In this article I will explain the key things on how to properly maintain your ukulele.
Re stringing your uke is a personal preference. Some people may change the strings every few weeks and others every few months. I would advise if you do play very often to change your strings regularly to keep the tone fresh and bright. If you do snap a string then change all the strings because the likely hood is that all the strings are starting to get worn out. Some signs that your strings might need changing are –
- The string doesn’t feel as smooth anymore and there are grooves in the string due to pressing on the frets.
- The sound isn’t as bright and clear as it has been.
- You need to tune the ukulele a lot more than you have previously been doing.
How does Humidity affect my Ukulele?
Humidity is something than affects all wooden instruments although if your uke is laminated then it is not as affected compared to a solid wood one. If you ukulele is in a humid environment then it will absorb the condensed water vapour meaning the wood could swell and cause several distortions such as neck bend and intonation changes. If the humidity is too dry then the wood will contract causing cracking. I think it is important to be aware of the humidity and temperature of where you ukulele is kept i.e. not keeping it next to a radiator. We are generally OK in the UK for humidity but in the colder and warmer months maybe steer clear form storage in a window as this will have an effect. If you want to be extra careful then you can buy a humidity gauge as well as dehumidifiers and humidifiers to help protect your uke.
It is important to keep you ukulele clean for both hygienic and sound quality reasons. When playing the uke your fingers produce sweat which gets into the wood and will start to deteriorate it over time, affecting the finish and wood as it will collect and trap dust and dirt on the surface of the ukulele. To keep the fret board clean you simply need apply some lemon oil, I would recommend Dunlop 65 or Planet Waves as great cleaners. You need to do this every 4-5 months, but if you are playing very regularly you made need to do it more often. To clean the body of the uke you can simply use normal cleaning and polishing goods as these will make it shiny and remove finger marks. There are also good cleaning agents out there such as Fenders Premium Polishing Cloth.
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I hope this helps and if you have any questions then please feel free to contact me.