View Full Version : Buzzing Strings

Purdy Bear
08-24-2015, 02:22 AM
In the last two or three days, my Ukulele has started to have a buzz. I have found a guide about buzzing strings, to say what to do once you've found them, and why it happens. However, mine seems to come and go. I've tried pressing every string on every fret and it doesn't occur, nor does it occur when I strum the strings. I've tried to hold the strings down above the nut by the tuners and it doesn't occur.

It seems to only occur when I'm playing chords, so does that mean it's my finger position that is wrong? I've been playing just over a month and this is my first string instrument.

Could it be caused by atmospherics, as it is very wet here in the UK at the moment?

08-24-2015, 02:35 AM
Buzzing can be allusive. I had some yesterday, retuned, and it went away. Try loosening all your strings, then bring them back up to tension, tuning carefully. Try isolating the buzz to a particular string, and replace it, or better, replace them all. I had a buzz a while back and discovered a wood chip that had been left in the body of the Uke when it was made. Then there was the time that the collar nut on the output jack had worked itself loose and was buzzing. As far as I know, the only really bad buzzing problem is when it's caused by a warped neck. Fortunately, that's rare.

08-24-2015, 02:50 AM
On my Mainland I was getting some buzzing when I played certain chords, and I tracked it down to me. I don't know exactly what I was doing that was causing the buzz, but I did notice that if I took a little care in fretting those particular chords, it went away. One of them was the Hawaiian D7, which is such a straight forward chord, but somehow I was able to make it buzz. But over time, I've eliminated whatever I was doing, and it doesn't happen anymore. Frankly, I was used to a higher setup than what my Mainland had, and I think that it just took some getting used to that lower string height.

08-24-2015, 07:51 PM
My O.Schmidt 8-string tenor buzzed a bit till I shimmed-up the saddle with a strip of paper to raise the action just enough. Interestingly, my cheap boat-paddle Soviet-era mandolin has some slight sitar-like buzzing on the inner courses when open, not when fretted. But it only cost me thirty bucks so I won't sweat it.

08-29-2015, 01:33 PM
Does it primarily happen on your 1st / A string? I had one before and it was insufficient break angle at the saddle. Might also want to check the break angle at the nut. These tend to come and go.

08-29-2015, 01:47 PM
Can you demonstrate with a little video? Nothing fancy, you can use your smart phone for recording. Stick it on Box Share if you don't use YouTube.

08-29-2015, 02:04 PM
I've had this happen. It only buzzes when I play, not when I try to make it buzz. In my case it's always been my technique. (I'm not sayin'. I'm just sayin'.) The more I practice, the better the ukulele sounds.

08-30-2015, 11:27 PM
I've had this come and go, often with harder-to-make chords. It turned out to be me; often found my fingers were just not at the right angle and position. When I get this, I stop & pluck each string to find out where the buzz is coming from, then adjust my fingers and it usually helps.

08-31-2015, 12:13 AM
I had a buzz which gave me a scare but it turned out to be a loose screw in one of the tuning pegs.

08-31-2015, 01:13 AM
As said above:
First check your tuners for any lose washers or screws (more detailed instructions are hard to give without knowing what uke we're talking about).
Second, check your fingering as described by autojoy above (buzz might as well be caused by your strumming hand)
Assuming your uke is new I have certain doubts a string change would help in any way, even though completely losening and retuning might be worth a try.

If none of the above helps we really need to go into details...

Purdy Bear
08-31-2015, 02:17 AM
I haven't noticed it in the last week, the weather has been a lot cooler and wet. It maybe that the very hot days effected the instrument, or my playing each chord is improving.