Learn how to play lots of different ukulele styles

16 Mar 2015

Ukulele Styles

There are many different ukulele styles you can create by using your right hand in different ways.
The strumming pattern you use can really make all the difference. In these strumming patterns there are only a few things that we need to be able to do to create different ukulele styles. They are:

A mini down is where you just hit the bottom two strings, giving a different rhythmic effect. A ghost strum is when you make the movement of a strum, but miss the strings. This helps you keep time when leaving a gap in a rhythm, and makes sure your right hand is in the correct position for the next strum.

The ‘X’ for ‘dampen strings’ is where you use the palm of your hand to stop the string ringing, thereby silencing the sound.

Here’s some ukulele styles to try:


Here’s one with some dampened strings. This is really useful in rhythms where beat 1 is missed out (it’s hard to hear the count of a rhythm with no ‘1’!)

Some styles have a rhythmic pattern that lasts for more than one bar. Here’s a 2 bar Bossa Nova style.

Take it slow at first, and make sure you’re going up and down at the right times!


  • Start slowly, and keep a steady tempo no matter how slow you are going. A metronome can help with this.
  • In the beginning, count out loud, “One and two and three and four and” while you play.
  • Listen to songs you like and see if you can imitate the style of the song using the techniques you’ve been practising.
  • Download our FREE Strumming Ukulele Styles PDF for more ukulele styles to try. Simply fill in the form in the green box for instant access (you’ll also receive 9 other useful ukulele PDFs!)
RELATED ARTICLES: Ukulele Strumming Patterns, Easy Ukulele Songs

FREE Ukulele Strumming Patterns PDF!

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