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Thread: A-string is out of tune

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    1

    Question A-string is out of tune

    Hi!
    I need a little help. Ever since I bought my ukulele (a cheap sopran Harley Benton) it has giving me a hard time. The original strings kept in tune but they didn't sound like they were supposed, and now i've read that they may have needed a week or two to sound "right". Anyway, I changed the strings... and I regret it sooo much, haha. They keep falling out of tune but I have the most trouble with the A-string. That string is SO floppy and even if my tuning device says it's an A it sounds terrible and is unplayable due to the "floppyness".

    Any advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Ames, Iowa
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    3,539

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    Quote Originally Posted by Color View Post
    Hi!
    I need a little help. Ever since I bought my ukulele (a cheap sopran Harley Benton) it has giving me a hard time. The original strings kept in tune but they didn't sound like they were supposed, and now i've read that they may have needed a week or two to sound "right". Anyway, I changed the strings... and I regret it sooo much, haha. They keep falling out of tune but I have the most trouble with the A-string. That string is SO floppy and even if my tuning device says it's an A it sounds terrible and is unplayable due to the "floppyness".

    Any advice?
    It might be an octave low. I don't know if your tuner is uke specific, but if it isn't, that is a possibility, as it will show an A every time you go through an octave. If you are playing high G tuning, play your open A string off of the A on your top G string. Second fret, top string, if that helps. They should sound the same. If the Open A is considerably lower, that is likely the problem.
    Last edited by Rllink; 07-20-2015 at 05:56 AM.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    MARTIN-sville Indiana
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    548

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    The A string should be your highest pitched string. If it is lower than the other strings chances are it is tuned down an octave.
    Main players:

    Soprano: Kepasa Madeira | Kiwaya KS-1

    Concert: Collings UC2 | Collings UC2K | Talsma Style 3 | 16" Ono | Ono Pineapple

    Tenor: Collings UT3SMB

    Baritone: LoPrinzi

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
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    577

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    In addition to whats said above, the A string, being the thinnest of the 4, will require more time to get into tune than the others. With new strings, expect it to come out of tune literally as soon as you put it in tune. When I install new strings, I will pull on them gently to get them stretched out, and then retune. Even then, I'm constantly retuning for a day or so.
    KAMAKA HF-3 | KOALOHA KTM-00-R | KANILEA K-1 C SF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    1,783

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    I always re-string using an online tuner to make sure I am in the correct octave. Then, I use a digital tuner such as a Snark to fine tune.

    http://www.get-tuned.com/online_ukulele_tuner.php
    - Laura

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Oop North in England
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    5,616

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    It takes time for new strings to settle down. When you first change strings, they will need retuning every few minutes but you should be able to play a couple of songs through after a fairly short time. When you leave your uke overnight, tune it up a semitone or a tone for a few days. You will find the strings settle more quickly that way. Even so it can take several weeks for them to finally settle, depending how often you play your uke but you will need to retune by less and less over that time.
    Geoff Walker

    I have several ukuleles in various sizes and am not planning on getting any more...

    at least, not yet.

    I also play some blowy things and a squeezy thing

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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Color View Post
    Hi!
    I need a little help. Ever since I bought my ukulele (a cheap sopran Harley Benton) it has giving me a hard time. The original strings kept in tune but they didn't sound like they were supposed, and now i've read that they may have needed a week or two to sound "right". Anyway, I changed the strings... and I regret it sooo much, haha. They keep falling out of tune but I have the most trouble with the A-string. That string is SO floppy and even if my tuning device says it's an A it sounds terrible and is unplayable due to the "floppyness".

    Any advice?
    First of all make sure that all the strings are in the right octave ( re-entrant g) & (low G)...next bring all the strings into proper tune,then slide finger under each string from the saddle to the nut,lift slightly ( not like you are pulling on a bow and arrow ) and make sure it pops out of the nut slot, ( this makes sure that the entire string is properly tensioned and not just the bit between the nut and tuner post)...then re-tune again...now play a song 3-5 min of any full strum will work...now do the re-tune / finger slide / re-tune bit all over again....repeat 2-4 times a day for a week...i call this the 1000 strum break in...it works every time...it can be shortened to 1-3 days, by doing it more frequently..this should help immensely...

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