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Thread: Strum Marks

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
    Posts
    4,340

    Default Strum Marks

    Strum marks seem to appear magically, but they're really no big deal. For my better ukes, I've started doing something to prevent those marks from appearing. I use that clear plastic made for LCD screens - like on cell phones.

    I cut a pattern out of paper and trace it onto the plastic. It's almost invisible when it's in place, so it doesn't have to be cut perfectly. It doesn't use glue, so it can go on and off with no harm to the finish. Depending on the plastic you choose, it might even start to lift at the edges. As I said, strum marks are no big deal, but if you look at descriptions of ukes for sale, "strum marks" are often mentioned. If I had a choice, I would buy a used uke that wasn't marked.

    One possibility -
    https://smile.amazon.com/Mr-Shield-P...gateway&sr=8-8
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    3,840

    Default

    I'm not saying this to be flippant, I like my strum marks. Gives them some character. If I were selling and buying used like you do, I would probably be more careful about them, but I'm not doing either, so I lovingly put them in all my ukes.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Mid-Atlantic region, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default

    I don't mind strum marks much (I call them signs of love), but I think the screen protectors are a brilliant and simple solution for people who do mind. I imagine they would only really work on a gloss finish though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    I'm not saying this to be flippant, I like my strum marks. Gives them some character. If I were selling and buying used like you do, I would probably be more careful about them, but I'm not doing either, so I lovingly put them in all my ukes.
    It depends on the uke, too. I'd be more concerned about a special or expensive uke than I would about a daily player. Willy Nelson's guitar doesn't have strum marks. It has holes.

    Trigger 2.jpg
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    3,840

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    It depends on the uke, too. I'd be more concerned about a special or expensive uke than I would about a daily player. Willy Nelson's guitar doesn't have strum marks. It has holes.

    Trigger 2.jpg
    Yes, Willie Nelson's guitar is always the example. When I look at that guitar though, you know what I see? I see a lot of practice. I don't necessarily see a guitar with holes worn in it, I see a guy who spends a lot of time playing his guitar. I'll bet he isn't spending time looking for a new one.
    Last edited by Rllink; 08-27-2019 at 04:17 AM.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    3,840

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ubulele View Post
    Hmm, somehow my ukes don't acquire strum marks. My technique must be faulty!

    But I should buy some of those protectors, just in case I want to let someone more .. exhuberant? .. play one of my ukes.
    Or if some day you are struck by the urge to play more exhuberantly.
    Last edited by Rllink; 08-27-2019 at 05:16 AM.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    320

    Default

    I play pretty lightly as I play only for myself so I don’t really “dig in” to create strum marks. However, I notice that when I hand my uke to another person to play, particularly if it is a professional musician, I can hear their fingernails scratching against the sound board. It makes me cringe every time. Not because the tone isn’t beautiful, but because I imagine those strum marks being made. So, I don’t often offer that as much any more.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    713

    Default

    Hmmm. This thread started me a-thinking about my ukes. I don't see any abrasions on the soundboard. I am a finger picker mostly, but I do like to thump my soundboard on the downstrokes as a rhythmical accompaniment, in the style of James Hill. So my soundboards are safe but I do see some wear on the fret boards. For example, I see on one ukulele some discoloration at the 11th fret. It is no wonder; there's a nice B located there and since I mostly play in E, that dominant B is a frequent stop. Also, I suppose my style is a blues-based Americana so that I frequently bend my strings which would naturally wear away a fret board's finish after a while.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    3,840

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ubulele View Post
    Well, in my case, "more spastically" is likelier—I ain't no spring chicken no more. A pick guard protector might be a sort of adult Depends for ukes.
    Perfect description of my strumming sometimes, spastically. Especially in my ukulele group when we are all playing a song that no one has ever heard before.
    Last edited by Rllink; 08-27-2019 at 06:39 AM.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    590

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    It depends on the uke, too. I'd be more concerned about a special or expensive uke than I would about a daily player. Willy Nelson's guitar doesn't have strum marks. It has holes.

    Trigger 2.jpg
    Expensive ukes should be daily players. Otherwise, what's the point of spending all that money?

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