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UkuLincoln
05-13-2015, 10:36 AM
I'm fairly new to ukulele (6 months). I play many hours ever day, so I'm thinking it should be time to change the strings.

I was looking at trying a different type than the Aquillas that came on the ukulele. I was looking at Worth, but am confused by all the different thicknesses.

I've read a bunch of threads on this forum about strings, but am still confused. I feel like I like the tension on my concert, but my soprano feels a bit floppy when I strum. Would putting thicker strings on the soprano make the strings feel tighter when I play?

Thanks,

Lincoln

Ukulele Eddie
05-13-2015, 11:07 AM
I was initially confused by all the string stuff, too. Sopranos will have less string tension than concert, which in turn will have less than tenors (assuming same tuning). Still, they needn't be floppy. You might try Southcoast which uses a tension guide (all string sets are 30" so they fit all sizes). Since you want more tension, you want the little do-hickey in the chart for the 13" scale to be in the middle of the green or toward the red (toward blue would be lower tension). I often use the Light Gauge (LU) and have not found them too floppy (used to be called Light Mediums).

I have also frequently used Aquila Red (they are not for everyone, admittedly) and Living Water, which are both excellent as well.

Fortunately, strings are inexpensive and since they can have a big impact on your instrument's sound, I suggest trying several different types. No need to wait until they need to be changed. You can always elect not to trim them so they can be re-used if you pull them off after a day or three. ;-)

With as much as you're playing, you'll be running up the learning curve!

Icelander53
05-13-2015, 11:14 AM
Often you'll see somewhere on the string set the tension listed, high or low or whatever. Especially if they have lots of sets.

DownUpDave
05-13-2015, 12:12 PM
String choices can be influenced in a number of ways, sound (warm or bright) tension, diameter and hardness. To over simplify this there are Nylon strings, Florocarbon strings and Aquilas. Florocarbon strings for the most part will be smaller in diameter than Aquilas, Nylon will be larger. Tension is a component of material used and the diameter.

Short answer try some florocarbons on yoir concert, either Worth CM ( clear mediums, for concert size and bright sounding) or Oasis warm or bright. For your soprano try Martin M600 these are florocarbon and sized for soprano or concert so you may get a little more tension with these. I have them on a super soprano and really like them.

UkuLincoln
05-14-2015, 08:03 AM
Thanks for replying everyone. But, perhaps it is just me. I don't feel like I am any less confused than I was before.

I also wrote to Worth. They wrote back, but didn't say anything about string thickness.

If I use the Southcoast tension guide, there were no choices that showed a soprano with high tension.

DownUpDave
05-14-2015, 08:34 AM
Thanks for replying everyone. But, perhaps it is just me. I don't feel like I am any less confused than I was before.

I also wrote to Worth. They wrote back, but didn't say anything about string thickness.

If I use the Southcoast tension guide, there were no choices that showed a soprano with high tension.

As Eddie wrote tension is relative to scale length. The shortest scale will have the lowest tension, next highest tension is concert and higher still is tenor. You can't have a soprano tuned the same as a concert and obtain the same string tension. You are working against physics and physics wins everytime. Some strings have higher tension than others so you can fine tune the feel.

I don't have a lot of experience fooling around with sopranos, I play mostly tenors. On one concert I swapped concert gauge strings for soprano strings and it dropped the tension. So going the other way to larger diameter will increase tension, using the same make and type of string Strings are cheap and the ONLY way you can find what you want is by experimenting. Try either Martin M600, Oasis warms or D'Addario Titaniums.

Ukulele Eddie
05-14-2015, 08:57 AM
Thanks for replying everyone. But, perhaps it is just me. I don't feel like I am any less confused than I was before.

I also wrote to Worth. They wrote back, but didn't say anything about string thickness.

If I use the Southcoast tension guide, there were no choices that showed a soprano with high tension.

You won't find high tension for C tuning on a soprano. But I suspect if you try the Light Gauge tension (rated medium), you'll find it acceptable. Like you, I don't like floppy strings and these work well for me.

Brad Bordessa
05-14-2015, 08:58 AM
Buy a few sets. Try them out. (Keep them at original length so you can reuse them when you take them off.) It will teach you more than any reading will be able to.