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fsjws4
06-27-2009, 07:13 PM
Disclaimer: I've never played before. No uke, no guitar, nothing.

My wife got me an ultra-cheap $20 uke off Amazon. I'm trying to tune it using a software tuner on my computer. I tightened the friction tuner screws and tuned each of the strings to a reasonably correct level.

Next, I tried playing a chord following a chart off the internet. Having trouble, I double-checked the tuning. It was way off already. Retuned, tried again, and again it quickly went off.

I read that friction tuners can go out of tune quickly, especially with new strings, but "quickly" doesn't seem like it should mean "within less than a minute". Is that normal? Or is this just part of brand new strings? Or did I not tighten the tuners enough? Or is this a crappy excuse for an instrument and I should spend more?

(this is what I have: http://www.amazon.com/Woodstock-Percussion-Musical-Instrument-Ukulele/dp/B0002D1FEA)

JT_Ukes
06-27-2009, 07:21 PM
Give it time for the strings to stretch. and yes it does mean in minuets in the beginning.

It'll take a week or two depending on how often you play and tune.

JT

JT_Ukes
06-27-2009, 07:22 PM
Oh! and welcome to UU!

ukulele2544
06-27-2009, 07:38 PM
Disclaimer: I've never played before. No uke, no guitar, nothing.

My wife got me an ultra-cheap $20 uke off Amazon. I'm trying to tune it using a software tuner on my computer. I tightened the friction tuner screws and tuned each of the strings to a reasonably correct level.

Next, I tried playing a chord following a chart off the internet. Having trouble, I double-checked the tuning. It was way off already. Retuned, tried again, and again it quickly went off.

I read that friction tuners can go out of tune quickly, especially with new strings, but "quickly" doesn't seem like it should mean "within less than a minute". Is that normal? Or is this just part of brand new strings? Or did I not tighten the tuners enough? Or is this a crappy excuse for an instrument and I should spend more?

(this is what I have: http://www.amazon.com/Woodstock-Percussion-Musical-Instrument-Ukulele/dp/B0002D1FEA)
What software do you use?

fsjws4
06-27-2009, 07:57 PM
I'm using Audio Tuner, a free application I found. I've got the Mac version, but apparently they make it for everything:

http://www.supernifty.com.au/wiki/index.php?title=Audio_Tuner_Mac

Quigs
06-27-2009, 09:42 PM
Put some Aquila strings on it, you'll be amazed! :D :shaka:

danged
06-27-2009, 09:45 PM
My wife got me an ultra-cheap $20 uke off Amazon. I'm trying to tune it using a software tuner on my computer. I tightened the friction tuner screws and tuned each of the strings to a reasonably correct level.

Check the strings, are they all the same diameter? If so, it's fishing line, change them.



I read that friction tuners can go out of tune quickly, especially with new strings, but "quickly" doesn't seem like it should mean "within less than a minute". Is that normal? Or is this just part of brand new strings? Or did I not tighten the tuners enough? Or is this a crappy excuse for an instrument and I should spend more?

A good set of strings sell for $7-$10 which is half the value of your entire purchase, what do you think?

ukulele2544
06-28-2009, 12:16 AM
I'm using Audio Tuner, a free application I found. I've got the Mac version, but apparently they make it for everything:

http://www.supernifty.com.au/wiki/index.php?title=Audio_Tuner_Mac
If it's a new ukulele with new strings then JT Ukes is right about this.

hoosierhiver
06-28-2009, 02:20 AM
try this,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tD2kZO_Tc0

kissing
06-28-2009, 03:46 AM
If it's not the string's fault (yes as the others have stated, they do go out of tune within minutes... sometimes seconds when new), you could also tighten the screws on the tuning pegs a bit.

If they're a bit loose, they may go out of tune more easily. :)
I have never heard of Woodstock ukuleles, but from the photo it looks playable and kinda nice.

DaveVisi
06-28-2009, 06:57 AM
If the fretted notes are consistently off while the open strings are in tune, your best bet is to make it into a planter or bird house. The fret positions could be so far off that it'll never play right.

Maybe there's a clue in the word "Percussion" in the instrument name.

normantxt
06-28-2009, 07:26 AM
I'm using Audio Tuner, a free application I found. I've got the Mac version, but apparently they make it for everything:

http://www.supernifty.com.au/wiki/index.php?title=Audio_Tuner_Mac

THANKS!!!! at first i thought i just sucked at ukulele playing because when i strum it never sounded right and my fingers just get caught within the strings. but after using that tuner, the strings are tighter, the sound is amazing, and my fingers dont get caught! i dont suck! my uke was just out of tune! haha

fsjws4
06-29-2009, 02:06 AM
try this,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tD2kZO_Tc0


I tried the stretching technique shown there, and that seems to have helped quite a bit. The instrument is now staying in tune long enough to practice with it a bit.

I did discover from the back of the box, though, that it's a 3/4 size instrument. I think I'll give it to my son for his birthday (he'll be 4) and get a full-size one instead.

Someone else mentioned the diameter of the strings. I checked, and they all look the same.

Thanks to everyone for your advice!

bobbitybobman
06-29-2009, 08:31 AM
Here's what I did with my 40 dollar kit, when I had the exact same problem.

1. Tightened the screws on the tuners.

2. Replaced strings.

3. Stretched the new strings.

4. Bought a new ukulele with geared tuners.

Hopefully you'll follow the same steps. Enjoy.