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mthurman52
04-27-2011, 12:59 PM
I am having some trouble with the way some chords sound...for example a "G" chord makes the uke sound out of tune even though it is not. I am a long time guitar player but new to ukes...so I'm not sure if I am doing something wrong or not. Any suggestions?

janeray1940
04-27-2011, 01:16 PM
for example a "G" chord makes the uke sound out of tune even though it is not.

What kind of uke are you playing? What kind of strings? The reason I ask is because when I first started, I was playing a cheapie Ohana with GHS strings and had the same problem with the G chord. Changing out the strings to Aquilas solved the problem.

mthurman52
04-27-2011, 01:53 PM
thats what I thought. But I just got my Mainland mahogany soprano set up with aquilas and it still sounds off.

ukulelecowboy
04-27-2011, 02:42 PM
This could be an intonation problem. Check the individual strings at the twelfth fret. Fretted, open, and the harmonic. Check it against the tuner.

Mike

70sSanO
04-27-2011, 05:27 PM
The first thing is to get a good clip on tuner. Since you have a problem with the lower frets I would test each string at the 1st, 2nd and 3rd frets. If the notes are sharp on the frets close to the nut, but fine everywhere else you may have to lower the string height at the nut. This has happened to me.

John

the52blues
04-27-2011, 05:28 PM
I am having some trouble with the way some chords sound...for example a "G" chord makes the uke sound out of tune even though it is not. I am a long time guitar player but new to ukes...so I'm not sure if I am doing something wrong or not. Any suggestions?

You're a long time guitar player and you've never had an issue with the D chord (G chord on the uke) being out of tune? The B string on a guitar is notoriously sharp when played with too much pressure. I always tune my 2nd string a hair flat and sometimes tune my 4th string a hair sharp. That usually helps me but setting the action as low as possible helps also. Intonation is a lost art.

Scorpex
04-27-2011, 05:53 PM
Yes, an intonation issue. Causes and fixes:

1. Strings too high in nut, as per earlier comment. Deepen nut slots, but make sure that buzzes from poor string fit in the slot or interference with fret 1 do not result.
2. Poor strings, as per earlier comment - change strings.
3. Frets too high - may need level/dressing.
4. Saddle too high - similar effect to strings high in nut. Lower saddle, if possible.
5. Scale length too short - check the distance from nut to fret 12 and fret 12 to the string bearing point on the saddle. The distance from fret 12 to the saddle should be 2-3 mm longer than the distance from the nut to fret 12. It is sometimes possible to crib a mm or two by angling the saddle top so that the bearing point is as far from the nut as possible (these comments assume that the strings are going sharp up the neck....which is almost always the case).
6. Frets are in the wrong place. I recently worked on an old uke for a friend. It seemed to have never been played. No wonder - the intonation was way off. After checking on the wonderful Stewmac fret position calculator (http://www.stewmac.com/fretcalc.html) I found that the first fret was placed 4 mm too far up the neck. I was able to put in a nut extension that gave a good scale length with the frets and hey presto - the uke played in tune.

With the Stewmac calculator, I like to measure the distance from the nut to fret 12 and double it to give the scale length input. The calculator then gives you the "real" scale length required to get good intonation and also the fret position measurements.

I understand that Vincenzo Galilei, father of Galileo, developed the 17:18 rule behind fret positions...he played the lute, but only because ukes had not been invented yet.....

mm stan
04-27-2011, 05:56 PM
What are you tuning you ukulele with???

mthurman52
04-28-2011, 03:43 PM
I am tuning with a guitar tuner and a uke tuner iphone app. The iphone app is great with guitar but i guess not with ukes. It sounds like I must purchase a new one :/

mthurman52
04-28-2011, 03:47 PM
You're a long time guitar player and you've never had an issue with the D chord (G chord on the uke) being out of tune? The B string on a guitar is notoriously sharp when played with too much pressure. I always tune my 2nd string a hair flat and sometimes tune my 4th string a hair sharp. That usually helps me but setting the action as low as possible helps also. Intonation is a lost art.

Hmm. I've never had any problems with my B string on my guitar...but I did get it set up by a pro when I first got it so that may be why...

the52blues
04-28-2011, 05:05 PM
Hmm. I've never had any problems with my B string on my guitar...but I did get it set up by a pro when I first got it so that may be why...

Looks like you might have to get your uke set up by a pro too...

philxbx
04-28-2011, 11:18 PM
Try less pressure when forming chords. The C string being thicker seems to go out of whack more then the others if too much pressure is applied. Lowering the action will also help!!

micromue
04-29-2011, 12:30 AM
Try less pressure when forming chords. The C string being thicker seems to go out of whack more then the others if too much pressure is applied. Lowering the action will also help!!

What he said. Applying too much pressure is a common issue when switching from guitar to uke.