Just what are the fingers of the plucking and fretting hand called.
There can be a bit of confusion as to what the names and numbers of your fretting hand and the plucking or strumming hand are. Here are some of the common fingering notations I’ve encounter over the course of my studying ukulele and guitar.
Common Names for Those Musical Digits
Here are the common fingering notations I've encounter over the course of my studying ukulele and guitar.
Fingering for chords is typically expressed using Arabic numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and T for Thumb.
For the plucking hand, in fingerstyle, the Spanish, Latin classical names and what are commonly used in English are shown.
- Thumb ( t ), not really a finger but a digit. In classical guitar notation this is Pulgar, Pollex (p)
- Index ( i ) finger. In classical guitar notation Indice, Index (i)
- Middle ( m ) finger. In classical guitar notation Medio, Medius (m)
- Ring ( r ) finger. In classical guitar notation Anular, Aanularius (a)
- Pinky ( p ) finger. In classical guitar notation Mignolo (c, x or e)
Spanish: p i m a, English: t i m r
If you're studying traditional classical guitar repertoire and technique, the classical terms for the right hand are more common. For all else I recommend simply using the English terms and eliminate an translation.
Modern Classical Guitar, the repertoire and technique dates back to the mid nineteenth century ( 1800s ). And offers a wealth of information that can be adapted to the ukulele. Which is essentially a small classical guitar in in it's construction and technique when played without picks.
When playing all four strings, each finger can handle their own string. On ukulele it's a simple finger to string assignment, your thumb handles string ④, your index finger handles string ③, your middle finger handles string ② and your ring finger handles string ①. A simple one finger to one string assignment. For guitar, there are fifteen possible four string/four finger combinations, not all are practical.
When playing any of the three, possible three string sets. You can use the thumb, index and middle fingers.
For the two string pairs any combination of t i m r is possible depending on the musical context.
The final decision as to what fingering combination to use will be a musical one. But it is definitely worth exploring all possible combinations.
The Fingerpicking series of lessons explores these fingering possibilities.
End of Lesson
No additional assets for What Finger is What? at this time.
No related books for What Finger is What? at this time.
No related lesson series for What Finger is What? at this time.
No related songs for What Finger is What? at this time.
No videos for What Finger is What? at this time. Filming a lot of videos for various lessons, songs and books.
Site Membership Plans
FREE Plan - A limited selection of basic lessons ( currently over 140 ) and 100+ songs for ukulele as well as basic general music reference material — Completely FREE — Simply Register/Signup to access associated lessons, books, songs and their related assets.
Basic Plan - The Basic Plan gives you access to a larger selection of lessons, downloads, books, songs and all of the premium play-along jam tracks. A site membership so inexpensive that I might as well have called it FREE.
Premium Plan - The Premium Plan gives you access to ALL lessons, downloads, songs, play-along jam tracks, videos, email support, resources and related assets. As well as additional FREE book downloads - depending on your payment plan selected - pay more, get more.
NOTE: Each higher membership level includes ALL the benefits of each of the lower levels of membership. The Private Lesson Plans include all the benefits of the Premium Access Plans
Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books! — Peter Rhee
Aloha, Curt, All I can say is WOW! What you have accomplished is simply incredible! All the best — Glen Hirabayashi, The Aloha Boys
Folks, if you haven't stopped by Curt's site, do so right now! ..And get his books, they are fantastic. This guy knows his stuff and is able to pass it along too. — Alan Johnson Proprietor, The 4th Peg
I can highly recommend Curt's Uke books — I have four of them and they are excellent. — fatveg — Portland
Thanks for visiting and checking out the site!
Content is added and updated almost daily - so check back often.
LearningUkulele.com has one of the largest collections of lessons, songs, and TABS, luthiers, ukulele builders, ukulele festival and club information, and, ukulele links on the web. I’ve been on the ®Internet since the early 1990's and This site just never stops growing!!!