How to Simultaneously Fingerpick More than One Note on Your Ukulele

By Alistair Wood

Picking two notes on your ukulele at the same time creates a beautiful shimmering effect. As with regular picking, in simultaneous picking, you pick down with your thumb and up with your fingers.

In standard notation, the letters for two fingers stacked on top of each other indicates picking with both those fingers, as shown in this nice picking pattern:


To play this pattern, pick the g-string with your thumb at the same time as you pick the A-string with your ring finger, then the E and C strings separately. Watch the simultaneous picking video to see how it’s done.

An interesting aspect of this pattern is the arrangement of notes: first, a group of three; second, another group of three; and then a group of two. This gives an emphasis to one of the off-beats in each bar. This is known as ‘three against four’, and it creates an interesting and unexpected color to the pattern.

You need a bit of practice to get used to this technique, but the effort is well worthwhile.

As well as simultaneously picking with your thumb and one finger, you can simultaneously pick with two fingers.

Once you’re comfortable with this pattern, you can put it together with a chord progression and make a nice little song: