How to Play Muted Strums, or Chnks, on Your Ukulele - dummies

How to Play Muted Strums, or Chnks, on Your Ukulele

By Alistair Wood

Chnks are muted strums and are great ways to add variety to the sound of your ukulele strumming. You play them as down strums, but instead of letting the chord ring, you immediately bring the underside of your strumming hand down on the strings to give it a chnk sound.

The chnk technique can be quite tricky to get right because you’re required to do two things at once with your strumming hand: strum the strings and stop them ringing. You can hear how it sounds in the chnk audio clip.

The action you use for chnks is very similar to that of a normal strum. You want to keep your strumming hand in its usual position (either a loose fist or out flat) and have the strumming movement come from your wrist. The only difference from a normal strum is that you need to angle your hand at around 45 degrees so that the little-finger edge of your hand is pointing toward the strings. Your hand should look like this:


If a composer calls for a chnk, x marks the spot, as seen in this strumming pattern, where each chnk is represented by an x.