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Thread: Correct fretting hand techique

  1. #1
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    Default Correct fretting hand techique

    Is it:
    1. classical fingers fairly perpendicular when fretting with thumb directly behind using a sort of pinch grip.

    2. neck resting between index finger and palm at the knuckle taking weight of neck, with fingers angled more towards the bridge, thumb towards the top at the back of the neck, not necessarily directly behind fingers.

    To me, with the first option you have to be careful not to squeeze to hard and you have to work around supporting the neck.
    The second option you have to be careful not to mute the A string when moving up the neck changing chords. Less room to stretch.

    Im not talking about barre chords here,

    What do you guys do?
    Clive

  2. #2
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    Default

    Option 1. Thumb pad on back of neck, fingers coming down onto fretboard more or less in a vertical attack.
    Supporting the uke is done either by balancing it on my lap when seated, or by using a strap.

    Any arguments against using straps on ukuleles fall on deaf ears with me. I want maximum freedom with my fretting hand and this is something I can’t do while holding the uke in position with that hand. Clutching a soprano to my side with my elbow just seems to muffle the voice of an instrument that is often already challenged in that respect due to its size.
    Sopranos: aNueNue Khaya Mahogany 1, Bruko No. 6; Kiwaya KS-1; Kiwaya KTS-4; Kiwaya KTS-4K; Martin S-O
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  3. #3
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    Default

    1
    But you can vary your technique depending upon chords and their progression.

    You will need to use the thumb when you start to get into barre chords.
    Col.
    From the UK with a bad case of MIAS.
    Korg PA700, Korg Kross 2, Gibson LP, Fender Jazz Bass,
    + Amps, PA, Boss GT100, mixer.
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    Uke wish list, a Bass, make and model yet to be determined

  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveyG View Post
    Is it:
    1. classical fingers fairly perpendicular when fretting with thumb directly behind using a sort of pinch grip.

    2. neck resting between index finger and palm at the knuckle taking weight of neck, with fingers angled more towards the bridge, thumb towards the top at the back of the neck, not necessarily directly behind fingers.

    To me, with the first option you have to be careful not to squeeze to hard and you have to work around supporting the neck.
    The second option you have to be careful not to mute the A string when moving up the neck changing chords. Less room to stretch.

    Im not talking about barre chords here,

    What do you guys do?
    Hi, CliveyG!

    Ohta-san the master of the ukulele opens his side in order to support the neck. Pinch grip in your first option is wrong (see the right figure). I think your second option is similar to his right example (left figure).


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by yahalele View Post
    Hi, CliveyG!

    Ohta-san the master of the ukulele opens his side in order to support the neck. Pinch grip in your first option is wrong (see the right figure). I think your second option is similar to his right example (left figure).

    Thanks for posting the Ohta-San example. It clearly states that one is wrong and the other is correct. I always thought it to be the other way around.

    The wrong example is what I have used from the start in the main. Although I do use the correct example resting the Uke at bottom of index with fretting fingers angled, but i am resting my index just past the nut on the headstock for chords I can reach from there. If I move up the neck resting the neck, the A string will be to close to my index and the string won't have room to ring clear.

    I am not talking about using a strap here, because the online course I have just enrolled into, clearly states that people would benefit from holding the Uke without a strap initially. They are using no straps in teaching the lessons either.

    It was enrolling on this course that got me thinking about the left hand more. They advocate the correct version in the Ohta-San sample, with fingers more into a claw, as if hanging from the edge of a cliff, fingers angled towards bridge with tips of fingers fretting.
    Clive

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Col50 View Post
    1
    But you can vary your technique depending upon chords and their progression.

    You will need to use the thumb when you start to get into barre chords.
    I mainly have the thumb pad pretty much directly behind the fingers I'm using to fret, but I am going to see if I can get down what I am now being taught.

    I don't think it's possible to use just one way exclusively through. This new way seems to be good for the first positions and keeps the neck well supported, but I don't find it so good up the fretboard.
    Clive

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Yankee View Post
    Option 1. Thumb pad on back of neck, fingers coming down onto fretboard more or less in a vertical attack.
    Supporting the uke is done either by balancing it on my lap when seated, or by using a strap.

    Any arguments against using straps on ukuleles fall on deaf ears with me. I want maximum freedom with my fretting hand and this is something I can’t do while holding the uke in position with that hand. Clutching a soprano to my side with my elbow just seems to muffle the voice of an instrument that is often already challenged in that respect due to its size.
    Thanks for your comment

    I totally agree that a strap takes away having to support the neck with the fretting hand. To me, it takes away tension and allows easier more efficient chord transitions, without danger of the Uke slipping into your palm, generally everything is more free.

    I get the impression that this school would prefer us to learn to play and support the Uke without a strap, so as we don't need to rely on it.

    It amazes me when I see great players such as in the Uke demos on the Ukulele site. They don't need a strap for the majority of the time whilst playing some complicated looking arrangements.
    Clive

  8. #8

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    I think my hand just fell into 2 because it helped keep the uke in place better for me while changing chords. The thumb straight behind was kind of pushing while I transitioned.
    I use strap while standing, but not sitting.

  9. #9
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    For something like Dm7, 2213, it feels most natural for me rest the neck totally so that my thumb points out like a dick, from side of the neck. I understand that a strap would change things and even behind the neck all time would work. I just don't care, I play chords how I want and what suits me best without a strap. I like a safety of a strap though.

    Just these persons telling you should do things only one way are mostly all strap guys.

    Learning to play without a strap takes definitely some time. It is not that easy. If it is worth is another matter.

  10. #10
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    I was just doing the best I could for all these years without thinking about it. Now you got me all confused and feeling insecure. Thanks alot.

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