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Thread: Fingerpicking over the neck or soundhole?

  1. #11
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    Apr 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by YUNI View Post
    Oh that's neat how he's moving his hand across like that. My hand is always pretty much stationary...you would probably be able to tell if you saw my forearm after playing for a while b/c the edge of the ukulele leaves an impression haha. The other day I was thinking what if ukuleles had arm rests like violins have shoulder rests

    I also noticed he was playing mostly with his thumb and index; is that a style thing? I use one finger for each string like the thumb, index, middle, ring
    Here's a video of Kimo Hussey demonstrating the instruments for "Luthiers for a Cause" program, Kimo is the master of the thumb & index finger style

    Grandma Penny

  2. #12
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    Interesting observation. I just find the frets get in my way (on a soprano) so I made sure I got a soprano with only 12 frets! I suppose working on my picking technique would have been cheaper.

    The size of the instrument you play has an effect on where your picking/strumming hand wants to be as well. The smaller the instrument, the more natural it might feel to play up the neck.
    Glenn

  3. #13
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    Feb 2017
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    I am chiefly untutored, but my hand naturally goes right above the sound hole when I strum or finger pick. Some times, for affect, I will play on the neck or at the bridge. Here's some food for thought for those of you who play on the neck. I once saw a lady employing this interesting effect. She'd be finger picking up around the 12th fret or so, and she would periodically run her finger down the fret board between the G and C strings and achieve a sound like a Guiro. She did it in every measure she played, so that it became part of her rhythm...kind of like how James Hill flicks his soundboard to get that snare drum sound.

  4. #14
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    Feb 2016
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    East Midlands UK
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    I don't play fingerstyle a lot, but out pf curiosity, I checked after reading this thread, and find that I instinctively pick over and around the 12th fret. It just feels right to me (for ME of course!) and the most comfortable positioning for my right hand.
    All power and respect to you Concert,Tenor and Baritone players, but Soprano is what does it for me every time! (And my beautiful Sopranino!)

  5. #15
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    Aug 2017
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    My nails are weak, so I seldom fingerpick, goes with age. When I have filed them proper, I can only pick outside fingerboard because of the low action. I can't rely on my nails to last for that though. For strumming I keep my nails longer, but never thumb nail, I prefer the flesh sound for thumb. Just my part taking in this thread.

  6. #16
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    Oct 2019
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    Mississauga, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lapyang View Post
    I too, pick above the fretboard. I too find it gives me much faster speed. I agree that the depth of the pick is a factor, but also at the 12th fret is where the strings tension is the softest, so it requires the least effort to pick. Do try to pick at different parts of the string, it surely gives you different sound qualities.

    Due to this factor, I prefer the action to be set a bit higher. It gives my fingers a bit more space to get the strings, and a bit less of "nails clicking on fretboard" sound.

    I have two ukes - one with higher action and d'addario titanium strings, the other with lower action and Martin flurocarbons - and I think I actually prefer the lower action one because I can "skim" over the strings with my fingers with less effort. Although it might also have something to do with the thickness of the strings since the d'addarios are thicker and stiffer feeling...

  7. #17
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    Nov 2019
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    Do you play anything but ukulele?

  8. #18
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    Oct 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mahito21 View Post
    Do you play anything but ukulele?
    Me? I played violin for a loooooong time and also viola and guitar for a bit

  9. #19
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    Jun 2018
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    I generally have low setups on my tenors. So, fingerstyle works a little better for me over the soundhole. That's where my hand goes naturally to pick.

    Strumming, I still play on the portion of the fretboard that overhangs the upper bout.

    But neither one is exclusive. I do change the location for effect or through exuberance.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  10. #20
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    The neatest solution I've ever seen for this was on a Loprinzi ukulele. Donna stopped the fretboard before the soundhole, so there's plenty of room for fingerpicking without using high action. Sorry I don't have a pic of it.
    "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.

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