View Full Version : strings keep detuning :(

i need coffee
09-30-2011, 11:10 AM
hi all I just got my first uke yesterday (lanikai lu-21p) and am just playing around with it. I don't know how to play a whole lot at the moment but hope i can get better at it!

Anyway, the ukulele seems to be having problems with keeping tune. I have a Snark tuner that I use to tune GCEA and once I've got it, I'll play a short diddle with a few chords and when i stop i check the Snark again and it's out of tune! It happens most with the A string which goes flat by a lot (at least quarter turn on the peg), but it happens with G and C also. It doesn't seem to happen that much with E, maybe just slightly.

Is this normal for a uke played for the first time? Do the strings need time to get broken in or something? Or is something wrong with my tuning pegs? I've tried tightening up the screws on the gears a bit, but I'm afraid of going too tight. Even after tightening it still happens.

Also, I've tried tuning by playing equivalent notes on each string, and afterwards sometimes I am just way off lol. I think I'm doing something wrong there. But then sometimes after tuning with the Snark, I'll play an E on the C string and play the E string at the same time, and playing E on the C string is waaay sharp.

I is confused :wtf:

09-30-2011, 11:22 AM
Totally normal. Uke strings stretch for a while. Keep playing and tuning and they will settle in after a while.

Have fun! Welcome to UU!

Ambient Doughnut
09-30-2011, 11:24 AM
Completely normal. It can take a few days for the strings to settle in. You can speed up the process by tuning, pulling each string a little, retuning, rinse and repeat.

Don't go pulling too hard though, you don't want to ruin the string.

You're other problem is intonation but give it a chance. It's your first uke and odds are you're fretting the notes a little too hard. Get someone experience to have a play when it's settled in a bit and see what they think. It *may* need a bit of adjustment but give it a chance first.


09-30-2011, 11:36 AM
Along with stretching each string, I like tuning my uke up a step (next note on your tuner) before putting it way.
I find it speeds up the break in period.

i need coffee
09-30-2011, 01:04 PM
oooh ok thanks everybody! I'll keep at it and hope it breaks in soon! It's annoying having to retune all the time...

and as far as pressing too hard on the strings... Do I only press as hard as it takes to make a clean note?

Ambient Doughnut
09-30-2011, 01:07 PM
It's a subtle thing - coming from guitar I used to push down much harder than was necessary. The uke definately needs a lighter touch.
Yeah, just enough to sound a clean note - beyond that you're just bending it sharp.


Edit - Just tested it. Try fretting the C string at the 3rd fret just hard enough to get a clean note. Then push down harder - I can bend the note at least half a semitone. Enough to make it sound completely out!

09-30-2011, 02:38 PM
If it's still going out of tune a few weeks later, try tightening the tuners. They may be slipping.

09-30-2011, 06:13 PM
If you have friction tuner you may need to tighten the screw in the center of the knob a little to snug it up. Here in case you don't know the difference. http://ukulelereview.com/2008/02/09/which-style-ukulele-tuners-do-you-prefer/

09-30-2011, 09:59 PM
Totally normal, and something I didn't know the first time I played my first Uke, but yes, the strings take time to settle, and it'll happen again when you change strings!

10-01-2011, 04:04 AM
Hey bro
I have a Lanikai LU-21CE. I have played with it for a month now. At this point my uke stays in tune for 2-3 days!
I do get a weird buzz however when I fret the C string by itself at frets 1 & 2. Any higher and the buzz goes away. Any ideas?