PDA

View Full Version : Question about the thickness of strings?



Irish Uke Tom
09-01-2015, 10:28 AM
Hi guys,

I have joined up to UU+ and not regretting it at all. I have a silly question which I need someone to set straight for me though. I use Super Nyglut Aquila strings gCEA (as in high g). The thickest string is C then E, then it is either G or A. Which one is higher when played open? Which is it? Are the two strings the same but with only different tunings. Or is the G string the thinnest string?

Thanks for your time guys

Irish Tom

CactusWren
09-01-2015, 10:46 AM
Sorry, I don't have those strings. On my (I think) Worth clears, the A is the thinnest string, clearly thinner than the G.

the.ronin
09-01-2015, 10:54 AM
Looking at a set of Worth browns with a high G, the difference is negligible - 0.0205" for the A vs 0.0224" for the G. I think I'd read some people use them interchangeably.

Booli
09-01-2015, 11:17 AM
Hi guys,

I have joined up to UU+ and not regretting it at all. I have a silly question which I need someone to set straight for me though. I use Super Nyglut Aquila strings gCEA (as in high g). The thickest string is C then E, then it is either G or A. Which one is higher when played open? Which is it? Are the two strings the same but with only different tunings. Or is the G string the thinnest string?

Thanks for your time guys

Irish Tom

In re-entrant tuning on a uke, which is what you have with a high-G as the closest string to your face when holding the uke to play it, the 're-entrant' part means that this string is in fact a HIGHER pitch than the next string down to the floor, i.e., the 'C' string, and in the case of a standard uke tuning, the rest are tuned LINEAR (like the notes on a piano).

Baritone ukes can also be tuned/strung re-entrant.(i.e. with a high-D).

The 'other' typical uke tuning is called LINEAR, or low-G, which is similar to a guitar in that from your face to the floor, the strings go from fat to thinner, and lower pitch to higher pitch respectively.

Unless you have a 6 or 8 string uke there should be no strings that have identical or unison pitches ***IF*** you are in a standard tuning. However, there are some slack-key, open-D and other non-'standard' uke tunings such as GCEG or DADG (for baritone) that will have redundantly pitched strings, or octaves, but that is not applicable here.

If this does not help, please let me know and I will try to find a better explanation for you.

Irish Uke Tom
09-01-2015, 12:35 PM
Thanks guys.
Really helpful. Booli, that did help but can I clarify with you at bit further.
Basically I was asking to find the order in terms of thickness for my make of strings. I couldn't find the dimensions online, I really have looked a lot but I don't think it really matters. I think it goes CEGA then but I probably don't have the best eyesight.
I get that CEA is linear (low to high) but where would the high G go on this line. Would it be before or after the A?

Thanks,

Irish T

k0k0peli
09-01-2015, 01:07 PM
We had a saying back in my electronic engineering days; The nice thing about standards is that there are so many of them!

Long story: In octave notation the current standard tuning in some parts of the world for 4-string soprano, concert, and tenor 'ukes is G4-C4-E4-A4 where the C4 is middle C on a piano. This is called C tuning.

An older standard, still used in many places and by many players for a 'brighter' sound, is a whole step higher: A4-D4-F#4-B4 or D tuning. Some players like a darker sound from their axes and tune DOWN a whole step or more, to Bb or A tuning.

Many players of Hawai'ian music drop ('slack') the top string for a more open, flowing sound, giving G4-C4-E4-G4 in C tuning and A4-D4-F#4-A4 in D tuning. Others use different slack-key tunings with the same strings.

Some players use different gauge strings for different tunings. Many do not, but just take advantage of the flexibility of non-metallic strings. Some string makers use slightly different gauges for the top and bottom strings, the high-G and A strings in C tuning, and some do not. And some string makers sell the same strings for soprano and concert 'ukes, or concert and tenor 'ukes, even though their different scale lengths mean they have different tensions to produce the same note on different 'ukes. Yikes!

Some players and listeners seemingly can detect a different tone between a 28-gauge (0.028" / 0.71mm) G string and a 29-gauge (0.029" / 0.74mm) A string when tuned to the same pitch but that is too subtle for me. To me, top and bottom strings are pretty much interchangeable -- which is handy if either breaks!

Short story: Don't worry about it. And to answer your last question: A is a whole tone higher than G. The linear diatonic (piano whit keys) scale is C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C, do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do. Hope this helps!

Irish Uke Tom
09-01-2015, 01:13 PM
k0k0peli.
You answered an earlier question of mine aswell. And, once again, you give me exactly what I wanted even though my question was a bit daft.

Thanks from Ireland!

Thomas

Booli
09-01-2015, 01:23 PM
Thanks guys.
Really helpful. Booli, that did help but can I clarify with you at bit further.
Basically I was asking to find the order in terms of thickness for my make of strings. I couldn't find the dimensions online, I really have looked a lot but I don't think it really matters. I think it goes CEGA then but I probably don't have the best eyesight.
I get that CEA is linear (low to high) but where would the high G go on this line. Would it be before or after the A?

Thanks,

Irish T

No, you are CLOSE, but the G string goes BEFORE the C string, as per below:

On/in EVERY pack of Aquila strings that I have seen, the strings are each in an individual plastic sleeve with a colored dot sticker ON THE SLEEVE, or have a colored ink dab at one end at the end of the string, and in either case, those COLORS correspond to the string's position when installed as per the BACK of the string package:

(as such, this is TOP-DOWN, from 4-to-1, from your face to the floor)

G-4th string-white dot
C-3rd string-green dot
E-2nd string-blue dot
A-1st string-red dot

Even if you have 20/20 vision, it will be near impossible to tell by sight or by touch, the difference between an A string and a G string as they are often only 20-thousandths of an inch difference in diameter (0.002"), REGARDLESS if the string is Nylgut, Fluorocarbon or Nylon.

The only reliable way to measure strings that i know if is with either a micrometer or calipers. I use a digital one I got off eBay for $15 from China that can show either imperial or metric units.

if you are still thinking that the strings are installed in LINEAR-pitch order, you do not yet have a grasp of what is meant by re-entrant tuning. CEGA is not correct, it is in fact GCEA as per the colored dots above which I have copied directly from one of my own Aquila SuperNylgut string packs.

Please confirm if this provides enough clarification...:)

Irish Uke Tom
09-01-2015, 01:37 PM
I know how to tune the ukulele, it was just more of a hypothetical. If you had to arrange the gCEA strings in linear order which way would they go. Think I was gettting bogged down in something that didn't really matter. But Thanks, Booli and Koppoli, you guys have been great. I'm slowly getting there!

Booli
09-01-2015, 02:31 PM
I know how to tune the ukulele, it was just more of a hypothetical. If you had to arrange the gCEA strings in linear order which way would they go. Think I was gettting bogged down in something that didn't really matter. But Thanks, Booli and Koppoli, you guys have been great. I'm slowly getting there!

No problem. Keep in mind that there are no 'rules', just conventions and you can string it however you want, but if, hypothetically you string it CEgA, you are going to have to figure out chords and scales on your own, since none of the existing sheet music or tabs that I've ever seen are written for you to play in this odd tuning.

As k0k0peli has mentioned, in scientific pitch notation, with C4 being 'middle C' on the piano, a RE-ENTRANT uke in C6 tuning would be

G4-C4-E4-A4

and a LINEAR uke in C6 tuning would be

G3-C4-E4-A4

with the ONLY difference of re-entrant vs. linear being that the 4th string, i.e., the 'G' string is an OCTAVE lower, and therefore pitched BELOW the C string, instead of above the C string.

It is common for beginners to get confused over this, as I once was, so I stayed with a linear tuning for almost the first 8 months, until I decided I did not like it any more, and went re-entrant on all but one uke which is linear, or 'low-G', and I've kept my ukes that way now for 2 yrs since, and will soon be exploring 5ths-tuning (like a violin or cello), but dont worry about that now...:)