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little timber
04-23-2015, 11:33 AM
I'm nearing completion of a new build and I'm running into an issue that is perplexing me...
The uke is a fanned fret baritone the scale is 18" bass, 16.5" treble and I'm using Aquila baritone strings. I haven't done the fretjob yet. Here's the issue: on the A string, above the 14th fret, the pitch changes the harder the string is pressed. Is this a string tension thing or a fret thing?

rmaine
04-23-2015, 02:49 PM
Just a few guesses
Any time you press a string down it stretches a bit and the pitch changes. Once it is resting on the fret if you keep pressing it down to the finger board the tension will rise even more and the pitch will go up. This is more noticeable the closer you get to the bridge as the amount of stretch is a greater percentage of the string length. If you are using really big frets this gets worse, if your action is a bit high it gets worse. You are probably hearing it on the A string more because it is a weenie thin string that you can press down easily. Not so much so on the C or low G for example unless you have thick callouss's and strong fingers.

sequoia
04-23-2015, 06:15 PM
Yes, as maine says. If you have been following this forum you will know that intonation and compensation on the set-up are perennial problems. You are not alone friend. As someone who really studies this stuff said here, it is all about compromise (see Bach about temperment (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Well-Tempered_Clavier).

The only advice I can offer is to lower the action as low as you dare and compensate the saddle if you dare. If the bridge location is off, well, all bets are off. This is a very complicated subject not given to easy answers.

DennisK
04-23-2015, 07:26 PM
Make sure you're not pushing the string toward the bass side of the neck. Fan frets intensify the effect of bending in one direction, and diminish it in the other. And the direction changes at the perpendicular fret (pull bending works good at the low frets, push bending at the high frets).

Titchtheclown
04-23-2015, 10:16 PM
Make sure you're not pushing the string toward the bass side of the neck. Fan frets intensify the effect of bending in one direction, and diminish it in the other. And the direction changes at the perpendicular fret (pull bending works good at the low frets, push bending at the high frets).
This sounds like a microtone player's dream. A few blue notes and a bit of oriental scaling. Do a bit of bending for a blue note myself but the orientals have all been out of my ouvre to date. Something to think about - at the risk of thread drift anyway.

In reply to the original question the intonation and extra bend in harder pressing and bending notes are things you can market as features, not shortcomings.

Timbuck
04-23-2015, 10:17 PM
If you watch a good violinist...He wobbles his fretting hand/fingers on the notes causing vibrato. you can put this technique to good use on a uke by pressing up and down on the note to produce a silmilar effect.;)

little timber
04-24-2015, 03:32 AM
I was thinking that maybe a set of tenor strings for the E and A might help, as perhaps that 16.5" is just too short for the baritone strings to not be slack

But I do like the vibrato idea ;)

rmaine
04-24-2015, 01:33 PM
Ok, I am a bit confused now. You say it is a baritone uke, yet the fanned scale length straddles that of a tenor and it is tuned GBEA like a low G tenor not DBGE like a baritone. A full set of tenor strings would be advisable in any case, but I am not sure it is going to remedy your problem. Dressing your frets and getting the action set up is your best bet, then if it is still touchy just treat it gently, caress the strings, learn to play Mona Lisa and stare dreamily into the distance.

rmaine
04-24-2015, 02:56 PM
If you watch a good violinist...He wobbles his fretting hand/fingers on the notes causing vibrato. you can put this technique to good use on a uke by pressing up and down on the note to produce a silmilar effect.;)

I always thought that was to cover up for not hitting the right note. ;)

Timbuck
04-24-2015, 09:08 PM
I always thought that was to cover up for not hitting the right note. ;)
Thats right ..A lot of vocalists sing notes flat and then rise up to the note...Blues guitar lads do the same by bending the strings nearly off the neck.
it's called technique when you question them about it.:rolleyes:

little timber
04-25-2015, 03:52 AM
Ok, I am a bit confused now. You say it is a baritone uke, yet the fanned scale length straddles that of a tenor and it is tuned GBEA like a low G tenor not DBGE like a baritone. A full set of tenor strings would be advisable in any case, but I am not sure it is going to remedy your problem. Dressing your frets and getting the action set up is your best bet, then if it is still touchy just treat it gently, caress the strings, learn to play Mona Lisa and stare dreamily into the distance.

That's my bad, it is tuned DGBE.

rmaine
04-25-2015, 10:30 AM
That's my bad, it is tuned DGBE.

Hmmm. Your scale length even with the fanned frets still seems tenorish. I can't help you with string selection, my "big" uke is a concert scale metal bodied resonator with three of the strings gCE all wound and my Dixi banjo uke and my garage sale rescues are all sopranos with tenor strings so I am not the guy for string advice. Level your frets, have the guys over in one of the player forums help you with string choice then do the action setup, looks like a lot of guys here can help you with that, then start playing that thing. Any pictures?

rmaine
04-25-2015, 02:09 PM
Thats right ..A lot of vocalists sing notes flat and then rise up to the note...Blues guitar lads do the same by bending the strings nearly off the neck.
it's called technique when you question them about it.:rolleyes:

So let me see if I have this right, if I hit the wrong note and it is below pitch all I need to do is bend it like crazy to get it up to pitch and that is blues technique. On the other hand if I finger a note too high I just need to repeat the phrase wrong a few times while I noodle around looking for the right fret and that is called jazz technique. Man I got so much technique it is spilling out onto the floor.
How about if I hired session players and ran auto tune on my vocals would that be country western technique :p

(oops I'm in trouble now)

LDS714
04-25-2015, 04:15 PM
So let me see if I have this right, if I hit the wrong note and it is below pitch all I need to do is bend it like crazy to get it up to pitch and that is blues technique. On the other hand if I finger a note too high I just need to repeat the phrase wrong a few times while I noodle around looking for the right fret and that is called jazz technique. Man I got so much technique it is spilling out onto the floor.

Quoted for truth!! ;)

little timber
04-25-2015, 05:41 PM
A couple of pictures:
78882
78883

pahu
04-26-2015, 05:14 PM
Thanks for introducing me to the Fanned Fret concept-and a really beautiful instrument.

sequoia
04-26-2015, 05:58 PM
I love the looks of that uke. Looks like some serious compensation. Not sure I really get it.

little timber
04-30-2015, 07:53 AM
Yeah, it was more for fun than any real reason. It is pretty fun to play and minus the pitch wandering with finger pressure, the intonation is spot on.

Inksplosive AL
04-30-2015, 08:32 AM
Funny I just brought up fan frets in another thread and here they are on a ukulele. http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?103795-Are-You-Really-In-Tune&p=1682227#post1682227

Funny writing that I was thinking well since this is an old thing I'll likely not see it on a ukulele and bam! Here they are! Created during the ergonomics movement in the 80's its a simple concept spread your fingers they naturally fan.

New tech is the true temperament fret and they are crazy looking.

http://www.truetemperament.com/

takas20
11-07-2015, 04:56 AM
I thought I would say that I bought it for the reasons of intonation and it is stunning. I can't sing its praises high enough. Here it is with a sibling 85055
Fan fretting works brilliantly as it follows the curve of the left hand as you finger the notes. Some Barre is hard, but for the most part it's gorgeous to play. I already had a steel string one made for me for playing my african thumb piano music on, which is strung for baritone.
The Orpharion (which was a Renaissance wire strung lute) was also fan-fretted.
I love them both

little timber
11-07-2015, 11:22 AM
glad to see you here! Also glad to know you are still liking the uke!

takas20
11-16-2015, 01:25 AM
It's the best! Getting people to record with it soon