View Full Version : Action?

08-16-2010, 07:53 AM
Ok, I have one question... Sorry if this has been mentioned in previous threads but i couldn't find anything. Could someone please explain to me what action on the ukulele is? And the difference between high/low action? Thanks a bunch :D

08-16-2010, 08:00 AM
Anything for a friend from Norway!

"Action" is the height of the strings above the fretboard. Most players prefer the strings to be close enough to the fretboard where one does not have to push the string down a long way to make contact with the fret. Action that is too low causes buzz when a string is vibrating. Action can be adjusted at the nut and at the saddle. In my experience most of the adjustments to action need to be made at the saddle, as the height of the strings is too high when fretting on the soundhole side of the fretboard. If that is the case it can be harder to get a clean sound when playing with higher action. Sometimes a uke comes with the strings too high at the nut and that is an issue that needs to be addressed because it changes the pitch of the string significantly when fretting especially at the first fret.

Many ukes can be improved by adjusting the action, and many ukes come from the factory with the action a little high so that the end user can adjust it to his or her taste. I adjusted (lowered) the action on my KoAloha at the saddle and made a wonderful playing uke into an incredible playing uke! I also want to mention that some players like the action higher than others....it is a personal taste thing.

Coconut Willie
08-16-2010, 08:13 AM
That's it in a nutshell!!!

08-16-2010, 08:19 AM
Thanks! That was a very good explanation and i now totally get it! :D

08-16-2010, 12:15 PM
So glad it was helpful!

Lykke til!


08-16-2010, 12:21 PM
bang on explanation. be aware - action is subjective, but low action, (too low) is usually unplayable (buzzing) and high action is also hard work, though if you are looking for something different, like slide ukulele, its essential

08-16-2010, 12:48 PM
From MusicGuyMic http://reviews.ebay.com/Ukulele-What-is-setup-Action-and-Intonation-mean_W0QQugidZ10000000004902503

08-16-2010, 07:12 PM
From MusicGuyMic http://reviews.ebay.com/Ukulele-What-is-setup-Action-and-Intonation-mean_W0QQugidZ10000000004902503

Thanks for the link, now i even know what the nut is ;) this forum is awesome!!

08-16-2010, 08:09 PM
I've got a buzzing problem with my tenor uke btw. I'm not sure if it's the nut, saddle or the pick up that makes the buzzing. It's the c-string that's causing the trouble, both when i play it open and freted. I'm a bit anxious to try and fix it myself regarding my lack of knowledge on the subject, but if anyone have an idea what it could be i would love some input!

08-16-2010, 10:30 PM
Nelson, in order of increasing severity (and ease of fixing) it could be

1. Duff string - swap it, or take it off and restring it the other way around. Could also be low string tension - try aquilas - they are tauter
2. Another part or string coil buzzing on the body of the uke
3. Saddle issue - shim to bring it up a little (although other strings will be affected)
4. Nut slot too deep - you can fix with a bit of superglue (tiny tiny tiny amount ) in the slot, then re sand it down when fully dry
5. Neck issue, or dodgy fret - take to a Luthier

There are many posts on here about buzzing and action, and I suspect that in the vast majority of cases, options 1-3 above fix the problem.