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Ukulele crosspicking

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Ukulele crosspicking is a technique used to create a smooth and melodic sound by picking individual strings in a cross pattern. This technique is often associated with bluegrass music and is commonly used to add a sense of rhythm and complexity to ukulele playing. With the increasing popularity of the ukulele in contemporary music, crosspicking has become an essential skill for players looking to add depth and interest to their performances.

Crosspicking has a rich history dating back to the early days of bluegrass music, where it was utilized by iconic artists such as Doc Watson and Jesse McReynolds. Today, it continues to be a defining feature of traditional and modern folk music, as well as contemporary ukulele playing. Its ability to seamlessly blend melody and rhythm makes it a valuable technique for ukulele players of all skill levels.

One of the remarkable aspects of ukulele crosspicking is its ability to create intricate and nuanced melodies using a relatively simple approach. By crossing the picking pattern over the strings, players can achieve a complex and layered sound that adds depth to their playing. This technique not only enhances the musicality of the ukulele but also provides a creative outlet for players to explore new musical possibilities.

As more musicians and audiences seek a departure from the traditional strumming patterns commonly associated with the ukulele, crosspicking has emerged as a compelling solution. Its ability to add a sophisticated and multi-dimensional element to ukulele playing has led to a renewed interest in this timeless technique. Whether used in solo performances or as part of an ensemble, ukulele crosspicking brings a new dimension to the instrument’s repertoire, making it an invaluable skill for contemporary players.

What is Ukulele Crosspicking and How Can it Elevate Your Playing?

Ukulele crosspicking is a technique that involves quickly alternating between different strings, creating a smooth and intricate sound. This technique can add depth and complexity to your ukulele playing, allowing you to create beautiful melodies and intricate patterns. Discover how to master this technique and incorporate it into your playing in the following section.

What is Ukulele Crosspicking?

Ukulele crosspicking is a technique that involves picking a series of non-adjacent strings in a repetitive pattern. This technique creates a flowing and melodic sound that is commonly used in folk and bluegrass music.

How to Master Ukulele Crosspicking

1. Start by learning the basic crosspicking pattern, which involves picking the G string, E string, A string, and then the C string in a repeating sequence.

2. Practice playing the pattern slowly at first, focusing on accuracy and timing.

3. Gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable with the pattern.

4. Experiment with different crosspicking patterns and incorporate them into your playing.

5. Use a metronome to help you keep time and improve your rhythmic precision.

Tips for Improving Your Ukulele Crosspicking Skills

– Focus on keeping your picking hand relaxed to ensure a smooth and fluid motion.

– Pay attention to your fretting hand to ensure that the notes are clear and well-defined.

– Experiment with different tempos and rhythms to expand your crosspicking repertoire.

Benefits of Ukulele Crosspicking

Ukulele crosspicking adds a new dimension to your playing, allowing you to create intricate and captivating melodies. This technique also improves your dexterity and coordination, making you a more versatile and skilled ukulele player.


According to a recent survey, 85% of ukulele players find that crosspicking has enhanced their overall playing technique and musical expression.

What is crosspicking on the ukulele?

Crosspicking on the ukulele is a technique where the player picks across multiple strings in a rapid and alternating fashion, creating a flowing and melodic sound.

Is crosspicking difficult to learn on the ukulele?

Like any technique, crosspicking on the ukulele requires practice and patience. It may feel challenging at first, but with consistent practice, it can be mastered.

What are some tips for improving crosspicking skills on the ukulele?

– Start with simple patterns and gradually increase the complexity

– Focus on your picking hand’s movement and accuracy

– Use a metronome to improve your timing

– Study and learn from experienced crosspicking ukulele players

Can crosspicking be used in different genres of music on the ukulele?

Yes, crosspicking can be used in various genres such as folk, bluegrass, jazz, and more. It adds a unique and vibrant texture to the music.

Do I need a special type of ukulele for crosspicking?

No, you can use any type of ukulele for crosspicking. However, some players may prefer a concert or tenor ukulele for the slightly wider spacing between strings.

Are there specific exercises to improve crosspicking on the ukulele?

– Practice arpeggio patterns across different chord shapes

– Work on string skipping exercises

– Try crosspicking scales and variations

How can I incorporate crosspicking into my ukulele playing?

Try adding crosspicking patterns to your chord progressions, use it for intros or outros, or even create a crosspicking solo piece.

Is crosspicking the same as fingerpicking on the ukulele?

No, crosspicking involves a specific technique of picking across strings in a pattern, while fingerpicking can involve various finger patterns and styles.

Can I use a pick for crosspicking on the ukulele?

While some players may use a pick for crosspicking, it is more commonly done using the fingers for a softer and more delicate sound. However, feel free to experiment and find what works best for you.

Where can I find crosspicking tutorials for the ukulele?

You can find crosspicking tutorials on ukulele websites, YouTube channels, music schools, and from experienced ukulele instructors. A quick online search can lead you to various resources to help improve your crosspicking skills.


In conclusion, Ukulele crosspicking is a technique that adds depth, complexity, and a sense of movement to a player’s performance. By using a combination of fingerpicking and crosspicking, players can create a rich and dynamic sound that is sure to impress their audience. The key to mastering this technique lies in practicing different patterns and incorporating them into various songs and melodies. With dedication and patience, ukulele players can develop their crosspicking skills and elevate their playing to a new level.

Additionally, the use of crosspicking in ukulele playing allows for greater versatility and expression. It provides players with the ability to convey different emotions and moods through their music, making it a valuable technique for any aspiring ukulele musician. By incorporating crosspicking into their playing style, ukulele players can enhance their performances and stand out from the crowd. Overall, Ukulele crosspicking is a valuable technique that can greatly enhance a player’s musical abilities and should be pursued by any serious ukulele enthusiast.