Uku Strumming Key Set




Introduction: Uku Strumming Key Set

About: A retired electronics engineer -motorola. delveing into new craft ideas and contest entries.

Intro- This Project is uniquely extreme as it uses keys to strum a Uku.instead of a pick. The keys are used as in a piano keys.They pluck the strings sharply.For my 3stringed Uke I can use 3 keys.

Step 1: MATERIALS and Tools

See drawing for materials used here.
 1-The Uku I used was made  earlier as a 3stringed uke.See "How to make a Mini-Uku" dated Jan.14, 2010 by Mistic.
 2-Side anchors of wood scrap See dimension as it is approximate depending on the size of the Body.
3-Sheet or tape adhesive used to grab and lift the flex strings.Uglu See . $1.00 packs can be found at Walgreens drugs.
4-Felt finger pads- glue adhesive one sided.
5-See fig 2-  coffee stirrers made of wood. You might use cable tie wraps made of steel here.See Home Depot.
6- Use sheet metal screws or 6-32 machine screws about 1-1/4 long. Drill bit slightly smaller than screw dia. to thread into hole.
7-Top key holder-wood
8-small wood shims if need to get the proper height.
9-Side supports wood having mounts for screws.
10-Poly-foam used to lift the keys and give support. Any foam will do, but musts be soft.
11-Stop for keys- wood stirrer.about 1/4 x 1/16 thick .Glued in place.
12-Uku- bridge.
Saw,screw-driver.,scissors, glue  E6000 or Goop Glue.Drill bit. forceps with a sharp nose. vaseline for the scissors.

Step 2: Assembly

We used our home made Ukulele. To make it see the above listed Instructable.It is easy to make in 20 Hours.

We then could glue this assembly on the body.
The assembly-- Cut the keys to length shown. Place them at the top as shown in the picture. glue them to the 6 in. wood support. We used  some tape to hold the keys in place for gluing.
Apply Uglu to tips- This tape adhesive is EXTREMELY powerful and will adhere to anything. Use caution when scissors cutting to 1/4 in. wide strips on the carrier support tapes.We used a little vaseline on the scissor cutting edges.
Mount the assembly with screws.
Item 10 foam is used to give lift to the keys. cut some and force under the assembly keys as shown.
Next apply the finger foam.
Lastly- Use item 11- to give the keys a stop down feel when pressing them on to the strings. spot glue  the wood  to the side of the bridge but be sure the keys contact the string first.

Step 3: Playing With Keys.

Keys are placed in such an ergonomic way as to use easy pushing action  when holding the Uke as usual.
Press down rapidly and remove the finger.This action will pick up the string and release it.This novel idea  was used in an earlier Instructable construction of a Mini-piano.. This adhesive still holds and grabs well after 4 years of use.

I hope that some one can make one of these extreme method of playing a stringed instrument some day.

Vote - Is this idea and sample believable?  See the video.

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    2 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Interesting idea, mistic!

    There is a little delay between the finger press and the sound. Maybe that requires a change in the performer skill.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Hi rimar2k
    Now that u mentioned it , it does delay the note a millisecond. I think this extreme idea may not have much merit. maybe a new music method can be developed here?