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Thread: Loosening the strings everytime

  1. #1
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    Default Loosening the strings everytime

    What is the opinion about loosening the strings when an uke is not being played often. I am sure most of us who has UAS face this issue. You don't get to paly the same uke on a long term basis.
    So I started really loosening the strings if I know it will be another 2-3 weeks before I will play that uke again. I think that may help preserve the bridge and possibly the integrity of the soundboard ( some are so thin and light). Is it necessary? Am I over worrying?
    Tenor:
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    Long Neck Soprano:
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    Lanikai LU-21 Laminate Mahogany (My Very First Uke!), Kamaka Pineapple 100th Anniversary Koa (Low G), Maui Music SK-41 "Pre-Fire" Koa, Ohana SK 50G Cedar/Rosewood, Kala KA ASAC-S Acacia

  2. #2
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    Default

    I wouldn't, it would make playing anything way more hassle than it's worth. Your strings would never get settled in! My first uke, a Lanikai LU-11 hangs on the wall and has been, for over 6 years, I can grab it and it's mostly intune. l'll be interested in hearing more opinions...
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins | Fender Piha'eu - Worth Browns | Lanikai banjolele - Fremont Blacklines
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  3. #3
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    Default

    I dont know if there is any science behind it, but if your uke is so lightly built that this is a major concern, OR that you are in a very dry climate, maybe this is best applied on a case-by-case basis.

    I dont detune my instruments. I also do not own any where this would be a concern for me, so YMMV.

    The one thing is that if you are constantly detuning and retuning your strings, eventually they will lose elasticity and this WILL affect both intonation and tone, but if it is as infrequently as on a monthly basis, you may have quite a while before you can hear and feel the difference.

    Having said the above, I dont think you are doing and harm to the ukes, and if you have the patience to suffer the time for the strings to settle to pitch and retuning up for a few days when that instrument is in rotation, then go for it.
    Just the FAQs
    "Only those who will risk going too far, can possibly find out how far one can go."
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  4. #4
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    Default

    Yes you are over worrying plus you are not doing the strings any favors. Strings develop a memory, always wanting to go back to the tension they were at. When I drop the tuning on a tenor from C to B the strings are contnually going sharp on me for the next day or so. The strings on your uke will produce a better sound if they are left tuned to what they are played in.

    Good question though because I am sure many people have thought of that.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  5. #5
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    I had heard of de-tuning when putting into store, but I took it to mean fairly long term, like months to years.
    All of mine, since I started back in December 2015, have been put back into their gig bags fully tuned, & I haven't noticed any problems with any of them.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.
    Formerly known as uke1950.

  6. #6
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    I read somewhere a while back that they should be detuned if not played for a while, but I only detuned my sorprano, as it’s in Hi-A DF#B and hardly ever played.

    I had an old soprano that hung on the wall for over 5 years - same strings. I tuned it up, and it still played okay.
    Kala "Spalted" baritone - Lo D GBD
    Kala tenor eight string - gG cC EE AA

    Luna "Peace" concert - Lo - G CEA
    Flea "Red" concert - Hi-G CEA -
    Kala "Exotic Mahogany" soprano - Hi-A DF#B

    Mahalo yellow "Smiley" soprano (Dad's Day gift) - C
    Ka-Lai Pineapple soprano (old) gift - C

    Two ukes are better than one. Uh, what’s better than two?

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  7. #7
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    I don't pretend to know the answer either way but look at it this way. Say that you play that uke all of the time. So the uke is OK under that tension if you are playing it all the time but it's not OK under that very same tension if you are not playing it? What difference does playing it have on the tension that makes it OK whereas not playing it under the same tension makes it detrimental?
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    Money can't buy happiness but it can buy a ukulele which is basically the same thing.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikelz777 View Post
    I don't pretend to know the answer either way but look at it this way. Say that you play that uke all of the time. So the uke is OK under that tension if you are playing it all the time but it's not OK under that very same tension if you are not playing it? What difference does playing it have on the tension that makes it OK whereas not playing it under the same tension makes it detrimental?
    Winner winner chicken dinner. Under tension is the same if played everyday for months or not played for months. You sir are a genius.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikelz777 View Post
    I don't pretend to know the answer either way but look at it this way. Say that you play that uke all of the time. So the uke is OK under that tension if you are playing it all the time but it's not OK under that very same tension if you are not playing it? What difference does playing it have on the tension that makes it OK whereas not playing it under the same tension makes it detrimental?
    But we know there are some ukuleles have neck lift, sound board distortion and broken bridge. They are made by constant string tension. If you remove the tension, how can the neck lift, the soundboard distortion, or the bridge break? It can't.
    Kamaka HF-1 100

  10. #10
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    Maybe it's a bad build that causes neck lift, sound board distortion and broken bridge. But if you remove the tension, how can you play it? You can't.

    bratsche
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