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Thread: what about care and feeding of newly acquired instruments?

  1. #1
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    Default what about care and feeding of newly acquired instruments?

    I see lots of advertisements about humidity and cleaning cloths but no reference to basic care. Any specific advice for noobs?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elessar View Post
    I see lots of advertisements about humidity and cleaning cloths but no reference to basic care. Any specific advice for noobs?
    Never leave your ukulele lay where someone can sit on it, step on it, or kick it.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  3. #3
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    Ukuleles are social creatures. Responsible ukulele owners know this and play with them every day. Do not bath your ukulele. Do not hit it or sit on it. If your ukulele is having a bad day it might be a bit flat - it's your responsibility to fix this. Never leave an ukulele unsupervised around small children as they can turn nasty... and damage the ukulele.

  4. #4
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    Common sense should prevail as noted above. Keep it safe as It is a musical instrument. If it is made with solid woods and you live in a cold climate where you run the heat in the winter you have to be concerned about the wood drying out. Keep it in a case with a sound hole humidifier. If it is laminate you don't need to go through this trouble. If you tell us the make and model we can tell you if it is solid or laminate.

    Other than that, wiping it down after each use, including the strings is about all you need to do. Oh and don't play it while eating a greasy cheesburger or pizza, strings coated in goop don't sound good.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elessar View Post
    What about care and feeding of newly acquired instruments?
    Mine like cocoa and biscuits ... preferably dark chocolate digestives
    There are those who will wax lyrical about the ability to play a double shuffle with a split fan and a tight G-string ...
    it just makes me walk funny!

  6. #6
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    A simple microfiber cloth will do for most things. I like to run it beneath the strings and up and down the fretboard a couple of times. Lemon oil is something to think about - but it only really needs to be used occasionally (e.g. at string change time). I would recommend that you avoid using any household cleaning products.

    Really, stopping gunk building up on the strings is the main thing to think about IMHO.

  7. #7
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    Not that I do it, but a rub over with a soft cloth is about all that is normally needed, & maybe a humidifier if you have a solid wood uke & have it stored in a hot area.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    I have ordered a Kala Tenor from Amazon.com (Kala MKA-T Makala Tenor Ukulele) with the following description:

    The limited-edition MKA series of ukuleles is kin to the best-selling Kala MK series of Makala ukes. Available in all scale lengths, the MKA ukuleles are constructed of mahogany neck and agathis body, along with rosewood fingerboard and bridge. They have black tuning knobs with matching black strings, and the tuners are geared to ensure your uke stays in tune and sounds sharp. In addition, the MKA ukes have a satin finish, so they look as beautiful as they sound. Keep in mind that the MKA series is manufactured in a limited-edited run and is not available year-round. Get your MKA ukulele while they last!

    Assembled exclusively by Kala "dealer of the year" Austin Bazaar, this bundle includes everything you need to start playing right out of the box, including a clip-on tuner, instructional DVD, and polishing cloth.

    Tenor scale
    Agathis body
    18 brass frets
    Rosewood fingerboard and bridge
    Mahogany neck
    Geared tuners


    This is my first Ukulele and as such is intended to be my "beginner instrument." Provided I continue I have my sights set on upgrading as needed. I understand that these are musical instruments and can be damaged easily so I intend to protect my investment with care. I was just wondering about any specific advice other than general cleaning.

    Quote Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
    Common sense should prevail as noted above. Keep it safe as It is a musical instrument. If it is made with solid woods and you live in a cold climate where you run the heat in the winter you have to be concerned about the wood drying out. Keep it in a case with a sound hole humidifier. If it is laminate you don't need to go through this trouble. If you tell us the make and model we can tell you if it is solid or laminate.

    Other than that, wiping it down after each use, including the strings is about all you need to do. Oh and don't play it while eating a greasy cheesburger or pizza, strings coated in goop don't sound good.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elessar View Post
    They have black tuning knobs with matching black strings,

    This is my first Ukulele and as such is intended to be my "beginner instrument." Provided I continue I have my sights set on upgrading as needed. I understand that these are musical instruments and can be damaged easily so I intend to protect my investment with care. I was just wondering about any specific advice other than general cleaning.
    I would try to find out from the seller what make of strings are on your new uke. If they turn out to be black Aquila Lavas then that should be fine. Otherwise you may want to think about changing them for something else.

    Did your bundle include a gig bag? If not then seriously consider buying one. And keep your uke in it when it's not being played.

    It doesn't look like any set up work was included - so the action on your uke may be higher than is strictly ideal. It's not the end of the world but getting it 'fixed' will ensure optimum playability. And will make learning a whole lot easier... and more fun

    Edit: After a bit of googling I'm pretty sure the strings are GHS black nylons, so I would strongly recommend that you either buy some Aquila nylguts or Martin M620s.
    Last edited by jollyboy; 12-29-2016 at 04:34 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elessar View Post
    I understand that these are musical instruments and can be damaged easily so I intend to protect my investment with care. I was just wondering about any specific advice other than general cleaning.
    The Makala line is a laminate line of ukuleles...meaning that while they are wood, they are made up of layers of wood versus solid wood. There is nothing wrong with that. Solid woods will (generally) be more resonant and carry the characteristics f the wood; however, solid woods require more care than a laminate. In other words, you don't have to worry about humidity in the same way with a laminate than you do a solid ukulele. And I really don't have a problem with laminates...my first ukulele was a Makala CE, which I still own.

    For your Makala, you may eventually want to try other strings than the black ones it comes with. When you do...the first two brands to try are Aquila SuperNylgut (Tenor, likely High G) and Martin 620 tenor strings. Both are pretty inexpensive and represent the broadest differences between strings (Nylon/Nylgut vs. Fluorocarbon). From there, there are a lot of other directions to go with strings, and about 2500 opinions here on the UU forums.

    Also, the term "investment" has to apply to your growth rather than the instruments. Most ukuleles decrease in resale value the second they are owned. There are exceptions, but those are usually rare instruments.

    At any rate, the advice you have received is spot on for a laminate: wipe it down after playing with a microfiber cloth, don't leave it laying around where is it can be stepped or sat on or abused, when you change strings, consider using a lemon oil to treat the fretboard (look at StewMac) for lemon oil.

    Other than that, just play, learn, sing, and have fun with your new instrument. Oh yes, and keep it in tune!
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...lele-found-you

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