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Message started by michaeld1187 on Jan 24th, 2005 at 12:41pm

Title: help me!!!
Post by michaeld1187 on Jan 24th, 2005 at 12:41pm
ok heres the deal,

i started playing guitar, picked up the uku about  a year ago, then i found this website and i ordered some geared tuners and a nut and saddle or whatever, and some strings and im having trouble getting the C and E strings tuned. even with a tuner im still having trouble, i can get all the strings tune but the c and e seem to maybe be an octave lower and i tried tuning higher but it gets too tight before i get there and i feel like its gonna snap. so i was thinking maybe i got the strings mixed when i took them out and i tried switching them and still the same problem. i even tried to tune to a piano  and everything.

then anystring that i put where the E is supose to be it buzzes and i cant tell where its coming from.

please help i need the uku for a performance this sunday and i gotta have it figured out before so i can practice.

Title: Re: help me!!!
Post by michaeld1187 on Jan 24th, 2005 at 1:02pm
ok so i finally got it tuned whew.....and i figured out that the reason my string is buzzing is because the groove in the nut is too big, now my dilema is that i dont know how to make the groove smaller..... help lol  please.

Title: Re: help me!!!
Post by 1four5 on Jan 25th, 2005 at 12:12am
I'm not a luthier, yet I read this board with interest. I have done some very shade tree, yet very effective mechanics to my beat up old guitars and ukes. I went too far when filing the grooves in my classical guitar nut, yep and got too low and had some buzzing. As a temp fix (thinking I would pick up a new nut blank eventually) I filled the grooves with 5 minute epoxy. Gave it about 30 minutes to make sure it was good and hard, then refiled the grooves. Problem solved, plays perfectly, no more buzzing. That was over a year ago, and I still haven't replaced the nut. :)

Title: Re: help me!!!
Post by msrvfx on Jan 25th, 2005 at 11:47am
Hi Michael and 1four5,
this is Mark from Portland...teh flukoa Guy from EZFolk.
I think what you're describing is related to two issues,
First may be an "uncompensated saddle".
There is a good discussion about saddle compensation on another part of this forum, under Luthiers Corner> Shop Tips.


Mike Chock (Ukeman) give a good description:
This compensation stuff is abit fussy and it begins with the selection of strings that you will be using to drive your 'ukulele. Different string sets have different tensions as well as different tuning set-ups. Uke tunings locally are typically low G and High G using the G C E A tuning making the open chord a c major 6.
Some older ukes and string manufactures for tenor strings tune to A D F and Bb which forms the d major 6 open chord and then we have the baritone at DGB and E.
I figure once you decide on strings and tuning you will then be able to adjust a bit more accuately for individual string compendsation.
Low G makers like me tilt my saddle slot a 1/16th or so down on the low G from centerline and 1/16th inch up from the centerline axis on the baby A string. In addition I move the entire saddle set-up so that the front edge of the saddle at its center is 3/32nds or so longer than my 17 inch tenor scale to the front edge of my saddle...this will still allow me to compensate each individual string a sixteenth by selective filing north or south of the center saddle crown. I use 1/8th thick saddles to allow for this movement. Any thinner saddle doesnt have enough room for individual compensation.
I think Frank Ford in his Frets.com website had someone actually give a formula for compensation:
It goes like this:
String up. Tune and note the cents that you are out of tune when depressing the 12th fret...if for example you are 10 cents sharp then convert the 10 cents to a percentage....10 percent...thats easy!
Then diveide your scale length by 17.817 and find out your first fret spacing. Multiply this number by your percent number, in this case 10% and the result is the amount needed for that string's compensation.
On high Gs the saddle shape should look like a smile. But since we route the saddle slots straight accross, I find that the extra 3/32nd length added to the scale to the front edge of the saddle works fine!
Would love to hear rom other builders to see what they do to adjust for compensation as this is such a important phase of construction.   laters   ukeman "

The best solution is to replace the existing saddle with a new saddle that has beeen "compensated". A luthier in your town can do it, or if want to give it a try, the uke will probably sound better.

The other thing to take a look at also is the nut, and make sure it is grooved properly for the strings. The grooves for the all nylon strings is usually width and profile of each groove is the width of that string, and the groove is deep enough for the string to sit half way in teh groove...like a semi-circle. Too deep, wide, narrow, or shallow and it can affect the sound and action of the string.
Think that's right.


Title: Re: help me!!!
Post by ukeman on Jan 28th, 2005 at 12:30pm
help me....I read 2 questions...one  you found that the groove of one string was too wide...you need to now either change the nut and refile all strings or...a fix...tape both edges of the nut. The edge in front of the slot and the edge behind it. You are creating a dam with the slot acting like the water...ha!  Tape in place..carefully add a drop of thin super glue to the slot and your tape dam will keep it in the slot...wait till dry and file a new slot.

question 2...on buzzing   if it buzzes without depressing any string the buzz results from anything loose or broken on the uke, the nut slots, or the saddle top is too flat. Period!

If it buzzes when a string is depressed at certain fret locations then its usually the fret in front that is high

anyhow   hope this helps....your repair man is waiting

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