View Full Version : bow in neck ?

bobO G
04-23-2013, 03:05 PM
So I've traded my Makala concert , which I just didn't play much , for a Eddy Finn tenor . While looking over the EF I thought the action was a little higher then the action on my Lanikai tenor , so I broke out my trusty metal rule and checked , there the same . But I then layed the straight edge down on the fret board and there's a bow in it ! So did the same to the Lanikia and same thing. Now these are che... inexpensive Ukes but is this normal ? I mean they sound great , to me any how , and are easy to play, just seems strange is all .

04-23-2013, 03:11 PM
A small amount of relief (the middle frets being lower than the first and last frets) is okay - in fact on longer scale instruments it's almost essential. By small we're talking about .01 inch or thereabouts. In fact, I have a piece of a steel .010 guitar string I use to measure relief on guitars when setting them up - if the string will just pass between the string and the fret with slight drag the relief is about right. On ukes, much less relief is needed, and sopranos and concerts very often have little or none.

There should never be back-bow (i.e. the middle frets higher than the first and last frets) as you will never be able to bring the action to something reasonable without buzzing.

So, if you can see a shred of daylight between the middle frets and your straight edge - not much to worry about. If your straight edge "rocks" from end to end over the center frets I'd level them.

Edit to add: Actually, the above is a bit of an oversimplification. On instruments with extended frets - i.e. frets that run across the top of the body to the sound hole - it is common to taper a slight slant down toward the top on these frets. So, in this case instead of "first to last fret" the above statemenst should read more like to "first fret to the first fret that is at or on the instrument soundboard."


bobO G
04-23-2013, 03:25 PM
Whew , Great that's just what I have . No rocking and the last couple frets drop down as you describe . So I'm good to go , I now have a high G tenor and a low G tenor ( went with a wound G string ). Thanks much ! Now must practice more ... OH as a side note I took my Ukes to the beach ( Ormond beach ) and played the few songs I know ( YES I'm playing songs , who'd a thunk ) and the general consensus is A: my singing sucks and B: people like the low G better .

04-23-2013, 03:55 PM
Heh, heh. Can relate to "A" for sure.

Enjoy yourself anyway!