I’ve just got my hands on a Rhythm Ring which is a percussive ring that you put on your strumming hand to add a bit of accompaniment to your playing. Sometimes I find the ukulele a little bit empty or flat on it’s own. It doesn’t have that full feeling that a full size body gives an acoustic guitar.
Enter the Rhythm Ring which I picked up from Southern Ukulele Store, effectively it’s just a salt shaker strapped to your finger so it wouldn’t be too hard to make your own. Convenience is a beautiful thing though so for £6 I took the plunge!
What does it sound like?
It sounds like a babies rattle, or like a mini maraca. It’s actually pretty loud considering it’s size. Whatever is inside that is making the rattle noise has a layered sound to it. Clearly the elements in it are different sizes to give that effect and it works well for that reason.
Here’s a little audio clip of me playing Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People. The recording isn’t amazing as it’s just done with my internal mic but it should give you an idea…
You can hear that there’s a little bit of an imbalance in the volume of the Rhythm Ring in comparison to my ukulele, it maybe that I just need to adjust my strumming a little when I’m using it. My strumming style is quite heavy in terms of hand movement.
Improve your timing
Aside from the obvious accompaniment that it gives you, the Rhythm Ring is also supposed to aid your timing. If you can hear your strumming hand even when it’s not playing then you’ve got a pretty good indication of whether you’re keeping time or not. If you’re a beginner then that’s definitely going to help you. It’s really common for beginners to start playing fast and then slow down as they get to tricker parts of a song and it’s not always something that they’re aware of. The Rhythm Ring certainly does give your timing a bit of a kick up the ass.
Is it worth it?
Maybe is about the best answer I can give here. I don’t think it’s going to be a permanent fixture on my finger while I’m playing but I think it will get some use now and again. At £6 it’s probably worth grabbing one for a bit of fun and seeing what you make of it!