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Thread: It's Oh So Quiet

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
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    You could also try Alaska finger picks. They are plastic and fit over your finger tips and under the nails. You can trim them to a length you like. And you play as you normally do.

    They are available in different sizes on Amazon and a few music stores. I used one when I tore my index nail and had a gig coming up. Worked pretty well. And increased the volume a bit.

    One question that just occurred to me: Did you have your strings lowered when your uke was setup? That can also affect the volume. But as you said, others have played it and didn't have a problem.

    You might want to record yourself playing using your smartphone or computer. It will give you a better idea of just how soft your playing actually is, and it will give you a base line (no pun intended) to see if anything actually makes a difference as you experiment.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Sydney Australia
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    10

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    Thanks, i would like to try the plastic finger picks, i was enjoying doing some begginer finger picking but i have a tendency to use my nails as tools which breaks them and found the different length nails made it much harder to play cleanly.

    I recorded myself and i do think it is quiet. I am going to just concentrate on playing harder. It seems that whenever you try out something new on the uke you have to accept a a not so nice sound for a while. Thanks

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Durham, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emmjay View Post
    Thanks, i would like to try the plastic finger picks, i was enjoying doing some begginer finger picking but i have a tendency to use my nails as tools which breaks them and found the different length nails made it much harder to play cleanly.

    I recorded myself and i do think it is quiet. I am going to just concentrate on playing harder. It seems that whenever you try out something new on the uke you have to accept a a not so nice sound for a while. Thanks
    I tried growing out my nails for about a year. They don't break easily, but my index and middle finger do curl a bit on the inside once they are over a mm long. I don't like the feeling of long nails (the white anything over a mm) but I do prefer the sound of longer nails for strumming!

    I have now again started filing down my nails well under a mm and I can still pick with my finger pads. I think my fingertips have hardened up a bit, though I don't have proper callouses as on my left (chording) hand when I play a lot. Only the side of my thumb feels rougher due to strumming more often. Because the skin is now tougher I can now use my thumb to strum harder, but YMMV.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    554

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    If all else are done and still don’t work out. Perhaps OP is really a light strummer. One option is to install a free sound level meter app in the phone. Measure the decibels when strumming naturally. Measure again when strum forcefully. Using the same app, measure your friend’s strumming and record the differences.

    Over time, add a bit more swing (wrist flick) into your strumming to increase volume while monitoring your decibels level through the app. Try to maintain the swing dynamics to rewire the muscle memory. Rinse and repeat until desired volume is attained. However, give it a week or 2, you should be able to overcome the issue progressively.

    Sorry, but the engineer in me just have to kick in.
    aNueNue Moon Bird US200 || Kamaka HF-1 || Martin S-1 Uke || Eddy Finn EFTS-20-S || Kala KA-SLNG || Martin C1K Uke || Yamaha GL1
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  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    413 in USA
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    609

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    Why not ask a knowledgeable and empathetic person in the group to watch you and listen to you while you play?
    KoAloha tenor (Baggs 5.0) • Godin MultiUke • Pono spruce/acacia baritone AB-SP • Pono mahogany baritone w/Pono PU • Kala spruce top "travel" baritone • Islander laminate tenor (Pono passive) • Ohana laminate tenor • Islander laminate maple concert • Kala longneck soprano laminate • 13 Makala Dolphins/Sharks • 1 Mahalo soprano • my daughter's abandoned Flea

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    South West Georgia
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    Awhile back, I picked up a tip from a video by Cynthia Lin. She suggested that one doesn’t need long nails. She said on the downstroke, using index finger, with thumb pressed to index, contact should be made with the middle if the nail.
    Up strum with the meat of the index.

    With practice, this is my primary strum now. More volume and clearer notes. I hate long nails. Because of arthritis, to give my index a break, I use middle and ring sometimes, with thumb pressed against both. Was awkward at first.
    “Well, today is a good day to make music.”

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