3 Amazing Ukelele Playing TechniquesMusic and instruments are amazing, because you have so much expressive potential in the way you choose to play them. The playing techniques and emotional feel you put into every note, ever transition, every phrase.

The Ukulele specifically, like the guitar and other fretted string instruments can be incredibly versatile.

The normal techniques include plucking with either your finger nails, finger pads, or an actual pick. You can play melodies this way, or play arpeggios. Then you can also strum the strings to play chords in rhythmic way.

But what about more creative playing techniques for adding variation, character and emotion?

Let’s explore some of them:

1 – Multi-Plucking Chords

Instead of strumming the strings for playing chords, since the Ukulele only have 4 strings, you can actually pluck all 4 strings with your fingers.

Of course this means you can not do fast rhythms like when you strum, but you have great control over dynamics depending how hard you pluck the strings, and it creates a completely different tone than strumming. 

2 – Hammering the Strings

Just like playing an instrument like a “hammered dulcimer”, you can in fact play the Ukulele by hitting the strings instead of strumming or plucking them.

For example: you can use a standard drum stick, and strike the strings, while you fret the chords with your left hand. It’s a super fun way to play, and you get great control over both dynamics and rhythms this way.

3 – Sliding the Strings

This techniques is quite common on guitar, but for some reason not used as much on Ukulele by most people.

It truly is a wonderful expressive technique, because you get that “gliding” transition sound as you slide your fretting finger between one note and the next.

I also recommend to try this sometimes when you play melodies and have a specific note you want to play as the next note in your melody. And instead of playing it straight, you go to the scale note below it, and slide into it.