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Thread: Strumming - Wrist or Forearm?

  1. #1

    Default Strumming - Wrist or Forearm?

    At first I wasn't sure if the way I was strumming was correct, but after reading a lot about it in random places online I'm finding that it doesn't really matter. (Details for those who want to double check me on this: I use my middle finger nail going down and my thumb nail going up. This works best for me, but doesn't get me the sound I want. I'll keep practicing and trying different ways though.)

    Now for the purpose of this post. With the way I've been strumming (explained above) I end up doing all the strumming with my wrist, my wrist is bent quite a lot when I strum, and it's started hurting now. I've had my ukulele for 3 days and have been playing pretty much non stop, so it could be that. But I just want to make sure it won't be detrimental in the long run... Should I be strumming with my forearm? Or is it okay to keep using my wrist?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Wrist is preferred when people strum really fast I think I use my forearm sitting down, wrist standing up It'll just be muscle ache if you've been going for three days
    “They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” E. A. Poe

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  3. #3
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    My teacher says wrist. I listen to him. You maybe want to too.

  4. #4
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    I'm a 2 month beginner. Personally, I don't like the sound my finger/thumb nails make while strumming. You could try a down strum with the flesh part of your thumb and an up strum with the flesh part of your finger. It won't take long to see if you like the sound better or worse. Just my 4 cents worth.

  5. #5
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    I personally do not like the sound of nail on string either. I strum using my index finger, palm in, so the meat hits on both the down as well as the up strokes. My teacher, as well as most others, say wrist action , no arm movement, and I find that that works best for me.
    "I yam what I yam and tha's all what I yam." -- Popeye the Sailor
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  6. #6
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    You can use whatever digit you choose to strum with, be it index, middle or thumb. It's what you're most comfortable using. As to how to strum, it's advised to use your wrist over your forearm. You shouldn't have to bend or force your wrist in when it's much more easier to turn your finger or thumb in. It's more of a natural position. Bending your wrist may force some type injury as you're experiencing now.

    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.


  7. #7
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    I use my finger...
    http://tampabayukulele.com for TBUG info
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jtpokie for my videos
    and http://www.nightgig.com for my Drawing the Wrong Conclusions Podcast
    love,

    That Guy 1:94

  8. #8

    Default

    Thanks for the feedback everyone!

    That was very helpful! I noticed that when I relax and play my wrist doesn't bend at such a sharp angle and when I'm tense (from my left fingertips hurting so badly - I've never played a stringed instrument before) my wrist bends more and that's when it starts hurting. That solved the pain problem, and I'll be sticking with strumming with the wrist.

    As a side note, I really can't seem to bring myself away from using my nails, but I'm getting better at strumming lighter so it sounds better than before.

  9. #9
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    Wrist. It gets easier to do it the right way as you go along. It hurts for a while, but once you get the muscles adjusted you should be okay. Just try not to hold it at a weird angle. And use whatever digit works. Heck, use ALL of them! Watch this guy for both his wrist action and his use of multiple digits:
    There are two types of people in this world:
    1. Those who need closure.

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  10. #10
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    wrist all the way

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