Death grip while thumb strumming


Nov 18, 2019
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Sydney Australia
I have been working on some right hand techniques. I am amazed with the range of sounds my Uke can produce.

At the moment I am learning a nice gentle thumb strum, as you often hear in songs like moon river. I am in love with the sound but keep finding my right hand sore while practicing. My fingers tend to wrap around the waist of my Uke, and i grip too hard. If i play a little higher up the neck my fingers wrap around the cutaway. If i place the fingers on the sound board to anchor like some do for picking i tend to push off of that like a human spring.

I would love to hear how people are positioning their fingers in similar techniques, and if anyone else had this tension issue, and how they resolved it.
This is more about positioning the uke than the fingers. You can get a huge variation in sound depending how close and how tight you hold the uke to your chest. I've found that this varies for different ukes. One cigar box uke sound completely different when I hold it away from my chest.
When I (thumb) strum, the uke is just resting on my fingers at its waist, I'm not gripping it at all.

The action is just closing your thumb towards your fingers.
Are you using a strap, or relying on your strumming hand to keep the instrument in place?
Thanks, yes slowing down and relaxing is great advice.
You know now it has been brought to my attention i realise i have become a little lazy. I remember adjusting the strap whenever i started playing and loosening it to take my uke off. These days i just leave it loose. Thank you for explaining hand and uke positioning, i will give it another go and just be more mindful of the basics.
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