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Thread: I cant strum!

  1. #21
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    Jul 2009
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    Question

    Thanks for all the info about strumming. What is "chunking"? I saw it mentioned on one of Aldrine's videos, but I can't figure out what it is. Thanks.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by gigischill View Post
    Thanks for all the info about strumming. What is "chunking"? I saw it mentioned on one of Aldrine's videos, but I can't figure out what it is. Thanks.
    it's where you strum, while muting the strings... so you place the heel of your hand over the strings as you hit the strings. kinda just helps to keep the beat when you are playing and not necesserily wanting to play a chord on each beat (i'm not sure if that makes sense).
    i found this video which may be of some use:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZxOof50iqk

  3. #23

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    I too am a "thumb strummer". I cannot for the life of me get my hand to do the finger strums...

    That said, I am pretty confident I can do some chunking/muting and very cool patterns with just my thumb. Not everything you can to with fingers (Triplets, etc), but I can do a wide mixture of sound muting with my palm, and varying pressure across different parts of the strings. When I get into a strummin' groove, I really FEEL it and start ROCKIN!

    I still wish I could learn the finger strum, but when I try it sounds like I don't know how to play a Uke at all!!!

    I should make a comparison audio track of the same chords, but how different the sound is between my "thumb" strum, and my "Finger" strum. WORLDS APART!

    I need more practice I guess...

    Cheers,
    Skottoman
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  4. #24
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gigischill View Post
    Thanks for all the info about strumming. What is "chunking"? I saw it mentioned on one of Aldrine's videos, but I can't figure out what it is. Thanks.
    check out this video:

    http://ukuleleunderground.com/2008/0...s-23-chunking/

  5. #25

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    Thought I'd do a little experiment, although it didn't turn out so great.

    I recorded (really badly just using my computer mic), some chords to "I shot the sherriff".

    First half is with my thumb, second half is me TRYING to use my index finger for strumming. I did my best, but didn't really practice before doing this, just a quick dirty recording.

    I can hear the difference, can you? (crappy distorted recording aside)
    Cheers,
    Skottoman

    Oh, the uke is a Martin SO.

    http://www.baileymusic.com/ukulele/test.mp3
    Last edited by Skottoman; 07-16-2009 at 03:05 PM.
    Ohana Sopranino:Paulele Bamboo Soprano:Island Ukulele Soprano:Martin S-O Soprano:Lava Flea Soprano:KoAloha Soprano:Surf Flea Concert:KoAloha Concert:G-String C1 Sun Concert:KoAloha Pineapple Sunday:Kanilea T1 Premium Tenor:Eastman Mandolin:Strumstick

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skottoman View Post
    Thought I'd do a little experiment, although it didn't turn out so great.

    I recorded (really badly just using my computer mic), some chords to "I shot the sherriff".

    First half is with my thumb, second half is me TRYING to use my index finger for strumming. I did my best, but didn't really practice before doing this, just a quick dirty recording.

    I can hear the difference, can you? (crappy distorted recording aside)
    Cheers,
    Skottoman

    Oh, the uke is a Martin SO.

    http://www.baileymusic.com/ukulele/test.mp3
    ey, so you tend to catch your fingers on the strings when you strum using your finger? 'cause i don't know if this will help any, or if it's pointless, but i taught myself guitar and i learned with a pick and then went on to learn with my fingers (both strumming and picking) so now that i've got a uke (admittedly only a week or so ago so you can ignore me for sure, hahah) i can use my fingers fairly ok...

    the way i do it though is to strum as if i'm holding a pick, but not be holding one. i don't know if this limits me in any way. i actually intend buying some uke picks (i know most people do not approve) because i see no harm doing what i find easier in a situation where what i'm playing is not limited by the tool i'm using. i can change to using my hands when it's necesery.

  7. #27
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    Dec 2008
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    I'm also primarily a thumb strummer, but I can finger strum as well if needed. Mostly it's because for some reason, my rhythm gets messed up a lot more on the finger than the thumb (especially if I'm singing). So, I use my thumb for most strumming, unless it's something specific - then I use my fingers.

    There's a kind of strumming where you'd strum down with your finger and up with your thumb, which is something I'm learning to do (which is also a bit like the aforementioned pretending you have a pick and strumming it).

    But anyway, some uke players have told me that you could strum with your feet if you'd like, as long as it sounds good and you're having fun with it. Use your finger or your thumb or a pick - it's really up to you.

    As for chunking - until recently I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to chunk, even after watching all those videos posted above and following other people's advices on it. I felt really stupid. But then, I kept at it, and one day, I can. I was psyched.
    Chunking seems to be quite readily achievable for most, but if not, keep practicing!
    Last edited by cocohonk; 07-17-2009 at 10:30 AM.

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  8. #28
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    Yes, Chunking takes a while to get used to with. I am also learning this from Aldrine video, and the "Wonderful Tonight Uke lessons" is a good one for chunking practice. I am still far from mastering chunking, but I am much better than 3 months ago... I just need more practice.
    For now, the single finger roll is still very difficult for me.
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  9. #29
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    May 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by normantxt View Post
    Halp. So i just got my ukulele yesterday and i dont know why but i have a problem strumming. i mean whenever my index finger hits the strings, my finger sometimes gets in between the strings and lags the strum. i cant keep a constant strum up and down without lagging in between strums. what can i do about this problem? what finger do you use to strum? and where is the placement of your strum finger? i read online that its suppose to be near the end of the fret board, above the hole.
    Since you obviously can't use the shift key on the keyboard either, I would suggest the problem is in your coordination skills. Practice your typing so you can press the shift key, then hit the appropriate letter before letting go of the shift key in one easy motion. Press shift-hit letter-release. Press shift-hit letter-release. Once you've got that down, try alternating capitals with lowercase letters rapidly.

    It takes practice and effort, but it's one of those transferrable skills that will help your strumming immensely. Strumming is, after all, like writing, a communication skill. Polish any of your communication skills and they all benefit. People who can use proper capitalization are stellar stummers, by and large. And those who can punctuate correctly are generally great fingerpickers, too. It's been said that if you master the apostrophe, the E chord is a breeze. I've heard Jake Shimabukuro is so erudite he can use a semicolon effectively without missing a beat.

    PS. It is "help", not ""halp."
    Ian
    -------------------------------------------
    “Errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum, et tertium non datur. To err is human; to persevere in error is diabolical; there is no third option.”
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  10. #30
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    Jul 2009
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    Thanks for all the responses about chunking. The videos will be helpful -- I have a lot of work to do! Lovin' this UU website!

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