Should I Use a Pick When Playing the Ukulele?

Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned ukulele player – there comes a time when all strum lovers face the following question: Should I start playing with a pick?

The short answer is that there isn’t really an answer. When it comes to what you play your ukulele with, the choice is up to you.

But don’t worry – we’re not going to leave you hanging. To help you pick whether or not to pick, we’ve created a comprehensive pros and cons guide.

 

Pros to playing with a pick:

It produces a lower tone.

Playing with a pick creates a deeper, lower tone which could be useful for playing tenor and baritone ukuleles. 

It is easier on your fingers. 

For those suffering from hand injuries, or for the little ones who may not have the required strength in their hands just yet – a pick is a great tool. It takes the pressure off your hands and fingers, while still allowing you to play.

It eases the transition from guitar to ukulele.

If you’re a musician who is used to playing the guitar, using a pick will allow you to get used to the weight and feel of the ukulele, before you focus on your preferred way to play. 

 

Cons to playing with a pick:

It produces a lower tone.

Using a pick creates a different sound than when strumming. If this wasn’t the noise you were looking for, you may need to go back to using your fingers.

It can ruin your ukulele.

Hard picks can ruin the strings of your ukulele. If you have to play with a pick, be sure to opt for one made of felt, which will be available for purchase at our store this fall. 

It isn’t how the ukulele was created to be played.

Historically speaking, ukuleles were created to be played with our fingers. But as music evolves, so does the way we play, so don’t let this stop you from experimenting. 

 

Which to pick:

Our advice? Do both. Experiment with the sound and the feel, and then drop us a line in the comments section to let us know which you prefer.