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UKESTAR
01-25-2008, 07:37 AM
I am sure many of you already know how this works....just thought I would mention it.

Anyways..my Pono PTE had developed a buzz on the E string. I thought for sure that my uke had warped due to unstable humidity...or maybe a fret had raised up a bit. I contacted Musicguymic (ebay) and was about to send it back. He suggested first switching out the string for a new one

So, I changed the strings out and see if it helps. Fixed....Simple.

Although it was a simple fix...thank goodness...I am a bit puzzled...

How the heck does a "string" develop a buzz....yet remain in tune??

rayan
01-25-2008, 06:25 PM
Strings buzz for a number of reasons. An obvious one is a poorly built instrument. A not so obvious reason is humidity and its affect on the wood in your instrument.

Too much humidity could cause your instrument to raise your action making it harder to play and change the sound. Too dry and you might encounter some buzzing or even worse your uke might crack!

We have a video series article coming up on how to build your own cheap humidifier for your ukulele case so you don't want to miss it.

UKESTAR
01-25-2008, 07:09 PM
Maybe I was not very clear. It was simply a string replacement that was necessary to fix the problem. Why??

UKESTAR
01-26-2008, 07:12 AM
I am still puzzled as to how a uke can be totally fine, but a bad or maybe old string can start to buzz? Anyone know if I just got lucky or if a simple string replacement can fix a buzz?

Thanks for everyones' responses so far though:)

UkuLeLesReggAe
01-27-2008, 12:04 AM
I used to have the same problem sort of thing.. but my problem was when you strum it... the "c" string was hitting the metal bit on the fretboard which gave it that noise... so it made this buzz noise and i thought it was stuffed, but i just kept practising and it don't do it anymore. Prob cuase i tuned it :)

jhob
02-01-2008, 03:24 AM
I used to have the same problem sort of thing.. but my problem was when you strum it... the "c" string was hitting the metal bit on the fretboard which gave it that noise... so it made this buzz noise and i thought it was stuffed, but i just kept practising and it don't do it anymore. Prob cuase i tuned it :)

I have the exact same problem with my new ovation applause. How did you change your style to avoid this problem?

davoomac
02-01-2008, 04:38 AM
My Kala ukulele developed a buzz after playing with it a few months. I was convinced it was the string buzzing against a fret or something, I even checked. It turned out that one of the bolts and washer in the tuning peg was a tiny bit loose and was causing the buzzing.

NukeDOC
02-01-2008, 08:00 AM
I am still puzzled as to how a uke can be totally fine, but a bad or maybe old string can start to buzz? Anyone know if I just got lucky or if a simple string replacement can fix a buzz?

Thanks for everyones' responses so far though:)

im going out on a limb here...

but ive noticed that on the guitar, the string does not always vibrate on the same plane. what im saying is its not always vibrating parallel with the top of the guitar when the string is plucked. it changes. sometimes as much as going perpendicular to the top. this might be a tension issue.

so if this happens again, try this. if your "old" string starts to buzz again, try stretching it. while leaving the tuning alone, just grab the string with your index and thumb, with your thumb over the string and your index under it. move your thumb up a bit so they are about three inches apart and attempt to twist your wrist. this will add stretch to your string, and lower the tune. so you will need to re-tune that string. hopefully, this change in characteristics that the string has gone through will change its vibration characteristics.

omg i hope that was understandable haha.

UKESTAR
02-02-2008, 03:50 AM
Wow...a reply that actually addresses MY question....no wonder you are a moderator now.....go Nuker...ha.

Hmm..I will try that next time before I re-string.

Thanks.

Jimmy
05-27-2008, 07:15 AM
Sorry to bump an old topic, but my G string is buzzing a lot, as is my A. Any advice from anyone? I've found that the buzzing goes away if I tune it down two semitones, but I can't have my uke out of tune.

seeso
05-27-2008, 08:25 AM
Sorry to bump an old topic, but my G string is buzzing a lot, as is my A. Any advice from anyone? I've found that the buzzing goes away if I tune it down two semitones, but I can't have my uke out of tune.

You have to raise the action a bit. For a temporary fix, you can slip a tiny piece of matchbook cover or paper or what have you under the G string at the nut.

For a permanent fix, buy a new nut blank and sand it down little by little until you get the action where you want it and there's no buzz.

Howlin Hobbit
05-27-2008, 10:55 AM
Sometimes buzzes are caused by the nut slots being too wide. This can show up if you change brands of strings.

Sometimes buzzes happen at unexpected places. That is, the string will be buzzing on a fret you wouldn't expect it to buzz on. This is a physics thing and was best explained the other day by Dave Means over on the Flea Market Music BB.


Mike is talking about a problem that is a bit different from the usual nut slot problem. Most people assume that the maximum excursion of a plucked string always occurs at the midpoint, but that is only true in the steady state after the initial transients have died down, if the string was plucked anywhere but the midpoint. If a string is plucked closer to the soundhole, the maximum excursion of the vibrating string -- at least for the first few vibrations -- will occur at that point AND AT THE SAME DISTANCE FROM THE OTHER END OF THE STRING! So, if you pluck or strum 3 inches from the saddle, the string will mirror that displacement at 3 inches from the nut, at least until the higher-order harmonics die down. If the clearance over the frets at the part of the neck that is opposite from where you pluck or strum is not adequate, you'll get a buzz for the first few milliseconds of the note. -- Dave

He got several "Huh?" responses and clarified a bit here...


The trouble is that it is one of those things that are difficult to describe without pictures. When I'm talking about the "vibrational excursion" of the strings, I mean the extent to which they move side-to-side or up-and-down when vibrating. Most folks think that the point of maximum excursion is always at the middle of the string, and this is indeed true as the note is dying out or if the string is plucked at the midpoint. My point was that -- in reality -- the point of maximum excursion of the string immediately after plucking it is at wherever you pluck it AND at a point the same distance from the opposite end of the string.

This is important and often overlooked or misunderstood when an instrument is set up. An instrument may sound fine with a given action and a flat fretboard when picked at the 12th fret, but buzz horribly at the onset of each note when picked at the 18th fret because there is not sufficient string clearance over the 7th fret. Kapish?

It's not always just too low of an action.

seeso
05-27-2008, 12:31 PM
Yow, that's some great information there, Hobbit. Can you list other problems that may cause buzz?


Action too low
Nut slot too wide
...

deach
05-27-2008, 12:34 PM
Yow, that's some great information there, Hobbit. Can you list other problems that may cause buzz?


Action too low
Nut slot too wide
...


fret problem?

Howlin Hobbit
05-27-2008, 07:03 PM
Yow, that's some great information there, Hobbit. Can you list other problems that may cause buzz?


fret problem?

I'm really no expert on this. I was quoting somebody who is.

Deach got it right. Sometimes a fret will come unseated just a bit or will simply need "dressing" (filing down a bit and shaping).

Sometimes it's a matter of not having the proper relief in the fretboard. This is something that came up from a couple luthiers on that FMMBB thread.

Fretboard relief is an actual slight bowing of the fretboard (so it's a tad lower towards the middle of it, middle being between nut and saddle, not between sides).

A good luthier will put that in to allow a bit of "slop room" for all us crazy players that switch strings around and such.

It's one of those often overlooked features that comes with a great instrument. I get all sorts of hate and discontent aimed at me because I will often say, "No, don't just buy the nearest cheapie, it really does make a difference when you buy a better instrument."

But it's these sort of things that separate a "gee it's good... for the price" from a "damn, this thing plays!" instrument.

Kekani
05-27-2008, 10:28 PM
Action too low
Nut slot too wide
...


Loose fret(s)
High frets
Low frets
Neck warped
Loose tuning machines
Strings not seating properly in the nut
Nut not seating properly
Nut slots not cut properly
No break angle over the nut
Action too low at the nut
Action too low at the saddle
No break angle over the saddle
Saddle not seating properly
Saddle too loose
Loose brace/tonebars/lining/bridge patch
Strings rubbing (above the soundboard or below the pinned bridge)
Pickup parts loose
String tension too low
Wrong strings for instrument (very common problem)
Poor playing technique

menehunenyc
05-28-2008, 02:24 PM
I'm really no expert on this.


*************
I disagree, you sound very expert-ly to me...
*************


It's one of those often overlooked features that comes with a great instrument. I get all sorts of hate and discontent aimed at me because I will often say, "No, don't just buy the nearest cheapie, it really does make a difference when you buy a better instrument."

But it's these sort of things that separate a "gee it's good... for the price" from a "damn, this thing plays!" instrument.

mmmm....you are indeed a wise and noble Hobbit... thanks for sharing your uke wiles... :rock:

uke671
06-17-2008, 03:02 PM
I've recently changed out my strings on my Lanikai Tenor from a high G wound c to a low wound G plain C (ko'olau golds). I've noticed a significant buzz when plucking an open g string or when tuning the g string. when i switched it back to the the plain G the buzz went away, could it be that the low g is just too much for my tenor? I have the basic Lanikai Tenor (21t). some input would be greatly appreciated. thanks

cMejilla
06-17-2008, 03:10 PM
I've recently changed out my strings on my Lanikai Tenor from a high G wound c to a low wound G plain C (ko'olau golds). I've noticed a significant buzz when plucking an open g string or when tuning the g string. when i switched it back to the the plain G the buzz went away, could it be that the low g is just too much for my tenor? I have the basic Lanikai Tenor (21t). some input would be greatly appreciated. thanks

I'm not 100% on this but it could be that the nut was more fitted towards the original strings. i've done this before and switched back to the original strings and it went away. then did the process over just to have it come back. it was a frustrating two weeks. lol

Crow
06-18-2008, 04:53 AM
I've recently changed out my strings on my Lanikai Tenor from a high G wound c to a low wound G plain C (ko'olau golds).

String buzz can be caused by a nut slot that is too narrow for the string. Since you went to Low G, this might be you. Essentially, the string is sitting on top of the slot flapping away. When this happened to my C string when I switched to Aquilas, I corrected it by:


Cutting a narrow strip of thin, fine-grit sand paper.
Pulling the string out of the slot without reducing the tension.
Slipping the strip of sandpaper into the slot with the rough side against one side of the slot.
Pulling the sandpaper taut and straight. You want to sand the side of the slot, not round off the edges and create slop.
Giving it one or two strokes and testing the string. I mean that. One or two strokes. If you take off too much, you can't put it back on again.


Hope this helps.

uke671
06-18-2008, 06:33 AM
i'll definitely try that out. thank you for the suggestion. it's not really a problem when i play but it just gets a little irritating.