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View Full Version : Holding the Ukulele & Adjusting the Action



commandercup
11-26-2009, 09:30 AM
I've been tinkering around with my uke for a while now and I've started playing some more interesting/face paced songs and I realized that my lackluster job of holding the uke wasn't sufficient anymore...

So how am I supposed to be holding my tenor uke while sitting down? I found a youtube video where the man laid his right forearm across the center of the uke's body and kept the uke tilted that way so that it would not slip when he lifted his left hand. It seems to work for me, but it makes it so that my picking/strumming hand is over the uppermost part of the body where the fingerboard overlaps. I'm guessing that isn't a problem, but the action on the uke is pretty low and I can barely pick the strings...

Here's the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHG7j9-d0d0

Is my problem that I'm holding it wrong or that the action is too low?

How do I adjust the action on a uke if I can?

P.S. I realize that technically there is no wrong way to hold an instrument as long as it's comfortable... but... :p

Thanks!

EDIT: Oh and I'm using a Kala Acacia Tenor

Kanaka916
11-26-2009, 09:53 AM
I'n not gonna try to explain how, so I'll point you to some other threads about adjusting action.
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2991
http://ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7779
http://ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8436

I don't think action has anything to do with how an 'ukulele is held. You just have to find a position that's comfortable and gives you the ability to strum and move your fretting hand without hindering your playing. That said, you'll need to try different positions and angles. I dunno if that helps any.

ainokeato
11-26-2009, 11:30 AM
Coming from a concert using a tenor, I let the body rest on my leg and have my arm wrap around the ukulele kinda like how he holds it when he's standing it's all about personal comfort though.

HoldinCoffee
11-26-2009, 12:06 PM
I had a hard time with proper position with tenor and baritone ukulele. Turns out I was using my thumb to hold the neck up which prevented me from making smooth chord transitions. So I put a little pillow on my left leg to prop up the body. If I completely let go of the neck with my left hand, the ukulele stays in position. Its like what classical guitarists use. Same position. I don't know if its 'proper' but it helps out with chord transitions and my uku doesn't fall on the floor. And as an added bonus, if I'm ever at a jam session and a group nap breaks out, I'm prepared!

hoosierhiver
11-26-2009, 12:12 PM
You might want to try a uke strap and see how you like it.

commandercup
11-26-2009, 04:44 PM
Well I fixed my problem by replacing the ebony saddle on the acacia with another saddle I had from my KA-TG, now it's much more comfortable and I guess my problems are solved although the saddle is tilted a little bit in the slot on the bridge... The bottom doesn't seem to be completely down on the ground.

I have another question now though, do saddles make a difference in sound? Is it worth picking up a bone saddle for my acacia tenor and if so, where can I get one?

hoosierhiver
11-27-2009, 04:45 AM
Some saddles for cheaper ukuleles are made of plastic, in many people's opinion, the softer plastics can mute the sound somewhat.
Mainland sells bone nuts and saddles. http://shop.mainlandukuleles.com/product.sc?productId=52&categoryId=8

commandercup
11-27-2009, 01:45 PM
Some saddles for cheaper ukuleles are made of plastic, in many people's opinion, the softer plastics can mute the sound somewhat.
Mainland sells bone nuts and saddles. http://shop.mainlandukuleles.com/product.sc?productId=52&categoryId=8

Great thanks! I ordered a bone nut and saddle set.

Which brings up yet another question and hopefully my last: How do you change out the nut? The saddle is easy enough...