Ukulele A-Z

20 Mar 2011

Ukulele A-Z

Now for the start of a new, regular ukulele feature - an A-Z of the ukulele!

This week - the letter A


A highly prized shiny material obtained from shells and often used on ukulele fret marker inlays, on headstocks, or on binding around the edge of the instrument or around the soundhole.


The term that means the ukulele makes it's sound with no amplification, utilising its own construction and soundhole to project the tone and volume.  A pure electric ukulele makes very little sound on its own, without being plugged in to an amplifier.


The term that describes the setup of the strings in relation to the ukulele body and neck.  Most commonly this relates to the height of the strings away from the fingerboard.  Too high an action makes the ukulele harder to play and will create some issues with tuning accuracy on the fretboard.  Too low an action and the strings may buzz on the frets or, in the worst case, mute out altogether.


The process of plucking the individual notes in a chord separately opposed to strumming them.


When a note is plucked on a ukulele, the full sound of that note has a beginning, middle, and as it fades away, an end.  Attack refers to the first point on that scale as the note appears from previous silence and reaches maximum volume.


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