The Importance of Ukulele Nut Width - Beginners Tips | GOT A UKULELE - Learn Ukulele, beginners tips and reviews

29 Apr 2014

The Importance of Ukulele Nut Width - Beginners Tips

Another ukulele beginners tip video and advice guide - looking at how ukulele nut widths vary, and how they affect space on the fingerboard.


ukulele nut width


I did this because I regularly see people advising beginners that they should definitely buy a concert or a tenor over a soprano as they are 'easier' to play. I personally find nut width has far more impact and this is a myth that keeps getting trotted out..

Things to bear in mind here

1. Not all ukes are equal. Most cheap tenors will have nuts that are the same width as cheap sopranos. People think they are getting more finger space because the neck is longer (true) - but they are not getting more space where it counts for large fingers - ACROSS the neck - that is governed by nut width. If anything, for a beginner a large scale length is MORE of a stretch in other ways.

2. I know many sopranos with more space than most concerts and tenors. That's a simple fact.

3. In short - if you have big hands, there is no reason whatsoever for a soprano to be considered 'too small' for you. I genuinely believe it's just a get out clause parrotted by people who are confusing the fact that they are still learning with scale size. A bad workman always blames his tools...

A WIDE nut on a ukulele is one that is about 1.5" max. Whilst you will see those on some tenors you won't see them on all of them. More importantly you will also see them on some sopranos.  Brands like Koaloha, Kiwaya, Kanile'a, Kamaka and Flea will give you large nuts on all scales. A more standard 'Chinese import' nut width will be as narrow as 1.375" - and you will find those on sopranos, concerts or tenors. In other words, the scale is irrelevant!

4 comments :

  1. I am a beginner uke player, and having practiced on several different instruments, I firmly believe that the nut width is the most important part when starting out. Smaller ukes are also easier to hold, which was an issue for me when changing chords.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm not sure we are on the same page here are we? I prefer wider nuts!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Also important is string separation at the bridge, for fingerpicking.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes true - but less so for the impact that has on space on the fingerboard

    ReplyDelete

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