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Thread: Buzzing: is it my uke or my strings?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Default Buzzing: is it my uke or my strings?

    Hello all,

    I have a Kala KA-15S (mahogany laminate) with Aquila Nyglut strings. I've noticed that when I play certain chords -- especially those where all four strings are fretted like B major -- I get a funny buzz/ vibration on either the g string or the A string. Is this something that could be fixed with better strings or a better uke? (Always thinking ahead to the next uke!). Or is this a typical beginner issue?

    Thanks!
    Jaime

    KoAloha Pineapple | Grape Flea | Luna Concert Great Wave

  2. #2
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    Default

    It could be almost anything. Some people find that chord hard to play and it may be that your fingers are incorrectly placed. If your uke has had one of these "set-ups", that could be the problem because those doing the "set-up" sometimes make the uke worse by making the action too low to play properly (because they think that this is what players want). It could be whole host of other reasons.
    KEN


    Ken Middleton Ukulele

    http://www.KenMiddleton.co.uk

    For Living Water Strings go to http://www.kenmiddleton.co.uk/Pages/LWS.aspx

    For Ohana related comments, observations and questions, email me at ken@ohana-music.com

    Remember: a ukulele is forever.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    SW Ont. Canada-eh!
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    Default

    Unless I can get a single string to buzz by fretting it individually, I figure any buzzing sound is "operator error". And I do find it more common on chords involving more fingers (or barre). I'm still trying to pin it down but think its because I'm not fretting directly behind the fret. Seems more common on slightly wider spaced concert fretboard than on my original soprano.

    Jim B

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    UK
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    Default

    Could be a range of things. Follow steps on link below one by one to isolate it

    http://www.gotaukulele.com/2010/09/b...n-ukulele.html

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Default

    My concert laminate buzzed, no matter what I did to change my technique, no matter what my luthier did to it. I sold it, and the guy who bought it swears it never buzzes... I guess it just didn't like me... go figure.
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    near Boston
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    Default

    When I first started playing, I buzzed a lot, especially when playing chords that involved fretting all 4 strings. I have learned to isolate and minimize buzz by doing the following: hold the chord and pluck each string individually--each string should ring clearly and cleanly. If a string buzzes (or is muted) when you pluck it, adjust the finger position on that string until the string plays cleanly when plucked.

    Then again, maybe I'm lucky that the buzzing has always been a problem with me, not with my ukulele!
    Last edited by cantsing; 04-21-2012 at 01:18 PM.
    Live long, prosper, and play your ukulele.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default

    If it's happening mostly or only on barred chords - it's technique. You just need to develop the strength and care to get all four strings firmly touching the frets.

    If your action is really high at the nut it can make this harder on the B and Bb chords because they are close to the nut. If you can play a barred D at the fifth fret (same shape as the B but up three frets to the fifth) cleanly but still have a problem with the B and Bb then lowering the nut slots will probably help - it will make intonation better in the first position, too, because if the nut is high enough to make barring difficult at the first couple of frets you can bet it's affecting intonation as well.

    John
    I'm not entirely convinced that it is possible to polish a turd. However, if one were to accomplish that feat one would still have a turd, and one all the more noticeable for being shiny.

    Check out my ukulele-themed "stuff" at http://www.cafepress.com/fivebyfiveukulele - proceeds go to a good cause...UAS treatment!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    I just yesterday took my Lanikai in because one string was buzzing. Turned out to be what was described to me as a "broken rib". This was discovered by putting slight pressure on the top of the body just above the bridge on the left side. Once this pressure was applied the buzz went away. Luckily the 'rib' in question was accessible via the onboard controls for the pickup. Basically it needs to be glued and clamped and will cost around $40 for the repair.

  9. #9

    Default

    I fixed a laminate Kala string that buzzed by putting a tiny piece of cotton paper under that string on the nut. It fixed it! I got the idea from this Forum Your noises sound a little different than mine, though. I vibrated all the time and sounded like it was coming from the bridge, but not so. I was just lucky, I guess!
    Black Bear Sopranino Spruce/Koa~ Living Water
    Ohana Soprano SK-38 Mahogany~ Martin
    Mainland Soprano Mango~ KoAloha strings
    KoAloha Soprano Pineapple~ KoAloha strings Low G

  10. #10
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    Thanks everyone. It's quite possibly my technique (I'm on day 11 of owning/playing.... And I have small hands/ short fingers), so all of your comments are helpful!

    -Jaime

    KoAloha Pineapple | Grape Flea | Luna Concert Great Wave

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