View Full Version : set up help please

lefty dan
07-01-2010, 01:07 PM
Hi guys and gals,
I just finished my concert koa uke. You may have seen the photos yesterday or so.
Anyway I need some help or suggestions.
I set it up. The only thing I did was lower the nut. Wow it sounded so good yesterday. I must have played off and on for two hours. All with a big smile on my face.

Here is the problem. i just picked it up and the G string is buzzing like crazy!! Anyone know why one string would buzz and kinda all of a sudden. All the others sound great. I have heard about people putting super glue on the nut. Will that help. Is it being half A@@ about the fix? If not what do I do just put a small drop on the nut where the string goes through?

You guys are a lot more experienced and Id love to hear from ya.
Thanks in advance.

07-01-2010, 01:14 PM
Superglue in the nut is a very common fix and works quite well.


07-01-2010, 01:48 PM
Just a couple of additional thoughts Dan.
Make sure it's still tuned up. Not just relative tuning but full tension.
The second thing is that you can shim at the nut with cardboard, pencil lead, a post-it note or something else to make certain that you have in fact isolated the problem.
I chased a one string buzz for hours one time only to find out that the tuner nut was not cranked down tight enough.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-01-2010, 03:01 PM
To add to what's been said.......

Frank Ford has a wonderful buzz diagnostic page on his site. You'll find it at www.frets.com

Beyond that, the general rule is to string up an instrument to tension and let it hang for a day or two before doing any action adjustments. The uke itself changes under tension as will the strings.

mm stan
07-01-2010, 08:55 PM
Aloha Dan,
If the nut is a little loose, you could try and cut a tiny piece of paper and shim it into
the nut. I'd dampen the paper so it softens and fits the groove of the nut. then string it up again and see
how it sounds.... I hope this helps... MM Stan..

lefty dan
07-02-2010, 04:51 AM
Chuck thank for the Frets,com I will look at it if this becomes a bigger problem. Sometime today I will have the time to tweak the uke in hopes of the buzz going away. I will post later.

lefty dan
07-02-2010, 07:21 AM
buzz is gone !! I put some super glue on the nut. It helped but did not fix. So I put a little folded paper under the G string side of the nut and the buzz is gone. I think that means I filed the nut too low and it affected the G string. So I think to do it right I may get a new nut.
Thanks for the help.

mm stan
07-02-2010, 01:58 PM
Aloha Dan,
You don't have to get a new nut, just leave the paper in the nut and it will be fine..
I've had one in my ukulele nut for over two years and still works fine.
I hope this helps you out ... If you use a special piece of paper it will last..
Pm me if you would want to know....Also when choosing the paper, always
remember the thickness, if it don't work with a thicker guage , go to a thinner
paper or the other way around..Keeping it in considerations....

07-02-2010, 09:48 PM
Dan, the paper I think was intended as a temporary fix to determine whether filling (i.e. raising) the slot on the G string would really fix the buzz. If the paper shim works, then you can go ahead and use super glue to build the material in the slot back up to where it needs to be. At least I would not be happy leaving the paper shim in the slot.
But... I would follow Chucks advice and let 'er rest for a couple days before doing anything more. I too have found that the tension can "shape" an instrument considerably.

lefty dan
07-03-2010, 05:16 AM
"let 'er rest for a couple days before doing anything more" Wow is that ever a true statement. I strung it up and was surprised that it sounded good just like that. The very next day the G string was buzzing. Did the super glue and paper thing, fixed. Today the buzz is back.
So here is what Im going to do.
I ordered some nice amber friction tuners. ( I am one of the few that like them ). When they come in I will put them on and tweak the uke to my liking. Till then I will play it with a little buzzing. Heck tomorrows another day and it might sound totally different again.

Thanks guys


Steve vanPelt
07-03-2010, 08:01 AM
I had one like that, buzzed, didn't buzz, buzzed........ After a while it just went away for good. Looking back, I think it was a string end touching the soundboard. One time I got a little over zealous while nut slotting and the CA + baking soda in the slot trick did the trick. Love the headstock BTW

mm stan
07-03-2010, 11:49 AM
Aloha Dan,
I'd try and let the ukulele break in for a couple days with the strings tuned and at the right tension.
and then address the problem if needed. Then try the paper thing again with different thickness.
No sense going to take drastic measures and make maybe unnecessary headaches and extra work for
yourself that might not be needed. think things out and use logic...I know you're excited and all and can't wait
but the old sayin' "haste makes waste" Good Luck!! MM Stan...
BTW- The paper shim can be permanent, and if looks of the paper shim sticking out the sides bother
you, get a razor and trim each side of the string and it will almost be unnoticeable.

Michael N.
07-03-2010, 12:02 PM
You haven't really specified where the buzz is. Does it buzz on the fretted notes of the G ? If so the Nut is out of the equation. If it just buzzes on the open G then it almost certainly means the nut slot is too low for that string - unless it is a sympathetic buzz. Rather than use the super glue I prefer to shim the whole Nut and slightly deepen the other slots but even then I use that as a temporary measure.

lefty dan
07-03-2010, 03:35 PM
So today in the mail; I received my new amber tuners to match my amber koa uke. I have been waiting for the tuners before really starting to find the problem. I put the tuners on and they are better quality. They look better and I just know that means I will be a better player because of it. Right??? Ha Ha
So as for the buzzing. It was the G string and I know it was the nut too low at that string. Now it is not buzzing but..... The A string buzzes when fretted at the first fret. So let me See that means first string A# or maybe its B flat I think. Anyway its tuned up and I will leave it for a couple days before attacking the problem. I will however play the hell out of it buzz or not.

Happy 4TH to all