The Ukulossary

therimidalv

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Also some string companies, and what the strings are made of might be a helpful addition. Along with tension of them too.
 

dnewton2

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Might add Radius fretboard. Not really a begginer worry but a good addition to the ukulossary.
 

Kekani

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neck - the long part. hahaha
fretboard - board that sits on the neck and houses the frets. usually made of a hard wood like rosewood, ebony, or maple.
nut - raised section at end of neck and start of headstock which positions the strings at that point. usually made of a special plastic or wood. may even be made of ivory or bone.
saddle - raised section that sits on the bridge that positions strings at that point. usually made of the same material as the nut.
bridge - structure attached to the soundboard that anchors the strings and houses the saddle.
active pickup - like the above, but is powered by an on-board battery that serves as a pre-amp, allowing for more detailed equalizer adjustments

TECH TERMS
action - refers to the distance the strings are from the fretboard. the actual distance preferred will usually come down to the individual's taste.
intonation - The instrument's ability to accurately produce the proper note at a given fret position.
scale - in reference to the size, it is the distance from the nut to the saddle.

Okay, since its definitions, I may be picky, but, you can edit at will, or throw some of this into a left brain list. I've added a few things just because I've seen many comments on issues, with change this and change that, without knowing what repercussion(s) there may be, so I hope this helps.

The neck is not only the long part, it is the part that defines a large part of what that particular `ukulele is about - how the `ukulele feels when it is being played. Profiles can be rounded, oval or flattened, depending on the builder, or player's needs.

F/B wood is usually not made of Maple, except for Fender Guitars, and few customs. Generally, on `ukulele, there is still a bunch made with Koa F/B.

The nut is not usually made of plastic - its usually made of bone and synthetics (unless that was the definition of plastic - to me, Tusq, Corian and Micarta are a step above plastic for purposes of nut use). Also made of Ebony, plastics and Ivory (on older or high end instruments). It also has slots to define the string spacing at the Zero fret. The nut slots also define action at the nut.

The saddle also defines action at the bridge, as well as compensation for intonation in some cases. This is a key element in transfer of string vibration into the instrument.

For the bridge, maybe throw in Tie, pin and pinless.

The battery in an active pickup doesn't serve as the preamp, it powers the onboard preamp. The passive actually allows for more detailed EQ adjustments, because usually, you need one. Active pickups are modeled in the preamp.
Maybe add in the different types of pickups - piezo, mic, UST. . .

Action is usually measured at the nut as string height above the first fret, when the 3rd fret is pressed. Action at the saddle is usually measured above the 12th fret.

Intonation can be affected by a string change, humidity change or adjustment in action.

Scale should be measured from the nut to the 12th fret, then doubled. A number of builders actually add in length at the bridge for compensation.
Note: Compensation - to add in length to the scale to adjust for variables such as action, string tension and string diameter.

Some ideas to add in:

Back & Sides: usually made of the same wood, this completes the body (along with the the Soundboard/top plate), and is usually responsible for coloring the sound of the instrument, to some effect (while the Soundboard powers the sound).

Wound strings vs. unwound strings.

Binding: strip of wood or plastic that goes around the edges of the top and back plates, usually to protect the top/side and back/side glue joints from splitting when impacted. Critical for guitars, useful for `ukulele.

Purfling: small strips of wood or wood fiber that goes between binding. Also, decorative element around the top plate, inlayed inside of the binding, usually abalone or herringbone (also installed on the back and sides).

Rosette: decorative element around the soundhole. Can be used to strengthen the edge of the soundhole to prevent loss of vibration energy.

There's more, but I gotta go get some coffee. . .

-Aaron
 
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Captain Google

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U.A.S n. Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome: syndrome in which ukulele enthusiast has steady desire to acquire new and or used ukuleles at all times of the day. Presently, there is no known cure.

To add on to this, I present another syndrome.

D.A.S. - Delivery Anticipation Syndrome - wherein an ukulele enthusiast wants a newly-purchased ukulele right away. Symptoms include e-mailing the seller every two hours, refreshing your e-mail every five seconds, and a desire to reorganise your living space to accommodate the new arrival. Rarely, patients will experience an overwhelming urge to bang their head against the wall.
 

Ukulele JJ

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NUT (alt.): The person holding the ukulele.

Heh, heh... good one. How about:

Soundhole: Someone who is waaaaay too particular about the type of strings/cables/amps/mics/etc. he uses.

:p

Ah, but seriously folks... aren't concert ukes sometimes called "alto"? Should that be mentioned in the definition?


JJ
 

ukulelemotion

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Nuke.. thanks for putting this together.. im printing it with your name on it to give to my high school ukulele club students.. this is awesome.
 

Daionsavage

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there's one smaller sized uke available these days,
The sopranino: 12" scale (ca. 305mm).


-maybe you consider that to be a tiny soprano ;-)
 
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cpatch

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Maybe mention the difference between geared and friction tuners, and between open and closed.
 

Daionsavage

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and the differences between Laminated and solid woods.

laminate: several thin sheets of wood glued together
Solid: just one sheet of wood, no glue!
 

luckyd

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Great post!

I got into lutherie to build and repair guitars, but I think ukes are my true calling. And this ukelossery is fantasic for people who don't know much about them. Or guitars, for that matter. Those music store types can be a little "uppity". Another reason to open my own shop! Keep up the good work.
 

cocohonk

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This is a great idea. I'm already learning lots since I always gets the nut and the saddle confused. Thanks!

Not much help here, but I love the idea of having a section on the different woods and their qualities (and similarly, different brands of strings and their qualities). It will help immensely whenever that UAS flares up. And the inclusion of a verb section would be awesome too.

Can there be more elaboration on the term 'action'? Even though it's a personal preference, it would be nice to know what a normal/typical action is, and/or what the qualities of the different distances are, and how it affects the playing.

Thanks again, and sorry about not knowing enough to contribute to this glossary!
 

Kanaka916

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This is a great idea. I'm already learning lots since I always gets the nut and the saddle confused. Thanks!

Not much help here, but I love the idea of having a section on the different woods and their qualities (and similarly, different brands of strings and their qualities). It will help immensely whenever that UAS flares up. And the inclusion of a verb section would be awesome too.
See this post regarding tonewoods . . .

Can there be more elaboration on the term 'action'? Even though it's a personal preference, it would be nice to know what a normal/typical action is, and/or what the qualities of the different distances are, and how it affects the playing.

Thanks again, and sorry about not knowing enough to contribute to this glossary!
Excerpt from Fret Not Guitar Repair . . .
Adjust Action (Set-up) The term "action" basically refers to the way an instrument is adjusted and how well it plays. Action adjustments are made to improve the feel of the instrument, decrease pressure on your fingertips which can be severe when the action is too high, avoid buzzing and generally just get the best sound out of an instrument. Most instruments are set-up at the factory with higher action then necessary. High action on a brand new instrument may be the result of settling (all that tension on a newly built instrument is bound to change it's shape a bit), a change in it's environment (factories assemble instruments under closely controlled temperatures and humidity) or simply because many factories agree that it's easier to drop the action than it is to raise it. Raising action can require replacement of the nut and saddle, a more costly undertaking than merely cutting them both lower.
 

MatthewVanitas

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Could we get definitions in the OP for "sopranino" and "bass ukulele"? I realise that "bass uke" is still a vague and debated concept, but there seem to be several makers (and even Kala these days) making uke-sized instruments with Ashbory-type thick rubbery bass strings. Might be worth at least a mention.

Do we also need to cover things like "6-string" and "8-string" to clarify how doubled courses work (and maybe define courses itself). And maybe something for variants like resonator ukuleles, harp ukuleles, etc?
 

Ukulele Friend

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Aloha,

You might want to check in with the builders too. They have a whole set of other terms regularly used that may be beneficial to add to your list such as...

kerfing
reverse kerfing
perfling
quarter sawn
rift sawn
flat sawn

or even terms to describe a certain kind of wood such as....

select wood
AAA wood
AAAAA wood or 'master grade'

then there are things like......

spalted or
quilted or
waterfall or
flaming etc...

and so much more. It's a great idea to create a list but i'm sure the guys on the luthiery page would love to chime in as well.

best,
shawn

http://ukulelefriend.com
 

Kanaka916

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This thread does need updating . . . stay tuned.
 

Nickie

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This is cool. I suggested this today, before I saw this, but I called it "Ukupedia".
 

yuanyelss

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How to feed description? Such as koa, mahogany, mango, etc., and their sound quality? Or something like a solid, laminate, spruce top and how they affect the sound. I do not know these things too hard, so I can not provide these inputs...