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Thread: Guitalele string sound

  1. #1
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    Default Guitalele string sound

    I have a problem with a guitalele. Whenever I strum it loudly, some buzzing noise comes out of the strings badly. Could it be the strings or the body? Can someone help me, please?

  2. #2
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    That's not much to go on. Buzzing can be hard to isolate. If it only happens when strumming loudly, I would think strings hitting a high fret would be the most likely cause. It could help to change strings if they are old or damaged in some way. It could be that raising the action at the saddle and/or nut could help. Or neither may help if something is loose/broken inside the body.

    Is this a new phenomenon?
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  3. #3
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    Jim has asked all the good and important question. One more is it 17” or 20” scale, is it tuned A-A or E-E. A 17” scale tuned E-E will have very low string tension and they could buzz if strummed aggressively
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields walnut pineapple super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Enya Nova *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
    Jim has asked all the good and important question. One more is it 17” or 20” scale, is it tuned A-A or E-E. A 17” scale tuned E-E will have very low string tension and they could buzz if strummed aggressively
    No. It's just a-d-g-c-e-a. What about the 17" to 20" scale? Is that important?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by aspieman456 View Post
    No. It's just a-d-g-c-e-a. What about the 17" to 20" scale? Is that important?
    17” scale, which is standard tenor length is really designed for A-A tuning so that is not your problem. The lower tension of E-E tuning on a 17” can cause buzzing.
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields walnut pineapple super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Enya Nova *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
    17” scale, which is standard tenor length is really designed for A-A tuning so that is not your problem. The lower tension of E-E tuning on a 17” can cause buzzing.
    We should amend that to say that *might be* your problem. Anyway, try changing it to A-A tuning and see if it fixes it.

  7. #7
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    Perhaps the truss rod should be adjusted. Use the allen key that came with your guitalele and turn the nut 1/4 turn. Strum again. If it's worse, turn it back, and turn it a 1/4 turn the other way. Strum again to test.

    Adjust it as little as possible to make the buzzing go away without raising your action too much.

  8. #8
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    If it only happens when strumming hard, my first thought is that the action is a bit low for hard strumming. A perfectly setup instrument for me personally is one that does have some buzz when i'm strumming slightly harder than I ever plan to normally. If it is an action thing, raising it would fix your problem, but the playability wouldn't be as good.
    Also, noted above it could just be a higher fret somewhere down the board. OR it could be the strings buzzing against the first fret if the nut slot height is set low. That is exactly what I check for when setting up a nut for myself. I want a little buzz when I play the strings a bit harder than I would in normal play.
    Ideally, a qualified person gets to look at this and diagnose and fix the problem. Anyone who can't put hands on the instrument is just making their best guess...which could be entirely wrong. The above is my best guess....which could be entirely wrong. :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Futurethink View Post
    Perhaps the truss rod should be adjusted. Use the allen key that came with your guitalele and turn the nut 1/4 turn. Strum again. If it's worse, turn it back, and turn it a 1/4 turn the other way. Strum again to test.

    Adjust it as little as possible to make the buzzing go away without raising your action too much.
    I have a differing opinion to share on that. I don't think anyone who doesn't fully understand what a truss rod is designed for (neck relief adjustment only) should be touching it at all. Done incorrectly, this could damage the instrument. There's no reason to adjust the rod unless the neck relief is off. There are plenty of videos and articles on the internet to learn about these sorts of things if he or she would like to research it. Even then, it is as your own risk. I took the leap years ago on that one and haven't ever done any damage adjusting it...but I'm pretty careful. You have to wait some time for adjustments to even show up as it settles.
    Last edited by jer; 03-29-2021 at 01:54 PM.

  9. #9

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    Which guitalele is it? Yamaha?
    If it's the Yamaha one, there won't be a truss rod.

    If it came with a factory setup, typically the action and the saddle are high enough not to buzz.

    I do note that the stock strings that come on the Yamaha guitalele tend to be quite cheap low tension strings.
    I'd recommend replacing them with a decent classical guitar set like D'addario Pro-Arte (normal tension), which will tune up perfectly to A-A tuning. If you tend to strum aggressively - using higher tension strings (eg: Hard tension) could potentially reduce buzzing in some situations. Different brands/material/types of strings also behave differently in terms of whether it buzzes.


    If it still buzzes after the new strings have had time to settle (could be 1-2 weeks), then I'd look at the nut/saddle action. If the action is fine, then the frets are the next likely culprit.

    If it all seems like a bit much, I'm sure a luthier or guitar technician could identify the problem rather quickly in person.


    Lastly, it could also be related to technique - though assuming that you're not doing anything unreasonable, an instrument should be set up to fit your playing style without buzzing.
    Last edited by kissing; 03-29-2021 at 02:33 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kissing View Post
    Which guitalele is it? Yamaha?
    If it's the Yamaha one, there won't be a truss rod.

    If it came with a factory setup, typically the action and the saddle are high enough not to buzz.

    I do note that the stock strings that come on the Yamaha guitalele tend to be quite cheap low tension strings.
    I'd recommend replacing them with a decent classical guitar set like D'addario Pro-Arte (normal tension), which will tune up perfectly to A-A tuning. If you tend to strum aggressively - using higher tension strings (eg: Hard tension) could potentially reduce buzzing in some situations. Different brands/material/types of strings also behave differently in terms of whether it buzzes.


    If it still buzzes after the new strings have had time to settle (could be 1-2 weeks), then I'd look at the nut/saddle action. If the action is fine, then the frets are the next likely culprit.

    If it all seems like a bit much, I'm sure a luthier or guitar technician could identify the problem rather quickly in person.


    Lastly, it could also be related to technique - though assuming that you're not doing anything unreasonable, an instrument should be set up to fit your playing style without buzzing.
    Yes, it is a Yamaha, very well built.

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