Ukulele Strumming Tips

Looking for some ukulele strumming tips to help you sound like a pro? Strumming the ukulele and getting a professional sound isn’t really that difficult, if you follow a few basic tips. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you to attain a great sounding strum. Walk through it slowly, and if you’ve been having difficulty you should see a great improvement.
  1. Set up with a “C” chord (“C” is easy to play, and lots of open strings).
  2. Bend the index finger on your strumming hand back 90 degrees. Point it towards the top of your ukulele body:


Ukulele Strumming Tips

Preparing to ‘flick’ your index finger

   3. Move your wrist and arm down as you strum, and ‘flick’ the back of your index finger (your fingernail) gently and evenly across the strings:
Ukulele Strumming Tips

This image is mid-strum

   4. Follow through on your strum until your index finger is fully extended and passed the strings:
Ukulele Strumming Tips

A good follow through ends with a straight index finger


Try simple down strums at first. On the down strum, the back of your fingernail should be what is strumming the strings. Try to get an even, blended tone (beginners tend to hit the strings unevenly; be aware of that as you practice). Keep in mind that the base of your fingernail may get red and sore.. and if so, congratulations… you’re strumming correctly! It remains sore for a week or so, then you’ll be all set.

When you play quarter note strums (i.e. 1 – 2 – 3 – 4) , all of the strums are down strums. When you do eighth note strums ( 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &), you’ll be strumming the strings on the way up too. Just take the tip of your finger and lightly brush the strings on the way up. You’re bending your index finger anyways to prepare for your next down strum, so the motion is pretty natural. Keep in mind that most up-strums focus on the bottom two or three strings, so unlike the down strum it’s not including all four strings (it’s generally much lighter too).

There you have it! Practice this strumming technique and it should provide you with a great, professional sounding strum. If you’d like help learning more, we’re here! NHTunes offers online ukulele lessons which will get you playing fast! We try to make online ukulele lessons an equal experience to that of in-house lessons, minus the travel time! Our qualified instructors will walk you through the basics, and will have you playing songs in no time! Our half-hour private online ukulele lessons are just $29.50 – and there is NO sign-up or registration fee.
Schedule a single lesson below with our online scheduler!

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