View Full Version : Problems staying in tune

06-21-2009, 05:56 AM
Hi guys,

This is my first post here. I've been playing guitar for about 6 years but only recently started getting into the Ukulele. Unfortunately, I'm not having a very good time of it at the moment :-(

I'm on my second Ukulele at the moment. The first one I bought was an Ashton one which I found to be pretty garbage. Like if you played a string open then played the first string, there wouldn't necessarily be a semitone between them, which made things kind of interesting, to say the least :-) So, I decided to try again and bought a Mahalo U-50 (you might be sensing from this that I'm a bit cheap and you'd probably be right :-) since I'd seen the name Mahalo before and this was pretty affordable.

But with this new Mahalo, I really can't keep it in tune. I can tune it alright, play a few bars of Blowin' in the Wind and by the time I'm done, the G string will be out of tune. Now, I've tried tightening the screws on each of the tuners each time they've gone out of tune. This has helped things to some extent but the G string still slips out of tune very quickly.

So, I just wanted to post here, first of all to say Hi, and secondly to tap your collective expertise a little. Is there something I'm doing wrong? Do you guys have any tips that might help a little? Am I too cheap and perhaps I should think about spending a bit more hard-earned cash on a better Uke? If any of you can help, I'd really appreciate it :-)


06-21-2009, 06:40 AM
Makala do really good cheap ukes (with geared tuners too! ) keep at it!:shaka:

06-21-2009, 06:50 AM
You get what you pay for, Dave. Nothing against Mahalos, because some of them are really fun instruments, but the U30's need a lot of work to get them playable. I haven't played a U50, but I wouldn't be surprised if they suffer from the same kind of problems. It's a $30 uke. You can't expect too much from it.

That said, there are a couple of things you can do.

Did you change the strings on it? Some Mahalos come with terrible strings that can't stay in tune, even after you stretch them. Your strings may just not be stretched.

To stretch the strings, at the 12th fret, take each string and pull it away from the fretboard a couple inches. Afterwards, tune the string again. Repeat the process until you don't have to tune it too much after the stretch.

If they're still going out of tune, I'd buy a new set of strings. You should probably buy a new set anyway. I'd recommend Aquila strings, they make my daughter's Mahalo sound a lot better. They will help the tone, they're loud and bright.

How's the action on the U50? Is it really high at the nut?