Regarding the ukulele, offset has several meanings pertaining either to the construction or playing of the instrument:



Related to the body of an asymmetrically shaped ukulele with a cutaway, offset designates the difference in length between the upper and lower sides. Usually, the upper side is longer.


If the sound hole on the top of an ukulele is not situated on the same centerline as the fretboard and the strings, but is shifted (mostly towards the upper side), this is also called offset.


When pushing down a string, the pitch raises against the sound of the open string. Therefore, by using a capo, the pitch of the whole instrument can be raised intentionally (pitch offset). Unintentional offset, however, results in loss of pitch accuracy and intonation and thus in loss of harmony; it can be corrected through compensation.



When the notes of a chord are not played simultaneously but successively (e.g., in an arpeggio), the time lag between the notes is also called offset. This offset is smallest when the fingers touch the strings at a right angle.


When notes are played offbeat, the time lag between the beat and the notes is called offset.

Vibrato and Tremolo

Vibrato and tremolo make use of the acoustical effect of beat frequency: The same sound is generated successively for several times, but each time with a minimal time lag.