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rem50
12-22-2013, 11:31 AM
I was wondering if anyone else has this problem. When I am strumming with my index finger it sounds "scratchy". I believe it is because the finger is a bit calloused???? Is it the strings? I am using Living water strings. ANy ideas or insight would be appreciated. thanks

rem50
12-22-2013, 03:26 PM
just bumping because I am curious.

dkcrown
12-22-2013, 03:29 PM
I don't have an answer for you Dean, but does it happen with all of your ukes?

Hippie Dribble
12-22-2013, 03:37 PM
Dean, I wonder if it could be the angle at which you attack the strings when strumming. Try and make sure you hand is moving more across the face of the uke and not down towards it when you play. That should make for a smoother, less abrasive sound.

mm stan
12-22-2013, 03:53 PM
Hard to tell unless we see you play, make a video please...could be your finger, string compound or your technique...we need more to go on...

rem50
12-23-2013, 03:06 AM
To answer you guys: First of all thank you for the responses and I will make a video stan. Dana, it does happen on them all. On the sceptre it is obviously louder. Jon, I do feel I "attack" a bit for volume. I also think I may be getting some of the side of my nail on the string, especially the bottom side. Will post a video later today so you guys can see. Thanks, Dean

M.Badger
12-23-2013, 03:18 AM
My fingers are calloused and if I strum with the fleshy, or am not positive/assertive when picking, I get the scratchies too. Most of the time, I use the back of my nails for strumming, comes from being unable to keep hold of picks on the six string. I just have to be careful not to use my 'bass pads' when going for a softer, fleshy strum.
You are not alone.

dismount
12-23-2013, 03:29 AM
I found alot of it for me is nail profile. i use a small nail file and steel wool. I try to keep my nail smooth.

rem50
12-23-2013, 01:26 PM
thank you, I was starting to wonder if I was alone with this problem and it was just in my head. Another thing that came to mind was when I heard Jake say that by playing with one instrument (mainly) you learn the reactions of that instrument and you learn to adjust to it. I thought maybe that was what I needed to do.
My fingers are calloused and if I strum with the fleshy, or am not positive/assertive when picking, I get the scratchies too. Most of the time, I use the back of my nails for strumming, comes from being unable to keep hold of picks on the six string. I just have to be careful not to use my 'bass pads' when going for a softer, fleshy strum.
You are not alone.

M.Badger
12-25-2013, 06:59 AM
thank you, I was starting to wonder if I was alone with this problem and it was just in my head. Another thing that came to mind was when I heard Jake say that by playing with one instrument (mainly) you learn the reactions of that instrument and you learn to adjust to it. I thought maybe that was what I needed to do.
This in spades!
My fingers pluck the strings of my bass at 90deg(ish) to the strings( angle of the finger to the string). Call it 60degrees for the guitar, more 45degrees for the ukulele. They're held differently. Consequently, different areas of my fingertip pads have different rough spots. Most of the time, this matters not. Sometimes, such as 'stroking' the strings, the edge of my 'bass pad' catches, and I get a scratchy. I just create more of a hook shape and get on with it.
The problem, such as it is, seems worse when practising on my own and I tend more toward the quiet end of things so as not to disturb the family. When noodling about with friends, the volume goes up and it really isn't noticeable.
The worse sound my fingers make is when I catch the edge of my first fingers nail on the string. This nail is shaped by Wilko-ing/Bo Diddling[1] the guitar and it really does give a nasty 'snap' on the ukulele when it catches. I haven't trimmed or cut that nail in years. Guitar practice keeps it 'just right' :-) but when it catches, it stands out in a most unpleasant manner.
I practice fingerstyle exercises a lot as I love the sound the ukulele makes as I mangle classical type pieces, so I hear you loud and clear with the scratchies. Just when everything is going sweetly, KlAnG!scritch! AARGH!.

[1] Constant right hand rhythm, left hand playing short chords with a little riff thrown in. Great fun.

Kayak Jim
12-25-2013, 07:35 AM
I use my nail(s) but sometimes when I'm working on rolls for example, the sound is more like my nails sliding across the strings than plucking them. Figure it's an angle of attack problem but haven't quite got the fix figured out. Don't know if this is the same scratchy sound you're referring to.

M.Badger
01-12-2014, 06:48 AM
I think it's caused by the ridges on the skin creating the scratchies. When I try to play softly or slowly, the 'issue' is exacerbated. I find it more a curio than a problem.

rem50
01-12-2014, 07:01 AM
I think the same thing about the "ridges". I am trying to learn to play each uke so I do not get the scratch.
I think it's caused by the ridges on the skin creating the scratchies. When I try to play softly or slowly, the 'issue' is exacerbated. I find it more a curio than a problem.

onlyablur
10-23-2015, 06:01 AM
I think it's caused by the ridges on the skin creating the scratchies. When I try to play softly or slowly, the 'issue' is exacerbated. I find it more a curio than a problem.


I think the same thing about the "ridges". I am trying to learn to play each uke so I do not get the scratch.

I have the exact same issue with the 'ridges'! It makes the uke sound much less 'clean'. Have you found a way around this yet? @M.Badger @rem50