Hi all,

I am hoping to build a couple of through neck cigar box ukes and use classical guitar strings and am hoping the guitar stings will give the cigar box more energy to make more volume. I am not sure what guitar string to use for each comparable uke string.This would be using 20 inch baritone uke scale.

I want to tune to the standard GCEA Uke tuning and am wondering if anyone has experience with classical nylon strings to know what tuning up they can withstand.

For the uke G sting can I use the guitar E string and go up +3 to G with out snapping?

Can the guitar A sting be tuned up +3 to C ?

If I tune the guitar G -2 to E and the guitar B -2 to A will they be too slack?

Can anyone suggest a better strategy to use guitar strings for uke tuning?

I would like to do this using the familiar building techniques that I have used for my standard CBGs. As gifts for a couple people with the deadline of their birthday I just don't have time to learn and experiment with other building techniques.

Any insight on using classical nylon stings on these CB-Ukes would be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance

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There's an easier way. Just buy strings meant for tuning baritone uke to GCEA.  : )

Aquila 23U or Aquila 117U

Would those baritone uke strings be long enough to go through the tail piece sticking out the opposite side of the cigar box. I don't see a spec for overall length of those strings.

I've changed my daughter's baritone uke strings several times but didn't really pay attention to the total length, sorry. 

If you know how much tension you want on each string you could use String Tension Pro to help figure out which gauges of guitar strings to use. Just a guess but about 10 to 12 pounds per string would be  not too floppy.

Thanks...I will have to see if I can find the overall length of some Uke strings once I get these built. .... I hadn't heard of string tension pro calculator until now so I will need to spend some time with that tool. 

I just built a 6 string Uke with Classical Strings, D'addario EJ46 I think. The scale for this one was about 17 inches and tuned ADGCEA. It's basically like a guitar capoed at the fifth fret. Everthings working out fine so far. Also, Yamaha makes a Guitalele tuned the same way that uses standard Classical guitar strings.

If you had a standard 25in scale instrument and then tried to tune it up from there, you might run into trouble but I think with 20' you should be fine. It really depends on your scale length and tuning. 

Thanks for the reply jaber. Sounds like the 20 inch scale will help with strings tuned higher,  but then wouldn't that make the two strings tuned down -2 guitar G -2 to E and the guitar B -2 to A will they be too slack?

I’m not sure what the exact pitches of the baritone are I guess. I was under the impression that you could use the 1st string of the guitar tuned to A, 2nd string tuned to E, 3rd tuned to C, and 4th tuned to G. 

I know some baritones are tuned E B G D but you want to do a soprano tuning an octave lower. Right? In that case I would agree with Korrigan and make sure your string tension is acceptable. You are right, the strings might be a bit too loose for some of the pitches. 

Thanks Jaber.... You have given me a bunch to think about and research. Yes I want to go with CGEA tuning which is, I believe, the most standard uke tuning although I believe the G is usually an octave above what I am thinking will work for these builds and the lower G doesn't bother me too much, I just hope it doesn't bother the people who get them as gifts

Richard Dean .... Thanks for that screen shot.... I hadn't heard of string tension pro calculator until now so I will need to spend some time with that tool. I may be able to just buy strings as singles that match the specs that website gives. I think I will go ahead with my builds ( I was almost ready to scrap the idea) and then just try a few strings options till I find something that sounds good and won't be too much of a headache for someone to purchase later when time comes for a string change.

I'm curious, why don't you want to use metal strings?

I am building these as gifts to people who play uke as a main instrument and I have heard that the metal strings can put off a uke player because of some of the strumming techniques traditionally used playing uke. Maybe I am wrong in this? I don't play uke, but decided to make a couple as gifts to uke players and am not completely sure I am doing and thinking about this correctly so that is why I posted.


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