View Full Version : Turning and Strings problem?

07-31-2011, 12:44 PM
Hi Guys,

I bought a Redwood S10 Uke for 12.99 GBP or $21.33 USD. I got the the Uke home and ordered a Eno ET-36 Mini Clip Digital Tuner.

The tuner arrived the next day and I attempted to tune the Uke by clipping it onto the head and selecting U for Ukulele.

I had all sorts of trouble until I watched a video on YouTube. i wasn't aware that there was several notes on one string, once I established this, I was away.
Anyway I tuned it up to what I thought was correct, but it still doesn't sound right.

The A string sounds dull and think it should be higher as the Uke is a Soprano which I would thought have played higher notes.

I might take the Uke back to the store but involves a 90km round trip and try and get somebody to have a look at it, I was thinking maybe the strings need changing but I just don't know.

I know that it's possible to have a Uke that just won't tune as I read in a mail order catalogue that somebody had this problem.

Has anybody got any advice?

I am a complete noobie.

07-31-2011, 01:08 PM
the strings should be relatively tight. if you're A string seems looser than the others, it's possible you've tuned it one octave lower than it needs to be. you probably need to continue turning the tuning peg until the string cycles all the way through the chromatic scale and back to A. take note that tightening the string will bring the note to a B.. tighter still brings you to C.. still tighter makes it D.. then E then F then G then A again. be careful though, you want the proper A (A above middle C or 440Hz).. on octave lower than that is way to loose... one octave higher than that and the string will probably snap.. (putting out an eye) or worse, put a terrible bow on the neck.

07-31-2011, 03:23 PM

use this to ball park the string then u can fine tune to the tuner

08-01-2011, 12:10 AM
Thanks for that. I'll have a look at it.

08-01-2011, 12:16 PM
I've tried to tune it using that tuning website. It doesn't help that iam completely tone deaf. The only way I can tune it is via an electronic tuner.

Going to take it back to the shop to see if I can get some advice.

08-01-2011, 01:36 PM
I've tried to tune it using that tuning website. It doesn't help that iam completely tone deaf. The only way I can tune it is via an electronic tuner.

Going to take it back to the shop to see if I can get some advice.
You aren't tone deaf or you would have no interest in playing music. Seriously! True tone deafness is a extraordinarily rare condition and those who have it have no interest in music, not even to listen to recorded music.

That said, "pitch sense" is something that comes with practice and it's not unusual for beginners to have fairly poor pitch sense that improves with time and experience. As for tuning your uke - all of the strings should be under approximately the same tension. If any string feels very noticeably "tighter" or "looser" than the others, you are off by an octave on that string. Electronic tuners tune to a "note" - but they don't much care what octave that note falls in. I.e. you may have the A string, for example, tuned to the "A" that is an octave down from the A it should be.

All of the above considered, frankly, you can't expect much from a $24 uke - that really isn't out of the toy category. While you might occasionally find one that tunes and plays well, that would be the exception rather than the rule. This isn't "snobbery" - and I realize that many folks can't afford an expensive "k-brand" instrument - but it's a simple fact. "Instruments" in that category are banged out of the very worst factories in China and drop-shipped to shops with no human intervention ever having taken place. While one occasionally gets very lucky, far more folks are stuck with something that is all but unplayable. You would be far better off to order a fairly inexpensive ukulele from places like Uke Republic, Mim's Ukes, etc. - you'll end up paying more but you'll get a playable instrument because those folks are enthusiastic about the uke and care enough to refuse to sell junk.



08-01-2011, 11:49 PM
I did buy it from a music shop not a toy shop. I do understand that you get what you pay for.

08-03-2011, 12:20 PM
Ok, I took it back to the shop and they sort of tuned it for me. I was using the wrong setting on the tuner.

I have now tuned it and learnt another 3 chords from the 3 I have already learnt.

Getting there.