What to strum WITH

Finger OR Thumb

Pay attention to the details here. I know a lot of folks who were able to instantly start strumming with something (finger, thumb, or other body part), and never thought about it again.

But it’s not bad to have an arsenal from which to choose.

Each technique creates a slightly different sound and allows for different bits of flexibility, which you’ll want as you increase the variety of your strums.

Thumb AND Finger Together

Like the lion and the lamb, like the farmer and the cowman, the thumb and the finger can be friends. This is the method I used most of the time.

Thumb and Finger–SPLIT

Here the thumb and finger are like the “boys” and “girls” entrances at a Victorian school. Everyone is together, just slight apart from each other.

I use this one a lot, too.

Note 1: This is really the same as the “lazy strum,” which shows up in the tricks section.

Note 2: Don’t confuse this with the split stroke, I talk about in the “George Formby” strum. The “split” here just indicates the way you hold your fingers.

Nail Rake

I use this one a lot, too.

The Pinch

Not as common, but still useful, especially as you move into melody playing and finger picking styles.

Playing with a pick?

Generally, I don’t recommend ’em. But here’s a whole page on Amazon of (mostly) felt ukulele picks–so clearly some people still want them.

Choosing what’s best for you:

 

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