The process of correcting a buzzing ukulele is simply identify what’s causing the buzzing and then fix it. Easy right?
Warning: The following instructions give suggestions on how to fix buzzing. Some of the fixes involve permanently modifying the ukulele so do so at your own risk. If you are worried about damaging your ukulele, please take it to a luthier to be fixed.
There, with the disclaimer out of the way, I’ll let you know that I’ve fixed a number of buzzes relatively easily with great success. Let’s get started!
First, determine where the buzzing sound is is originating from. Consistantly replicate the buzzing sound and then have a friend help identify the general location where the buzzing is coming from. Use the guide below to fix buzzing for each general area.
- Is the neck warped?
- Is the saddle too high?
- Is there a single fret that is too high?
- Is the nut too low?
This one is really tricky and needs to be debugged in sequential order
|Neck||Is the neck is bent?||Take it to a shop and have them replace the neck|
|Saddle||Do you get fretboard buzzing at several different frets? Does the buzzing get more prominent as you play frets near the head? If so, your action is probably too low||Shim up the saddle by putting a small piece of paper under the saddle|
|Individual frets||Try playing in a variety of positions. Is there only one fret position where buzzing occurs? Might be a high fret||*File down the fret OR*If your action is not too high, you can just shim up the saddle and not worry about permanently modifying your uke. The section above describes shimming|
|Nut||Does playing with open strings give buzzing on the fretboard but when the first fret is barred there is no buzzing?||Your nut is too low. Shim it up by putting a strip of paper under the nut.|
Bridge and Saddle
|Body||Is there a small crack that is buzzing – Feel around for a crack. If you find one, make it buzz and then have someone lightly hold their finger over the crack. If the buzzing stops, than the crack is probably an issue||Might be easiest to take it to a shop. If the crack is buzzing, it might be extra hard to fix.|
|Is there something loose inside? Shake the ukulele and see if you can hear anything bouncing around||Get that loose stuff out of there|
|Is something partially loose? You might not be able to hear it when shaking it but if you might be able to see a sticker, a wire (electric uke) or something half detached in the sound hole. You will need a mirror and flashlight to look inside||Get that loose stuff out of there|