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Thread: Pinch, don't twist

  1. #1
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    Default Pinch, don't twist

    Those of you with those jug-eared, guitar-style geared tuners, ignore this.

    For any of the rest of you who're having trouble tuning with friction tuners, when you get close to the note you want, pinch the tuning button rather than twisting it. In other words, don't turn your wrist trying to get that last few cents off, just pinch the button between your thumb and the side of your index finger.

    Yeah, it's still a knack to develop knowing how to set your fingers so you're only pinching the very tiny bit that's needed, but you can do it.

    It definitely helps to have the tuning pegs little set screw tightened just right as well. You want it just tight enough. There should be no slop in it but it shouldn't be so tight you work up a sweat trying to turn the thing.
    Howlin' Hobbit -- Ukulele Ace
    Howlin' on Twitter, YouTube, Bandcamp

  2. #2
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    Sort of the 'zen' of using friction tuners? Sounds like a good tip, HH. I've never used them, so please forgive the question, but is there a reason (other than tradition) for them? They sound less accurate than geared tuners. Do you like them? (they do look pretty nifty).

    There's one builder (R.L. Saul) who uses planetary tuners (that I suppose are expensive).
    http://www.dreamguitars.com/saul.htm

  3. #3
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    Thanks Hobbit, great tip! They are soooo sensitive I hafta remind myself which uke I'm tuning or I over tune the friction ukes.
    UWC; only those who have not been can rationalize not going.

  4. #4
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    great tip HH. i have to do this on my fluke as well. i'm really spoiled by geared tuners on my other instruments.

  5. #5
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    So true, and although it seems obvious, many first-timers are oblivious to the finer peg-pinching.

    You might add to this advice the importance of tuning your peg friction with a screwdriver to make sure they are just tight enough not to slip. Every bit of torque you have to deliver less will enhance the ability to fine-tune.

    I love these ground-up advice bits
    sigs disabled kthxbai

  6. #6

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    This is a great tip! Thanks HH.

    though I have to admit, the title had me thinking of something different than tuning pegs...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokenwing View Post
    ...is there a reason (other than tradition) for them? They sound less accurate than geared tuners. Do you like them? (they do look pretty nifty).
    Mostly tradition and aesthetics. The "sound less accurate than geared" thing is a vile canard. When I tune up, I'm in tune. Concert pitch and all that. And yes, I do like them.

    Like with most things, I'm pretty laissez faire about other people's choices. But to me seeing somebody wanking away on one of the larger sized ukuleles with geared tuners just conjures up visions of "guitar envy" or some such.

    And I just hate to see all the posts about "Ooooh! Get geared tuners, friction tuners are like, so hard!"

    No, they're not that bloody hard to use. They're just a knack and (to me) they're just another one of the skills to master when you're learning the instrument.

    (Another one is the "Oooh! I have big hands and I can't play a soprano" thing. Don't get me started!)

    By now y'all have got to have come to the (correct) conclusion that I'm a grumpy old fart sometimes. But I'm happy to be the lone warrior fighting the losing battle sometimes. Friction pegs are one of mine.

    They just look more elegant to me. And in all those lovely old photos of Hawaiians (and old vaudeville folk) what tuners do you see on their ukes?

    Yep.

    Quote Originally Posted by deach View Post
    ...I have to admit, the title had me thinking of something different than tuning pegs...
    Strictly an accident. No, really.
    Howlin' Hobbit -- Ukulele Ace
    Howlin' on Twitter, YouTube, Bandcamp

  8. #8

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    How do you feel about geared tuners that look like friction tuners?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by deach View Post
    How do you feel about geared tuners that look like friction tuners?
    Like Pegheds? Ah, what a conundrum!

    Actually, I like 'em. But they're currently a bit too expensive and retro-fitting means jacking around with the holes in the head too much.

    As I said, it's mostly tradition and aesthetics. They're cheating on the tradition but they got the aesthetics thing down better than the more modern friction pegs. They look like the really old skool friction pegs.

    It's one of my (small) regrets on the Glyph that Pegheds weren't around when I ordered it. I think I may have been able to squeeze out the extra cash.

    (WTF. I still have my pistol and it would have only taken like, one liquor store.)
    Howlin' Hobbit -- Ukulele Ace
    Howlin' on Twitter, YouTube, Bandcamp

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howlin Hobbit View Post
    Like Pegheds? Ah, what a conundrum!

    Actually, I like 'em. But they're currently a bit too expensive and retro-fitting means jacking around with the holes in the head too much.

    As I said, it's mostly tradition and aesthetics. They're cheating on the tradition but they got the aesthetics thing down better than the more modern friction pegs. They look like the really old skool friction pegs.

    It's one of my (small) regrets on the Glyph that Pegheds weren't around when I ordered it. I think I may have been able to squeeze out the extra cash.

    (WTF. I still have my pistol and it would have only taken like, one liquor store.)
    Wow, I think I just fell in love with you, Hobbit, the bad boys are always entrancing.....
    UWC; only those who have not been can rationalize not going.

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