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Dbomer
03-16-2015, 07:53 AM
Getting close to time to make the nut and saddle on my Tenor build. Being an old guitar picker, I would like to tune it DGBE like bottom four strings of a guitar. I ordered a DGBE set of Aquilas. They are color coded, and I'm a bit confused. The diameters are as follows: D .036, G .034, B .042, E .033. Can this be correct? I'm used to lower frequency strings being larger diameter.
Also, is DGBE tuning on a Tenor uke the same frequency or an octave above standard guitar tuning?
Being new to the Ukulele world, any help would be greatly appreciated

Tootler
03-16-2015, 08:18 AM
This topic comes up from time to time. I have my tenors tuned dGBE - re-entrant tuning. I think that sounds better than low D. If you want low D, you're probably better off with a Baritone.

Here's a link to a recent thread on dGBE tuning. http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?104893-dGBE-tuning-for-tenor-uke&highlight=DGBE+tenor

Take particular note of the posts from Southcoast Ukes. Dirk knows what he is talking about.

This page from the Southcoast web site is essential reading, IMO. http://www.southcoastukes.com/stringuide.htm

Hammond
03-16-2015, 08:57 AM
Hi,

If the D & G strings are wound strings, since wound strings are usually thinner than un-wound strings (i.e. wound D thinner than un-wound D), then the diameters you stated looks correct. Follow the strings package instruction should be fine.

The usual Linear G tuning (DGBE on large ukulele such as tenor and baritone) is the same as first four strings of guitar, not an octave about. ;)

JonThysell
03-17-2015, 05:41 AM
Based on your description, you most likely have Aquila reentrant dgbe strings if the d is unwound. G, b and e are all the same octave as a guitar, d is one octave up.

If you don't care about using a different key, I'd recommend restringing to a linear gcea. You'll probably get a better tone out of your uke and you can still fingerpick exactly the same guitar material you'll just be up five half-steps.

If you do care about playing in the same key, get a baritone and tune it the regular linear dgbe.

Tenors in linear dgbe often sound dead or choked.

Down Up Dick
03-17-2015, 05:59 AM
Well heck! I have a thread going in the beginners section, trying to figure out if'n I got the correct strings for my banjolele. I want high D, and string #1 is NOT wound. Is that correct, JonThysell?

I certainly hope so; the package isn't marked with the string's number. :old:

Down Up Dick
03-17-2015, 06:25 AM
Based on your description, you most likely have Aquila reentrant dgbe strings if the d is unwound. G, b and e are all the same octave as a guitar, d is one octave up.

If you don't care about using a different key, I'd recommend restringing to a linear gcea. You'll probably get a better tone out of your uke and you can still fingerpick exactly the same guitar material you'll just be up five half-steps.

If you do care about playing in the same key, get a baritone and tune it the regular linear dgbe.

Tenors in linear dgbe often sound dead or choked.

I have heard that DGBE sounds "dead or choked" on a tenor Uke from other peeps on this forum. I'm hoping mine will sound good and more like a banjo. I want to use it for Clawhammer; I guess I'll know when I put 'em on.

Anyway, thanks again for the info. I hope you're correct. :old:

Tootler
03-17-2015, 09:21 AM
I have heard that DGBE sounds "dead or choked" on a tenor Uke from other peeps on this forum


I agree with that. I know someone with a tenor tuned linear DGBE with wound 3rd & 4th strings and it sounds dead to me and very quiet.

I've retuned mine to re-entrant DGBE (high D) and they're fine. If you're going to play clawhammer then I think high D is the way to go as the high 4th string can then play the same role as a banjo 5th string.

gteague
05-22-2016, 02:24 PM
This topic comes up from time to time. I have my tenors tuned dGBE - re-entrant tuning. I think that sounds better than low D. If you want low D, you're probably better off with a Baritone.

Here's a link to a recent thread on dGBE tuning. http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?104893-dGBE-tuning-for-tenor-uke&highlight=DGBE+tenor

Take particular note of the posts from Southcoast Ukes. Dirk knows what he is talking about.

This page from the Southcoast web site is essential reading, IMO. http://www.southcoastukes.com/stringuide.htm

i have my first ukes coming in, a tenor and a baritone. the baritone was so that i could use my guitar chords in case i'm too old to learn new chords or at least new names for old chords. [g]

so i'm considering, now that i've heard it was possible, tuning the tenor to a baritone tuning. i realize this might be putting myself at cross-purposes.

i've played string instruments since the 5th grade and worked for a music store, so i'm not entirely lost when it comes to string selection, but that southcoast page linked to and another page at that site showing how to interpret the pretty graphics is incomprehensible gibberish to me. perhaps because i've never played or owned a uke and all i know about tuning it is 'my dog has fleas' from elementary school when they inflicted them on us for a few weeks. i'm researching as fast as i can for hours per day waiting for mine to come in.

what is the problem with using classical (nylon) guitar strings? if it's tension, they have extra light gauge ones. is one or more of the strings tuned an octave different?

i can't find any strings that seem suitable on musicians friend and amazon has a couple of sets with like 3 month delivery times. another thread here had an ebay link to a brand i didn't recognize.

tks for any help. i already see it's a nuanced topic with either no ideal solutions or many 'close enough' solutions.

<oh, my first post--you guys were one of the first resources i signed up for after my purchase, so hello to the group!>

/guy

gteague
05-22-2016, 02:35 PM
bad form to answer my own post, but one of the very next threads i read had a link to ghs strings:

http://store.ghsstrings.com/tenor-uke-baritone-re-entrant-tuning/

pretty sure those are exactly what i need to try out the tenor with baritone tuning.

tks! i'm sure to have dozens more questions as i slog through learning these beasties.

/guy

Soundbored
05-22-2016, 03:43 PM
Getting close to time to make the nut and saddle on my Tenor build. Being an old guitar picker, I would like to tune it DGBE like bottom four strings of a guitar. I ordered a DGBE set of Aquilas. They are color coded, and I'm a bit confused. The diameters are as follows: D .036, G .034, B .042, E .033. Can this be correct? I'm used to lower frequency strings being larger diameter.
Also, is DGBE tuning on a Tenor uke the same frequency or an octave above standard guitar tuning?
Being new to the Ukulele world, any help would be greatly appreciated

The "D" and "G" strings of a guitar are in the 3rd octave of the piano (D3, G3), which is the same octave as a uke with a "low G" (G3).

And for the strings, the diameter is irrelevant to understanding the tension on them. You need to know the scale length (17") and the Unit Weight of the strings.

JackLuis
05-22-2016, 07:26 PM
I have two tenors tuned dGBE and I just used standard hi g Tenor Stings. Yes the tension is low but very playable. Fremont Black lines and Worth Brown Fats, I've tried D'Addrio Carbons and they work too. I just put Worth Brown Baritone strings on my baritone and the only difference is the D string is 0.358" vs 0.316" for the hi G string in the Tenor set. These are all monofiliment not wound. The Fremont's seem a little brighter, but that may be the Ukes.

I think Low D non-wound on a tenor would be pretty low tensioned. On the baritone it's pretty loose too.