View Full Version : Going out of tune UPWARDS?????

03-07-2012, 10:29 AM
My friend has a ukulele (a Stagg! I know..) and the Cstring keeps going out of tune. It's a Stagg - of COURSE it is. But it's going sharp!. And it won't stop!
How can this be?
Je ne comprend pas!

Am I entering.. the twilight zone?

03-07-2012, 10:36 AM
maybe the other 3 are going out of tune downwards....

03-07-2012, 10:39 AM
Inadvertently moving the C tuner while handling/playing it?

03-07-2012, 10:44 AM
I have been having the same problem with my fender. I am pretty sure it is because of temperature change while transporting it. It is friggin cold up in Maine!

Dan Uke
03-07-2012, 10:58 AM
As it warms up, my strings go sharp but all of them do and not just the C string

03-07-2012, 11:01 AM
It's definitely going up.
And i mean dramatically.
I'm checking it with a tuner.
It's not a temperature thing because it's too much of a difference.
There must be something I'm missing.
I'm an experienced guitarist and I know my onions quite well, but this is not something I've ever seen before.
Maybe the string is stretching and getting thinner?
But then the note would be going down as the string stretches.
I don't get it.
I would change the strings, but it's not my uke.

Hippie Dribble
03-07-2012, 11:02 AM
I have a couple of sopranos that this happens too also, but like Daniel, it applies to all the tuners and not just the C...it happens usually after I've had the uke tuned up to D instead of re-entrant C tuning...after the strings have settled at that higher note for awhile they seem to resist being dropped back to C and keep sneaking back up... :)

03-07-2012, 11:28 AM
This is usually caused by a sticky slot in the nut.
When you tune up a string if the string binds in the nut the pitch does not change.
While strumming the string vibration causes the string to slide and go sharp.
Try this, tune the string UP to pitch, then press on the string between the tuner and nut, if it goes sharp that is the issue.
You can try putting some lube on the nut (pencil lead dust works great) or widen the slot a bit so the string slides.
Too wide and you are going to buzz.

03-07-2012, 11:54 AM
I have that problem with my parlour guitar, and thanks for the suggestion, but when I say the C string is going up I mean a semitone after I've played it for a few minutes.
It's not the nut, it's NUTS!
ha ha ha.

03-07-2012, 12:10 PM
I'm with SailingUke on this one. Almost has to be sticking when you're tuning it up to pitch. As a guitarist you probably know it's best to tune down a bit flat and then back up to the correct pitch - but just for grins try doing it the other way on this one. When it goes sharp tune it down to pitch and stop, instead of going below and back up. If that cures the going way sharp thing then it's almost certainly a tight or burred slot.

This is one reason I warn people not to use the triangular needle files to adjust nuts because a triangular slot tends to grab the string and cause just this sort of thing.

03-07-2012, 12:49 PM
I have this all the time. In fact, I believe all my ukuleles tend to drift up in pitch, year round, no matter what the temp or humidity. And the slots in the nuts on my instruments are not tight or sticky. I don't let it bother me. I just tune them where they are, and tune them to the electronic tuner once a week. Nothing to be worried about.

Jason Paul
03-08-2012, 03:46 AM
Whew - good to hear that I'm not crazy. I have this same problem with my Kala soprano. For mine, it's only the C string. I use an electronic tuner and it's just weird to see that it's gone sharp after sitting the its case for a couple of weeks. It just seems physically impossible, but I see the point made above, and I'll try that out.


03-08-2012, 05:01 AM
I'm an experienced guitarist and I know my onions quite well, but this is not something I've ever seen before.

That might be the issue - it is an ukulele, not a guitar or an onion. :)