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Thread: Got a hard sound - Why? Picking technique or Strings?

  1. Default Got a hard sound - Why? Picking technique or Strings?

    I recorded a tune to wich others will play one by one their Instruments. (online colaboration)
    When i did listen to my recording one more time today, i noticed that several tones sound very "hard".
    I tried to play softer, didnt work. I tried another Ukulele, it did work somehow.

    Now i dont kn ow, do i pick to hard or is it becvause of different strings on both Ukukleles?

    Here you can listen; http://www.musik-instrument-spielen....LE-ANDREAS.mp3

    What do you think?
    Is it so terrible as i think it is?
    And why? Strings or me?
    Or can it be because i tuned the Ukulele down to E A C# F#?
    Last edited by Andreas Fischer; 11-17-2018 at 12:55 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I vote strings. I think your playing sounds nice!
    Jan >^..^<
    (AKA Chopped Liver)


    You say 'Crazy Cat Lady' like it's a bad thing!

    "Out of clutter, find simplicity." Albert Einstein

  3. Default

    Thank you.
    In case its the Strings, are there some you can recomend wich sound soft?
    I am not sure wich ones are on the Ukuleles, probably the ones they came with ;-)

    Btw i just tried 2 more Ukuleles, both sound very hard. Just one of the 4 i tried sounds softer.

  4. #4
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    If one of the four sounds softer, than I would think it is a string thing. If it was you, I would think you wouldn't be able to get a soft sound out of any of them.

    I don't know much about which strings would be softer. I have read that thicker and lower tension strings are softer but can't vouch for that. I intend to try that out when life gets a little less hectic around here.
    Jan >^..^<
    (AKA Chopped Liver)


    You say 'Crazy Cat Lady' like it's a bad thing!

    "Out of clutter, find simplicity." Albert Einstein

  5. Default

    That its the strings, sound logical to me with this explanation.
    Well 2 are Sopranos and 2 are Tenors but that shouldnt have an effect, or schould it?
    Tomorow i will try to find out which Strings are on it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Very nice playing. Give Worth Browns a try for strings. They may be what you're looking for.
    Just Feel The Groooooove

  7. #7
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    Try fluorocarbon strings.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  8. Default

    Thank you Kyle for the "nice playing"

    @ all Thanks too
    I didnt find the time to check wich strings are on
    But untill now i tried
    Ukulele 1, the one you can hear, a Tenor in "european koa" wich is accazia
    Ukulele 2 mahogany in Tenorsize
    Ukulele 3 and 4 low budget Sopranos, i dont know the wood

    Ukulele 2 i can now play soft as babyskin - great
    3 and 4 are so harsh that EVERY tone is hard, wich ist better then Ukulele 1 wich is sometimes ok and somtimes very hard

    So i realy hope its the strings because Ukulele 1 is my most expensive one ;-) and it would be a pitty if i can use it for strumming only, she is a beauty but "difficult" like many beauties ;-)

    So I will try different kinds of Strings
    Soon we have Christmas and i will put all the Strings you did Mention and all wich will be mentioned, onto my Wishlist for Santa ;-)

    Are there Strings wich i should avoid because the WILL make it even harscher?

    Btw i will record my Part now on Ukulele 2

  9. #9
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    Very nice playing, congratulations.

    Strings can make a huge difference. A lot of the strings that ukes come strung with from the factory are terrible and yes, harsh. My suggestion would be switching to fluorocarbon strings as well, something like Worth, Living Water or Oasis.

    By the way, a company that is marketing Acacia wood as "European Koa" seems to be somewhat misleading in their advertising, since Koa is the exclusive name for a species of Acacia that only grows on Hawai'i. Personally, I wouldn't put too much trust into their products.

  10. #10
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    Honestly, I believe it's your technique. But not to fear. With a little extra attention it will sound fabulous. You've got the notes down pat, you probably just need a little more focus on your right hand. Happens all the time. People get excited to play the notes of the song (left hand) and neglect picking technique (right hand).

    It sounds like you're playing pretty close to the bridge. Try moving your picking hand towards the neck more.

    Are you scooping the strings (hooking them with your nail)? That creates an extra aggressive sound. Look up the "rest stroke." Even if you don't want to use that style, the way it teaches you to pull your finger through the string is very good for your tone and you can adapt it to your own fingerpicking.

    Daniel Ward's Arpeggio Meditation videos come to mind as a great resource for your style: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/arpeggiomeditations.

    Sounds fine now, but the good news is that it will soon sound GREAT!
    Brad Bordessa

    Check out my new book: Right Hand Technique for 'Ukulele

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