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How To Chuck on the Ukulele

Are you looking for something to really spice up the old C, G and F chord combo and breathe new life into your playing?

by Kevin Rossi
How to Hold the Ukulele

It’s now time for you to learn how to chuck on the ukulele! Are you stuck in a strumming rut with your ukulele? Are you looking for something to really spice up the old C, G and F chord combo and breathe new life into your playing? Are you currently reading this intro with an infomercial voice in your head? Good! Cause I’ve got just the technique for you, and it’s so cool it’s gonna make you puke!

Er… I mean chuck… It’s gunna make you chuck!  

Chuck on the Ukulele 101: Chucking or Muting

So what, or who exactly is this chuck? Good question. Well for starters, the chuck strum, also known as chucking or muting, actually has nothing to do with losing your lunch, and you certainly won’t find a birth certificate for Charles Strum anywhere (or maybe you will, but it won’t belong to this guy!). No, the chuck strum is a percussive strumming technique that involves hitting the strings (strumming) while simultaneously covering them (muting) with the same hand so they don’t ring out.

If you are thinking something along the lines of, but how can one hand do two things at the same time Kevin?! Don’t worry! It takes a little practice to learn, but it’s not as hard as it sounds. In fact, I’m going to break it down into 3 easy steps!

Step One – Down

Ok, the first step is super easy. If you already play the ukulele (and I can only assume you do if you made it this far into this article) you’ve already done this one a million times.

Taking it very slow, start the motion of strumming down, and then stop just before your pointer finger hits the top string (that’s the G string, to be clear). 

Step Two – Mute

Ok, now that your hand is hovering precariously over the top string, place the bottom/side of your strumming hand (the bit below your pinky) onto all 4 strings of your uke. You may use the side or a combination of the side and a bit of your palm, depending on what is most comfortable to you. 

Read more: Fingerpicking Patterns for the Ukulele

Step Three – Flick

Now that your pointer is poised and the strings are muted, simply flick your pointer across all the strings while leaving the side of your hand/palm on the strings. If you did it correctly, you should hear a nice percussive… well, chuck sound. 

Did it work? Well, keep practicing and it will, I promise. 

Other Types of Muting 

Once you’ve got the chuck under control, know that there are other ways to achieve a mute on the ukulele. Check out this video from Terry Carter demonstrating how to mute with your left hand (or maybe I should say with your fretting hand, regardless of what handed you are).  

So there you have it! If that lesson doesn’t help you chuck, then maybe try eating an entire birthday cake and see where that gets you!

For more lessons on chords, techniques, and songs to help you along on your own uke journey, make sure to check out our site www.ukelikethepros.com. We offer you a bunch of great ukulele content that comes hand-in-hand with an awesome ukulele community that will support you in this journey.

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