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Thread: Any tips for a cheap ukulele?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Turkey
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    Default Any tips for a cheap ukulele?

    Hey all!

    I have a problem with the sound of my cheap ukulele.

    Firstly and sadly i need to say that i couldn't find any other brands like Oscar Schmidt, Kamaka, Pono and pretty much none of the brands you mentioned in Turkey. Only one i could found is a chinese brand Kapok (using "Pearl River" brand in U.S.A). So that's why i bought it. It's cheap and surely doesn't sound like the ukuleles in videos on youtube.

    So basically my main problem is the sound. I need some advices on how to make my ukulele sound better. I really appreciate for any suggestion.

    Here are the photos of my ukulele;








  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Nashville, TN
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    Default

    What about it sounds bad?

    If it's tone, then I'd advise buying new, good strings.

    If it's intonation (pitch), then you can sometimes adjust the nut and bridge to help a bit.

    JJ
    "Talent is just a pursued interest. In other words, anything you are willing to practice, you can do." -- Bob Ross

  3. #3
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    Default

    That doesn't look bad at all. Is the neck nice and straight? Is the action too high or too low? You should be able to fret the strings easily without getting any buzzing on nearby frets.
    Assuming all those are OK, new strings like Aquila's are probably the easiest and cheapest way to improve your uke. Also, as you become a better player, the uke will automatically start to sound better.
    Wanna play something you don't pluck for a change?
    www.busmanwhistles.com

  4. #4
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    Nov 2009
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    Turkey
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    Default

    Thanks for the quick answers.

    @Ukulele JJ,

    I tune it with AP Tuner using G4, C4, E4 and A4 notes. When i'm playing fingerstyle everything seems to be OK but when i play rhtym with chords it doesn't sound like my guitar does. So pitch might be the problem. I go check how to adjust bridge and nut then.

    @Brewerpaul,

    I don't hear any buzzing sound with the frets. Maybe i should also check for the new strings. Here's another photo from the side;


  5. #5
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    Default

    Strings make a difference. G4 c4 e4 a4? Is that the sme as g c e a? Remeber that this is a uke. It is not a guitar. It is better.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Turkey
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    Default

    Thanks for your concern. Actually guitar has different notes. The notes i use for ukulele is according to here;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stringe...ment_tunings#U

    My main problem is it sounds pretty much like this guy's strumming. Is that a bad strumming or just a cheap ukulele?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tccdFBsv-zs
    Last edited by emrextreme; 11-27-2009 at 09:50 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by emrextreme View Post
    Is that a bad strumming or just a cheap ukulele?
    Blimey - I clicked on the youtube link with such trepidation in case you had linked to one of mine.... phew..
    The GOT A UKULELE REVIEWS DATABASE!

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    Ukes include (!) Kanile'a K1 Tenor, Tinguitar custom solid tenor, Fluke, Flea, Tinguitar Reclaimed Mahogany soprano, KM Ukuleles Dreadnought Concert, Br√ľko walnut soprano

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    I would recommend trying some different strings, and the best strings I've found for cheaper laminate uke's are the Aguila Nylgut strings. From the pictures those look to be plain nylon strings, and I've found they don't hold tune well and really don't have enough energy to drive the laminate soundboards well. Changing strings is easy and will really change the sound of an uke.

  9. #9
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    Nov 2009
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    Thank you for the answers. I guess changing the strings is the best way to find out what the problem is but here's another problem. I couldn't find any online store selling ukulele strings in Turkey. They are selling all kind of guitar strings but none of them have strings for ukulele. I'm looking for how to use guitar strings on ukulele now and i can use any help. Thanks in advance.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pauljmuk View Post
    Blimey - I clicked on the youtube link with such trepidation in case you had linked to one of mine.... phew..
    +1, I was sure it was my vid! That ukulele in the video sounds right on. The singer has a deep voice and the uke has a higher voice. Your ukulele sounds about right if it sounds like the one in the vid. Aguilla strings are kind of thick and may lower the sound of your uke just a tiny bit. I've been using Martin flourocarbons and they give my ukes a high tinny sound.
    Ernest
    Chiun: It would be better for you to eat this can than what is inside of it. Why must everything in this country be coated with monositi-... monosoti...
    Remo Williams: Monosodium glutamate. You can't even say it.
    Chiun: I can say "rat droppings." That does not mean I want to eat them.

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