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View Full Version : Strumming scratch protection ?



Sonic
10-06-2012, 08:44 PM
How do you prevent your uke top wood/painting from nails strumming scratch?

I just cut a piece of 5" phone screen protector and place it at the bottom of fretboard/soundhole area :D

Patrick Madsen
10-06-2012, 09:18 PM
Hi Sonic, I had the same concern and put on Mylar. Hated it as I felt it deadend the sound. My instruments are French polished so it's really easy to scratch the finish. I try to strum over the fretboard more. If it gets scratched I don't worry about it as it just adds to the character of the uke. I use Mcguires Show car glaze (wax) and it seems to hide the scratches really well. If the finish gets to the point it looks really ugly, I'll have it re French polished.

bazmaz
10-06-2012, 11:42 PM
Strumming scratches show that the uke has been played!

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
10-06-2012, 11:52 PM
Scratch up your uke as much as possible. It'll sound better!

bazmaz
10-06-2012, 11:58 PM
Worked for Willie Nelson!

Kem
10-07-2012, 03:05 AM
My Boat Paddle, which doesn't have a gloss finish, has got to the point where it's not just scratched; it's stained from my pinky, and it's slightly splintered from the strumming. This rather upsets me, but I have no idea what to do about it.

OldePhart
10-07-2012, 08:40 AM
Good honest strum wear is a badge of honor!

John

hmgberg
10-07-2012, 10:13 AM
My Boat Paddle, which doesn't have a gloss finish, has got to the point where it's not just scratched; it's stained from my pinky, and it's slightly splintered from the strumming. This rather upsets me, but I have no idea what to do about it.

Do you know what kind of finish is on it?

Kem
10-07-2012, 10:34 AM
Do you know what kind of finish is on it?

I bought it second-hand, and it wasn't listed in the specifications, so I'm not 100% sure, but I think it's Tru-Oil.

hawaii 50
10-09-2012, 09:06 AM
[QUOTE=Sonic;1066405]How do you prevent your uke top wood/painting from nails strumming scratch?




If you dont't play it then there wont be any scratches on it! only solution i have>> Lol

Newportlocal
10-09-2012, 09:40 AM
I had been wondering about this myself. Hope this thread gets more opinions. I have strum scratches on mine. No big deal. I did however notice in an Aldrine uke minutes video. He had a clear strum protector. I don't know if he still uses them. Also, wonder if it would effect tone. Seems it could effect tone. I know some people use screen protector material, but don't know if that is the only option. Even wondered if any luthiers ever layed the gloss a little thicker where strumming scratches will be. Seems that could effect tone too. I certainly have no useful information just observations. I have I nice custom on the way. I intend to play the heck out of it, but never hurts to get opinions on how to treat it right.

hawaii 50
10-09-2012, 10:05 AM
I had been wondering about this myself. Hope this thread gets more opinions. I have strum scratches on mine. No big deal. I did however notice in an Aldrine uke minutes video. He had a clear strum protector. I don't know if he still uses them. Also, wonder if it would effect tone. Seems it could effect tone. I know some people use screen protector material, but don't know if that is the only option. Even wondered if any luthiers ever layed the gloss a little thicker where strumming scratches will be. Seems that could effect tone too. I certainly have no useful information just observations. I have I nice custom on the way. I intend to play the heck out of it, but never hurts to get opinions on how to treat it right.



Dont do it>>don't put a clear pickgaurd on that beautiful CR..if you do>> dont tell Rick ha ha..I am not an expert but i like the idea of Rick's decal instead of a wood/abalone rosette and his cantilivered neck..i think the more the uke top can vibrate the better it sounds..so if you put clear pickgaurd on it i think it would not vibrate as much..and the sound would be affected>> and Rick's polyester finish super strong..u got to have nails of steel if you are going to scratch through it

Sporin
10-09-2012, 11:38 AM
Strumming scratches show that the uke has been played!

:agree: I'll be thrilled when my ukes look like Willie Nelson's guitar.

Newportlocal
10-09-2012, 11:53 AM
Dont do it>>don't put a clear pickgaurd on that beautiful CR..if you do>> dont tell Rick ha ha..I am not an expert but i like the idea of Rick's decal instead of a wood/abalone rosette and his cantilivered neck..i think the more the uke top can vibrate the better it sounds..so if you put clear pickgaurd on it i think it would not vibrate as much..and the sound would be affected>> and Rick's polyester finish super strong..u got to have nails of steel if you are going to scratch through it

Trust me it was a very passing thought. My first and primary thought was it would effect tone. Just wanted some good opinions. Yours will definitely do. Thanks.:D

OldePhart
10-09-2012, 02:05 PM
They say that the small forward bouts are not a particularly strongly vibrating part of the soundboard so putting a clear film there doesn't greatly affect sound. That's what they say. I say they might be right but I'd rather have strum marks along with every last little bit of tone I can squeeze out of my instrument than no strum marks and anything less than everything the instrument can give. :)

If I bought it to look at it would be hanging on the wall, maybe in a glass case. I bought it to play.

John

Newportlocal
10-09-2012, 03:31 PM
A lot of people play their uke a lot, but have no scratches. The way you strum can be changed if you want to change it. Learn a few of the thousand strums that are available, the simplest being down with your thumb and up with your forefinger. Some take a few weeks of practice. I just checked out a video of Jake Shimabukuro and his uke does not appear to have any scratches or a pick guard. Check out some other great players, the ones who only ever play a uke, for yourself, start with more experienced guys like Herb Ohta and work along to Brittni Paiva. How many of then have damaged tops on their ukes? You can get felt picks which wont damage the top. Aim your strum for where the neck joins the body, not over the body. If you need to strum over the body, learn some fingerstyle. There are lots of ways to play a uke without damaging the top.
If you have a style that involves a strumming technique that damages the top of your uke. You have a choice, keep damaging the uke or do something about it. As you can read there are those who think it is cool to keep damaging the uke and there are others who don't. Most ukes will last a long time before the damage is fatal, but it may be harder to sell a badly scratched uke. I suppose it depends on what you decide for yourself.
My personal view is that ukes get scratched enough just by using them a lot and having some accidents, you don't need to be hammering them with your claw like fingernails every day to get some interesting "battle scars". I think it is best to take the time to learn how to play the uke without damaging the top, enjoy every minute of your time with the uke, and when your lease on the uke is up, the next person to get it has a nice instrument.

I have noticed at lot of players strumming over the neck.

quiltingshirley
10-10-2012, 07:43 AM
I'm not a good strummer but I do get scratches on one of my ukes. (I'm probably a bit agressive with the uke) I think it might have something to do with the final finish that was put on the Koa wood. Looking at those scratches made me not play it as well as I should have. I finally bought a decal scratch guard fom Inlay and cut it to the size where it fits well where I hit the wood. Seems to work well and I haven't noticed any difference in the sound. (It is a loud, well sounding uke anyway)

hawaii 50
10-10-2012, 09:03 AM
I have noticed at lot of players strumming over the neck.

the sweet spot over the neck on alot of ukes..

gyosh
10-10-2012, 09:18 AM
the sweet spot over the neck on alot of ukes..

12th fret is generally the midpoint for length of the strings, the sweet spot to strum. I've been told you should pick over the sound hole though.

2nd hand info. I'm not that knowledgeable or talented to confirm.

Newportlocal
10-10-2012, 09:34 AM
12th fret is generally the midpoint for length of the strings, the sweet spot to strum. I've been told you should pick over the sound hole though.

2nd hand info. I'm not that knowledgeable or talented to confirm.


Thanks Hawaii 50 and Gyosh sounds like what I have observed. Strumming on neck,fingerpicking over sound hole.
Time to change my strumming habit. I always appreciate your advice.

sukie
10-10-2012, 12:13 PM
Skip the pick guard. I have a Moore Bettah. I wouldn't dream of putting something on it. If I get strum scratches on that I'll be prouder than heck.

Cornfield
10-10-2012, 12:27 PM
I have noticed at lot of players strumming over the neck.


If you play on the neck, midway between your fretting fingers and the bridge, you get the best sound.

Newportlocal
10-10-2012, 02:32 PM
If you play on the neck, midway between your fretting fingers and the bridge, you get the best sound.

I have been changing that habit today.

jackwhale
10-10-2012, 05:08 PM
If my top was 'splintered' from strumming, I'd cut my fingernails shorter. And maybe play more ballads. :)

Kem
10-10-2012, 07:16 PM
If my top was 'splintered' from strumming, I'd cut my fingernails shorter. And maybe play more ballads. :)

I keep my fingernails piano-player short. It doesn't seem to help. Spruce is a pretty soft wood.

jackwhale
10-10-2012, 07:55 PM
It was just a thought. I've never scratched the top from strumming...clumsiness has caused most of my dings and scratches.

Flamenco guitarists usually have a clear plastic guard on their guitars. I guess it is their percussive playing style.

Did the phone screen guard change the sound of your uke? If not, that might be the way to go.

uluapoundr
10-10-2012, 08:01 PM
When Jake was with Pure Heart, his KK tenor had a huge hole in the top, remember that? Strum on guys, strum on!

franticwonderland
03-24-2015, 06:48 PM
Where can i get Jake's pickguard-cum-strap?

http://kpbs.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/croppedphotos/2013/05/14/JakeShimabukuroLead_t614.jpg?a3ca5463f16dc11451266 bb717d38a6025dcea0e

Mxyzptik
03-25-2015, 12:35 AM
I started out being extra careful about scratches and dings . I didn't bring it outside much and kept a lessor expensive one for camping and boating trips. Then I finally said to hell with it, and like many others have said , I looked at Willie's trigger.

Now, I don't leave home without it. If am am ever going to get any good at it then I need to play and play lots. The way I figure it now is if I play so much that I actually wear one out then what I'll have is a lifetime of awesome memories playing and singing and that's why I got it in the first place.

Icelander53
03-25-2015, 03:54 AM
Scratch up your uke as much as possible. It'll sound better!

I have to constantly remind myself of this. This overwhelmingly materalistic approach to having a perfect looking uke, I'm beginning to think detracts rather than adds to the character of a uke. If someone shows me a new looking uke and then they say they've had it for many years is a tip off to a collector rather than a player.

However, to each his own on such matters and to each an opinion. :D

strumsilly
03-25-2015, 06:09 AM
just play it. some finishes scratch more than others. When buying used instruments, play wear does not bother me. it means the uke has been played, an indication that it may be a "good' one. a perfect looking uke is a sign it may be a lemon.

kohanmike
03-25-2015, 08:02 AM
As I contemplated this question, I realized I have only cutaway ukes, problem solved.