Why Does My Ukulele Sound Weird? Top 9 Reasons and Fixes

Looking for an answer to “why does my ukulele sound weird?”, I’ve got you covered.

Ukuleles have been around for a while, in this modern-day, this little piece of wood can help you with calming your nerves down, help you relax a bit, might bring out your hidden talent, and surely can catch your crush’s attention if you can play it properly. However, don’t get your expectations up yet, ukuleles sometimes need care and looking after as well as not might be for everyone. 

1. Bad finger placement

The fretboard of a ukulele is the most complex part of the instrument. This is where how flexible your fingers come to play. The fretboard marks are the silver lines you see running down the neck of your instrument.

Don’t place your fingers directly on the silver lines or it won’t sound right, place your fingers right next to it. The gap in between those fretboard lines is called a fret, and keeps your fingers as close to the next fretboard line but not on it to make it not buzz.

2. Tune it up! 

We all hate when we have to pay for something which should be free, like learning how to tune up your ukulele. There are multiple videos on social platforms like YouTube where people teach you how to tune your ukulele for free.

There are some apps as well which you can easily download on your phone that can help you tune your ukulele just like a digital guitar tuner which can cost you a good proportion of your pocket money. And guess what? The apps are totally free of cost!

3. It is a cheap instrument

The ukulele itself is a delicate instrument. It is made out of some specific woods so that it sounds up to expectations. And that’s the reason why some ukuleles cost a bit more than the other ones. 

And it really shows because the difference between the sound qualities is massive. The wood really is the vital part here just like rose was to jack in the movie titanic. And if it’s a cheap instrument, it will never stay in tune because even the bridge and the tuning pegs are of cheap quality as well.

4. Giving your strings time to settle or you need better strings

People might not realize this but the quality and the condition of the nylon strings play a vital part in what the ukulele sounds like. You can never trust the stock string which comes with the ukulele.

It’s better to Change them because in some cases the stock string might be the reason behind your instrument sounding weird. Another string related issue is your strings need a certain period of time to settle. The strings tend to stretch and they might go out of time. Don’t give up yet!

5. Sorry to say but you don’t have a good technique

Playing an ukulele might look pretty easy but never judge a book by its cover, it takes months or even years to finesse. A beginner or even an intermediate player can face problems playing it properly. Never give up!

You have to push yourself and one day you are eventually going to overcome your problems. There are sites online where you can learn how to hold or even strum on the instrument. After a couple of months, you are going to hear the sweet sound of victory!

6. You are holding it wrong

Let’s say you were into electric guitars before and you could dance around and you’d move it around without a hesitation, but suddenly you had a break up and you are into slow songs now, you even changed your instrument because your previous one sounds too heavy.

You buy a new instrument you never played before and ukulele it is! However, you just can’t play it properly. It’s because you have to keep your ukulele at a 45• angle for you to hold it and reach the fretboard properly.

7. Your nails are too long or short

This sounds ridiculous but how long your nails are really affects how clean or perfectly you can play. For the fretting hand, you need to keep your nails pretty short so forget about painting your nails for fashion.

If they are big, you won’t be able to play it without muting some of the strings because you are playing the string with your fingertips. However, you can keep your nails long on your strumming hand as some people prefer to use their nails instead of picks to strum the ukulele.

8. Hold the strings against the fret with your fingertips!

Another common mistake that can be seen especially with the beginners is them not holding the strings against the fret with their fingertips. This can be a major reason why your ukulele is not sounding right and most of the beginners tend to quit for this.

Take your time, it’s not something you’ll get a hand of overnight. If you are not playing with your fingertips, you might end up muting the strings below and not get the sound you were hoping for.

9. Practice makes you perfect

It is really important specially for a beginner to practice for a certain period of time every day. When beginners learn a couple of chords, what they usually do is think they know it all and end up tossing it in the closet and don’t practice or learn new stuff.

Don’t be that guy, you won’t be able to improve your skill set. Maintain a strict schedule and in no time. Just remember you’ll never get better at some hint unless you practice it well enough.


At the end of the day, Ukuleles are a delicate piece of wood which can produce some beautiful sound and can just add a bit of color to it if you play it properly. Just know you can never learn how to play a ukulele in a couple of days, it takes a while. Don’t give up. Keep strumming.

2 thoughts on “Why Does My Ukulele Sound Weird? Top 9 Reasons and Fixes”

  1. Good tips thanks I’m thinking of buying a supposedly better uke any suggestions I’m on a laka concert at the moment it’s more likely I need to change the player than the uke but even when I am holding strings down perfectly it sounds tinnie

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