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Lapyang
11-14-2017, 03:52 AM
What is the opinion about loosening the strings when an uke is not being played often. I am sure most of us who has UAS face this issue. You don't get to paly the same uke on a long term basis.
So I started really loosening the strings if I know it will be another 2-3 weeks before I will play that uke again. I think that may help preserve the bridge and possibly the integrity of the soundboard ( some are so thin and light). Is it necessary? Am I over worrying?

UkerDanno
11-14-2017, 04:17 AM
I wouldn't, it would make playing anything way more hassle than it's worth. Your strings would never get settled in! My first uke, a Lanikai LU-11 hangs on the wall and has been, for over 6 years, I can grab it and it's mostly intune. l'll be interested in hearing more opinions...

Booli
11-14-2017, 04:20 AM
I dont know if there is any science behind it, but if your uke is so lightly built that this is a major concern, OR that you are in a very dry climate, maybe this is best applied on a case-by-case basis.

I dont detune my instruments. I also do not own any where this would be a concern for me, so YMMV.

The one thing is that if you are constantly detuning and retuning your strings, eventually they will lose elasticity and this WILL affect both intonation and tone, but if it is as infrequently as on a monthly basis, you may have quite a while before you can hear and feel the difference.

Having said the above, I dont think you are doing and harm to the ukes, and if you have the patience to suffer the time for the strings to settle to pitch and retuning up for a few days when that instrument is in rotation, then go for it.

DownUpDave
11-14-2017, 04:25 AM
Yes you are over worrying plus you are not doing the strings any favors. Strings develop a memory, always wanting to go back to the tension they were at. When I drop the tuning on a tenor from C to B the strings are contnually going sharp on me for the next day or so. The strings on your uke will produce a better sound if they are left tuned to what they are played in.

Good question though because I am sure many people have thought of that.

Croaky Keith
11-14-2017, 04:40 AM
I had heard of de-tuning when putting into store, but I took it to mean fairly long term, like months to years.
All of mine, since I started back in December 2015, have been put back into their gig bags fully tuned, & I haven't noticed any problems with any of them.

Down Up Dick
11-14-2017, 05:05 AM
I read somewhere a while back that they should be detuned if not played for a while, but I only detuned my sorprano, as it’s in Hi-A DF#B and hardly ever played.

I had an old soprano that hung on the wall for over 5 years - same strings. I tuned it up, and it still played okay. :old:

mikelz777
11-14-2017, 06:28 AM
I don't pretend to know the answer either way but look at it this way. Say that you play that uke all of the time. So the uke is OK under that tension if you are playing it all the time but it's not OK under that very same tension if you are not playing it? What difference does playing it have on the tension that makes it OK whereas not playing it under the same tension makes it detrimental?

DownUpDave
11-14-2017, 11:29 AM
I don't pretend to know the answer either way but look at it this way. Say that you play that uke all of the time. So the uke is OK under that tension if you are playing it all the time but it's not OK under that very same tension if you are not playing it? What difference does playing it have on the tension that makes it OK whereas not playing it under the same tension makes it detrimental?

Winner winner chicken dinner. Under tension is the same if played everyday for months or not played for months. You sir are a genius.

zztush
11-14-2017, 02:31 PM
I don't pretend to know the answer either way but look at it this way. Say that you play that uke all of the time. So the uke is OK under that tension if you are playing it all the time but it's not OK under that very same tension if you are not playing it? What difference does playing it have on the tension that makes it OK whereas not playing it under the same tension makes it detrimental?

But we know there are some ukuleles have neck lift, sound board distortion and broken bridge. They are made by constant string tension. If you remove the tension, how can the neck lift, the soundboard distortion, or the bridge break? It can't.

bratsche
11-14-2017, 02:37 PM
Maybe it's a bad build that causes neck lift, sound board distortion and broken bridge. But if you remove the tension, how can you play it? You can't. ;)

bratsche

Lapyang
11-14-2017, 04:19 PM
I don't pretend to know the answer either way but look at it this way. Say that you play that uke all of the time. So the uke is OK under that tension if you are playing it all the time but it's not OK under that very same tension if you are not playing it? What difference does playing it have on the tension that makes it OK whereas not playing it under the same tension makes it detrimental?

That's an extremely good point. Very "Zen" too.

Lapyang
11-14-2017, 04:20 PM
But we know there are some ukuleles have neck lift, sound board distortion and broken bridge. They are made by constant string tension. If you remove the tension, how can the neck lift, the soundboard distortion, or the bridge break? It can't.

That's my point. No tension, no stress, no breakage.

Lapyang
11-14-2017, 04:22 PM
I think the general consensus is that I am worrying too much.

70sSanO
11-14-2017, 05:29 PM
I have not de-tuned a guitar or ukulele if it is not going to be played for a while. I will de-tune if the instrument is being shipped.

I recall either here or on a guitar forum that a stringed acoustic instrument begins a process of imploding from the day they are made; although its demise is probably many decades down the road. A great amount of stress occurs when bending the wood into shape. String tension, use, the environment all play a role in expanding and contracting the wood. If I had a vintage ukulele that I prized and I knew it would be sitting in a case for at least 6 months, I'd first make sure the humidity was maintained and also back off on the strings a bit.

It is more about preservation and less about maintaining the same level as if it were used.

John

Jarmo_S
11-14-2017, 10:37 PM
I don't think it is very convenient.
That "memory" thing that was mentioned, it is because the pull in free string part and around the tuning peg part is different, it varies in the latter because of friction.
After you retune an uke it usually takes a considerable play time until it stays in tune long time.

Initially there is with new string the creep of plastic strings and in that helps a lot if when not playing tuning the strings a semitone up, to counter that "memory" feature.

So I would get a another uke if using other tunings than C6, because retuning stability bugs me a lot.

Rllink
11-15-2017, 03:06 AM
I have not de-tuned a guitar or ukulele if it is not going to be played for a while. I will de-tune if the instrument is being shipped.


It is more about preservation and less about maintaining the same level as if it were used.

JohnI loosen them when I travel by air because I check my uke in my luggage and it gets cold in there. My eighth grade level science tells me that the strings contract when they get cold. I don't know if that is true and if they contract enough to cause any problems, but I do it anyway.