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    Ukulele Finger Picking 101 - Exercise 2

exercise 3 >
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We're going to move on to another unbelievably simple exercise. Please don't get bored and run off - it gets challenging really, really, really soon. In this exercise, you will be plucking the 2rd (from the ground) string of your ukulele with your index finger. When fingerpicking, your index finger acts in the direction of the upstroke when you are strumming - which means you pluck the string with an upwards motion, using the tip of the index finger.

The number "1"s across the top signify that the note is played with the Index Finger (FIRST finger) of your picking (strumming) hand. The zeros again mean to play the string open, or unfretted.


I'd like to talk about 'drills' or 'exercises' for a minute, and try to justify the time I'm asking you to spend on this very lame exercise. We are charting a direct and dependable course for learning how to play music on your ukulele by fingerpicking. In order to play music, you need to have a physical command of the instrument. If you are trying to play music, but require concentrated effort to physically operate the instrument, that effort will stand in the way of music being produced. 'Exercises' or 'drills' are intended to teach each physical element of operating the instrument separately, so that that element will sink in as quickly and deeply as possible.

In this exercise, for example, you are learning to find and pluck a string with your index finger. Sounds easy, but through trying you can see how much dexterity is required - it is really easy to miss the string, hit a different string, or make a foolish little sound when you do pluck, or get your finger stuck in there. When you are concentrating on just that, it is easy to deal with the difficulty. If you were diving straight into a finger-picking song, you would be thinking about fretting the strings, which strings to pluck, which chord comes next, when thumb when finger - way too much stuff to just give your index finger a chance to get it all sorted out. Give your index finger a chance - the next exercise will demand a little autonomy from it.

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