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valde002
03-02-2017, 09:12 AM
So as my playing is improving and i learn how to actually play the ukulele, I am barring chords higher up on my concert now, like Fs and Gs (cant get to the A yet, haha).

I noticed that the volume of the sound made, is less up at the neck. I try to ensure good solid contact with my barring finger and have tried various techniques with my strumming hand to get a good sound, but it is pretty muted.

am I imagining this, or is this accurate? My koaloaha already has a low action, so i wonder if this further makes the sound softer?

Can anyone tell me more about this? Thanks!

RichM
03-02-2017, 09:24 AM
How far up the fretboard are you barring? The shorter vibrating length of the string is definitely going to make it harder to get the volume you want. Also, the smaller fret width farther up the fretboard makes it tougher to fret cleanly. Conventional ukulele technique doesn't usually require a lot of barring up the neck. Are you talking about taking the barre D shape from the second fret further up the neck for F and G?

Your Koaloha has a pretty big voice, so I think you have the right instrument. A simple test is, do you get the tone you want when you play individual strings fretted that high up? If the answer is yes, then it's your technique. Best thing for that is practice, practice, practice!

LimuHead
03-02-2017, 01:59 PM
Try strumming or picking closer to the bridge. As the speaking length of the strings get smaller, the 'sweet spot' for picking & strumming moves closer to the bridge.

Choirguy
03-02-2017, 03:41 PM
I would also suggest a thumb position on the back of the neck where the thumb is pointed more or less straight up towards the headstock (this gives me more gripping power with my barring finger), and in the case of some barre chords, to add the third finger to the second if you need some more force.

And it probably goes without saying, but I'll just make sure...your barre finger shoud be behind the fret and not on the fret.

I'd be curious as to which barre chords you are playing for F (5558?) and G?

stevepetergal
03-02-2017, 03:44 PM
Yup. You'll find lower volume as you do up the neck. Sorry you too must deal with physics. The solution is always technique.

One Man And His Uke
03-03-2017, 12:16 AM
I was wondering too if you are using the first position D shape and moving that up to get your F and G. A good barred G shape to try is barring the second fret across all strings with your first finger, then fretting the 2nd string 3rd fret with your middle finger, and fretting the 4th string 4th fret with your ring finger. Move the whole lot up two frets and you have a nice A to play without losing too much volume :)

zztush
03-03-2017, 12:54 AM
Hi, Choirguy!



I'd be curious as to which barre chords you are playing for F (5558?) and G?

There are many movable chords but we normally refer to these E and Bb as movable chords (Figures below). E is the one which has its root on 3rd string and Bb is the one on 4th string. We can use bottom E as movable chord. It is what you talking about. But its first string is bit short. Moreover top E is compatible with guitar's Bb, which is also a basic movable chord in guitar.

https://s19.postimg.org/hzxe9yi9v/combine_images.png (https://postimg.org/image/ljjbzrkzj/)image upload with preview (https://postimage.org/)

spookelele
03-03-2017, 03:41 AM
Yup. You'll find lower volume as you do up the neck. Sorry you too must deal with physics. The solution is always technique.

This.

Shorter string lengths have less volume.
The sound is made by the mass of the string vibrating

Then you barre up the neck the length of string that vibrates is shorter, which means less mass because theres less mass moving.

When you barre up the neck you need to compensate.
Besides justs hitting the string harder, you can adjust where you strum.
The closer to the middle of the string length, the fatter/louder the tone.
In open chording/first position the middle is higher up, near the upper bouts.
But if you choke up to barre, the middle of the string moves down toward the bridge so moving where you attack the string helps.

But there's still the physics so you have to attack harder to maintain the volume.
Sometimes you end up doing.. things you wouldn't to use a longer string length for tone like funky inversions that get the notes you want in a different place and still use a longer string.

valde002
03-03-2017, 09:21 AM
I am working on these:

F chord- bar 8 with the two Fs (ztush's B flat example)

G- the same

A chord- bar 9 with 12 (high A)- the one that's crossed out

The volume is reduce mostly when I am changing chords, like when doing I-IV-I-V exercises.

Thanks for your input, will strategize to keep the volume up. Also wonder if finger strength also contributes

Recstar24
03-03-2017, 04:10 PM
Your volume issues up the neck are mostly due to physics and your primary option to overcome it is right hand technique. You will have to strum harder and closer to the bridge to get volume closer to what it would be in open/first position, but even then, there is a threshold of volume you will max out on due to the reduced length of actual vibrating string.

kypfer
03-03-2017, 09:38 PM
Rather than trying to get louder volume on the higher frets, why not play more quietly on the lower frets, then the overall volume might balance out ... just a thought :music:

stevepetergal
03-05-2017, 05:04 PM
Rather than trying to get louder volume on the higher frets, why not play more quietly on the lower frets, then the overall volume might balance out ... just a thought :music:

I think it's a mistake to use an either/or approach. Best to do both. In addition, one can utilize the differences (or deficiencies) in the sounds of various parts of the instrument to one's musical advantage. Just like playing a wrong note, make it sound like you wanted it that way. Musicality is everything.

kypfer
03-05-2017, 10:01 PM
...Just like playing a wrong note, make it sound like you wanted it that way.

:) I'm good at that, I call it artistic license :music: