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View Full Version : Which Brands Go Easy On Finger Pressure



navilink
02-28-2012, 02:11 AM
Are there any particular ukulele brands (I'm looking for concert, lower-mid range) that are easier to hold on the chords without need to apply strong fingers pressure on the frets? Or ALL are the same?

And will strings affect the pressure needed also? Which string requires less finger pressure?

ckellogg
02-28-2012, 02:29 AM
I am a bit of a newbie, and find Aquila strings tough on my fingers. Martins and brown Worths have been kinder. Of course it depends on the ukulele! In general, the light brown Worths have been my fave for sound, mellow......

ukuraleigh
02-28-2012, 03:43 AM
The set-up of an ukulele can make all the difference. High action and your fingers will need to push harder to make the strings connect with the fretboard.

Strings can make a difference too.

Lastly, I have smallish hands (for a guy) and find that a tenor neck is just a touch to big, which makes it harder on the fingers.

I hope that helps.

darrendiablo
02-28-2012, 03:54 AM
when i got my first one mate it was more of a "toy" than instrument and it was very high but the more i played it the less the pain became so i would suggest buying a decent one that you can afford (oscar shmidt i hear are pretty good ) and just carry on with the aching fingers for a week or so :)
daz

Lori
02-28-2012, 05:40 AM
The set-up of an ukulele can make all the difference. High action and your fingers will need to push harder to make the strings connect with the fretboard.

Strings can make a difference too.

Lastly, I have smallish hands (for a guy) and find that a tenor neck is just a touch to big, which makes it harder on the fingers.

I hope that helps.
:agree:
High action can be a problem... you want the strings to be high enough to prevent buzzing for your playing style. Any higher than that and it's just unwanted stress.
Look for "light tension" strings. They should be easier on your fingertips. "Hard tension" is the opposite, but can give you more volume and a nicer tone.
If you can visit a local uke group, you could try out several different ukuleles and see what works best for you. I know there are some uke players in Malaysia... hopefully they are nearby.

–Lori

Ingrate
02-28-2012, 05:51 AM
As best I can tell, increased "finger pressure" can be caused by 3 things:

1. The size of the 'ukulele. Soprano has the least string tension, Tenor has the highest. (This is assuming they are all tuned the same.) It's basic physics - the longer the string, the higher the tension to tune to the same note.

2. The "action" of the 'ukulele. The higher the strings are above the fretboard, the farther one has to push them to the frets.

3. The brand of string. Just an opinion - I have found flourocarbon strings to be easier to play. I currently use Worth CMs or Martins M600s.

To give one answer to your OP question, a soprano Flea with M600s is mighty easy on the fingers, in my experience.

Magoosan
02-28-2012, 06:06 AM
Another point is, in the beginning it all seems a bit harder. The muscles in the hand get tired and the tips of the fingers get sore. But the more you play, the muscles start to develop in the hands and you develop calluses on finger tips. After a while you don't even thing about these things.

coolkayaker1
02-28-2012, 06:22 AM
Yet another point: if you are not using a strap, you may be holding the uke more firmly than necessary just to overcome gravity.

I bought several of Lori's Uke Leashes, and they help tremendously so that I don;t have to "grip" the uke to hold it up, and therefore I find my playing more relaxed on my strumming and fretting hands, both.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CDdiopO8Kw

ichadwick
02-28-2012, 06:54 AM
Another generality: black strings seem to be less tense than white strings. Just my own observation.

grandpoobah
02-28-2012, 07:43 AM
Two main things. One: Make sure you get a setup on your uke. The brand of uke is not important, its how low you can get the action. Second: the strings. the more tension on the strings the tougher is it to finger. You can tune your uke a bit lower to lighten the string tension, but it will be more likely to buzz. you need to find a balance. i do agree with Ingrate on trying the Worth CMs

And one final tip. Buy a gripmaster. They are little spring loaded hand exercisers to build finger strength. Also good for stress...

navilink
02-28-2012, 02:56 PM
I am a bit of a newbie, and find Aquila strings tough on my fingers. Martins and brown Worths have been kinder. Of course it depends on the ukulele! In general, the light brown Worths have been my fave for sound, mellow......good finding there! i thought aquila is the best, but not the best for those looking for easier pressure


The set-up of an ukulele can make all the difference. High action and your fingers will need to push harder to make the strings connect with the fretboard.

Strings can make a difference too.

Lastly, I have smallish hands (for a guy) and find that a tenor neck is just a touch to big, which makes it harder on the fingers.

I hope that helps.my lanikai tenor seems to have low action (a bit buzz sound), but still i need to push it quite hard..


when i got my first one mate it was more of a "toy" than instrument and it was very high but the more i played it the less the pain became so i would suggest buying a decent one that you can afford (oscar shmidt i hear are pretty good ) and just carry on with the aching fingers for a week or so :)
dazoscar schmidt is around same class with lanikai and makala right? i'm considering another new brand within the same range, hulala


:agree:
High action can be a problem... you want the strings to be high enough to prevent buzzing for your playing style. Any higher than that and it's just unwanted stress.
Look for "light tension" strings. They should be easier on your fingertips. "Hard tension" is the opposite, but can give you more volume and a nicer tone.
If you can visit a local uke group, you could try out several different ukuleles and see what works best for you. I know there are some uke players in Malaysia... hopefully they are nearby.

–Lorii'm going to malaysia's ukulele day so hopefully can get to try out many different ukuleles :)


As best I can tell, increased "finger pressure" can be caused by 3 things:

1. The size of the 'ukulele. Soprano has the least string tension, Tenor has the highest. (This is assuming they are all tuned the same.) It's basic physics - the longer the string, the higher the tension to tune to the same note.

2. The "action" of the 'ukulele. The higher the strings are above the fretboard, the farther one has to push them to the frets.

3. The brand of string. Just an opinion - I have found flourocarbon strings to be easier to play. I currently use Worth CMs or Martins M600s.

To give one answer to your OP question, a soprano Flea with M600s is mighty easy on the fingers, in my experience.i've soprano and tenor, so now looking for concert.. looks like u also suggests Worth or Martins..


Another point is, in the beginning it all seems a bit harder. The muscles in the hand get tired and the tips of the fingers get sore. But the more you play, the muscles start to develop in the hands and you develop calluses on finger tips. After a while you don't even thing about these things.i think i've been playing like 4 months nearly everyday, my fingers and muscles still sore.. haha! maybe i've reached my limit..


Yet another point: if you are not using a strap, you may be holding the uke more firmly than necessary just to overcome gravity.

I bought several of Lori's Uke Leashes, and they help tremendously so that I don;t have to "grip" the uke to hold it up, and therefore I find my playing more relaxed on my strumming and fretting hands, both.
will consider a strap, but for now i usually play sitting down


Another generality: black strings seem to be less tense than white strings. Just my own observation.could it mean premium aquila (black) should be less tense than normal aquila (white)?


Two main things. One: Make sure you get a setup on your uke. The brand of uke is not important, its how low you can get the action. Second: the strings. the more tension on the strings the tougher is it to finger. You can tune your uke a bit lower to lighten the string tension, but it will be more likely to buzz. you need to find a balance. i do agree with Ingrate on trying the Worth CMs

And one final tip. Buy a gripmaster. They are little spring loaded hand exercisers to build finger strength. Also good for stress...well dunno how i can tune to lower note apart from GCEA.. maybe low-G helps but then prefer GCEA..

Nickie
02-28-2012, 05:30 PM
Everyone here is right on about setup. Be sure you get a uke from someone who can do a proper setup. I have Aquilas on my Kala concert, and I don't find them hard to press down at all, and I'm picky about the action being too low, 'cause I HATE fret buzz.I think maybe the Aquilas feel hard to press down, because they are made of a pretty hard material. When I first started playing, my fingertips were sore and my fingers were fairly weak. But I used to milk cows as a young girl, so my strength is coming back. The other day I played for 2 1/2 hours with a friend, without a break. But, don't try this at home, at least not for several weeks of practice!