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How To Trill On The ʻUkulele

The trill is a technique that you should consider having in your ʻukulele arsenal. They aren’t used a lot in ʻukulele music, but have their place in the classical genre. The trill is a flurry of hammer-ons and pull-offs with only the first note picked to get things going. You can trill between any two notes on the same string.

To play a trill:

  1. Fret the “low note” on the ʻukulele with your index or middle finger.
  2. Pick that note.
  3. Hammer-on one or two frets above.
  4. Pull-off.
  5. Hammer-on
  6. Pull-off
  7. Etc…

Remember that a trill is still shown in notation “tr“. I’m just trying to give you an idea how it is supposed to sound when you play it on your ʻukulele.

This can be played anywhere on the fretboard. Make sure that your pull-offs really pop because that is what keeps the sound going.

This is a great way to exercise you fingers.

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Brad Bordessa

I'm an 'ukulele artist from Honoka'a, Hawai'i, where I run this site from a little plantation house in the jungle. I've taught workshops internationally, made Herb Ohta Jr. laugh until he cried, and once borrowed a uke to jam with HAPA onstage in my boardshorts. More about me