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Thread: Tone and Player Dynamics

  1. #1
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    Default Tone and Player Dynamics

    I get asked about tone all the time and, while every uke has it's own sound and range, much is determined by your playing and attack. You may be thinking, duh, but I will state the obvious anyway.

    Kris and his mom Keiko came by the workshop and recorded some songs yesterday. Kris has a Kamaka custom and here duels with himself by producing different tones from his attack. The same uke goes from a warm, fat, sweet to a brighter, thinner, punchier.. A nice display of dynamics and their tonal effect.



    This setup- I ran a chord into my recorder but dumped that track and only used the Earthworks QTC 40 mic into the Earthworks ZDT preamp. Both noted for a clean and uncolored signal. I had another mic in front of the piano but dumped it also and only used the plug in from it. So the uke sound is coming fully from that one mic. By the way, Kris is insanely versatile, gotta check him out sometime.

  2. #2
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    Hey

    Really enjoy your web site, its one of the best, good job.

    Wondering what kind of strings if you know that.

    Thank you

    Eor
    kala ka-kcg-ct ltd , aNueNue papa ll ce,

    gold tone buc banjo uke, Covered Bridge redwood/myrtle tenor

    noname 60's baritone

    http://www.youtube.com/user/MultiFlyfisher

  3. #3
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    Very nice, thanks for sharing this. What incredible playing!!!!!
    "Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time."Thomas Merton



  4. #4
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    Wow. I've been looking for some inspiration. That definitely did the trick!

    Thanks so much. I needed that.
    "A few chords strummed on a ukulele, enough to please a few others beside yourself, does more good in this world than the combined efforts of all the financiers and politicians that ever lived."

    My YouTube channel.
    Mya-Moe Port Orford Cedar/Maple Concert
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  5. #5
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    This topic is particularly interesting to me, Andrew, because I am in the process of choosing tonewoods for an upcoming uke build. Currently, I find myself wondering if I should choose a top that would brighten the tone, or one that will warm it up. There are reasons for both, of course. My thought process made me look at my own playing style and what I expect I'll be doing. For me, it's finger style and jazz chord solos, mostly. Of course there's a part of me that says I will end up playing in every style I can imagine and I'm looking for that one top wood that will excel in every style. It's fun and it can sometimes make my head spin.

  6. #6
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    Ok, I'm sold!

    Who has this kids 1st album??? I need it, found his website and he says it's sold out If anyone has the first CD let me know, just about to order the other 2 now
    - Aaron

    Kamaka Ukulele History & Info Site (Unofficial)

    My Ukes: Kamaka Tenor, Pono Mahogany Concert

  7. #7
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    Holy cow! I'd be tickled pink if I could get the first slow intro down!

    As for the "picking near the bridge" trick for more treble and attack it's something I've known about for years (I use it all the time on bass) but this is probably the best illustration of it I've ever seen.

    Of course, UAS sufferers need to remind spouses from time to time that we still need ukes in every tonewood and bracing pattern because some will have deeper, fatter "round tones" and others will have brighter janglier "bridge" tones and... LOL

    John
    I'm not entirely convinced that it is possible to polish a turd. However, if one were to accomplish that feat one would still have a turd, and one all the more noticeable for being shiny.

    Check out my ukulele-themed "stuff" at http://www.cafepress.com/fivebyfiveukulele - proceeds go to a good cause...UAS treatment!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by eor View Post
    Wondering what kind of strings if you know that.
    That Kris was playing? I gotta ask, maybe the pro arte just like jake, seemed like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by didgeridoo2 View Post
    Currently, I find myself wondering if I should choose a top that would brighten the tone, or one that will warm it up. There are reasons for both, of course. My thought process made me look at my own playing style and what I expect I'll be doing. For me, it's finger style and jazz chord solos, mostly. Of course there's a part of me that says I will end up playing in every style I can imagine and I'm looking for that one top wood that will excel in every style. It's fun and it can sometimes make my head spin.
    I think the maker is more defining of tone than the woods, and the higher end you go the more the builder will be adjusting get his sound with different wood densities. The better ones are more veritable and have a wider range with any wood.

    Quote Originally Posted by OldePhart View Post
    As for the "picking near the bridge" trick for more treble and attack it's something I've known about for years (I use it all the time on bass) but this is probably the best illustration of it I've ever seen.
    Of course, UAS sufferers need to remind spouses from time to time that we still need ukes in every tonewood and bracing pattern because some will have deeper, fatter "round tones" and others will have brighter janglier "bridge" tones and... LOL
    Good point John, Where you place your hand very much affects the tone, also sometimes it will cause/prevent fret buzz, and ability to do some techniques like tremolo picking is affected. But ya, this is only for you guys to think about. Don't go tell your mate that one uke can get any tone. At least not one you already have.

  9. #9
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    Very nice, it reminded me of the same song and same technique that Alistair Wood uses on his video. Much more simple version though, even me and other old pharts can play Alistairs version.
    tabs:http://ukulelehunt.com/wp-content/up...lingBanjos.pdf

    Makala Dolphin Black, Aquila reentrant gCEA
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  10. #10
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    incredible demo. Thanks for the post Andrew. For myself, I feel I'm always chasing that deeper, fuller, more rounded tone but end up sounding like the more abrasive one. Not bad ukes, wood or construction...just poor playing technique. The flexibility and control that Kris displays here is sure something to strive for.

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