View Full Version : Uke Tuning/Scale problem

01-29-2016, 11:29 PM
Hello folks! I got an uke yesterday but have some serious problem about it. Firstly I need to tell you that I know scales and tuning from my guitar. My uke is a really cheap one (about 18 USD or so).

So the problem is that it is tuned well and stays in the right tune for an average time. But the chords sound detuned when I play them. I tried to compare the intervals of my uke with the correct piano intervals and found a problem. When the string is in tune, the other notes in that string (barre) won't be in tune. There isn't half interval between the original string and the first barre. However when I match the first barre to it's correct note, the other ones (2nd, 3rd etc.) match with each other, the only problem is with the string itself.
So what do you suggest me to do, use an capo? return the uke and get a new one? Anything else? Please let me know.


01-29-2016, 11:56 PM
As you are guitarist, you may press strings too much. I used to press too much and I had same trouble.

01-30-2016, 12:11 AM
Google "ukulele for guitar players" to see some of the issues guitar players have with ukes. Secondly, I'd be surprised if you could get a uke in that price range to play perfectly, but I supposed it's possible. If you haven't done it yet, thoroughly check out the intonation. Perhaps a setup will help enough, but don't mess with it if you are seriously considering returning it and getting a better one.

http://www.scorpexuke.com/uke-setup.html - if you already know this, sorry, just trying to help.

01-30-2016, 12:59 AM
Thank you! If they take it back, I will be returning it and getting a better one today

01-30-2016, 01:00 AM
Thanks! I tried to press softer but the problem didn't solved

01-30-2016, 01:21 AM
Please don't take this the wrong way but the lesser expensive ukes can have a lot of problems, you usually get what you pay for. The cost of $18.00 reflects what it is worth. Coming from a guitar you understand the complexity of a fretted stringed instrument. Just the fret spacing, height and level can adversely affect tone and tune in a big way. Then there are all the other areas like nut, saddle, how straight the neck is and the neck set etc. etc..

You don't have to spend a fortune to get a good playing and sounding uke. In soprano size $50.00 buys a dolphin or a shark and those are very popular and well received. Pay $150 and you can get a Kala or Ohana with a solid spruce top that sound very nice.

If your ear is trained to recognize half intervals you will not be happy with an poorly made and sounding instrument

Jim Hanks
01-30-2016, 01:50 AM
Sounds like the nut is too high which is not uncommon at all with factory ukes .

01-30-2016, 04:04 AM
Echoing what the others have said, I would take advantage of the option of returning it and putting the $18 toward something more reliable. Buying a ukulele for $18 is a bit like buying a guitar for $25: You can't expect much.

My first ukulele was in that price range also, and frankly, it was completely unplayable. Similar to yours, actually. It would hold individual notes (briefly), but chords were detuned sounding. You could try different strings, but I think it's easier to just get something for at least $50. In the US anyway. In Europe I'd opt for €80 minimum, and better around €100.

Croaky Keith
01-30-2016, 05:55 AM
Makala, made by Kala, are a fair option for a first uke, depending on prefered scale length, between 40 to 60.

01-30-2016, 08:44 AM
Got the best one in the store, worth around 65 USD (bought using the turkish lira currency), the sound and intervals are pretty impressive. Thanks for your help!

01-30-2016, 08:44 AM
Thanks! I got my Uke!

Jim Hanks
01-30-2016, 08:47 AM
Well don't keep us in suspense. What did you get?:pics:

01-30-2016, 08:50 AM
I had already watched some videos and experimented with my uke before writing this thread. the notes just wouldn't sound correct when I adjusted my applied pressure to strings, it just had an effect on the volume. that's because i'm no expert. i already returned and got a better one and am satisfied with it. thanks so much for your help

01-30-2016, 08:52 AM
marino. i think it's a local one considering that I bought it from Turkey :)