View Full Version : Tapping rhythm and pick-up question...

05-19-2016, 09:52 AM
Hi All,

Robert here at Orca Ukuleles where we're still prototyping. I've noticed that lot's of players tend to tap rhythm on the top area above the tail end of the fingerboard (incorporating as part of the strum). Am I right about that?

Here's why I'm asking:

Based on our violin experience, we're designing a pickup system that uses an under-saddle pickup, a second pickup located on the top plate and a third located on the bottom. My experience is that when an under-saddle pickup is used exclusively much of the instrument's characteristics are missed (body resonances are only being sensed in a limited amount).

The option will be to feed these three pickups out as a combined signal (which works pretty well) or to use an external box we're fabricating with three discrete piezo friendly preamp circuits, each with it's own gain control. That will allow fairly precise voicing.

It's now occurred to me that -- if I'm right about the tapping thing -- it might be cool to add a fourth pickup right at the tapping location, with it's own preamp/gain control. That would allow discrete control of the rhythm effect. We could even try breaking out that signal and feeding separately to an effects box to get a variety of rhythm sounds (that idea may or may not work well...).

Is this worth doing? Are there enough tappers out there???


05-19-2016, 11:19 AM
Hello Robert,

This sounds cool.
I like the idea of several pick-ups with dedicated preamp/gain.
But the problem is there are many places to tap on the uke for rhythm.
I have seen players use all parts of uke for percussive sounds; even the bouts.
Perhaps the dedicated percussive pick-up at the top corner could still serve it's purpose, regardless of where the uke is tapped.
Good luck with the project.

Croaky Keith
05-19-2016, 09:52 PM
I see quite a few people tapping the upper bout, both above & below the strings.