Each ukulele and each player is individual and it can take time to figure out how you like your set ups done. You or a technician can make many adjustments to your ukulele to make your ukulele more comfortable to play.
The sorts of services that can be provided by a technician are:
- Lower the “action” – string height above the fingerboard (at either the nut or the bridge ends)
- Identify and try to eliminate buzzing
- Adjust any problematic fret wires
- Check the intonation and attempt to improve it
- Cleaning/oiling the fingerboard
- Fit strap pins
- Change the strings – including adapting your ukulele for low g
- Maintenance of the wood – crack repairs
- Checking the head, neck and body have not developed any warping
- Adjust any tuning pegs that aren’t holding well
- Fitting or repairing pick ups
The action is quite important. It’s a delicate balance – fractions of a millimetre between too low and too high. High action results in sorer finger tips and muscle strain. Unless you’re a confident tinkerer, it’s best to get the action adjusted professionally for several reasons. For example, some nuts are softer and it it’s easy to file too far and have to replace the nut.
Adjust or Upgrade?
If your ukulele is not matching your playing needs, it may be that you need adjustments made or if it is a really cheap ukulele, it may be that you need to consider an upgrade.
Ultimately, consider what is a good investment that will result in you wanting to play more?
You also need to factor in how you like to play. A slide player needs higher action than a fingerstyle player.
To make a massive generalisation, better ukuleles tend to come with better general playability straight out of the box – you really need to try them though.