advanced strumming

Advanced Ukulele Strumming Techniques

I’ve been digging around a lot lately looking at ways to improve my strumming and going beyond just playing different patterns. I think the ukulele really sings when you go beyond regular strumming and start adding some of it’s unique approaches to playing. Here’s some videos on more advanced strumming techniques that I’ve found on my travels…

The Roll

The roll is an impressive sound. It can be quite difficult at first as your fingers don’t seem to operate independently and it’s like your second and third fingers are taped together. Essentially each finger of your strumming hand strums in sequence starting with your little finger resulting in a rolling sound. Quite tricky to get to grips with but worth the effort. Here’s the very happy Aldrine Guerrero of Ukulele Underground showing how it’s done…

The Upwards Roll

The upwards roll (no idea if this is it’s actual name) I personally think is easier to play than the regular roll. Spread your fingers on your strumming hand evenly out and strum upwards letting each finger strum starting with your index finger. The hand position is much more rigid than the regular roll and it actually looks pretty impressive too. Here’s the very talented George Elmes explaining how to do it…

Fake Strum

The fake strum effectively mimics the sound of a regular strum which in itself is kind of pointless but it comes with the benefit of leaving your fingers directly over the strings so that you can quickly get to the next note. Best used where strumming meets fingerpicking to aid speed. To fake strum you place each finger on a string and pluck them all with a very slight gap between the plucks to imitate the regular strum sound. Here’s Al Wood of Ukulele Hunt showing you how…

The Flick

The flick strum is really useful when you need to get 2 strums together in rapid succession. Use your thumb to strum upwards and then your forefinger to strum down immediately after the thumb has finished it’s strum. The flick is a pretty handy name as it really describes the hand motion. Here’s Matt Dahlberg doing a great job of explaining how to flick strum…

The 2 Finger Roll

The baby brother to the 5 and 10 finger rolls is a good way to add a bit more depth to your playing without needing crazy finger dexterity. The 2 finger roll gives you a double length strum that sounds great when used at the start of a bar/measure. Trevor Gollagher shows you how it’s done…

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