Make Melodies Sing on Ukulele

Make your melodies sing on ukulele with this quick technique tip. When we play fingerstyle on ukulele we often want the melody to sing out above the accompaniment. We need some notes to be more prominent than others.

Melody Technique Exercise: Weight in the Right Hand

Here’s a simple technique to help you do this on the ukulele. In the right hand we want to put more weight on notes that we want to be more prominent, and less weight on notes we want to be accompaniment. To start out, place your thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers on each of the four strings of the ukulele. And now play around with pressing the strings in toward the soundhole and releasing pressure to the point of barely touching. Think about a trampoline: if you want to jump higher you have to depress the trampoline with a lot of weight, but to jump lower you barely press into the trampoline. The same is true here with weight on the ukulele strings.

The exercise

Now let’s start playing an arpeggio on a C chord. Place your left-hand third finger on the third fret of the first string. Starting very lightly play each string of the C chord in succession: p, i, m, a. Barely touch the strings at first as you play to get a very soft sound. Now, gradually apply more weight toward the soundhole and the sound should get louder and louder.

Once you have this down, start playing the first string with the a finger with more weight while all the other strings are played very lightly. Often our melodies will be played on the first string, so get really comfortable with this. Next, continue to play the arpeggio while you change the accent from one finger to another. For example: P-i-m-a, p-I-m-a, p-i-M-a, p-i-m-A.


We hope you enjoyed that technique tip on how to strum smoothly on ukulele! You can get much more content on ukulele technique at our Technique Resources page here. And we have many more technique lessons for our members at Ukulele Corner Academy. Join Ukulele Corner Academy today!