View Full Version : Is this a good Uke? Do I need new strings?

06-09-2017, 02:21 PM
My grandpa died and left me this Uke. I tried to tune it but it won't hold a tune. Is this a good instrument? Where do I start with this thing?! Thanks in advance.

06-09-2017, 02:43 PM
Awww, sorry to hear about your Grandpa.

I cannot read the logo on the headstock.
There are likely small screws in the back of the tuners, where you turn them. Those screws may need to be tightened a bit so that the tuners don't slip.
You might want to get some fresh strings as well, they are inexpensive.
You may download a free tuner app for your phone to get the pitch correct.
If you are really starting at square one, there are programs on the ukuleleunderground.com page as well as many resources online such as
Uncle Rod's Ukulele Bootcamp.

Good luck, welcome to the forum!

06-09-2017, 02:45 PM
Also, just noticed your username :D


06-09-2017, 02:50 PM
Looks like you've got a 1950s-era Harmony uke (http://www.catfish1952.com/harmony.html). These were a mass-produced American brand sold in stores like Sears. Who knows how old the strings are, so - yes, put a new set on, tighten up the tuners, and see how it sounds.

06-09-2017, 05:45 PM
Although there's nothing fancy about them, I think Harmonys like that one are really very nice instruments. They don't sell for a lot of money, but they play very well, sound pretty good, and have superior intonation.
By the way, most of the Harmony ukuleles sold at Sears/Sears Roebuck did not feature the Harmony name. They were sold under the name Silvertone.

06-10-2017, 12:39 AM
Nice old Harmony. Perhaps some owners will speak up about strings. Aquila's frequently make an all laminate uke sound much better. I'd likely try some Aquila's new carbon blacks....not as harsh as nylguts.

06-10-2017, 05:14 PM
Yeah, I'd keep it, and try Phil's string recommendation. We have a 50s Harmony bari, we restrung it and our luthier put new friction tuners in, but it still won't stay in tune, but it's been good enough to teach me that I don't want another bari. I doubt if we'll spend any more $$$ on it, but we'll keep it for it's classic value. A friend has a 60s Harmony soprano in excellent condition and it sounds great.