View Full Version : New Strings are Good!

01-31-2016, 08:36 AM
I picked up a cheap Oscar Schmidt Mahogany Concert ukulele two months ago as my first uke. I've been playing it pretty hard, trying to get to the point where my playing and sound is respectable, but have been struggling with certain chord patterns. I finally decided that a new set of strings might make things easier.

I picked up a set of D'Addario Pro Arte Titanium strings from my local Guitar Center store (knowing nothing about strings or brands and just picking up something that was reasonably priced and the proper size). I just finished removing the old factory strings (no idea what they were) and installing the D'Addarios. Wow...quite a change! Much easier fretting, easier to hold difficult chord positions, and a much clearer, brighter sound. They're still settling in, and I expect it will take a couple of days before they're stable, but the improvement over the old strings is very noticeable.

A question: Is there a technique to stretch the strings to accelerate the tuning stability, or is it just a matter of playing the hell out of them, retuning, rinse, and repeat?

01-31-2016, 08:40 AM
I've found that "pulling" on them to accelerate not always a great idea and may put too much strain on the saddle. I just lay the uke with new strings in a place I walk past frequently and tune it 4 or 5 times a day as I pass it. Even my Aquilas settle in after about 3 days or so. I had the same experience when I put Aquila's on my OU5.

01-31-2016, 10:10 AM
Stretch and pull a few times, then after your last strum for the day, one more stretch and pull, then tune each string sharp and leave over night.

01-31-2016, 05:21 PM
Yep, strings do make a difference. I haven't tried the titanium yet but I really like the D'Addario Carbons. I just keep a Snark tuner on the headstock for a few days and tuneup when I pick up the uke.

01-31-2016, 05:27 PM
tune each string sharp and leave over night.

This is what I've been doing for years - tune it to ADF#B when I'm putting it to bed for the night. With the Martin fluorocarbons I usually use, it does the trick overnight. Other types of strings still take longer; IIRC when I tried the D'Addario Titaniums it took a few days.

01-31-2016, 07:02 PM
I just use the conventional way, play more and it will create the tension at both end pretty fast to stabilize the tuning. Have fun and happy strumming! btw, i like the idea of ADF#B, maybe i will try that next round.

01-31-2016, 08:31 PM
Pulling the strings not only puts stress on the bridge, but can also cause the strings to stretch unevenly. Having thick and thin sections can cause intonation issues. I have always tuned a step sharp (adf#b) and played then tuned up again before putting it away. I usually get strings settled in a day.

mm stan
01-31-2016, 08:48 PM
I agree pulling strings can do serious damage to the neck or bridge
You can bend each string up and down 3 times individually. Do 3 to 4 sets daily till the strings stretch,
My second time picking up the uke, my second uke was a concert ou2 mahogany oscar schmidt
That was seven years ago, it came with ghs, on that uke i have never changed the strings and i like the tone
From that ukes purpose. It has a pleasant tone I like.