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Thread: Do ukes have bad days?

  1. #1
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    Default Do ukes have bad days?

    I was wondering, do ukes have bad days? It seems that some days I can play a uke and it sounds great but other days the very same uke doesn't sound that hot. (I'm talking about sound quality given that I play it with the same level of skill each time.) I'm not talking about a subtle difference but rather the difference of "I'm keeping this uke forever!" and "Hmm... I wonder if I should sell this uke for something I'd like better."
    Ohana CK-42R - all-solid concert, sinker redwood top, rosewood body, maple binding, Ltd. Edition
    Kala KA-FMCG- solid/lam concert, spruce top, spalted flame maple body, mahogany binding
    Ohana CK-120G - all-solid concert, 5A acacia top sides and back, mahogany binding, Limited Edition
    Ohana SK-30M - all-solid mahogany long neck soprano (concert scale)
    Romero ST - solid/lam concert, spruce top, mahogany body

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikelz777 View Post
    I was wondering, do ukes have bad days? It seems that some days I can play a uke and it sounds great but other days the very same uke doesn't sound that hot. (I'm talking about sound quality given that I play it with the same level of skill each time.) I'm not talking about a subtle difference but rather the difference of "I'm keeping this uke forever!" and "Hmm... I wonder if I should sell this uke for something I'd like better."
    Yes. Usually my hearing quality can vary by the time of day, too. I don't trust my ears when it's late and I'm getting tired.
    -Hodge
    Humble strummer of fine ukes.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikelz777 View Post
    I was wondering, do ukes have bad days? It seems that some days I can play a uke and it sounds great but other days the very same uke doesn't sound that hot. (I'm talking about sound quality given that I play it with the same level of skill each time.) I'm not talking about a subtle difference but rather the difference of "I'm keeping this uke forever!" and "Hmm... I wonder if I should sell this uke for something I'd like better."
    I know. I feel the same way. I think my ears or tastes change on some days, though my Luna resonator does have some days where the lower strings do seem to make the cone move or something. Maybe on a molecular level with strings and woods, ukes have the equivalent of bad hair days.

  4. #4
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    If one sounds bad, they all sound bad. It might be me, no, couldn’t be me.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2019
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    This is a great question Mike, thanks for sharing you thoughts. I believe there are some days when all the stars align & we experience what seems to be the perfect union with the instrument. As a relative newbie I have always thought it to be me, as the player, that I am finally hitting the right notes & making some reasonably nice music, but I have also come to realise that maybe this is also, in some way, affected by the instrument willingness to cooperate. Rainy, cloudy & overcast days seem to affect the quality of sound I am able to coax from the instrument, it just seems a little bit dull & reluctant to sing l’ll be interested to hear what others have experienced
    Happy just to be a Newbie +, Penny

  6. #6
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    I have this experience all the time. Where and when I play can make a big difference in how I experience the sound of my ukes. The acoustics of a room can have a big impact on how I hear the sound. I feel like room temp and humidity levels can make a difference as well. But even just playing in my office/music room at home, the sound can vary. There are times when I focus more on playing one or two of my ukes, and park the others for a little while because I'm not feeling the sound of the others as strongly. Then, things will flip flop. I think my ukes sing best in the early morning and late at night. Or maybe that's just when I'm in a more relaxed frame of mind, and I can listen better to what my ukes are saying to me????

    I have definitely been on the edge of selling a ukulele, then heard it again, in a difference way, and decided to keep it. I'm trying to be better at patience with each ukulele, and give it more of a chance before giving it up.
    My ukulele family.....
    KoAloha Koa concert - circa 2006
    aNueNue Moon Bird concert - Spruce & Rosewood - 2018
    Blackbird Clara - 2019
    Kanilea KCS-SSP super soprano - circa 2016

  7. #7
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    I've experienced this before when jamming with my friend. She has a lovely Harmony baritone which sounds lovely 99% of the time, but one particularly humid, overcast day, it just sounded off and we couldn't figure out why at the time. My concert is laminate, so it sounded more or less the same as usual, but her baritone felt particularly dull and muted that day.

  8. #8
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    When I have a hangover, none of them sound good. And, sometimes during high humidity, some sound dull from wood bloat. And, of course, I wear strings quickly, scratching and dinging the hell out of the strings so an instrument can go from great to poor in a few days of intense playing. The worse sound is after a bad night on the town, a tropical storm bearing down and dead strings...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada
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    Heat and humidity will cause problems with string slacking off or going sharp. It also could make you feel off, which could affect how you hear.
    LACole
    Laurie Ann Cole

    Northern UK20 Concert Mahogany GCEA Aquila Lava
    2018
    Beaver Creek BCUKEFM-T Tenor Maple Flame gCEA D’addario Pro Arte
    Eddy Finn EF-Moon Concert Mahogany gCEA Aquila SuperNylgut
    Beaver Creek BCUKE-S Soprano Mahogany gCEA D’addario Black Nylon
    2019
    Ohana PKC-25G Concert Mahogany Pineapple gCEA Aquila
    Donner DUC-3 Concert Spruce/Mahogany gCEA Donner

    CPM CT-Q2 chromatic clip on tuner
    Snark SN-4 tuner
    Donner tuner

  10. #10
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    As others have said, temperature and humidity effect the tone, clarity and to a lesser extent the volume.

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