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Thread: Help needed!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Tampa Bay, FL
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    Default Help needed!

    I need some feasible advice.
    I bought a uke with a 1.5" nut.
    It's nice to have extra room between strings, however, it is very difficult to make barre chords without missing one of the notes. I've been trying different hand positions, but nothing seems to work consistently.
    Does anyone have any ideas, short of trading it off?
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie View Post
    I need some feasible advice.
    I bought a uke with a 1.5" nut.
    It's nice to have extra room between strings, however, it is very difficult to make barre chords without missing one of the notes. I've been trying different hand positions, but nothing seems to work consistently.
    Does anyone have any ideas, short of trading it off?
    Hi Nickie,

    As many folks have said before, it's not only about nut width, but also about 'string spread' as in distance from G to A strings.

    FYI A 1.5" nut is almost 38mm.

    You can have a new nut made that has the string spread closer to what you are used to, or get a nut blank for a few $ and notch the slots yourself. Way easier than dumping that instrument.

    Conversely lots of other ukes have a 1.38" (35mm) nut width and the spacing of the string spread varies widely from ~26 up to ~33mm, so all of this needs to be considered.

    If you can get a nut blank, you can use a simple hacksaw blade to made the initial nut slots, and a simple nail file to widen them as needed. The main thing is that this is a painstakingly iterative process that requires you to go very slow and take off only a little at a time.

    Depending if your nut is plastic or bone - with plastic the hacksaw will take off lots more material per stroke of the blade than bone, since plastic is much softer then bone, so this needs to be figured into your hands-on procedure.

    Maybe one option is to consult your Loprinzi friend and see if they can help with the hands-on. For one with experience and the proper tools, cutting nut slots and seating a new nut, should take maybe 30 mins or less....

    Hope this helps
    Guinea proverb: "A cow that has no tail should not try to chase away flies."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Tampa Bay, FL
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    Default

    Thanks Booli!
    I hadn't considered this....I will ask Donna L. about this.
    She's very helpful when I have a sick uke.
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Capital District, New York
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    Yay! Booli's Back!
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    Am I done?

    ...naw...

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  5. #5
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    Welcome back Booli, hope all is well at home.

    @Nickie
    I found that if I roll my finger slightly over onto its side, it worked well for me, just a small twist made all the difference.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Half-way up a hill in Southwest France
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    How great to hear from you, Booli ... and giving out good advice, as ever! Hope all is well!
    "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." George Bernard Shaw

    ​"Just remember, if we get caught ... you're deaf and I don't speak English."

    "Betray a friend and you'll often find you have ruined yourself." Aesop

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    NH
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    Barre as close to the base of your finger as you can with your thumb centered on the back of the neck. Unless you're already doing barres that way.
    Kamaka HF3 Tenor
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    Martin T1K

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Honolulu, HI
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    ^ This. I was having issues with barring and saw a Gerald Ross video where he said the biggest issue he sees with players is that they try to bar using the top two knuckles where you're going to have an easier time using the lower portion of your finger where the leverage and strength is better. Worked like a champ for me.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    when it comes to barre chords I am a firm believer in Stu Fuch's suggestion of not fighting gravity. Since gravity is pulling your hand down, let it. Make your hand heavy and let it sag downward--not enough to bend the notes but enough to fret the notes. This is so much easier than trying to press into the fretboard with more and more vigor. Actually this one suggestion was a game-changer for me.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie View Post
    I need some feasible advice.
    I bought a uke with a 1.5" nut.
    It's nice to have extra room between strings, however, it is very difficult to make barre chords without missing one of the notes. I've been trying different hand positions, but nothing seems to work consistently.
    Does anyone have any ideas, short of trading it off?
    Practice, perhaps?

    /snark

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