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Thread: strumming w index finger ... do you keep other fingers curved or straight?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Default strumming w index finger ... do you keep other fingers curved or straight?

    Myself and I know it not as popular, but from my guitar pick time, I have always kept my fingers straight.

    I am quite basic to tell the truth, but anyways for something like muting strings etc. to me always this approach just feels natural. I have wondered if there are any disadvantages, like sound produced, but I have not found reasons to change.

    I have tried the more common approach of making a loose fist, but it just does not feel the same and free.

    Did not want to make a poll, cause I would be in minor probably, but like to hear your comments.

    I strum with thumb too down sometimes to get a different kind of sound. That to the other thread going on

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016


    Jarmo, I think you're fine doing it that way. It feels more natural to me to leave the second, third and fourth fingers loosely extended, rather than curling them up; plus, that also allows me to more easily (and very lightly) touch my thumb to the soundboard, just above the soundhole, to provide a little extra sense of stability. Many players will prefer the "curling" of the second, third and fourth fingers, and that just shows that there are different ways of getting the results you're looking for. I'm kind of unorthodox to begin with, as I'm a lefty who plays by flipping the standard-strung uke around (without re-arranging the order of the strings) and strumming with my left hand, fretting with my right hand; so whatever you might do is good if it gets the job done!
    Last edited by Bill Sheehan; 05-06-2018 at 04:23 AM. Reason: grammar adjustment

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    over yonder


    My fingers are always loose and relaxed. I usually approach the strings between the edge of the fretboard and the soundhole, for that is the sound I require and most comfortable for me no matter the scale from soprano all the way thru to baritone and on various scales of guitars.

    If strumming, typically I use the middle finger (nail) on the down-stroke (since it is longer) and the thumb (nail) on the upstroke, both with the natural nails on my right hand.

    For finger-picking, I use the PIMA method of one finger per string like this:

    G - thumb
    C - pointer
    E - middle finger
    A - ring finger

    and pinky is relaxed and free (and NOT pinned to the soundboard) and un-used save for a fan-stroke or triplet-stroke.

    All of the above is carried over from my classical guitar technique.

    I do not use flat-picks nor any kind of finger-picks, only my natural nails, which I maintain the shape and smooth edges of regularly.

    Hope this helps!
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    You should click it, as the answers are waiting for you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016


    Hi Booli, something you said in the above post made me realize that I might need to clarify what I said about lightly resting my thumb "just above the soundhole" for an extra sense of stability; actually it rests in a somewhat more "forward" position, between the soundhole and the end of the fretboard (i.e., the area where the strumming is happening).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2017


    For the record, I'm with Booli here, with some variation. For finger picking I use PPIM and for strumming I have a relaxed hand which primarily strikes the strings with my ring finger for down strokes and my thumb nail, or thumb knuckle, for upstrokes. I actually only use my index finger in strumming when I'm doing something fancy like a finger roll or something like a simplified flamenco strum.

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