Using Picks

by Pete · 0 comments

Hands down, best kind of picks you can use are your fingernails most performing pros use just their fingernails. They are always with you and they sound good, so it makes sense to use them. You hardly notice them growing, they just look a little funny when you’re at the supermarket.

Thumb picks are probably second best to fingernails. It is a good idea to practice with a thumb pick occasionally so that if you break your thumbnail you have a backup. But it’s also a good idea to practice with your fingernails in case you lose or forget your thumb pick. There are tons of different kinds, so just choose a couple that you like the look of and try them out.  Thumb picks allow your hand to rest at a more natural angle when you are playing. When you first start playing with a thumb pick you might feel like you are going to break the strings off your ‘ukulele. Don’t worry, you just need to practice letting the pick slide off of the strings at a little bit of an angle. As great as they are, I wouldn’t use thumb picks exclusively, just in case you end up without it somewhere.

The only person I can think of who plays ‘ukulele with fingerpicks Is Ledward Kaapana. Most fingerpicks are made out of metal and you can bend them to fit your finger. Because of the way the picks go on your fingers, you have to pick upward towards your face. With a thumbpick, fingerpick, and delay pedal, you can get a really bright “Led” sound that is lots of fun to play with.

Plectrums (flat picks) are not used by many ‘ukulele players, mostly guitar players who have just transferred over to ‘ukulele. There are several types: standard guitar picks, felt picks, and rubber picks. Standard picks will scratch the top of your ‘ukulele if you are not careful. Felt picks are just thick, stiff pieces of felt. The flat picks that I have experience with are the Wedgie rubber picks. They might work okay for you if are just doing simple picking, but if you try to rip it up, I think they would really slow you down. I personally don’t recommend flat picks.

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