PDA

View Full Version : went out of tune in the sun- help?



mctrmt
06-28-2008, 09:02 AM
A friend and I just performed at an outdoor festival a couple days ago (our first)- the first performance we did the air was pretty chilly, and everything went smoothly. The second performance, however, was in the blazing sun and it kept sending our ukuleles wildly out of tune, which was absolutely maddening as we had to re-tune after every song.

Does anybody have any suggestions? My soprano has nylon strings (Martins for now, although I'd like to try nylgut next); my friend's baritone I'm not sure about. Are there strings that are better for all weather, or is this the kind of thing we'll have to get used to in the summer? Does my ukulele just need a tan?

Thanks for any help!

Howlin Hobbit
06-28-2008, 05:26 PM
Are your strings new? While nylon strings are going to react to temperature extremes a bit more than steel, I think that newer strings will be worse yet.

I played for nearly an hour today in 90 weather with my National reso uke. The steel body got pretty uncomfortable (launch into a couple rousing choruses of the theme from "Branded" here) but the strings didn't go wildly out of tune.

I have a well broken in set of Aquila concert gauge on it.

Keonikapila
06-28-2008, 09:12 PM
I string up my beach uke with Worths and they seem to hold their tune pretty well in the sun. They do go flat, but not as quick as the nylons that I've used in the past.

mctrmt
06-29-2008, 06:31 AM
HH- no, they're not new strings; they should have long since settled by now. I've been thinking of trying Aquilas for a while now- I think I'll order some and see how they fare.

Keo- I had Worths on my uke before, and I really liked them. They never got the chance to experience the heat, though.

Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I think I'll go out into the yard this afternoon (where our temperature is forecast at 35 degrees --I think that's 95 for you Americans) and play for a while and see what happens.

UkuleleBlake
06-29-2008, 12:24 PM
This may sound like a joke, but.
Put it in a drink cooler (no ice) with like a towel over it. It works. But it looks...

mctrmt
06-29-2008, 02:00 PM
This may sound like a joke, but.
Put it in a drink cooler (no ice) with like a towel over it. It works. But it looks...

..."awesome"?

I'll give it a try. Thanks!

Sugoi_boy
06-29-2008, 02:19 PM
This may sound like a joke, but.
Put it in a drink cooler (no ice) with like a towel over it. It works. But it looks...

this is a great idea, what i do is similar, i just get a lunch box cooler pack and put it in there with the uke.

freedive135
06-29-2008, 06:18 PM
I know how you feel I am always having to retune and on my soprano the strings are 4 weeks old and get strummed at least 2 hours a day.

On the days off I sit on my porch in the sun for hours (looking at the mountains) and after about 10-15min of strummin they start to go out of tune (gets sharper) today it wasn't hot just clear sky and sunny.
My tuner is gauged -20/0/+20 and the change is around +10/15.
About 2 hours ago (it's 10pm here) I retuned my ukes and they are around -10 on the tuner, they will go farther out when I go to the basement to play.

At 5:00 it was 83deg 24% humidity, now its 69deg 35% humidity (kind of why I am not sure of owning a solid wood uke).

So does anyone remember jr high sience class? heat/humidty the wood it swells & cool the wood it shrinks.

Plays hell on my friction tuners constantly tightening them.

mctrmt
06-30-2008, 05:33 AM
Freedive- Yesterday was hot, clear, sunny, and humid. I spent the afternoon outside playing to see what would happen- I didn't notice anything at first (and hence thought I was crazy), but when I checked the tuning they'd all gone sharp- but to the same degree... about +20.

freedive135
06-30-2008, 10:28 AM
This morning 7am down in the basement my cheepy Soprano and my Kala Tenor were both flat by about -15 all strings and I tuned both to 0 when I stopped playing at 1am.

This is also why the doors and drawers stick in your house and what makes your floor squeeky in an old house.

ukemike
07-23-2008, 11:31 AM
It wasn't the strings that were changed by the heat of the sun. It was the wood of the uke. That's why Hobbit's steel resonator wasn't affected much, and that's why the strings would all be equally out of tune. That's why my plastic bodied Fluke needs to be tuned about every other week, rain or shine.

There's not much you could have done. It went from cool to sun beating down on your uke. The wood expanded and the strings got tighter.

mctrmt
07-23-2008, 04:56 PM
It wasn't the strings that were changed by the heat of the sun. It was the wood of the uke. That's why Hobbit's steel resonator wasn't affected much, and that's why the strings would all be equally out of tune. That's why my plastic bodied Fluke needs to be tuned about every other week, rain or shine.

There's not much you could have done. It went from cool to sun beating down on your uke. The wood expanded and the strings got tighter.

Yeah, I'm pretty much resigned to it. I'm trying to see now if one of my other ukuleles might fare better in the sun- that one is solid koa, so I'm wondering if it's just a bit more reactive than the others.