Alternating Thumb Fingerpicking on Ukulele
The common alternating thumb and two finger strumming style utilizing the thumb, index and middle fingers.
This is the common alternating thumb and two finger strumming style utilizing the thumb, index and middle fingers. Commonly called “Travis” picking in the guitar world. This series of lessons explores and adapts this style to ukulele. Travis Picking is a finger-style made famous by Merle Travis and Chet Atkins. This style is commonly played on steel string acoustic guitars. You'll find this series of lessons to be the most complete, comprenhesive and organized series of lessons offered anywhere - GUARANTEED.
PUBLISHED: Jan 1, 2003 UPDATED: Jan 1, 2003 • VIEWS: 59 • SERIES CODE: ULFP117 •
20 Lessons in the “Alternating Thumb Fingerpicking on Ukulele” Series
Alternating Thumb Style, Building a Solid Foundation - The Basics • Updated: Feb 7, 2020
As the subtitle of this Fingerpicking Basics lesson for Ukulele implies, this lesson’s focus is on the alternating thumb part of the style. Commonly called Travis Picking on guitar and Scrugg's Style for banjo. For guitar it’s an alternating bass note style with the thumb playing the lower, bass notes. For ukulele, without any real bass notes, the thumb handles the lower two strings, four and three. The alternating thumb fingerpicking style works in any tuning.
Alternating Thumb Style, Thumb and One Finger - Level One • Updated: Apr 6, 2020
In this lesson we’re introducing the index finger once to the alternating thumb pattern mastered in the Alternate Thumb Fingerpicking Style - Introduction. There are four possible patterns when adding the index finger once in common or cut time.
Alternating Thumb Style, Thumb and One Finger - Level Two • Updated: Apr 7, 2020
In this lesson we’re introducing the index finger twice to the alternating thumb pattern mastered in the Alternate Thumb Fingerpicking Style - Introduction. There are six possible patterns in common or cut time.ssible variations in this lesson.
Alternating Thumb Style, Thumb and One Finger - Level Three • Updated: Apr 8, 2020
In this lesson we’re introducing the index finger three times to the alternating thumb pattern mastered in the Alternate Thumb Fingerpicking Style - Introduction. There are three possible patterns in common or cut time.
Alternating Thumb Style, Thumb and Two Fingers - Level Four • Updated: Apr 9, 2020
In this lesson we're introducing the middle finger to the fingerpicking patterns mastered in lesson/chapter five. There's only one pattern in common or cut time. this pattern is demonstarted on the four possible string orders.
Alternating Thumb Style, The Pinch • Updated: Apr 22, 2012
All the previous lessons in the Fingerpicking for Ukulele, Alternating Thumb Style series where melodic, single notes only. This lesson introduces The Pinch, where any one of the thumb/index finger or thumb/middle finger combinations can be played together - harmonically.
Alternating Thumb Style, Rhythmic Variations • Updated: Oct 11, 2019
Rhythmic variations can be incorporated into this style of fingerpicking, creating a variety of syncopated patterns. All previous patterns were steady in nature, with the thumb alternating and playing on every downbeat. Many of the following patterns are syncopated, creating rhythmic variety.
Alternating Thumb Style, Banjo Rolls on Ukulele • Updated: Mar 28, 2020
Exploring banjo rolls on ukulele. In bluegrass music, a banjo roll or roll is a repeated accompaniment pattern of eighth notes. Each roll pattern is a right hand fingering pattern, which can be played while holding any chord position.
Alternating Thumb Style, Patterns Summary • Updated: Oct 11, 2019
Summary of the core Alternating Thumb patterns from the Alternating Thumb Fingerpicking for Ukulele book.
At the heart of all fingerpicking patterns, whether you call it Travis Picking or Scruggs Style or banjo rolls - it's all just a different execution of specific rhythmic patterns in a particular style.
Here are the core fingerpicking patterns from my book "Fingerpicking for Ukulele - Alternating Thumb Style". These are the same patterns I use for all private students, regardless of the instrument.
After the foundation of the alternating thumb is established the fingerpicking patterns are organized into levels according to the number of fingers involved with the alternating thumb. For the basic style, it's the index ( i ) and middle ( m ) fingers only and the number of times within a pattern the finger is used.
With fingerstyle and fingerpicking a big part of playing the ukulele, keeping your right hand fingernails in top shape can be tough at time. Here are a few tips to protect your nails and keep out of trouble.
- Keep nails short. DO NOT clip you nail on the plucking hand.
- Organize your pockets for potential nail damaging objects suck as keys.
- Learn to reach and use your left hand more. You're left hand is already pretty developed from playing.
- Door knobs are what get me the most and wearing bi-focal glasses are what get me the most.
- Wear gloves.
Site Access Plans for LearningUkulele.com
Forever Access - With Forever Premium Access you get Unlimited 24/7 access to ALL lessons, downloads, songs, play-along jam tracks, videos, email access to Curt, resources and related assets. As well as ALL books by Curt as FREE downloads. Pretty much everything on the site and NEVER worry about a subscription or surprise payment again. And jump the queue for my responding to any questions.
Basic Access - 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. HOWEVER - I've been doing ukulele and LearningUkulele.com since 2003 and probably have given too much away already - as reflected in my income from the site in relationship to the time spent on the site. So help support this site and its continued development by signing up for one of the below Premium Access Plans or buy a few of my books. - Thanks, Curt
NOTE: Each higher access level includes ALL the benefits of the lower levels. Private Lessons include all the benefits of a Premium Access Plans as long as you remain a student on the schedule.
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!
Original Curtie Animation from 1987 for my first web site on a Macintosh II.
33 years ago.
“Built for myself (Curt), and sharing with the `Ukulele community!”
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!!!
Content is added and updated almost daily - so check back often.