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pluck
12-29-2014, 12:07 PM
I'm working with a new uke. It's a mahogany tenor with Aquila strings. I can get a decent volume from it when playing with my thumb but I cant make it shout while strumming with my pointer finger. This is too bad because I like to strum while singing and I can't hit the high notes unless I sing loudly - so more volume from the uke would be nice.

Any suggestions? Thanks!

Pueo
12-29-2014, 12:16 PM
If it is volume you are after, you can't beat using a pick. Are you using your nails at all, or just the fleshy part of your finger?

PhilUSAFRet
12-29-2014, 12:34 PM
:agree: Could be too much flesh and not enough nail = technique. Perhaps that uke isn't a "loud" one! If it's all laminate, the Aquilas "should" bring out it's loudest voice..........if it has a loud voice in there some where. You didn't state the brand of whether it's solid or laminate....could lead to better responses about possible solutions.

sukie
12-29-2014, 12:36 PM
Get some Worth clears and use your nails. That should help.

pluck
12-29-2014, 01:00 PM
Thanks, all! It's a solid mahogany Mainland. New. Gloss finish which might be holding it back. I'll try to get more nail into it. I guess it still needs to break in.

I suppose if the singing gets serious I can get a spruce top. Just testing the waters for now.

Thanks again!

Nickie
12-29-2014, 01:05 PM
Aquilas are normally pretty loud. You could try adding a side sound hole, like I plan to do.

PhilUSAFRet
12-29-2014, 03:09 PM
Aquila strings frequently do not bring out the best in an all solid mahogany uke. Try some Fremont Blacklines or some good Fluorocarbons.

Recstar24
12-29-2014, 03:27 PM
It's not the gloss finish, it barely has any influence on the sound if any.

It's all technique - more nail, make sure you are hitting the sweet spot, which on the mainlands I find around where the neck meets the body, play with it a bit.

The mahogany is a bit mellow and laid back compared to the red cedar, which I believe is the loudest. But you can get plenty of volume on the mahogany, just ask my students :)

itsme
12-29-2014, 03:55 PM
You could try adding a side sound hole, like I plan to do.
From what I understand, a soundport on the side is really only of benefit to the player, as it allows some projection directly toward you, so it will sound louder to you. But not necessarily to the rest of the room. In fact, if anything, I'd guess since of of the sound is diverted, there may be less projection from the top.

fretie
12-29-2014, 04:29 PM
From what I understand, a soundport on the side is really only of benefit to the player, as it allows some projection directly toward you, so it will sound louder to you. But not necessarily to the rest of the room. In fact, if anything, I'd guess since of of the sound is diverted, there may be less projection from the top.

At risk of a little thread detour... I always wondered about that with the side port... does it actually bleed off some of the uke's sound?

IamNoMan
12-29-2014, 07:55 PM
Pluck: Find the sweet spot and then make sure you strum down perpendicular to the strings. My strumming is all to frequently from the elbow not from the wrist, and sloppy at that. when I change from glancing blows to perpendicular blows the volume jumps up. You could also try strumming with multiple fingers, more force that way. If you know fan stroke it is supposed to be IP the MR are for show. Try IMR or IMRP.

Re side sound ports: the side ports will reduce the sound energy a little, hard to say how much. Whatever sound energy comes out of the box will be projected in different directions but not be diminished in toto.

philrab66
12-30-2014, 03:10 AM
I'm working with a new uke. It's a mahogany tenor with Aquila strings. I can get a decent volume from it when playing with my thumb but I cant make it shout while strumming with my pointer finger. This is too bad because I like to strum while singing and I can't hit the high notes unless I sing loudly - so more volume from the uke would be nice.

Any suggestions? Thanks!

James Hill suggest to strum faster to get louder.

phil_doleman
01-05-2015, 05:30 AM
Tough one- the uke isn't a particularly loud instrument.I have a loud voice, and when I perform I play into a single mic that picks up both voice and uke, so I need to generate quite a bit of volume to help match them up.
For me my index finger is louder than my thumb, because I have short nails and so my thumb strum is using flesh and my finger strum is using the back of the nail. I can get quite a bit of volume without flailing my arm, I tend to play with a fairly short, wrist action strum.

It's certainly not traditional, but I also often use thumb and finger picks, and can also strum with these as well as fingerpick, though it takes a lot of getting used to.

As for your uke, it should be as loud as most others, certainly the Mainland's I've played have had plenty of volume in them. The only adjustment I can think of is action height (as in bridge saddle height). Most players, me included, like a low action, but a higher action not only allows for more aggressive strumming before the strings start to rattle on the frets, but will in itself increase the volume. It's no coincidence that my loudest uke (the smallest-bodied one I own!) has the highest action.

It's also just occurred to me- how are you holding the uke? If you're holding it without a strap, clasped against your chest, you could be impeding the vibration of the top and back. Try resting it on your lap and strumming it whilst it's away from your body and see of that helps. Then, of course, you have to figure out a way of holding it whilst you to get that effect! Sometimes, just holding it a little more gently will do it.

pluck
01-05-2015, 05:42 AM
Thanks for all the replies. They are very helpful. I haven't been singing much in the last few days but I'll do some shouting tonight to see how it goes.