How to get a nice sound on ukulele

In this video and article we’ll look at how to get a nice sound on ukulele. It’s really important to get the fullness and rich tone out of the instrument.

The main concept is that the string should be vibrating from the floor to the ceiling rather than in and out from the instrument. This will give you a warmer, fuller sound and allows you to play louder. When you pull away as you pluck the finger can slap against the frets, especially when playing loud. But if you dig in a little bit and push the string in, the string will vibrate correctly. And this will allow you to play louder while still giving you this warm sound.

Contact – Pressure – Release

To help you build up to this, we’ll break this down into three steps: contact, pressure, and release. First, allow your thumb to rest on a bass string. This will give your hand stability and allow you to relax your fingers.

Next, make contact with the string and try to be consistent with where you touch your finger to the string. The more consistent you are with the contact point, the more consistent your sound will be.

Once your finger is making contact with the string, apply pressure inward toward the soundhole. You can be very loose with the fingers and let the tip joint of your finger collapse.

Finally, release your finger back into the palm of the hand. We’ve already started this process with step 2 and applying pressure, so now just let go of the string and allow your finger to follow through in toward the palm.

When you want to make a thumb stroke, you can play with just flesh, just nail (if you have nails), or nail and flesh together. Each type of stroke will give you a different kind of sound. The thumb moves in a kind of circular motion. First, pluck the thumb downward to the index finger. This motion will both push the string downward to the soundhole and allow the thumb to return to its playing position.


Use these principles to explore different sounds on the instrument. Once you can consistently produce a full and warm sound while playing loudly, you can start to introduce color and dynamics as well. Enjoy getting to know the tone of your ukulele!


We hope you enjoyed this short technique tip. You can find many more lessons just like this that are comprehensive and help you to play more beautifully at Ukulele Corner Academy. Learn more and Join Ukulele Corner Academy today!