sometimes my thumb for G and then alternate index and middle for the other three strings. Occasionally I will rest my thumb on the edge of the fingerboard and use just my pointer finger for everything. I also have seen some Hawaiian players use their thumb for all four strings.

I'm pretty sure my technique is crap but it just feels more comfortable for me. I took a semester of guitar in college and so I initially tried one finger per string but my ring finger is just too weak and I'm too lazy to stick with that method.

Brian W
01-22-2014, 09:38 AM
I use a combination of all 3 techniques that you outlined, depending on the song I am playing. I was already comfortable with basic 3 finger rolls (thumb, index, and middle fingers) after playing the dobro for a few years. After playing the ukulele for a few months, I am now comfortable using my ring finger (mostly on the A string) as well. If you really want to get good at finger-style playing, then I would work at using 4 fingers (one for each string) as your primary technique. Doing this will greatly improve your dexterity and technique.

janeray1940
01-22-2014, 09:52 AM
What fingerstyle techniques do you use and which is better:
1. Thumb on the G & C strings, and pointer on the E & A.
2. Thumb on the G, pointer on the C, middle on the E, ring on the A
3. Thumb on the G & C strings, pointer on the E, middle on the A


Usually a combination of (2) and (3), but I'm finding that trying to apply a hard-and-fast rule about this can be really limiting, especially when playing things like quick runs of consecutive notes on the same string. It takes some getting used to, but for the trickier bits I'm trying to incorporate alternating fingers on the same string, or picking down then back up with my thumbnail, which really helps with speed.

mandrew
01-24-2014, 07:33 AM
The Master, Herb Ohta Sr., often uses just thumb on G, C, and one finger on A and E, with some variance as needed. He seems to do pretty good with it . . . . ;)

hawaii 50
01-24-2014, 07:38 AM
Hey CJ..i been doing #1 ever since I started....feels natural to me..
but sometimes my index finger hits the C string to....just do what feels right...

with Rodney even though we learning all kinds of different stuff...I always tried to turn it into finger style(# 1)...maybe that was why I still no good!!...haha

btw that is how Kimo Hussey plays...but I am sure his index finger goes anywhere it feels like:)

pekelo
01-25-2014, 09:12 AM
I go into detail of using the classical style - thumb & 3 fingers approach
but even when I'm playing - it depends on the particular song
There's some songs that play better when using a combination of different picking styles -needing to switch back and forth
like on a slightly fancier version of Waikiki!
Overall, its better to try to learn several styles as already described by this thread:)
pekelo
www.pekelosbooks.com

stevepetergal
01-25-2014, 09:47 AM
I consider #1 the only right answer. But, this is only a rule. If you can follow it without exception, you're ready for some harder music.

Kem
01-25-2014, 12:51 PM
I taught myself to play when I was quite young, and I gravitated naturally to #2. However, as many others have said, there is no real "wrong" answer here. If your teacher suggests #1, give it a try.

Kmcmichael
01-25-2014, 01:20 PM
I would not sweat this too much. Although I have only been playing ukulele for a month, I have played guitar for 40 years. I use a pick a lot along with my middle and ring finger in a hybred style. I will also soften things up and stow the pick in the crook of my middle finger right hand and use my thumb and index. Ocasionally using my thumb index and ring. You will figure out what you like.

Sammu
01-25-2014, 01:29 PM
The "best" technique is the one that works for you. If you really want to improve your right hand technique then I would suggest working out the RH fingering of a piece without using the LH. So, ignore the left hand fingerings and just play the notes as open strings - does that make sense….? Hope so. The idea is that the focus is totally on the RH without that added distraction of trying to play LH notes. This will enable you to find a logical pattern for the RH. Practise the pattern until it feels comfortable, then add your left hand notes and bingo….! :)

JonThysell
01-25-2014, 06:14 PM
There are so many ways of playing your ukulele, you will rarely suffer physical injury or death using any of them. The worst that can happen is that for three minutes or so you make some unpleasant sounding noise.

This is probably the best thing I've ever read on these forums. I'm going to get it framed.

dirtiestkidever
01-25-2014, 06:36 PM
This topic highlights one of the great aspects about ukulele, compared for instance to guitar. On a guitar there are so many wrong ways to play (and I seemed to do all of them). On uke most are okay. When I first started uke I was adamantly against doing things that would be frowned upon in the guitar world, for example using the thumb only to pick notes on multiple strings. But I have quickly learned that each technique offers unique sounds and unique benefits for certain songs. 'Thumbing' looks odd but produces softer even notes that are perfectly suited to some songs. So each style has benefits and with only four strings to work with they all work pretty well. That is my long answer.

My short answer is:
G: thumb
C: thumb or pointer
E: pointer
A: pointer or middle

Edgeguy
01-25-2014, 06:41 PM
Coming from flatpicking a guitar to using fingerstyle on the ukulele is just very different. Some songs I am learning say to use the 3 finger technique (#3), but I find myself throwing in #1 also. I am trying not to get to set in #3, and just learn the songs.