Using a Pick and Tremolo Picking on Your Ukulele

By Alistair Wood

Generally, you don’t use a pick to play a ukulele, but sometimes a pick can get you a sound you can’t otherwise achieve, such as a tremolo. The harsh tone of a pick that makes it sound terrible for strumming can help your soloing cut through if you’re playing with a group of ukuleles.

Find a very light pick and hold it gently between your thumb and the tips of your index and middle fingers.

Picks let you use a technique that can be very useful on the uke: tremolo picking. Here, you pick the same note repeatedly at a rapid tempo; this method allows you to play very long notes that otherwise would stop sounding.

In tab, tremolo is shown with diagonal lines above the note:


Listen to the audio clip for an example of tremolo picking.