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Thread: low G string resonating too long

  1. #1

    Default low G string resonating too long

    One of my ukes is a cheap, basic, soprano. I decided to swap its original (high, reentrant) G string with a low G.

    The first one the shop recommended was a wound guitar string. It was very squeaky and also continued resonating much longer than the other three original strings. So, a low G note continuing through my subsequent sounds.

    Swapped it out for a "nonsqueaky" string -an unwound Aquila. No more squeaking, yay! But that extended resonating happens with this string too.

    How do I make a low G string match the resonance time of the others??

  2. #2
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    Smarter people than me will probably have better answers, but the only solution I've found is to try not to attack that string as hard in your strum. Come down softly on it, and increase the attack on the other three strings. I'll be interested to heari other ideas.
    Kiwaya KTS-6
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  3. #3

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    That sounds like quite a trick
    Thanks very much, Ziret!

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    I've not had this issue as described in 4 yrs since playing uke, however, if you are a newbie to the uke, it is likely more a matter of your technique rather than a defect in the strings or of the uke itself...

    Might I suggest you pay closer attention to how you are playing, as per above...and alter the way you approach the strings to lessen the problem...

    Adaptation is a worthy skill, and takes some practice.
    Just the FAQs
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  5. #5
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    I agree with the others. The soprano doesn't have much resonace to start with, especially strung reentrant. Once you add a low G, even on a concert or tenor it changes everything in a dramatic way. The first time I restrung my tenor from reentrant to low G I too was taken back by the difference. You will get use to it and you do need to alter your attack as the others have said. With some practice it is not that hard to master.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  6. #6
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    Low G on a soprano is always going to be a problem because the physics of how a string works say that it can't work very well - the scale is too short, so a string thick enough to get a low G is too thick to work properly.

    All you can do is experiment until you find a string that sounds least bad for your playing, and then work out how to play it as best you can. But recognise it could be a hopeless task to get the sound you want.

    If you want low G, concert scale works (marginally), tenor scale works fairly well, though even there you have to modify your playing technique.

  7. #7
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    Flourocarbon low G worked quite well for me on a soprano - I used Living Water concert Low G strings.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.
    Formerly known as uke1950.

  8. #8
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    People will say "low G doesn't work on soprano," but then as evidence that it can - Ohta-San.



    I play low G mainly on a longneck soprano and I think it sounds pretty good, but it took some experimenting to get there. Fluorocarbon strings? No, too boomy. Squeaky guitar strings or wound Aquila strings? No and no, too squeaky. My string of choice for low G, regardless of size, is the Fremont Soloist "Squeakless." While it may not work on every uke, it's sounded great on every uke I've tried it on, from longneck soprano to tenor.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by janeray1940 View Post
    People will say "low G doesn't work on soprano," but then as evidence that it can - Ohta-San.



    I play low G mainly on a longneck soprano and I think it sounds pretty good, but it took some experimenting to get there. Fluorocarbon strings? No, too boomy. Squeaky guitar strings or wound Aquila strings? No and no, too squeaky. My string of choice for low G, regardless of size, is the Fremont Soloist "Squeakless." While it may not work on every uke, it's sounded great on every uke I've tried it on, from longneck soprano to tenor.
    It's not that low G won't work at all, but it won't work well. But of course, a highly skilled player can compensate for that.

    Your longneck soprano has a concert scale (string physics worries about scale length, not body size), and as you say, even at that scale the low G is difficult to make work.

    There's no reason why someone shouldn't try low G on a soprano, though of course the nut slot will require widening, but they should be prepared for it to present difficulties.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProfChris View Post
    I...(string physics worries about scale length, not body size), and as you say, even at that scale the low G is difficult to make work...
    While tension is a factor when considering scale length, how can you ignore the fact that lower frequencies are impeded with a smaller sound box?

    To use a speaker analogy, you can't effectively nor efficiently reproduce treble or upper-midrange tones with a subwoofer type of speaker element, and vice versa that the laws of physic will prevent you from effectively reproducing a 150hz tone with a tweeter element.

    I don't recall the exact cutoff point for the resonant frequency lower bound for a standard soprano body, but a G3 note (low- G) is going to be significantly lower in amplitude (volume) than a G4 note (high-G) and even so, with the C4 note on the 3rd string on soprano, if an unwound string and of only about 6 lbs of string tension tends to be almost tubby sounding and flubby feeling on most sopranos, hence why lots of players will use a wound classical guitar type string of either 0.026" to 0.028" in diameter for a WOUND C string, in order to get a bit more tension and volume while also getting significant improvements in intonation.

    I have tested over 100 different sets of strings, and additionally, about 45 different classical guitar single strings over the past 4 yrs on ukulele, and the above comes from my own hands-on experience.
    Just the FAQs
    "Only those who will risk going too far, can possibly find out how far one can go."
    -T. S. Eliot

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