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View Full Version : Multiple Questions: Low G; Traveler Uke; tuning pegs; set up



davidwtc
01-09-2016, 09:43 AM
As a beginner, I have many questions. I have been reading the forum, but I have not found the answers to these (although I can't say I read all 101 pages of the beginners forum). Here are my questions :

1. High G versus low G. I am learning fingerpicking and it seems that low G would offer more, but I notice that Jake Shimabukuro uses high G and does not seem to be hampered in making great music fingerpicking. Also, low G seems to me to make the ukulele an four string guitar tuned four steps higher, rather than the distinctive ukulele. Am I too emotional about this?

2. What is a traveler uke?

3. Friction pegs versus sealed gear tuners, what are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

4. What is the set up that some suppliers provide (or one gets from a guitar repair shop). What is done? Why is it necessary or beneficial?

RichM
01-09-2016, 10:07 AM
As a beginner, I have many questions. I have been reading the forum, but I have not found the answers to these (although I can't say I read all 101 pages of the beginners forum). Here are my questions :

1. High G versus low G. I am learning fingerpicking and it seems that low G would offer more, but I notice that Jake Shimabukuro uses high G and does not seem to be hampered in making great music fingerpicking. Also, low G seems to me to make the ukulele an four string guitar tuned four steps higher, rather than the distinctive ukulele. Am I too emotional about this?

2. What is a traveler uke?

3. Friction pegs versus sealed gear tuners, what are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

4. What is the set up that some suppliers provide (or one gets from a guitar repair shop). What is done? Why is it necessary or beneficial?

1. High G vs Low G is mostly personal preference. I think you've assessed it correctly-- Low G gives you additional low notes, which may be useful for many songs. It does, in fact, mimic the intervals on a guitar, which, depending on your preferences, may be a good thing or a bad thing. Simplest solution: have both.

2. A Traveler uke is a specific brand of electric uke. I've never played one, but they look like nothing special to me. http://www.musiciansfriend.com/folk-traditional-instruments/traveler-guitar-ultra-light-ukulele/h85448

3. You could populate this whole forum on friction pegs versus geared tuners. Friction pegs are the traditional ukulele peg, using nothing but friction to hold tune. Many people love them for their traditional looks, some people find them hard to use. Because of their 1:1 ratio, a little turn makes a big difference, and fine tuning can require some patience. Many people find geared tuners offer more flexible tuning; many don't like guitar-style tuners because they look non-traditional, sticking out the sides rather than the back. Planetary geared tuners, such as Pegheds and Gotoh UPTs more closely mimic the look of friction tuners, while offering the flexibility of geared tuners. They also have lower gear ratios than most guitar tuners, allowing for more rapid tuning. Which is better? Good luck answering that question!

4. Setup is a series of fine-tuning steps that helps guarantee optimum playability. Not all setups are the same, but typically it will make sure the nut is properly filed, the neck is straight, the frets are properly seated, the intonation is accurate, etc. Here's a good video that shows how Hawaii Music Supply does it:


https://player.vimeo.com/video/90530433?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0&color=fff8c6& autoplay=0&loop=1

davidwtc
01-09-2016, 10:26 AM
Thank you for the response. Very helpful.

I bought an inexpensive Uke in Hawaii on a lark form an outdoor vendor on one of the islands. I have been having great fun with it. It is a Deviser made in China. Its projection is surpisingly good, The web site says it is a solid sapele wood. I am not sure whether I ought to invest in "set up" but I will look at the video. Thanks.

bazmaz
01-14-2016, 09:58 AM
1. Personal choice dude - I play both. I don't go in much for these people who say that Low G is 'not traditional' - its just different. More importantly it is MY ukulele and I will tune it how I like!!

2. Traveler is a brand, but if you mean 'travel uke' its a term that suggests the ukulele is easier to travel with. To be honest I personally find ukuleles easy to travel with as it is, but it tends to mean thin body ukes. I am in the UK and for flying a thin body uke means no advantage to me (airline restrictions over here are based on overall size not thickness)

3. The biggest subject - for me I personally like both. What I really DONT like are people saying that all friction pegs are difficult to use / slip / are not smooth. The point is all friction pegs are not equal. The people who don't like them tend to have only experienced cheap friction pegs - which are indeed horrible. GOOD friction pegs work like butter - see this post - http://www.gotaukulele.com/2014/03/a-look-inside-ukulele-friction-tuners.html - as you will see - huge difference between cheap and better quality pegs!

Another peg rant of mine - people who think that slipping strings is ALWAYS to do with the pegs - even when they are geared pegs. Friction tuners can and do slip if loose - but I see people suggesting owners of geared pegs tighten them - turning the screws on the gears or button on geared tuners does NOTHING to tighten the tuners turning rotation!!

4. Another misconception here is that a dealer can offer a full setup without knowing you - they can't. Some elements of setup are personal choices (particularly action height). A core setup that most dealers offer ensures that the ukulele is set up to play within reasonable tolerances that allow tuning and playing accuracy. It normally means checking the nut and saddle height, but can include checking tightness of tuners - strings in good order etc. Fine tuning a setup though can really only be done yourself or by a dealer who knows exactly what action height you want.

JackLuis
01-15-2016, 09:03 AM
I have a Rubin RT-102 Travel Tenor, the first one I bought. I thought it was a nice looking instrument and it was sort of unique. I recently bought another tenor, traditional size, and found that the travel does not have as much volume as a thicker uke of the same size. It tends to be a little different to hold since it is not as thick. I think Kala uses spruce tops on their travel ukes to get a bit more volume but that also changes the character of the sound, at least for me.

Like most of Ukulele variations it is personal choice. My RT-102 has the sweetest tone of all my six ukes and is my favorite for pure sound, but I like my others for differing reasons. I don't find that it is all that different to carry around than my 'normal' tenor and Ukes are a lot lighter and easier to carry and play than guitars which also come in differing sizes.

I like Low G's but James Hill and Jake play High g's and get great sounds.

The setup is again personal but it is about playing comfort again personal choice.

Practice and exploration are the key to Uke enjoyment, IMHO.

You stepped into a different world when you bought a Uke, welcome.

Croaky Keith
01-15-2016, 09:35 AM
Standard GCEA tuning fretboard map.
http://liveukulele.com/wp-content/uploads/Standard_C6_Fretboard.png

Donalson
01-15-2016, 09:56 AM
speaking to the above poster about the sound of the travel uke...

I know there are a number of super soprano/long necks out, from what I've seen ohana even has a tenor scale soprano longneck... it makes me wonder how the sound compares to the thin body acoustic travel ukes.

nearly 20 years ago I had a travel yamaha guitar that I loved, honestly felt like a light weight electric guitar when strapped on... plugged in it sounded almost as good as any other acoustic electric... I could toss it in my car and take it where I wanted without issue... compared to my full size deep bowl ovation though it just sounded so thin.

actadh
01-15-2016, 10:12 AM
A traveler uke can be many things.

My Outdoor Ukulele tenor is perfect for travel when there are environmental concerns as nothing bothers it. It is impervious to snot, sweat, humidity, cold, heat, marshmallows, wet bathing suits, dog drool etc. It has a sweet sound.

For thinness, nothing works better than my Zither Heaven ukuleles. They are quiet, but that is fine for playing in a motel/hotel room. They pack well in a suitcase. They have a unique sound.

For above freezing weather, my OXK is a tank. And, it has the best sound of all my travel ukuleles. I can travel with it in below freezing weather, but it needs to come to room temperature for the geared tuners to work properly.

JackLuis
01-15-2016, 04:59 PM
speaking to the above poster about the sound of the travel uke...

I know there are a number of super soprano/long necks out, from what I've seen ohana even has a tenor scale soprano longneck... it makes me wonder how the sound compares to the thin body acoustic travel ukes.

nearly 20 years ago I had a travel yamaha guitar that I loved, honestly felt like a light weight electric guitar when strapped on... plugged in it sounded almost as good as any other acoustic electric... I could toss it in my car and take it where I wanted without issue... compared to my full size deep bowl ovation though it just sounded so thin.

I find that my RT-102 has about 70-80% of the volume of my CT-100 uke after I put PhD strings on it. It came with Aquila Super Nyguts, which a lot of people like, but I found them too harsh and they weren't very much louder than my RT-102. The PhDs gave it a lot more volume and I just just shifted to D'Addario Carbons to see if they would match the sweetness of the RT-102. The D'Addarios don't have the same sweet ring on the CT-100 as they do on the RT-102. They seems a slight improvement on the PhD's but that may be wishful thinking on my part.
I keep four Ukes handy and often practice a song on one then shift to another and do the same song, then shift again and listen to the different voices that they have. I just bought my first soprano and will get it back from the set up shop tomorrow and am looking forward to having five Ukes in the rotation. But that is what I like.
One tip I'll give you as a noob, there are a lot of ways to form a chord, 32 ways to make a C. Some are easy and some are hard but here is a site that give you the options.

http://ukebuddy.com/ukulele-chords/C-chord

I have a hard time with barr chords and found an easy B7th form yesterday that will allow me to play a song I was trying to learn that is in F#. Great site.

fretie
01-17-2016, 06:09 AM
A traveler uke can be many things.


For thinness, nothing works better than my Zither Heaven ukuleles. They are quiet, but that is fine for playing in a motel/hotel room. They pack well in a suitcase. They have a unique sound.



Can you say more about your Zither Uke? How is the action and intonation?

I am on a continuous search for a comfortable to play travel uke. I have had an outdoor uke but did not enjoy the sound. Recently I tried a Risa stick however don't find the angle it hangs off the strap when I fingerpicking to be efficient.

actadh
01-17-2016, 07:18 AM
Can you say more about your Zither Uke? How is the action and intonation?

I am on a continuous search for a comfortable to play travel uke. I have had an outdoor uke but did not enjoy the sound. Recently I tried a Risa stick however don't find the angle it hangs off the strap when I fingerpicking to be efficient.

They are meant for kids, hence the sturdiness. It is the uke I give someone wanting to try out a ukulele as the stock strings are very easy on the fingers. I don't use them as "regular" ukuleles, but the action and intonation are fine.

I use my black walnut as an office ukukele as I can get away with playing it with my door shut. It is a great practice ukulele.

I use the cherry one as a travel uke in a suitcase if space or noise is a consideration.


They are fine for my needs.

fretie
01-17-2016, 09:01 AM
They are meant for kids, hence the sturdiness. It is the uke I give someone wanting to try out a ukulele as the stock strings are very easy on the fingers. I don't use them as "regular" ukuleles, but the action and intonation are fine.

I use my black walnut as an office ukukele as I can get away with playing it with my door shut. It is a great practice ukulele.

I use the cherry one as a travel uke in a suitcase if space or noise is a consideration.


They are fine for my needs.

Thank you, that's very helpful to know. I think I'll give the Zithers a closer look.