Alternate Picking

Usually when I’m arranging for the uke I try to spread things across the strings, campanella style, so you’re not playing the same string many times in succession.

But there are times when that doesn’t work out. It’s then I bust out the running man:

You pick the string (the E-string in the case) alternately with your index and middle finger. That dramatically increases the speed you can play things at.

Here’s what the technique looks like when you have to swap between strings:

When you really have to bust out the speed, you can bring your ring finger in for support.

The tab for that last clip is in the How to Play Ukuleles for Peace ebook.

View Comments


  1. Ukenick July 1st, 2010 10:00 am

    Thanks Woodshed. I have been practicing these techniques hard for months, but i have to say the last one broke my brain, but I love it.
    Do you have it in tab form to see exactly what your fingers are doing.
    Thanks so much.

  2. Luckydog July 1st, 2010 10:13 am

    Interesting – but why index/ring, and not index/middle – or middle/ring?

  3. Woodshed July 3rd, 2010 12:35 pm

    Ukenick: Yeah, tab for that last one is in the Ukuleles for Peace ebook.

    Luckydog: Shoot. I meant index and middle. Those are the most dexterous fingers for most people.

  4. AJ April 12th, 2017 3:50 pm

    The Ukuleles for Peace ebook isn’t where it’s supposed to be :(.

  5. Woodshed April 15th, 2017 4:21 pm

    AJ: Sorry about that. It’s not available anymore, I’m afraid.

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