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Thread: 1st fret sounds like 2nd fret

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    2

    Unhappy 1st fret sounds like 2nd fret

    Hi all, I just recieved my first ukulele and tried some of this sites tutorials. But I'm such a giant noob, so I thought I asked some of you to answer some of my questions.

    First, but I think I already know the answser to this question, is that when I tune up my ukulele, 5 seconds later, it's tuned down already. I guess this is just because it's new and the strings have to adjust themselves.

    But the next thing troubles me. The a-string sounds the same on the first fret as on the second fret. This is because the string touches the second fret when I place my finger on the first. How can I resolve this? It's a very cheap ukulele, because it's just for starters. But I do hope it's possible to at least get all the tunes right.

    Thanks!
    a true Ukulele Nitwit!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Awestrailya
    Posts
    644

    Default

    Hi Mr Nitwit (or Ms), and welcome to the UU forum,

    Can you please asdvise how you are tuning up, even if the E string is in cntact with the second fret when you are placing your finger on the first fret, it shouldnt sound like the A string unfretted,

    Another question is is the fretboard flat? or bowed, to check cast your eye along the strings from the bridge end.

    This will give us some information to help us advise you!!

    Cheers

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Brockton, MA
    Posts
    620

    Default

    Hi UkeNitwit

    Welcome to ukulele. The little thing will bring you amazing amount of joy and you'll find a lot of friends here.

    That is, once you get these problems solved.

    The first problem is not really a problem. Yup, strings stretch for quite a while. Wait a week and it gets less trublesome.

    The second problem, you diagnosed it. For a new ukulele, it should not happen, and I would make a fuss. Where did you get the ukulele? What kind? If new, a music store should fix it free for you, or give you a new one. Even a mail-order place should, though you areto pay the return shipping.

    If it's used, or if you dare, you can try: The string is touching the second fret when you press it at the first. You can be sure if you put a straightedge (or something straight like a snap-off knife blade) on the second fret and see if it touches the first and third frets. If not, the second fret is too high. If the edge touches 2nd, 3rd, and 4th frets but not the first fret, your 1st fret is too low.

    If the second fret is too high, most likely it didn't get hammered in at the plant. You *can* try to do it yourself - use a small hammer (better if it's a wooden hammer) and tap the fretwire softly.It may just fix the problem. If you're not too certain, take it to a repairman. Shouldn't be too expensive ($20).

    If the first fret is too low, that could be a job. You can have someone replace the fretwire. $25 - $40.

    I hope you'll get it resolved to your satisfaction.

    Cheers
    Chief

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks for the detailed advise! It was just a cheap ukulele at some small warehouse, so they're not experts in music. Not at all ! But they do have a good return service so maybe it's a better solution just to bring it back and go to a proper musicstore. If I try the hammering solution, I definately would discard my warranty.

    So thanks again, and hopefully see you soon again at this site with a good ukulele.

    Nitwit

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Quake Country
    Posts
    1,921

    Default

    I'd say get a replacement, and take a straightedge along with you and check the fretboard all the way down on both sides. Maybe grind them a little for a free pack of strings for your hassle. Get Worth Brown mediums or Aquilas.

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