What is the approach to the right hand?

The Rainbow books aim to be as flexible and universal as possible with regard to the right hand, as the right hand seems to be such an individual thing in the ukulele world! In a nutshell:

  • all the music in Book 1 can be plucked using just the thumb
  • Book 2 deals with finger plucking, and various combinations of thumb and fingers

In Book 1, the pupil learns to pluck with “thumb only” while tucking the fingertips under the side of the instrument like so:

and is then able to stick to this one simple right hand technique for some time, while the left hand gets to know the basics of the fingerboard.

In Book 2, there are separate sections of the book dealing with

  1. plucking melodies with alternating or “walking” fingers, and
  2. plucking broken chord patterns with thumb, index, middle and eventually ring fingers.

The book is designed so that teachers can teach these techniques in any order. And almost all the pieces can be also be played using “thumb only” – this right-hand style is very common in the ukulele world, at all levels – or with a plectrum.