Finger picking For some songs, it works really well to have a break from strumming and do some fingerpicking instead. This suits ballads particularly well. The co-ordination required to get fingerpicking, chord changes and singing all going together, however, may take some time to acquire, although it is well worth the effort. Here are a couple of good fingerpicking patterns. The first is for music with four beats in a bar, and works particularly well with I Have a Dream. Remembering that the strings are numbered 1-4 from your toes to your nose, pluck the strings in this order:
3 4 2 4 1 4 2 4
The strings in bold come on the beat, so overall the pattern is quavers, with the fourth string, plucked by the thumb, coming between every other note (which you can play with the finger(s) of your choice). The way to practise this is to get the 3-2-1-2 pattern going on the beat first, and then add in the fourth string in between each one. The second pattern is for music with 6/8 or 12/8 time signatures, and works particularly well for 12/8 ballads such as Can’t Help Falling In Love With You. 4 3 2 1 2 3 Again, the movement is in quavers, and the arpeggio pattern that you would expect is of course altered by the re-entrant character of the ukulele’s tuning. Use your thumb on the fourth string and your first three fingers on the others.
This a tutorial strumming the song Can’t Help Falling In Love With You. Try the strumming or the finger picking with whatever you feel comfortable with.
Watch this video