Well hellooo there Undergroundlings! Here we go again, with another quick ukulele tip - this time on UKE MINUTES, Aldrine addresses a question that we've been getting a lot lately ... "So how, exactly, do you do that 'CHUNK' thing??"

Check it out. The chunking technique is used to add a percussive sound to your strum; basically the equivalent of clapping, using your strings. To chunk, strum down using three or four fingers of your right hand, then immediately dampen the strings with the side of your thumb (while your thumb is pointed towards the ground). If done quickly and correctly, you should get a nice, juicy "CHUNK" sound.

Remember, chunking doesn't take a lot of force.
You should be able to create a fairly clean chunk sound with minimal effort, so don't try to hit your ukulele hard (and definitely DON'T dig into the strings on the down strum). Take the time to experiment with this and you'll be chunking like a pro in no time!

If you have any other questions, do yourself a solid and hit up the ridiculously awesome people in the UU Forum (seriously, some of them are famed for their awesomeness). Thanks bunches to all you ukers a-commin' up in the world. We love ya lots!

-UU Staff

What Should I Learn Next?
"3 Finger Chunk"
"How to Figure Out Strumming Patterns 1"

Comments

  1. I really want a pineapple but don’t find any examples of chunking a pineapple on the web. I assume it can be done but want to know before I part with my cash. thx

    1. Hey Lisa,

      Chunking on a pineapple uke would be the same as on a normal ukulele. Even though the shape is different, the technique would just carry over. Hope this helps!

      Aloha
      -Kira (UU Staff)

  2. Ahhh! It’s all so clear now! I finally got it and it sounds great! I’m sitting here next to my boyfriend, chunking all over the place and mixing it with the “strum to fingerpicking” stuff I learned from you and he’s all, “Woah, you got a lot better, that sounds really good!” Lol, you should see the size of my smile. Thanks Aldrine, uke make me happy! 😀

  3. Help! I’m not getting that chunking at all! My fingers hit the strings and make the chord sound, and THEN the chunk comes. ARG!! Unless that meaty part below your thumb hits the strings FIRST, before your fingers come down, how can it make that nice CHUNK sound????
    (Yeah, I am a beginner. But still!) Thanks!

  4. Awesome lesson – you should be known for your awesomeness! I just got a Uke and have been lucky enough to find your site. I was able to pick up chunking pretty quickly – still not a master, but am on my way thanks to you!!! Awesome! Keep up the great work!

  5. Thanks for the great work, Aldrine.

    So far all the chunking video I can find are all using a Tenor. Yours is a beautiful Kamaka Tenor.
    I guess there is not much difference in terms of ease of chunking? I only have a Soprano for a week. 😛

  6. Nice lesson! Two things: First, cut the background music when demonstrating, it is very distracting. Second, show the timing information; each of the strokes shown in the iconographic strumming pattern does not have equal time. If you showed the position of each up/down/chuck relative to the beats in a bar, that would make it tremendously easier to get the pattern fast.

  7. I enjoy watching your lessons. Your instructions are simple enough to understand and enjoyable to watch. I would definitely purchase a DVD if you had all your lessons on them.

  8. Eh brah…where you at wit all da kine ukuleles hangin in the background? Mahalo for the chunking lesson. Gon’ take me a while to get it though. 🙂

    Aloha

  9. Thanks for the chunk lesson! This would be even better as a lesson if you would 1) cut out the distracting background music during the teaching part, and 2) pick an easier pattern to insert the chunk into, to practice with.

    Thank you for all your help!

  10. Aldrine,

    My 83 year old Dad loves to play the ukelele and recently enjoyed watching some of your Uke Minute and Uke Lessons over at my house. It’s really great that you offer these lessons for free from your website. The only problem is that my Dad doesn’t have a PC/Internet at home. Have you ever given any thought to putting these lessons onto a DVD for sale? If so, I would buy it for my Dad; he really enjoys learning the different strumming techniques even though the songs in the uke lessons are somewhat modern for him. One of these days maybe you will consider adding a uke lesson on a traditional Hawaiian song too. My Dad was born in Oahu and learned to play the ukelele as a kid, but never really had any formal music lessons and plays mainly by “ear”. He has only recently been studying to read sheet music from a friend who also plays the uke and was a violinst years ago as a teenager in the Hawaiian Symphony orchestra. What’s amazing is that she always asks my Dad for lessons on how he picks the melodies using his “Hawaiian” style. It would be great if you could do a Uke Minute on basic improvisation techniques cause my Dad really wants to learn how the professionals do it. He spends much of his time trying to improve his playing technique and participates in a senior citizen ukelele club in Southern California.

    Sorry for the long email, but if you ever consider selling a DVD with your Uke Minutes and Uke Lessons, please post it on your web site.

    Aloha

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