Why are ukulele picks felt? – Let It Be Ukulele Chords
This question has been asked about the thousands of different ukulele picks made by hundreds of different musicians since I started making my picks.
A couple of years ago, I did an experiment to see if I could improve the feel of the pickups.
Here’s my story. I used a guitar with an M-2 pickups and a C-1. I used an EZ tuner to measure the pitch of the strings. I kept playing the guitar for several hours until it would stop playing properly. A few months later, I started again. For some reason, the guitar picked a different pitch each time. I realized this couldn’t be right, so I measured the pitch of the strings in the same chord I started with. The pickup picks up the exact pitch as the first note of the note. This can be explained by thinking of the string in the first position as a “tonehole”, a groove in the string and the string in the second position as a “bridge”.
In other words, the tonehole and bridge are parallel to one another. If the note is played as a note, then the pickups pick up the “tuned” pitch of the note. The “bridge” picks up the “inverted” pitch of the note. This is how tuners operate.
In this experiment, I had the pickups pick up the exact pitch of the note I started with. I didn’t expect it to be the same pitch every time. I thought that maybe, this is because the same string played each time is actually a different string. So I set up a computer to measure the output of various string brands:
I measured the output of two strings (I believe they were the “F” and “G” strings) as the first note of each chord. Here’s how the output of the two strings looked when played at different pitches (in this chart, “F” is tuned to C, “G” to E, and “A” is tuned to F) :
I was sure these strings were made from the same quality string, hence I thought I would be able to get the same “tuned” pitch as the strings of the “F” and “G” pickups, which are made from the same manufacturer. However, I would be wrong.
When the two strings I used were played as a note, the pickups picked up a completely different pitch. The pickups picked up tones as close as 10 cents off the pitch the first note was
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