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Thread: question about precision in fretting

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017

    Default question about precision in fretting

    I fret notes like I play chords: with arched this is more of playing the devil's advocate. Why does precision matter?

    If, for example, I wanted to play the F note on the fifth fret of the C string, why do I have to precisely fret that note and not mute the others, when I could just barre the entire fret and pluck the C string?

    By extension, why couldn't I play the F ionic mode by barring the 5th fret, then the 7th, then moving the right hand to the E string barre the 5th, 6th, and 8th frets, etc?

    Is there a reason we don't do this or is it more of an accepted orthodoxy?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Ewa Beach, HI


    Generally it has more to do with what note(s) come NEXT that determines where and how you fret a note.
    It is all about economy of movement.
    The more notes you can fret in one movement, the smoother your playing will be.
    If you have to play a series of notes, and you have barred the fifth fret, if the next notes in the series are played on frets lower than the fifth fret, you have wasted movement, as you now need to un-barre the fret to play those notes.
    Now if the next notes are on other strings and on the sixth or seventh frets, then you may as well set those down at the same time as the barre and you will be ready in advance!
    That type of thing.

    If you watch really skilled players play, you will see that often their fretting hand position changes as little as possible. Figuring out / learning how to accomplish a series of notes without re-positioning your fretting hand is how to take your playing to the next level.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Honoka'a, HI


    So as not to waste a ton of extra energy. And speed. You could never play as fast using barres all the time. Arch those fingers!
    Brad Bordessa
    Webmaster of Live '
    Admin for The Ukulele Way

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Sunny Jersey - where the cows come from!


    Everything the previous two posters have written, plus, when only fretting individual notes/strings, it's easier to let that first note continue sounding whilst you fret and play subsequent notes a la "campanella" style ... did I spell that correctly?

    There are those who will wax lyrical about the ability to play a double shuffle with a split fan and a tight G-string ...
    it just makes me walk funny!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2017


    thanks for the responses. I do fret my notes the standard way. I was just wondering why the standard way is the standard way. Now I am wondering what campanella style is.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2016


    Campanella ('little bells') is method of playing consecutive notes on different strings as far as possible, so that each plucked note rings into the next one. It exploits the re-entrant tuning.

    Examples from Ukulele Hunt:
    This is standard fingering

    and this is campanella fingering.

    There are several threads on this forum, e.g. a demo here (second post) and a downloadable guide here.

    I find it quite difficult to do but love the effect.
    Latecomer to uke but loving it! Baton Rouge U108S soprano, Kiwaya KS-5 soprano, Uluru II concert low G, Barnes & Mullins banjolele UBJ2.

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