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WKerrigan
03-02-2014, 02:52 AM
So I'm struggling to get barre chords down, (specifically, D7 and B7) and I've discovered that on one of my ukes I am able to get them right more easily than on another. Comparing the action on the two ukes, it appears that the one that is EASIER to get them on actually has HIGHER action than the one that is giving me fits. Does this make sense? I would have assumed the opposite--that a high action uke would be harder to hold barre chords on.

ukemunga
03-02-2014, 02:58 AM
Are both ukes the same size? As size goes up so does string tension.

WKerrigan
03-02-2014, 03:12 AM
Both are Concert. Both have Aquila Nylgut strings. The Kala laminate is the one that I can't seem to get down. The Manchurian Ash Fish Ukulele, which has higher action, is easier for me to get right. I also don't have as much trouble when I am holding it on my Tenor Spruce Top Lanikai.

The B7 is where I run into most trouble. When I barre the second fret, I can usually get a clean sound from each string, but as soon as I put a finger on the C string, I get thud plunk sound on the E string. Still trying to figure out if that is the result of it counteracting the pressure on the barre, or if my fat middle finger is subtly resting on the E, deadening the sound. If that makes any sense. In any case, I've been working on it for about two weeks, and while I've made some progress on the Fish and the Lanikai, on the Kala I don't seem to be any closer to getting it right.

ukemunga
03-02-2014, 04:22 AM
Ok, what about nut width?

I know Kala is 1-3/8. If the other is 1-1/2 that would make a difference in which part of your barring finger hits which string. Also the depth of the nut slots come into play. The string height may be the same at the 12th fret but could be higher at the nut.

Other than that, I don't know! Oh, and I usually play the 4320 B7. :)

Icelander53
03-02-2014, 04:28 AM
So I'm struggling to get barre chords down, (specifically, D7 and B7) and I've discovered that on one of my ukes I am able to get them right more easily than on another. Comparing the action on the two ukes, it appears that the one that is EASIER to get them on actually has HIGHER action than the one that is giving me fits. Does this make sense? I would have assumed the opposite--that a high action uke would be harder to hold barre chords on.

Same here. I noticed that myself. My Fluke with plastic fretboard and very low action is difficult to barre. I have a Fluke with wood fretboard and higher action which is much easier to barre. Go figure. Same is true on my other higher action ukes. Could be the shape of our fingers. Mine are long and thin.

BTW I can do a decent job on all of them now after a lot of practice.

freewheeler
03-02-2014, 05:01 AM
One possibility is that finger strength is not the issue but finger straightness is. The high action allows a slightly bent finger to fret all strings before part of the finger strikes wood. Whereas on the lower action part of the finger grounds earlier before the rest of the finger puts on enough pressure to ensure that all of the strings are fully fretted.

WKerrigan
03-02-2014, 05:25 AM
Ok, what about nut width?

Oh, and I usually play the 4320 B7. :)

Hey, that works for now! Thanks! And I'll keep practicing these darned barre chords!

WKerrigan
03-02-2014, 05:26 AM
One possibility is that finger strength is not the issue but finger straightness is. The high action allows a slightly bent finger to fret all strings before part of the finger strikes wood. Whereas on the lower action part of the finger grounds earlier before the rest of the finger puts on enough pressure to ensure that all of the strings are fully fretted.

That makes sense. Thanks!

WKerrigan
03-02-2014, 06:01 AM
Ok, what about nut width?. :)
Both are 1 3/8"

mr roper
03-02-2014, 06:07 AM
Fret height is also a factor. It's harder to get clean notes on low frets.

actadh
03-02-2014, 10:38 AM
Fret height is also a factor. It's harder to get clean notes on low frets.
That was my question to the OP - the Outdoor Uke has been reviewed to have higher frets & is it also easier to barre?

I just received a vintage soprano camp ukulele with much higher frets (to me) than my Luna concert spruce top set up by HMS. The higher frets on the camp uke negate any sliding between chords. But, they are making me play much more precisely with my finger placement when I fret. Best of all, I can play notes that were difficult to consistently sound the same on the Luna such as when one finger covers two strings like B flat. I can also play up the neck on the vintage one and it sounds good with the same amount of pressure with the higher frets.

Kayouker
03-02-2014, 12:36 PM
But could it be a combination of fret height, action at the nut, action at the 12th AND fingering (flat)? Yup, all of the above. Would it be if only life were simpler.

And let's not forget attitude, lol...

OldePhart
03-02-2014, 01:01 PM
One possibility is that finger strength is not the issue but finger straightness is. The high action allows a slightly bent finger to fret all strings before part of the finger strikes wood. Whereas on the lower action part of the finger grounds earlier before the rest of the finger puts on enough pressure to ensure that all of the strings are fully fretted.

:agree: This would be my guess as well. You may have to adjust the angle and "depth" of your barre to get the best results. It is also quite possible that the uke that is easier to barre has lower frets than the one that is harder. Very low frets can make it quite difficult to get a clean barre depending on the shape and fleshiness of your index finger.

John