Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Roger Ruthen shares his "String Theory"

Roger Ruthen has a website called pdf-Minstrel where he uses his vast experience to create songsheets for your musical exploration. He has extensive classical experience and has created TAB for us bari players as well. His arrangements also include other traditional music and are well worth doing some exploration. Roger's arrangements range from simple to quite challenging. Be sure to check pdf-Minstrel out and put it on your bookmarks.

Here's Roger's quick e-mail. I labelled it "String Theory," but it is more about string frugality...

Hi Jeff,

I would just like to share a tip with your readers.

If you have a 'steel wound on nylon string' on your baritone ukulele, as most of us have, and it has a tendency to wear and break more often than you would like. Just leave an extra length string after the knot that secures the string to the bridge. When you see the fret starting to wear the string badly, just take off the string, untie the knot and re-tie it a quarter of an inch further down the string. The wearing areas will no longer line up with the fret when the string is retuned. With this method I have found that the strings lasts a lot longer before breaking. Just don't leave it too long, i.e. when the metal wind has already broken.

On second thought, I think it would be better for people to leave extra length on their tuner end. Then when the string wears they can let more out and re-tie the knot further into the string. That way the wear from the knot (on the face of the bari) doesn't come into play. It wasn't a problem for me, but it is best to be sure and this way is the best when advising people.
Hope this helps,

Roger Ruthen

P.S. I should have pointed out in my last email to you "String Tip", that as the wound G string on the Bari seems to go first, I use a classical guitar "D" string and tune it up to G. The shorter scale length allows this. Consequently, I have plenty of string length to play with.

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