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Thread: Correct fretting hand techique

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    SE Connecticut, USA


    Quote Originally Posted by yahalele View Post
    Just remove your straps and see the change. Strap doesn't change our grips, if you can hold ukulele.

    We need good support of our left hands with or without strap. Holding a ukulele is very basic. Swamp Yankee prove us that he can not hold ukulele because his right hand is same as Ohta-san's wrong example.
    Huh? Wait, let me rephrase that....
    Sopranos: aNueNue Khaya Mahogany 1, Bruko No. 6; Kiwaya KS-1; Kiwaya KTS-4; Kiwaya KTS-4K; Martin S-O
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    Baritones: Cordoba 24B

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Nakhonratchasima, Thailand


    With both my baritone and my tenor I played without a strap for a few months. Then I added buttons and a strap. Right or wrong I now use a strap on both of them all the time. With a strap your hands are free to move around more without worrying about dropping the instrument. To place my thumb directly behind the fingers on the neck of the ukulele is to cause pain that puts tears into my eyes. Some times my thumb is on the back of the ukulele sticking up above the neck and sometimes my thumb is point towards the tuning pegs. Getting old is not always fun.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Marin County, CA


    Quote Originally Posted by yahalele View Post
    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 the photo. After following this thread, I’ve decided to try to practice playing Ohta-san’s way, opening up my fretting hand side, and after a few days of making a conscious effort, here are my observations:

    -My grip with the fretting hand, keeping the thumb behind the neck, is much more comfortable to maintain. I think my poor technique previously has been due to comfort of my hand when playing with the elbow closer to my body.

    -Both proper arm position and grip have made holding the ukulele with the top facing directly away from me infinitely easier and more comfortable. With the “wrong” posture, I frequently was frustrated by how difficult it was to keep the top from pivoting up towards me while playing. With the “right” posture, I have to strain to make that happen; the top wants to face out towards the audience, period.

    -What were once difficult chords for me to fret are becoming easier to hit cleanly, largely due to the different attack angle my fingers have when using the right posture. This means my fingers don’t feel crowded on chords like Dm7 as they once did, AND are less likely to be accidentally muting an adjacent string.

    So again, thanks for sharing. The one thing I’ll add is that practicing correctly now, after years of doing what was comfortable and wrong, is a serious effort. Thankfully I know from experience that practicing with intention and with repetition can overcome even the most ingrained muscle memory.
    Current UAS fallout:

    Ohana SK-21A — ‘10s L. Nunes Ukulele 0 Hawaii Soprano — 1918-19 Martin 2M Soprano — ‘60s Kamaka ‘Keiki’ Soprano — ‘70s Kamaka White Label Soprano — Blue Frog Soprano — aNueNue Moon Bird US200 — Ohana SK-30L — Cocobolo Concert #382 (teak!) — Outdoor Ukulele Carbon Tenor — ‘50s Harmony Baritone

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  4. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Ames, Iowa


    Quote Originally Posted by merlin666 View Post
    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.
    Good one. I try not to over think it. Same with straps, I can play with them or without. I also try not to get into a "got to" habits, like I got to have a strap or I can't play, or I got to hold my uke exactly like this or I can't play.
    Last edited by Rllink; 07-21-2019 at 08:43 AM.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

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