Advice on adjusting to my new concert uke?

  1. 2 years ago

    Hi all,

    I recently got a new ukulele. I decided to go for a concert uke after trying them out in my local shop and have switched over from my friend's soprano (which I was learning on). So far everything is going alright, but I keep running into some problems that almost make me regret the decision to go up in size. I find that I can no longer barre certain chords as easily as I could on the soprano! Especially Bb, which is incredibly annoying given its prevalence in my favorite songs.

    I have been barring it in a way that uses the bottom part of my pointer finger to hold down E and A since it tends to make transitions really easy depending on the song I'm playing. It was fast and comfortable. Now when I go to do it, I find that I either mute the E string or the A string on accident and I cannot hit both the same way I did before. I find myself putting so much pressure on my own wrist while I'm trying to figure out how to get my fingers to sit right that I get sore. I'm worried about hurting myself! I can switch to just using the topmost part of my pointer to barre the two strings, but it seems more inconvenient and slightly uncomfortable.

    The basic answer to this is going to be "practice more" and I get that, but does anyone have any tips for me to help me adjust my positioning and stop squeezing the neck so hard on accident?

  2. Hi Aejxwb, nice username,
    Well, I have struggled the same. When I bought my concert uke, it was the first one I'd practice with, so it was kind of hard (sorry about grammar mistakes, this is not my native language) especially when I try to bar for some chords(I'll always hate E), it used to sound like I was not putting enough pressure on the frets, so the quality of the sound was horrible.
    Once, when I was watching a uke tutorial, the "teacher" said that it was better to put your finger really near from the vertical line which divides the frets (I don't know the name, sorry) when you require barring.
    Actually, this helped me a bit but I am still struggling with this and I believe that it's due to my fingers. Nevertheless, being patient with me has been the thing that has helped the most. Most people told me to practice more, but that only made me get stressed because that sometimes make you think that you're not doing enough.
    Another thing you should try is replacing the chords. For instance, E is barring G, C, E, but I can also play the same chord without barring anything.
    I hope these pieces of advice have helped you!
    Have a great day.

  3. Practice does help with adjusting to a different scale instrument. A larger scale instrument will require a bit more strength. If your action is too high that might be causing your difficulty. The string height at the 12th fret should be between 2.5 to 2.7 mm although some people prefer 3.0 mm. If it is too low it will buzz. I take my instruments to a professional luthier.

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