Learning techniques on the ‘ukulele is one of the gateways to easier playing. You can know all of the notes in the world, but without technique you will be somewhat limited in what you can do. Some give notes different sounds, some can emulate the voice, some are overkill! Learn to use them as you would a library – you don’t read every book at once, so don’t use every technique in every song.
Arm Wah – A poor man’s filter effect. How to achieve a wah-wah sound by muting the soundboard with your arm.
Bending – Learn how to stretch your strings to the max. By bending you can smoothly ramp your way up to the next pitch. It sort of “takes away the frets.”
Hammer-ons and Pull-offs – How to get from point A to point B in one pick. Use your momentum to carry you through more than one note.
Harmonics – An effect that makes the ‘ukulele ring like bells.
Mono Strum – Pioneered by James Hill. Using a strum to sound only one note.
Octaves – One note from this octave and one note from that octave.
Open String Pull-offs – Rapid-fire notes on one string that are easy to play and sound cool.
Palm Mute – Helps add tightness and a deep tone to your playing.
Rakes – How to add a percussive line of mutes to any note.
Slides – Get smoothly from point A to point B in one pick.
Tapping – Like Eddie Van Halen! Hammer-ons and pull-offs on steroids that involve your picking hand.
Tremolo picking – Playing one note rapidly.
Trills – Rapidly changing from one note to another and then back.
Unisons – Two notes are better than one!
Vibrato – Subtly bending a string to change the pitch and add emotion.