"Tone is in the fingers." ~lots of people

Obviously not all of tone is based on technique, but right now I'm asking about the part of the tone that is based on technique, particularly for ukulele. I understand that different instruments make differences in the sounds, but using the same instrument, and obviously acoustic rather than electric, how can one change the sound of their playing solely by changing their technique? Particularly if anyone can think of something novel or creative, that would be extra cool.

Maybe acoustic guitar has some tricks and ideas I could steal? (or really any similar instrument)



1 Answer 1


Try this with your ukulele while holding the C chord:

  • Strum the strings down with your thumb.
  • Downstrum with your index finger, using your fingernail against the strings.
  • Strum up with your index finger, this time using the flesh side of your finger.
  • Downstrum, using four fingers (not your thumb) in one motion, so that each finger hits the strings at a slightly different moment.
  • Using a different finger for each string, pluck all four strings simultaneously.

Each of these techniques results in the same chord played, yet sound different from each other. The way the strings are played can make a big difference in the sound.


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