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Proper Fretting Hand Placement

Efficiency is the key to proper fretting hand technique.

PUBLISHED: Jan 24, 2013 • UPDATED: Feb 7, 2020 • LESSON CODE: UL08 • VISITS: 131

ukulele Subjects: beginnertechnique

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Proper Fretting Hand Placement

Efficiency is the Key to Proper Technique

The four fingers can span four frets, one finger per fret. Start by placing your index finger on string four, fret one. Then on the same string, add finger two to fret two, finger three to fret three, and finally finger four to fret four. The thumb should be positioned flat and right behind finger one and two. In this position, only the fingertips and the thumbprint touch the instrument. The fourth finger will not be as arched as the other fingers because of its size and relative reach.

Your thumb should be flat against the back of the neck approximately right behind the first and second fingers. The exact position varies with thumb, neck, and hand size. The thumb pushes against the neck while the fingers press down.

The No. 2 Pencil

The old standby No. 2 Pencil is a handy tool to show proper finger and thumb placement.

  • Place fingers (fingertips) on the pencil's "Painted Body" and your thumb should naturally go into the osition of support right behind you index and middle finger.
  • That's it. I do typicall use a flat Carpenter's Pencil as it's a little easier to balance and has more of an area on its "Ferrule".

Alternately you can place all four fingers on string four of your ukulelel at frets (10, (2), (3), and stretch your pinky to fret (5). This should place you thumb in the proposition of supporting the fingers.

Your thumbs needs to supply equal and opposite pressure to the fingers pressing on the strings.

End of Lesson - Thanks, Hope You Enjoyed It!

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Proper Fretting Hand Placement • Updated: Feb 7, 2020

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