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Thread: Strumming help

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    318

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    A great point by Swamp Yankee concerning Scruggs. I strum in many different ways depending on what kind of sound and rhthym I want. The important thing is to have a good solid rhythm. I also pick a little Scruggs style, this 3 finger thumb lead works fairly well on uke with a small adaptation.
    Strum as if you are playing a drum. From the lower arm and wrist.

  2. #12

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    Hi

    Ukulele was my first stringer instrument too, having previously played flute classical and orchestral music.learning to strum simply took hours of practice for me. There are minute changes that you will gradually make over time to make it sound better whichever style you choose. I use either an index finger or a middle finger sinks finger strum - I alternate as sometimes one gets sore from overuse

    The only recommendations I would make are don’t stress, it takes time and also keep remembering to relax the strumming hand. The more relaxed the more resonant. It may be a little quieter. If it sounds nicer. Oh and watch YouTube lessons from lots of different teachers. I found I had to keep coming back to that first lesson to emphasise different tile
    Last edited by Davoravo; 02-06-2019 at 08:20 AM.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Nashville, TN USA
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    72

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarmo_S View Post
    I mainly strum and this is only the way I use my fingers. I strum with index or index,middle and ring fingers down and with index finger up.

    Some strum with thumb up, but it feels unnatural for me. Thumb down strum is also in the arsenal and that is maybe also related to fingerpicking and produces the gentler softer sound because I don't use thumbnail.

    The 3 finger down strum came to me when I started learning chucking/chunking, but I now use it also with normal downstrum to have perhaps a more powerful strum than just from index finger. Also I believe myself that it might give the correct angle of the right hand regarding finger nails but your mileage may vary, etc. regarding hand shape and size. I just try get most volume out of the strum and when I first started with index finger strumming only, that finger was more sideways whereas the more powerful sound I get when the finger is more down pointing. So the nail(s) hit more straight than sideways, if this makes any sense
    I also use 3-4 fingers strumming quite often, particularly with my 8 string (it sounds great that way, really chimey with the slight delay between fingers). On my 4 string Martin, I usually use just my index finger with my other fingers kind of spread out of the way.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Tampa Bay, FL
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    7,572

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    I teach my beginners to hold the right hand thusly:
    strum hold.jpg
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
    Posts
    11,905

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    I advise my beginning students to use youtube tutorials. You can search ukulele, how to......and fill in the blank. Playing uke involves many skills and beginner's often try and master all of them at the same time....learn to hold, fret, strum, new chords, lyrics, melody, etc. Spend some time just practicing strums...there are many styles that compliment different rhythms. YouTube has a little gear icon at the bottom you can use to slow down the video to your current ability level. Speed comes with practice. I used to practice them during tv commercials, usually muting the strings with my fretting fingers so I wouldn't bother my wife while I practiced tricky chord changes and strums like triplets and chunking, and others. Be patient...."practice and it will come.'

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    307

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    I picked up the uke about 18 years ago and bought a Jim Belloff book. I began strumming with my thumb, I didn't know any better I guess. 5-6 years ago I decided to learn how to finger pick. I grew my nails out and took lessons. Strumming with a longer nail on my thumb didn't work, the nail kept getting caught on the strings. I don't feel comfortable brushing with the index finger for some reason. I gravitated towards strumming with the index and middle fingers and the thumb when I'm strumming upwards. It feels comfortable and for me that's all that matters.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ames, Iowa/San Juan, Puerto Rico
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    I started by holding my index finger out there and going up and down. Pretty simple, nothing fancy. The biggest obstacle to overcome was letting my finger relax and glide over the strings instead of digging into them. I think that every imaginable way that you can strum a ukulele has already been done and named, so you can't really go wrong. But I got pretty good at the up down index finger strum and did a different one that I call the wave, I'm sure that it has another name, because I picked it up watching some show on tv where a guy was playing the ukulele and strumming like that. I have a couple of others, and none of them are something that someone taught me, I just came to them messing around and experimenting, or watching other people. Along the way I started doing variations of ups and downs. Anyway, I always tell people to just do what comes naturally and quit trying to make it so complicated. Watch any good strummer, and they all have one thing in common, they are relaxed. Just relax. That goes for a lot of things ukulele.
    Last edited by Rllink; 02-09-2019 at 01:15 PM.
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