View Full Version : Strings for fingerstyle?

11-02-2015, 02:26 AM
My Kala KA-SMHT came strung with Aquilas, and while I'm very happy with the instrument overall, I don't feel like I'm getting adequate sustain or depth of sound. I don't mind the feel of the Aquilas (I know some people find them rough) but they sound very dry to me, particularly with fingerstyle (which is how I mostly play). For those of you who play fingerstyle, do you have suggestions of strings that might provide a better sound?

Thanks in advance,

11-02-2015, 03:32 AM
I like Martin M600's which are readily available and fairly inexpensive (at least in my area), so you might try those.

If you like the Aquilas, try Worth Browns.

I do have some Living Waters I am going to try out this winter when I have more time to play. They are a bit more expensive, but I have heard great things about them, so I ordered a set from Uke Republic.

11-02-2015, 03:38 AM
Living Waters, Oasis, Martins, Aquila Lava, Worth. It's really up to you, but I prefer fluorocarbons in general. The Aquila Lavas are not fluorocarbon, but I did like them. But a bit muddy sounding for my preference.

Patrick Madsen
11-02-2015, 03:45 AM
I like a higher tension string with a wound third for fingerpickin'. So far my choice has been Southcoast. Oasis sent me a prototype 3rd wound that has been a game changer for me using those strings.

11-02-2015, 03:50 AM
I've been on an Oasis kick lately.
They can often be had for $6-ish for a double set, and last a long time for CF strings.
The brights do a good job projecting in the trebles and I tend to carry the melody in the trebles.

11-02-2015, 04:16 AM
I don't think there is a quick answer for you, strings are so subjective and such a personal choice. That being said, I prefer carbon strings in general and have been using PhD, Savarez, and D'Addario (EJ99T) with great success.

11-02-2015, 04:49 AM
As with others, I will also recommend trying fluorocarbon strings. Since most fluorocarbon strings are very similar, try and keep track which ones are thinner and which ones are thicker. I believe that there are some chemical differences in fluorocarbon strings, but I have found that most of the string change impact comes from the diameter of the strings.


11-02-2015, 05:10 AM
+1 Living Water - they are slightly lighter than the Martins (which are still good) and thus the C string sounds a bit livelier imho.

11-02-2015, 07:20 AM
Thanks all for the great suggestions... I'll be trying a few of these over the next few weeks, and I'll let you know what seems to work best.

Cheers, all.

11-02-2015, 08:52 AM
Thanks to the OP for asking the question, I had been contemplating asking the same thing. So far in my own search I have been impressed with a Fremont blackline/soloist setup on the concert. Have Savarez reentrant on the tenor but now strings have arrived from South Coast. Next stop will be the new SC linear 50/50 set when it's available. No rush.

11-02-2015, 11:58 PM
I'd like to cast a vote for Aquila Reds. They really give some extra punch to fingerpicked notes. Helps the upper frets in particular in my experience.

11-03-2015, 12:09 AM
For melody playing, try Southcoast HML-RW. They really sing. Other than that, I like Oasis and Worth Clear for fingerpicking.

11-03-2015, 01:29 AM
I'd like to cast a vote for Aquila Reds. They really give some extra punch to fingerpicked notes. Helps the upper frets in particular in my experience.

Thank you! Finally someone share my thought on Aquila Reds!
I don't use them anymore because they snap easily even with the new batch.

phil hague
11-03-2015, 01:39 AM
For sustain I have to play through an amp as the notes die away quite quickly when fingerpicked.
Worth browns are quite good but I find them a bit thin and prefer the slightly thicker aquilas.
Using a decent amp seems to bring out hidden tones in my ukes.

11-03-2015, 06:05 AM
I retune to a easier tension bflat tuning... F bflat d g. for solo finger picking on any string type I have on the instrument . I much prefer it. And retune up to c or use a capo when playing with others.