Welcome Our New Ukulele Instructor, Steven!

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    First of all, welcome Steven and thank you for this great new course! I started learning the triplet picking right away and made it to the Melodic Etude. It feels quite comfortable what I’m doing, but I’m not sure if my right hand motion is correct. I recorded myself to check and compare it with Steven’s right hand.
    I noticed my hand is not completely parallel to the strings and my motions are a bit bigger (especially when strumming all 4 strings with the index down). Also the other unused fingers are more curled. Is this a disadvantage? Before I go on to the next unit, I want to make sure I’m not training my muscle memory wrong.

    So here is my recording:

    Looking forward to hearing feedback 🙂


    Hi Johanna, I’m glad you’re enjoying the course and I have to say you really have nailed the melodic etude!! The key thing is that it feels natural and I can see from your playing that it totally does. It has that all-important fluid, rhythmic flow and as long as you can achieve that it really doesn’t matter how you get there. The parallel hand position is just to help ensure that the single string picks are nice and clean and don’t catch the strings either side. Sure, your hand isn’t quite as parallel as mine but you are hitting those single strings really cleanly so it doesn’t matter that you are ‘less parallel’.

    The same goes for the curled fingers. As these fingers are pretty much redundant with this technique it doesn’t really matter what you do with them – just whatever feels comfortable (for some strange reason fully extended ballerina fingers feel comfortable to me!). Everyone will have slightly different physiology so as long as you’re achieving the desired result (which you totally are) then just go with what feels right. It certainly won’t affect things as you progress with the course and won’t be a disadvantage in any way.

    The slightly larger range of movement with your strumming isn’t a problem either. Your hand movements are still very well controlled and the thumb and forefinger are correctly doing most of the work. The hardest part of this piece is controlling the index down strum to just catch two strings at a time and you have totally mastered that!

    So, in summary I’m loving what you’re doing! It looks and sounds great so just keep doing what you’re doing. I’d love to see your rendition of Out in the North when you get to that stage 😉

    Keep up the great work,

    P.s. that Flight Victoria sounds great too – lovely uke 🙂


    Hi Steven! Wow, thank you for this detailed answer.
    I am relieved that I’m doing it right so far 🙂 I started learning Ode to Joy and I think it is way easier than the Etude. I thought breaking the circle of the triplet would mess with my brain 🙂
    But it comes quite naturally and breaking the circle totally makes sense. This technique opens up a lot of cool possibilities.
    I’m excited to learn Out in the North!
    I tried to tackle it when it was part of a monthly challenge, but I wasn’t happy with the sound of my playing (of course I used other fingerings and not the triplet picking).
    Tobias’ and your performance sound so magical and fluent, I hope I can achieve that too when I get there!

    Regarding the curled fingers: I guess it’s the same with holding a guitar pick.
    Some people have their fingers curled, some spread them open and others are making more like a fist. Everything is correct though, just depends on what feels right.

    I just wanted to make sure those slight differences with my right hand don’t affect the speed or the sound in general.

    Again, thank you so much for taking your time to write feedback 🙂 It helps so much.

    I noticed you are using a Flight ukulele too in this course! They build great instruments, I’m happy with my choice 🙂


    Wow! Just found this intro to the new instructor digging around in prep for learning St Anne’s Reel. Stoked to hear a positive story of someone finding a new/better job, particularly with how the arts scene tanking in many ways atm. Looking forward to (and slightly anxious about!) getting more to grips with the triplet strum…and any other challenging techniques you all have to share :]

    Congrats and welcome as instructor @sgwarren

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