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newmail445
06-06-2009, 01:34 PM
is it possible to distort the sound by strumming too hard? i just want to make my ukulele louder. would this be the reason why my strings buzz? (i checked and the strings don't touch the first nut.) i have an oscar schmidt ou2 ukulele that was advertised as a concert size, yet it only has twelve frets to the body, technically wouldn't this make it a soprano? thanks!

ukulelebadass
06-06-2009, 01:50 PM
A concert uke generally has 12 frets up the neck and four more up to the sound hole on the body. If your fretboard doesn't extend past the end of the neck I guess it would only have 12. Generally it is the size of the body that gives the instrument it's sound, not the scale length, hence long-necks.

As for the buzzing strings yes, when you strum too hard you can make the strings buzz. *more physics* For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, think of putting a rubberband between your fingers and snapping it against your arm, the further you pull it in one direction the harder it comes back the other way and the further it goes.

You could get a little more out of some stiffer strings, for example a softer string like an Aquila Nylgut will probably buzz more when you play real hard than something like a GHS black or a D'addario guitar string.

Another thing that might help would be to strum with a soft pick-the soft wedgies are great.

whetu
06-06-2009, 03:27 PM
is it possible to distort the sound by strumming too hard? i just want to make my ukulele louder. would this be the reason why my strings buzz? (i checked and the strings don't touch the first nut.) i have an oscar schmidt ou2 ukulele that was advertised as a concert size, yet it only has twelve frets to the body, technically wouldn't this make it a soprano? thanks!

hey bud, I've got an OU2E (same, but with a pickup) and they're not known for volume. If you're using the stock strings, you'll probably want to replace them with Aquila nylguts - I just strung mine up with nylguts yesterday and the difference was like night and day, I'm now regretting not recording samples of before and after as I was a bit cynical that strings would make that big a difference.

Other owners of these Oscars feel that the 'action' is too high (something I agree with), so some adjustment at the nut could also help - your local music shop or preferably a luthier will be able to help you out with this. Otherwise you can DIY with a small file. Enquire within if you'd like more help with that.

Finally, leave each string open and firmly pluck each individually, listening very carefully to the sound they make. Does the note stay steady, or does it variate etc Now press down on each string at the first fret and repeat - apart from the different note, is there any difference? Does the tone seem steadier or worse?

I found on mine that the E string was making an awful buzzing sound and this was affecting the sound of certain chords, the nylgut has fixed most of that for me but I still feel some adjustment at the nut could help it out. I figure this because when played open, the note still buzzes and variates all over the place. Fretting the string and repeating = no more buzz.

ukulelebadass
06-06-2009, 04:30 PM
I found on mine that the E string was making an awful buzzing sound and this was affecting the sound of certain chords, the nylgut has fixed most of that for me but I still feel some adjustment at the nut could help it out. I figure this because when played open, the note still buzzes and variates all over the place. Fretting the string and repeating = no more buzz.

Really? I have found that I get more buzz from the nylgut strings than with harder strings when I play really hard. The nylguts have a great sound when I play them softly, but then I don't play an Oscar Shmidt.

Sorry if I gave bad info in my response...

newmail445
06-06-2009, 04:55 PM
thanks so much for the help! hopefully the aquila nylguts i ordered will fix the problem. also, thanks for the info about concert sizes. the only reason i was confused is that a lot of the concerts online advertise at least 14 frets to the body.

whetu
06-06-2009, 05:30 PM
Really? I have found that I get more buzz from the nylgut strings than with harder strings when I play really hard. The nylguts have a great sound when I play them softly, but then I don't play an Oscar Shmidt.

Sorry if I gave bad info in my response...

You might still be right, it's really hard to say without knowing what the stock strings are. Plus it's a little subjective too, and there's nothing wrong with you speaking from the experience that you've had :)

Everyone has their own different experiences, mine was just that the nylguts gave an improvement on my Oscar, but I still think it needs to visit the local luthier for a once over. So keep that in mind newmail445, the nylguts might not be a 100% silver bullet.

MangoMon
06-06-2009, 05:51 PM
I found the nylguts reduced the buzz on my OU2 as well. But, there is still some buzz when I play louder like you mentioned. Wish I could offer a solution.

Spooner
06-06-2009, 06:07 PM
You will also get "buzzing" if you're not pressing down on the frets properly.

ukulelebadass
06-06-2009, 07:01 PM
Yeah, upon further consideration I stand by my original response. If you are going to play really hard you need stiffer strings. GHS blacks would be my recommendation. They will take a licking and keep on ticking.

ukulele2544
06-06-2009, 07:09 PM
If your strings buzz then you'll have to get a ukulele humidifire. And to make your ukulele louder?...... I'm not sure... the only thing I can think of is you get a bigger ukulele...

Spooner
06-06-2009, 07:14 PM
And to make your ukulele louder?...... I'm not sure... the only thing I can think of is you get a bigger ukulele...

One easy fix to make a uke louder would be to get a new saddle and keep the action high.

When you lower action the volume decreases. Of course that doesnt mean that you should use one of these as a saddle:

http://www.aceformen.com/img/compel/hO_l_q6EzdlQ1jBCturKIk1dx1pyLeji/ace-original-6.jpg

:p

ukulelebadass
06-06-2009, 07:21 PM
If your strings buzz then you'll have to get a ukulele humidifire. And to make your ukulele louder?...... I'm not sure... the only thing I can think of is you get a bigger ukulele...

Ukulele2544-
Really? Why would that be the case? You want me to play out of tune and break strings and now newmail should spend money on a humidifier for a brand new ukulele because the strings buzz? Seriously?

TokyoUketarist
06-06-2009, 08:47 PM
I agree with Ukulelebadass. Harder strings worked for me too. I use D'addario guitar strings. They worked better for my tenor which came with Aquilla strings from MGM. Harder strings means more tension, narrower vibrations, less to to buzz against.