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Thread: Harsh Strings

  1. #1

    Default Harsh Strings

    I discovered a thing that more or less every Uke i tried has.:

    1 or 2 strings sounds a bit harder/more harsh than the other ones.
    If you press the string down at any note the tone is as harmonic as on the other strings.
    I have only a few ukes without any harsh string (all Bruekos with wooden nuts).

    Did anyone noticed this too any know a reason/solution for it? I think it could have anything to do with the nut, because the tones are "mellow" if you press a string down...
    Last edited by Joralin; 09-30-2020 at 05:19 AM.

  2. #2


    This reply happened by accident and can be deleted, but not the whole thread plz :-).
    Last edited by Joralin; 09-30-2020 at 05:20 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Ewa Beach, Hawaii


    Quote Originally Posted by Joralin View Post
    This reply happened by accident and can be deleted, but not the whole thread plz :-).
    Accidents happen. Not to worry.

    Which size uke do you usually play (soprano, concert, tenor, or baritone)? Uh.. smaller ukes are usually supposed to sound a bit "jangly" or "twangy" -- especially the high strings.

    Baritones are usually tuned DGBE. All other sizes are usually tuned GCEA. Are you tuning these "usual ways" or... if not, how are you tuning?

    Which are the strings that most usually seem harsh to you: 1, 2, 3, or 4 (counting the string closest to floor as #1)?

    On my ukes that are tuned GCEA, the open A often sounds harsh to me, & sometimes the open E sounds harsh, as well. However, it's hard to hear my own uke the same as others hear it. Why? Two reasons:

    (1) I'm behind the uke, & listeners are in front of it (definitely makes a difference).

    (2) My old ears prefer lower-pitched, warmer tones whereas younger folks (most of my listeners are age 45 or younger) seem to enjoy highs & lows much the same.

    Suggestion: When you have a uke that has harsh strings (according to your ears), get a couple of friends to listen to you play. Don't tell them that you hear certain notes as harsh. Instead, ask them their opinions as to whether the uke sounds balanced and sweet, or jangly and loud, or... etc.

    I forgot to say: if you are using fluorocarbon strings, try a set of nylon strings. To some ears, nylons are usually a bit warmer/sweeter than fluorocarbons. And, I almost forgot -- Worth sells some fluorocarbons that are warm -- I think it's Worth browns.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    New York, NY


    I also have the feeling that if the strings seem harsh, it's the material. I personally prefer nylon strings purely for the softer feel. I'd recommend them.
    current ukes:

    Kanile'a Oha Concert, Kanile'a Oha Baritone, Kala KA-ASZCT-ST Super Tenor, Islander MSC-4 Concert, Wunderkammer "Boswell" Tenor, Johnson UK-200 baritone

    sold ukes:

    Martin Tenor, Martin Oliver Ditson Dreadnought Soprano, Martin Baritone, Ohana SK-28, Ohana SK-25S, Favilla Baritone, Kala KA-FMBG, Luna Great Wave Concert, Mainland Red Cedar Baritone, Mainland Classic Mahogany Tenor, Oscar Schmidt OU53, Oscar Schmidt OU57, Kiwaya Famous KTS-5 soprano, Ohana TK-38 tenor, Kiwaya Famous FLS-1G, Cordoba 24T,Keiki Kamaka Soprano, Dewdrop Concert

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