Strumming hand

Letter: P

The thumb of the strumming hand (fingering letter: P) is used in different ways when playing the ukulele:

Fret hand

Numeral: 0
Supporting finger

The thumb of the fret hand (numeral: 0) is usually supported on the back of the neck to stabilize the fret hand. The thumb is therefore used as a support finger. Usually it lies at right angles to the neck (the tip of the thumb points to the player). If it is placed parallel to the neck (the tip of the thumb points towards the nut), it exerts considerably more pressure on the neck and thus facilitates playing while standing without a carrying strap.

Thumb grip

If the thumb of the fret hand protrudes slightly beyond the fretboard, it can grip the 4th string. This is called thumb grip. However, this seems sensible only in linear tuning tuning to play chords or melody notes in which the bass is far away from the other notes. This technique was very popular in the first third of the 19th century, as guitars still had slim necks and the guitar players used to hold their instrument at a very acute angle. However, Fernando Sor and Dionisio Aguado strongly criticized this, because the posture was anatomically wrong and lead to the fact that the other fingers can not be placed as vertically as possible on the strings and their horizontal range is limited. Since then, the thumb grip is practiced only as an exception.