Monday, September 6, 2010

More on How Cliff Edwards (Ukulele Ike) Played the Ukulele

Here's another treat, this is another article from Terry C. in Australia. Terry is the Cliff Edwards and Martin Ukulele afficianado. I had asked him about Cliff Edward's strum before. Now he gives us some detailed reasearch on Cliff Edwards Rolled Strum technique. Enjoy, HU.
The roll stroke is an effective stroke to use on ukulele. Most people play the four finger roll starting with the pinky or little finger and ending with the index finger or thumb.

Here's a demonstration of the standard roll stroke:

Here's another demonstration of how to play the roll stroke:

But Cliff Edwards played it differently, he started with the index finger followed by the other fingers with the pinky last. In his only instruction booklet 'Ukulele Ike's Complete Ukulele Method' published in 1927 he describes his technique.

"If you were to make a series of six consecutive strokes, in strict cadence, all down, in this order: index finger, second finger, third finger, fourth finger followed by the thumb then return up by the thumb, you will have laid the foundation for the very flashy roll stroke which very few amateurs know how to use."

A very effective strum you'll agree! It seems easy to do until you try it. But practise makes perfect!

Terry C.

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