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Ukulele care and maintenance

Storing your ukulele

When thinking about how to take care of your ukulele, it is first important to remember that every single Noah Ukulele is handcrafted using all solid woods. Anything which is made from wood can be affected by changes in both the temperature and humidity.

We keep our workshop at a consistent temperature and ensure that the humidity doesn’t go below or above 45 – 55 % which means that every ukulele leaves the workshop in a stable condition.

From that point on, it is still really important that the ukulele is kept in conditions similar to that of the workshop. A sudden and rapid change in temperature can lead to cracks in the finish and / or the woods.

It is best not to move your ukulele from one extreme temperature but if this in unavoidable, it is a good idea to allow your ukulele to adjust to room temperature while still in its case. This lets it adapt more slowly to the change in its environment and greatly reduces the chances of wood or finish cracks developing.

Without doubt the most important factor when taking care of your ukulele is making sure that it is not exposed to big changes in humidity as this can have a very damaging effect on any solid wood instrument. While an increase in humidity can cause issues, the biggest problems will come from low humidity. For example, if your ukulele is kept near a source of dry heat then this will greatly reduce the humidity around it. This can cause the wood to shrink and / or crack.

One of the best things you can do to ensure that your ukulele is being kept at the correct humidity is to buy a humidifier. These are relatively inexpensive (around £10) and are very simple to use. There are many different options available, including this one from D’Addario.

To summarise, here are some tips on storing your ukulele:

  • Avoid exposing your ukulele to sudden changes in temperature or humidity.
  • Don’t hang it on a wall or store near a source of heat as this can cause it to dry out.
  • Do keep it in a case when not being used as humidity is far easier to control in a smaller space.
  • Buy a humidifier!

Strings

Noah Ukuleles are supplied with Aquila strings. They are good quality, reliable strings from a well respected string manufacturer and I think you can’t really go far wrong with this brand.

However, there are of course many alternatives out there and a different set of strings will often really change the sound of your ukulele. I am often asked ‘What are the best strings for my ukulele?’ but of course, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Everyone hears differently, and what may sound wonderful to one person may sound ordinary to another!

So, my advice if you’re looking to change the sound of your ukulele, would be to experiment and try out different string materials until you find the sound which is right for you.

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