I am a CBG maker who is going to start my first CBukulele.

  • What are some types of 'strings' that I should consider buying?
  • I believe I read where the strings traditionally should be tuned to G-C-E-A.  In looking at a Ukulele at a music store, it appeared that the "G" sting (the one closest to my chin) looked to be thinner than the "C" string.  Might that Ukulele be strung incorrectly, or is that the proper way they are traditionally put on a a ukulele?

Thank you,

kieta

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Replies to This Discussion

Traditionally the G string is higher in pitch than the C. You can get a lower G though, if you prefer that sound. 

As for the brand, I'm an Aquila girl myself. 

Could I also ask a question relating to this, what if I use guitar strings instead of uke strings, whats the difference? 

The difference is that you just might collapse the uke top or neck, depending on scale length, construction quality, etc. Not saying you couldn't do it (I just played a baritone uke this morning with a 19" scale length, tuned gCEA, whose G and C strings were phosphor bronze wound git strings - but getting them up to pitch definitely put a visible strain on the machine head posts and bridge), but normally, ukes use nylon strings because of their lower string tension for the same pitch. Really well constructed ukes are built thin,, light, springy. Too much string tension and boom! instant firewood. It really should have been tuned DGBE, but I wanted to hear it in GCEA.).

Is yours a sopranino, soprano, tenor, classical, or baritone uke? Typical scale lengths and strings for these are:

http://www.ukuleles.com/Technology/strings.html

The GCEA standard tuning with the G at higher pitch than the C is called reentrant tuning, normally written gCEA. If you wanted GCEA, you'd need a thicker wound G string, below middle C, whereas in the standard soprano gCEA reentrant tuning, that G is typically unwound, and above middle C.

I wouldn't use guitar strings, but I know some people who use banjo strings. It's a pretty cool sound. 

Great info jessicca, stringygbark, ron....thank you all very much.

If y'all (OR ANYBODY ELSE) has more comments of any kind about STRINGS for the Ukulele....I'm all ears.

kieta

Well I'm not an authority as I've never built one, but my understanding is that guitar string are made with a far longer scale in mind than a uke... they would be very slack when tuned up to pitch. I'm about to try stringing up a 3 string dulcimer with a Uke scale using fishing line which it seems is quite a popular alternative to uke strings... plenty of info through Google etc.

on cheap ukulele's Aquila strings are hands down the best.  also you can tune to a-D-F#-B, to get more sound out of it. also putting on tenor strings on a soprano or concert uke, cranks out more sound.

the high G string is called re-entrant tuning (spelling?) and gives a up strum sound even when you down strum, and gives the ukulele its typical sound, and is why reggae music suits the ukulele so well.

 

cheers

 

Cliff

Thanks for posting the question Keith, and thanks everyone also for the info..the banjo strings sound like a good one to try...(I am trying to upload some photos..but me and computers are not a good mix, it doesnt have knobs that you can turn lol) I have made 3 ukeleles, and yes they  all  have the resonance of a brick, ....back to the drawing board

Bit late into this conversation but here is my 2cents worth string solution. I use fishing line. 50 80 60 and 40 lb test nylon fishing line for standard high g tuning (gCEA). 

For a real outlying island sound I use 20 lb fishing line for all strings and Tahitian style tuning where the two middle strings are an octave higher than standard ( gceA). Others use whatever they find washed up on the beach.

I did once try  6 lb line which I took off my fishing rod but the sound was a bit less, they broke easily and they smelled slightly of lake water.

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