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Thread: Riptide sounds off on soprano

  1. #1

    Default Riptide sounds off on soprano

    I've learned to play riptide well with my concert ukulele using the chords of Am g and c. On a soprano the same chords sound off. Does riptide call for a capo on a soprano ? thanks for the help

  2. #2
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    IIRC, the Ukulele Teacher on youtube says that Vance Joy plays the tune in D6 tuning.

    So he suggests using a capo on the first fret.(about 1:46 in )

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFBFp6do9WE


    Its a fun song to play.
    Last edited by maki66; 08-31-2017 at 09:35 AM.
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  3. #3
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    Welcome to the forum, btw.

    What's your soprano?
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  4. #4
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    Usually, both concert and soprano are tuned the same GCEA, so assuming both yours are tuned the same too you shouldn't need a capo, no.

    There are lots of reasons why a ukulele can sound out of tune. The first thing I do (after checking each string is in tune of course) is to make sure I'm not pressing excessively hard when forming each chord.

    Assuming you use an electronic tuner of some sort, I would see whether your tuner reckons that each fretted note on each string is reasonably in tune or not (you'll need to set the tuner to 'chromatic' not ukulele-specific). My guess is you'll find the soprano isn't quite as faithfully in tune at each fret as the concert is. There can be lots of reasons for that. Give it a try and report back what you found.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimavery View Post
    Usually, both concert and soprano are tuned the same GCEA, so assuming both yours are tuned the same too you shouldn't need a capo, no.

    There are lots of reasons why a ukulele can sound out of tune. The first thing I do (after checking each string is in tune of course) is to make sure I'm not pressing excessively hard when forming each chord.

    Assuming you use an electronic tuner of some sort, I would see whether your tuner reckons that each fretted note on each string is reasonably in tune or not (you'll need to set the tuner to 'chromatic' not ukulele-specific). My guess is you'll find the soprano isn't quite as faithfully in tune at each fret as the concert is. There can be lots of reasons for that. Give it a try and report back what you found.

    I am using an electronic tuner. The way I have the ukuleles set up is as you said with GCEA. They are both in tune. But the soprano sounds clunky and flat. While my concert is crisp and clear. It could be that the concert is a Mitchell mu100 while the soprano is a diamondhead. But even then shouldn't I still get a decent sound ? thanks

  6. #6

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    It is a diamond head du-150. Also thanks!

  7. #7
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    I believe he plays it on a tenor, with low G string, which usually sounds fuller for a strumming song like that. I've tried it on all my ukes, including soprano, and it sounds best on concert or tenor, with low G, IMHO.
    Last edited by Ukecaster; 08-31-2017 at 10:57 AM.
    Ask NOT what your country can do for Uke...ask what Uke can do for your country.

  8. #8
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    If your soprano, or any other scale uke for that matter, sounds 'sour' when fretting in frets 1-5 when playing chords, but matches the open strings perfectly on a tuner, your intonation could be off + or -, sharp or flat...

    You can check this, e.g., buy making sure the open strings are in tune, and then with the tuner still on, play a G Maj cord, but pluck each string individually, and watch the tuner, and see if they are sharp.

    If so, your nut slots are likely too high, or as said above, your are squeezing the strings so tight that they are pressing on the wood of the fretboard, which is wholly unnecessary, as you only need to press down just enough for the string to rest on the leading edge of the fret itself, and should never have to be touching the wood of the fretboard, unless your frets are very shallow above the fretboard.

    Correcting intonation at the nut is another topic, which can be explained later if necessary.

  9. #9
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    It might be worth trying some alternative fingerings for those chords and see if any sound better. See:

    https://ukulelehelper.com/

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