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graybones
08-06-2013, 06:42 AM
Hi everyone! This is my first post on here.

I am very new to the ukulele and to string instruments in general. I just started playing last week, and I bought a Makala Dolphin to get started with. I put Aquila strings on it as recommended by the Amazon reviews.

When I play the open strings or chords like C, Am, F the ukulele actually has a surprisingly loud, nice sound for a $40 instrument. However, when I play a G or D chord the sound gets really muted and takes on a "buzzing" quality.

Is there something I'm doing wrong? Maybe I messed something up when I re-strung it? Thanks for any advice you can give.

cdkrugjr
08-06-2013, 07:15 AM
"Muted" usually means that you don't have the string down quite far enough. "Buzzing" could be a few things, bug it seems like another symptom of not using quite enough pressure.

The string needs to be pressed down enough so that it vibrates freely from the fret down to the bridge.

Check your finger position. My daughter has to think, "On the fret" for her fingers to work right, though I prefer to think of myself being "behind the fret."

graybones
08-06-2013, 08:00 AM
Thanks for your advice. Maybe the reason I have this trouble with the G and D chords is because they involve the C string which is the biggest and hardest for me to hold down.


Check your finger position. My daughter has to think, "On the fret" for her fingers to work right, though I prefer to think of myself being "behind the fret."

I have been pressing right in between the fret and the one behind it, I will try moving a bit closer to the fret instead and see if that helps.

cua94
08-06-2013, 09:00 AM
I have had less problems with buzzing since I started using a strap. I don't have to worry about slipping.

(just my $ .02)

graybones
08-06-2013, 10:41 AM
I tried putting my finger close to the fret (half on it) and pressing down harder and I definitely got much better sound on those problematic chords. There is still a bit of buzzing though, so that may be a separate issue.


I have had less problems with buzzing since I started using a strap. I don't have to worry about slipping. (just my $ .02)

I'll try that, thanks. I have been having trouble figuring out how to not drop the ukulele when changing chords, for example from G to Am, so Ive been considering a strap anyway!

SailingUke
08-06-2013, 12:04 PM
It is very common for a beginner not to get clean chords.
Try this, finger your G chord and then pick each string separately.
If you get a dud, adjust your fingers. Keep this up until all the notes in the chord are clean.
It will help you learn how to grab a chord.

addicted2myuke
08-06-2013, 02:51 PM
The D chord is difficult for someone who is just learning especially if you have large fingers. Trying to squeeze three fingers on the top three strings on a single fret is difficult at first but totally doable with practice. A strap completely changed my playing from frustrating to satisfying. Here is a photo of a homemade strap that I made from a camera strap. Cost was minimal.567705677156772

graybones
08-07-2013, 04:59 AM
It is very common for a beginner not to get clean chords.
Try this, finger your G chord and then pick each string separately.
If you get a dud, adjust your fingers. Keep this up until all the notes in the chord are clean.
It will help you learn how to grab a chord.
This exercise was really helpful, looks like my ring finger isn't getting where it needs to be, so I'll have to work on that! Thanks.


The D chord is difficult for someone who is just learning especially if you have large fingers. Trying to squeeze three fingers on the top three strings on a single fret is difficult at first but totally doable with practice. A strap completely changed my playing from frustrating to satisfying. Here is a photo of a homemade strap that I made from a camera strap. Cost was minimal.567705677156772
Yes, the D chord is definitely giving me the most trouble out of the ones I've learned so far! I will try a strap, thanks.

Louis0815
08-07-2013, 11:07 AM
If you get a dud, adjust your fingers. Keep this up until all the notes in the chord are clean.
It will help you learn how to grab a chord.One addition: don't press too hard, this will only hurt (and probably sharpen the fretted note)
Press down the string just enough for it to ring clear, no more pressure is needed (sometimes beginners tend to squeeze the string into the fretboard for no reason...)

And D is not that hard - I prefer it as a two finger chord: index finger frets G and C string, middle finger frets E string. End of story.

armchair_spaceman
08-07-2013, 06:49 PM
It is very common for a beginner not to get clean chords.
Try this, finger your G chord and then pick each string separately.
If you get a dud, adjust your fingers. Keep this up until all the notes in the chord are clean.
It will help you learn how to grab a chord.

"Ukelele Mike" has very good exercise clip for barre chords up on Youtube. You might not be getting into the harder barre chords quite yet but the exercises are great for illustrating this point.

cantsing
08-08-2013, 04:22 AM
"Ukelele Mike" has very good exercise clip for barre chords up on Youtube. You might not be getting into the harder barre chords quite yet but the exercises are great for illustrating this point.

Here's a link to that video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CO7zryA668).