PDA

View Full Version : Issues with Barring- Could it be my uke?



idxxoutoftheblue
10-14-2016, 11:01 AM
I've been having issues with barring. I have to press down really hard and even then I sometimes mute the second string. Today I went to a music store and tried some other ukes and it was so much easier. I'm wondering if it could be the strings or a high action? I don't feel like I have issues with it in general, just when trying to barre.

If it matters, it's an Oscar Schmidt OU8TLCE.

Any advice?
Thanks!

Gary52
10-14-2016, 11:30 AM
What is the height of the action at the 2nd and 12th frets? It should be less than the thickness of a dime at the 2nd.

idxxoutoftheblue
10-14-2016, 12:12 PM
I would say it's about the thickness of a dime at the 2nd and much higher at the 12th.

Gary52
10-14-2016, 01:00 PM
Generally 2 - 3 mm measured from the top of the 12th fret to the bottom of the strings is correct. You can Google "ukulele action height" and find discussions of the topic on this forum and elsewhere. It the action is much greater than 3 mm at the 12th fret, a proper set-up may be needed.

What kind of strings are you using? Some strings have higher tension than others and require more pressure. Fluorocarbon strings are usually smaller diameter than nylon ones and may hurt your fingers if you haven't built up calluses.

Croaky Keith
10-14-2016, 10:38 PM
I tend to roll my finger over slightly to get a decent barre, might work for you. :)

idxxoutoftheblue
10-16-2016, 04:25 PM
Thanks for responses!
I'm using aquila strings.
Also, I realized that a lot of the ukuleles I was trying out were sopranos and mind is a tenor. I feel stupid for not thinking about it sooner, but is it easier to bar on a soprano? When I tried another tenor today it was more like playing on mine.

robinboyd
10-16-2016, 04:34 PM
I find that tenors tend to have higher string tension, which makes them harder to bar. On the other hand, I find the frets are too close together on a soprano, which creates its own difficulties. To me, the concert size is the happy medium.

igorthebarbarian
10-16-2016, 08:21 PM
Yes, it could be. A tenor will have a longer scale so you have more tension - for tenors, sometimes, I will tune them down a step to Bb tuning. Try that as an option. A soprano has a shorter scale so the tension is less - some people tune those "up" to D tuning to get more tension. Concert is the nice in-between.
But it could be the action on the uke too.



Thanks for responses!
I'm using aquila strings.
Also, I realized that a lot of the ukuleles I was trying out were sopranos and mind is a tenor. I feel stupid for not thinking about it sooner, but is it easier to bar on a soprano? When I tried another tenor today it was more like playing on mine.

mrStones
10-16-2016, 09:19 PM
Thanks for responses!
I'm using aquila strings.
Also, I realized that a lot of the ukuleles I was trying out were sopranos and mind is a tenor. I feel stupid for not thinking about it sooner, but is it easier to bar on a soprano? When I tried another tenor today it was more like playing on mine.

Yeah a lot ! I find that tenors have a little too high tension to bar properly if you just started to play.
On a soprano and concert (like Robinboyd and Igor I find concert size perfect for "play-easy") is much easier in the beginning.

Sure, action can be a problem too. A properly set up instrument is much easier to play.
Anyway, don't worry. It is almost always a matter of practice.

Steve in Kent
10-16-2016, 09:26 PM
I've recommended this Phil Doleman 2 minute tip before.

Two Minute Tips: #13 The Bb Chord (which is a barre on the first fret)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQUhYiYaW5s