If you want to keep your ukulele sounding its best, it’s important to know how each ukulele part works and how to care for them. You’ll be using these parts when you tune your uke and change its strings. Knowing your instrument inside and out will help you fix problems quickly. Here is a quick overview of the different ukulele parts and what they do.
This is the top of the ukulele. It is a separate piece of wood from the neck. Ukulele makers usually put their logo on the headstock and in some cases, you can find your instrument’s serial number printed on the back of it.
This is where you can adjust the tension of each string. Each head is connected to a tuning peg that you can rotate. On a properly strung ukulele, turning the tuning pegs toward the body makes the string tighter and the pitch of the string higher. Turning the knob away from the body loosens the string and lowers the pitch.
The nut holds the strings at the correct height from the fretboard but also guides them to the tuning heads.
Ukulele strings are usually made of nylon. Some models do use wound metal strings as you would find on a guitar. The strings of a ukulele are tuned (from left to right) G-C-E-A.
The neck is attached to the top of the body and connects to the headstock of the instrument. It is essential that the wood of the neck does not bend due to improper storage.
This is where you press your fingers down on the strings. The fretboard its name from the metal frets that divide up the board.
Frets are small pieces of metal. When you press down on a string, it rests on the fret in front of your finger. Each fret changes a string’s pitch by a half step. If a note does not sound right, check to be sure that the fret is not damaged or worn down.
Some frets have one or two small dots on them. These fret markers help you keep track of what fret number you are on.
The body is the largest ukulele part. It amplifies the vibrations of the strings, like a small speaker. You can think of the body as a carved wooden box with a sound hole in the front. The shape and type of wood the ukulele’s body are made from affecting the tone of the sound that the instrument produces.
This hole is cut into the body of the ukulele. This is where the sound comes out after the body amplifies it.
The saddle is connected to the body and is where the strings attach to the ukulele on the saddle’s tie block. There are small holes that the strings go through before being tied to the tie block.
The bridge rests on the saddle and ensures that the strings are the proper height from the body and fretboard. The bridge has notches that will keep the strings adequately spaced.