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Thread: What's the correct height of Ukulele Strings???

  1. #1
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    Question What's the correct height of Ukulele Strings???

    Okay since I'm not sure i thought I'd ask the pro's!


    Please anyone, will you tell me what's the height of your strings from the fret board (NOT THE FRET) after your last fret??? What's normal?

    The height around the 1st - 9th fret seems cool but around the 15th and higher just seems a little too high???? But I don't really know the norm...



    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Its really all about personal preference. This space between the fretboard and strings is called the "action". You can lower the action by taking the strings off and sanding down the saddle(normally the white piece on the bridge). If the nut (the part at the top of that neck that holds the strings in place) seems too high also, you can pop it off, sand it down a little, and glue it back on. The risk that comes with doing this is not allowing enough room for your string to vibrate freely and this causes a buzzing sound. If you sand the saddle down too far, you can always fix that by wedging a thin piece of cardboard (cereal box) cut with an exacto knife to fit between the wood from the bridge and the saddle.
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  3. #3
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    Thanx for the feedback man. I just bought this thing and would HATE to try to learn to do this, though it my be a simple task, I'm not that guy. I would also freak'n HATE to need to pay someone to do right after buying this Uke.


    Here's a few pix of the action, look too high? Anyone???

    On the bottom of the page:
    www.modestojkd.com

  4. #4
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    Yeah that looks far too high. Its a very simple task to perform. I skateboard, so what I do is take an old broken board and use the grip tape side as a sanding board and just run that saddle up and down the board... If you don't have a skateboard you could probably get away with using concrete like in your driveway if it isn't too coarse.
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  5. #5
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    That really doesn't look too drastic to me... I've seen and played on worse.

    What matters (to me, at least) is how the uke plays when you bar the first fret. Go ahead and bar the first fret and pluck each string - do they sound clear or do they buzz? Do you have to clamp quite hard to get a good sound out of each string?

    Because you do come across a few chords that require barring the first and second frets, having the action right so that these bar chords work easily is very important. I just took my uke to a local luthier yesterday, it took him 10 minutes to fix the action on my uke, and what a difference! It only cost me ten bucks (ten bucks kiwi so.. about 5-6 bucks USD)

    I would say play with your uke for a while, let it settle in and see if it feels comfortable for you. If not, a local luthier or music shop should be able to adjust it for you cheaply and quickly, or if you're game you can adjust it yourself.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by whetu View Post
    That really doesn't look too drastic to me... I've seen and played on worse.

    I would say play with your uke for a while, let it settle in and see if it feels comfortable for you. If not, a local luthier or music shop should be able to adjust it for you cheaply and quickly, or if you're game you can adjust it yourself.

    Thank you for the info bro.

  7. #7
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    it depends.. is the uke standing up or laying down?

    Cause if it's standing up, the the tenor strings are a bit longer than the concert.. and the concert is a bit longer than the Soprano...

    Lying down they are all about the same height...



    JT
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  8. #8
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    In terms of measurements, .015-.030" at the nut, above the first fret is average. .090-.110" at the 12th fret. That's not to say that you absolutely must obey those tolerances, but most ukulele will fall somewhere in that range. Sorry, I forgot what the metric equivalents were and I'm too lazy to convert them.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by amute View Post
    Please anyone, will you tell me what's the height of your strings from the fret board (NOT THE FRET) after your last fret???
    First off, fret height is usually measured from the top of the fret, at the 12th.

    Quote Originally Posted by amute View Post
    I would also freak'n HATE to need to pay someone to do right after buying this Uke.
    Not sure why you would hate (strong word) paying someone to set up your instrument. If you're serious about playing, you should have your instrument set up properly. You can either pay for it after, or have your builder set it up the way you want (if you're working with a builder, and this was not a retail purchase).

    -Aaron
    Last edited by Kekani; 06-27-2009 at 11:31 PM.

  10. #10
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    It depends alittle on your style of play,if you strum it hard then you don't want to lower the action too much or it will buzz.
    Measuring from the top of the fret to the bottom of the string,generally about 1mm at the first fret is considered acceptable.
    Action at the 12th fret should be about 3mm for a soprano, about 3 to 3.5 for a concert, and 4mm or under for a tenor.

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