Ukulele Beginners Tips – Learn How To Fix Your Ukulele Buzzing
All musical instruments will develop a fault at some point. Whether you play them occasionally or not, they will definitely develop a fault or two. The ukulele is not an exception. And as earlier mentioned, all instruments, including the ukulele will certainly develop some basic problems.
The fault may just be a minor one that is easy to fix. Other times, the fault might be a major issue, which puts the instrument in an unplayable state.
The first approach to fixing any instrument is troubleshooting. You can be able to detect the fault and know the next action to take. But first, start with the basic which is check for any potential problem like if the instrument is not properly plugged or turned on (for electric ukulele).
Do not forget the basics, whether you are dealing with an electric or acoustic ukulele.
Below is a guide to potential problems of the ukulele and how to fix them.
Table of Contents
Problem of Buzzing Sound and Dead Strings
I had this experience sometime in 2010 when I purchased a tenor ukulele. I noticed the G low string was buzzing at the 2nd fret. It became very unbearable, especially when I strum and even when I form certain chords, trust me, this sound can be very annoying and frustrating.
I looked carefully and saw that the 2nd fret which was causing the problem was not properly seated. It was raised a bit compared to the others and a string kept touching it while playing. I purchased my ukulele from an online store so I never had time to check for these things.
Since I was able to identify what the problem was, fixed it at once. I got a hammer, a cloth and nail set. The cloth was to ensure no mark was left on the fret. Then, I knock the fret back to position.
A bow in the neck or poorly fitted nut is some of the things that cause buzzes and dead strings. If you notice your ukulele has multiple dead strings in the middle, then it is possible your uke has a bow in it.
A poorly fitted nut will certain cause dead strings, especially near the first few frets. Dead strings caused by poorly fitted nuts are not that expensive to fix. A music store can handle the problem.
Also, not all issues of dead strings are technical. In most cases, it is just a case of chord fingerings that’s all. Make sure each of the string is sounding when learning a new chord by plucking each of them. You may experience dead strings when you start playing, especially when you switch chords, but with constant practice, this will go away.
Tuning is a major issue many beginners experience. It occurs in all string musical instruments not only the ukulele. Playing a poorly tuned ukulele or one that is not in tune can be very frustrating. It will sound terribly bad, annoying and make you feel like you are not getting any better with the instrument.
New strings have the habit of not staying in tune, you have to keep tuning them and hopefully, they will get better with time and start holding tune well. It is common with all string instruments. That’s why it is always best to tune your ukulele before you start playing.
Let’s assume you have already tuned your ukulele and in few minutes one of the strings has slipped and it’s no more in tune with the rest. What should be done in such an issue?
First, check the back of the tuner. It could be that this part needs to be tightened a little bit. But if you notice that the tuner is starts turning back slowly, after you have tightened the strings it means you need to change the entire tuner.
A slip in the tuning can be as a result of the knot you made at the saddle. In most cases, if the strings have not been properly double or triple knotted what you may notice as you tighten the tuner is that the strings will gradually come undone.
Bad strings can also cause turning problems but not in all cases. It is very rare but when it occurs, it can be very frustrating because you will spend more time on the saddle and tuners because these are the most likely parts where such issues develop.
Problem of Rattling Sound
In most cases, a rattling sound indicates something in the ukulele body is loose. Acoustic-electric ukulele may have this problem, where wires or small parts inside the ukulele become loose.
Fixing such problem can be very frustrating but impossible, though it requires patience because you may have to remove all the strings.
A loose tuner nut or some other tuner parts can make your ukulele to rattle. One common rattle problem for a guitar player is when the pick somehow falls into the body. Though ukulele players do not use a pick but other items can find their way in. Leaving the instrument ideal can create room for other small creatures to make a home in there.
However, you can shake your ukulele a little to remove objects that have fallen inside the body.
Not Sounding Good
We have talked extensively on the major things about ukulele issues. They are almost always about issues on strings going out of tune, poor stringing, slipping tuners, or not playing properly. The fact is ukulele made from better wood will sound better.
However, you must play the instrument properly to get better sound. Even less expensive will sound well when played well. It is just a matter of you practicing harder to get better.
Your instrument will certainly develop a fault whether you play it or not. It also doesn’t matter if you bought the best ukulele or a more expensive brand. The good thing is you can solve most of these problems. You don’t need to be an expert, just identify the problem first and look for the best and easy way to solve it.
I hope this helps!