Ukulele Finger Picking Patterns LESSON 1

March 22, 2018 | Author: George Teel | Category: Irish Musical Instruments, Musical Instruments, String Instruments, Chordophones, Pop Culture
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Ukulele Finger Picking Patterns By Michael Lynch UKULELE FINGERPICKING LESSON 1

Over the centuries the above method of notating the fingers of both the LEFT and RIGHT hand have been used in teaching standard Classical Guitar technique. It is deservedly appropriate to retain the same system for any plucked string instrument such as the UKULELE. So here is how it works. The left hand is pretty much self explanatory ( Thumb, 1,2,3,4 ) but let me say a few words about the right hand. The Right Thumb and each finger is notated with a letter. THUMB - - - - p INDEX - - - - i MIDDLE - - - m RING - - - - - a The letters stem from old medieval latin (Pulgar, Indices, Medius and Anularis) The only fingers we need to be concerned about with Ukulele are p, i, m, and a The use of letters for the right hand helps reduce confusion when we start talking about numbers for left hand fingers as well as numbers for frets and strings. If you see a lower case letter such as p or i or m or a you immediately know we are discussing the RIGHT HAND. Ok now let’s look at a very simple finger picking pattern for the right hand.

This first pattern uses only the THUMB – p, the MIDDLE FINGER - m, and the INDEX FINGER – i. It is in 4/4 time. Four beats to a bar or measure. For my lesson purposes I will identify this pattern as: PATTERN #1 – Also known as “TRAVIS PICKING” (4) (3) (4) (3) 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & p, m, p, i, p, m, p, i You will notice that there are 4 thumb notes in this one measure. Further notice that they alternate between the 4th string and the 3rd string. This technique is called “Alternating Bass” It adds a very polished and accomplished sound to your fingerpicking. This is true especially if you keep strictly to this pattern. So what do the MIDDLE and INDEX fingers do? Well . . . The MIDDLE finger strokes the 1st string and the INDEX finger strokes the 2nd string. So you see these two fingers have definite assigned strings. The thumb is kept busy alternating back and forth between the two bottom strings of the Uke. Try this pattern slowly at first. Changing chords . . . listening to how each chord is affected by this pattern. Eventually you can speed it up once you feel confident that your thumb is alternating in a strict manner and the other two fingers are staying dedicated to their assigned strings. Only increase the tempo when you feel confident enough to do so. You will begin to notice how much more interesting the sound becomes as the speed increases. It is also important to slightly emphasize the thumb notes. This establishes a strong meter or beat. It keeps the music in a groove so to speak. Ok. . . so this is our FIRST pattern. Our FIRST finger picking pattern. . . It works well on any and all songs in 4/4 time but most especially ballads and more gentler songs. Take a song that you already know and try using this pattern rather then a traditional strumming pattern. You might be very surprised by how it changes the feel of the song. Have fun and . . . . HAPPY STRUMMING!!!!

Here is another 4/4 Finger Picking Pattern #2 1 p,

& 2 & 3 & 4 & m, p, m, p, m, p, m (MIDDLE and INDEX fingers are played simulatenously) i, i, i, i,

Here we see how the strings are numbered on the Ukulele

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