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Thread: Playing with a plectrum?

  1. #1
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    Default Playing with a plectrum?

    Does anyone recomend playing the ukulele with a plectrum, because I find it hard to get a loud sound using my fingers?

  2. #2
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    Nana ka maka; ho`olohe ka pepeiao;
    pa`a ka waha.

    Observe with the eyes; listen with the ears; shut the mouth.
    Thus one learns.


  3. #3
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    Sadly, my hands are rather girly and my nails are kind of weak. When I am not plucking strings, I do use a pick for strumming. If I don't use a pick for strumming, I tend to shred my fingernails. My favorite ukulele pick is the shape, color and size of a B-52. For those of you are from Polynesia, B-52 is the affectionate name we call those huge flying cockroaches.

    My B-52s are made of Hawaiian Koa. It gives a nice bright sound and sustain to the strings. The koa wood pick gives a nice attack and over all tone. I have to strum below the fret board to avoid the clapping noise the pick makes when it hits the fret board. Some people prefer to use felt or leather on ukulele to help avoid fret board clap and nicks to the strings and sound board. If I am going to use some percussive tapping and high attack, sustain (bluesy arrangements), I use a bone pick. However, bone picks can shorten string life.
    Whether the ukulele is koa, mango or electric brick,
    the music still comes from the heart.

  4. #4
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    I use a typical guitar pick on my low-cost ukes when I want to have a very hard sound and a leather pick on my more expensive ukuleles, so I don't hurt them

  5. #5
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    OKAY, my Blue Crown Conure was pestering me to play, but I was eating some King's Hawaiian Sweet bread for breakfast. Picks were in the other room soooooooooooooooooooo....

    I used the the plastic clip for the sweet bread bag as a pick:


    I think I found my new favorite pick. It gives a nice sound on the bottom flat end. The little appendage near the "t" on "lot" even works like a thumb pick. Will take a pick of my koa and tribal bone picks later in the day.
    Whether the ukulele is koa, mango or electric brick,
    the music still comes from the heart.

  6. #6
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    I dont use picks because
    1. they can leave some horrible marks on the wood
    2. you cant add quick trills/rolls like one would normally be able to do!

    If you're having trouble getting sound out you may wanna review your strumming technique
    - Daniel


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyslappysoong View Post
    I dont use picks because
    1. they can leave some horrible marks on the wood
    2. you cant add quick trills/rolls like one would normally be able to do!

    If you're having trouble getting sound out you may wanna review your strumming technique
    Yeah, the harder picks do leave marks if the uke doesn't have a pick guard. The wood, leather and felts are more forgiving.

    Speaking of strumming techniques, you do need to change where and how to strum using a pick. With a wood or plastic pick, you can add some cool effects along the bridge, above and below the nut that you can't do effectively with fingertips or fingernails.

    I have fun with AND without a pick. I just use fingers playing classical guitar style.
    Whether the ukulele is koa, mango or electric brick,
    the music still comes from the heart.

  8. #8
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    I use both, depending on the song. I find there are advantages and disadvantages both ways. Play using whatever tools are right for the job in hand.

  9. #9
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    As Kanaka pointed out, this has been discussed a time or two before. :-)

    My position? Playing ukulele with a pick is like playing congas with drumsticks.

    JJ
    "Talent is just a pursued interest. In other words, anything you are willing to practice, you can do." -- Bob Ross

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by christhomas View Post
    Does anyone recomend playing the ukulele with a plectrum, because I find it hard to get a loud sound using my fingers?
    I recently saw an interview with Jake where he said he used to play with picks, but decided that only he has his fingers.
    To keep his sound unique and original he gave up picks which he felt anyone could buy and copy his sound. (Oh I wish)
    I believe I would play plugged in before using picks, I much prefer the finger sound. I do however on occasion use a thumb pick if I am playing a straight melody.
    Keep Strummin'

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