View Full Version : A string breaks on your ukulele

05-06-2015, 01:41 PM
Do you

A) just replace that string and keep playing


B) replace all four, since you are opening another set anyway?

05-06-2015, 01:52 PM
B. if you just do 1 you don't get that new car smell

05-06-2015, 02:06 PM
Depends on how long the set has been on the instrument. If it is a new set of strings, I may just replace the one, if I have one to fit.

Hippie Dribble
05-06-2015, 02:08 PM
Depends what you have on hand.

Normally I'd just replace the broken one and press on. But if you don't have the identical replica string set and find that the new string doesn't "mix" well with the others, then I'll change out all four.

The other side of the coin is the discoveries you can make by having an instrument strung with different strings. Sometimes, and pleasantly surprising, odd-bod sets can sound excellent too. It's all part of the journey I guess.

05-06-2015, 02:12 PM
Have so many loose strings, there almost always seems to be one available without opening a new pack.

05-06-2015, 02:12 PM
If the string ends are tucked-over each other, changing any single string except the top can be a pain.

05-06-2015, 02:20 PM
Depends....in the middle of a jam session, or open mic, I'd replace the broken one and uke on....

05-06-2015, 03:11 PM
Depends....in the middle of a jam session, or open mic, I'd replace the broken one and uke on....

I'm a smart arse ... I always take two ukes :nana:

05-06-2015, 03:53 PM
Two ukes sounds the way to go. I wouldn't bother trying to replace a string at a group, gig or jam because a) it takes too long, and b) it won't stay in tune very long.

At home is different (and what I guess the OP meant). I replace the full set unless it is a newish set anyway.

05-06-2015, 04:06 PM
Just the broken string at home.

05-07-2015, 01:54 AM
full set unless it's a low G or you have the extra single string. I've taken strings off and reused them more than once.

Inksplosive AL
05-07-2015, 08:09 AM
What a very simple question requiring a rather complex answer.

What made the string break, is it old, is there a sharp area cutting it, is it just the design of the uke or the string? I own a couple guitars and a bass along with umpteen ukuleles. If strings are new like the low G reds I tried on my Risa soprano after popping the second low G I only replaced the g string. On most instruments when a string breaks its time to replace them all.

Replace the strings if the instrument sounds dead, I wait a few days and try again some days everything sounds like crap. The old pineapple flea I bought came with the original black strings on it and they sounded great. After loosening them and stretching them back to upgrade to better friction tuners they are now pretty dead. Replace the strings if they came with the instrument.

My friends dad had an acoustic guitar the strings were so old and dead the tops of them were worn flat so I replaced them. Next time I saw his dad he asks me did you do something to my guitar? I shit right there as I have done nice things before to get slammed for it, wasn't my guitar shouldn't have touched it I get it and braced myself. He smiled and said it sounds like a new guitar.

Remember strings are like brooms, toothbrushes or tires they do wear and need to be replaced.

05-07-2015, 09:45 AM
I thought we were going all Zen like with that question.

"If a string breaks on your ukulele"...................while in the forest and no one is around to hear it is it really out of tune?

05-07-2015, 12:47 PM
When out and about with my uke I always have a replacement string set in the case.

...if performing and it happens, that is why I always take a a backup uke (with strings already broken in and stablized) to open mic and similar, just swap to the 'other uke'...

...if at a uke jam or workshop and it happens and I will just play along with the 3 remaining strings and pretend the missing string is still there...

In any event, later on I will most likely just replace the single string unless the remainders otherwise sound dead or tubby to my ear.

The only strings that ever snapped on me were the Aquila REDS low-g, and I always bought a few extra of those, and replaced them individually when they broke....but as Inksplosive AL has said above, I will also inspect the bridge and saddle to see if something sharp has caused the breakage that needs attention before replacing the string.

05-07-2015, 01:10 PM
Back in the day, I was a busker with a (ball-end) steel-string guitar, making noise on street corners until people paid me to shut up. I often broke strings, usually near the bridge because that's where I hit them with steel fingerpicks. The cost of strings then was non-trivial -- throwing on a new one every time would have left me hungry. So I kept needle-nose pliers in my pocket and left lots of leader on the tuning machines. String breaks? Quickly untune the machine and strip-out the string, run the broken end through the ball, twist it on, tighten the string and continue. Downtime: about two minutes.

Oh, you fops and wastrels, throwing away all those strings! ;) Nope, I recycled.

Broken uke strings should be even easier to deal with, as long as the break is near the bridge. Whip the string out, tie a knot in the end, and slip it back in. Easy-peasy. I'll have to try than next time I break a uke string. (Hasn't happened to me yet.)