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>> Ukulele Hints >> Question about temp* vs. sucky strings

Message started by Acabooe on Feb 23rd, 2008 at 1:01am

Title: Question about temp* vs. sucky strings
Post by Acabooe on Feb 23rd, 2008 at 1:01am
Aloha Everyone,

I have a problem.
I have had my current Ukulele for just over a year.
It is a tenor, and it has GHS ( i think ) strings on it.

Recently here in Texas, it has been pretty cold, as in 20's-30's outside, and probably sometimes 50's to 60's inside my house.

The problem I am having is that not 10 seconds after I tune my Ukulele with an electronic tuner, and then go to play, it sounds out of tune.

Does temperature effect the way sound travels to my ear?
I know that it is in tune, b/c I just tuned it, and I have geared mini tuners, so I was wondering about the temperature.

Or, do you guys think that my one-year-old strings are just getting old, and I should get some new ones to fix the problem?

Mahalo for any advice.

Acabooe 8) ( Ah Kah Bow Oh Ay )

Title: Re: Question about temp* vs. sucky strings
Post by Jeff B on Feb 25th, 2008 at 9:24am
Temperature and pressure DO have an affect on sound speed, but its effects are more noticeable in denser media (like water or wood) and over longer distances (and other factors). Air temperature variations in your house will have very little effect on the frequencies you hear.

I'd say it's more a matter of old strings. Best way to find out is to put on a new set.

It can also be a matter of intonation. If your saddle is uncompensated, tuning may be OK, but the frequency of the string when fretted might be very different from expected. I once had a cheap Kay guitar that had a straight saddle, no compensation at all. It tuned OK, but when I would play certain chords the D or the high E would sound off tune. I'd adjust the strings to make that chord sound right and, poof, all the other chords were out of tune. Very frustrating.

Your house is only 50-60 degrees?? Are you an Eskimo??  ;)


Title: Re: Question about temp* vs. sucky strings
Post by Acabooe on Feb 26th, 2008 at 12:58am
Hey thanks for the reply.

Haha, no, not an eskimo, this is an old house, and it is hard to seal off. So alot of heat is lost through the window gaps, and under the doors, and etc.

any way, thanks again.
Bob 8)

Title: Re: Question about temp* vs. sucky strings
Post by Don_Orgeman on Feb 28th, 2008 at 5:37am

So much for us cold weather Minnesotans going to Texas for winter warmth.  I still prefer Hawaii over Texas/Arizona.  Never in the 50s in Hawaii.

If your uke sounded good before, and now is off it most likely is the strings.  One year is more than enough.  Get a new set.


Title: Re: Question about temp* vs. sucky strings
Post by unkabob on Mar 6th, 2008 at 6:55pm
If the strings go outof tune that quickly, I suspect that the problem is in the tuners. If they were friction tuners, I would be certain but worm and wheel , enclosed tuners would be dificult to adjust.

A new set of strings can't hurt and think about a low"G" in addition to a regular set.


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