PDA

View Full Version : Low d DGBE for tenor: possible?



Kimosabe
02-14-2016, 07:18 PM
Does anyone have experience with a standard baritone tuning on a tenor?

I have a Pono chambered body electric that I'd like to string like a baritone if possible.

I have two baritone acoustics, one high d and one low d.

The baritone tuning suits my baritone voice.

I've tried to research it but can't find any sets other than high d.

Much obliged I'm sure!

hollisdwyer
02-14-2016, 07:34 PM
I suggest that you contact Dirk at South Coast Strings. If anyone would have the set you desire, he would.

anthonyg
02-14-2016, 07:38 PM
Its certainly possible. I have a set of standard DGBE Baritone strings on a Tenor ukulele. It works for me. The tension is low and the sound is mellow but it does work. Just put a standard set of baritone stings on the ukulele. Tune it DGBE and see what you think.

Anthony

Down Up Dick
02-14-2016, 07:40 PM
Hi, I went through the same search for a low d for my tenor banjolele without any luck at all. Finally I tuned it with the high D but, later, changed to another tuning. Then, just today, I re-tuned it back to DGBE.

A few UUers suggested using other strings (I don't remember what instruments.), but I didn't want to bother. :old:

Mattyukaholic
02-14-2016, 11:44 PM
I've done a fair amount of experimenting with this with my Kanile'a for this tuning.

The result that I love is:
D = Martin baritone wound low D string.
G = Martin baritone wound G string.
B = Aquila super nylgut tenor C string tuned down to B.
E = Aquila super nylgut tenor A string tuned down to E.

I must have tried gazillions of different options to get to this with surprising results e.g. Aquila tenor A tuned down sounding better than Aquila E for the E string.

I also tried the Aquila DGBE strings for tenor but they didn't work for me.

I'm just sharing what I found BUT I only used combinations of things I had in my cupboard; you might want to try the Living Water, Chee Maisel or Southcoast bespoke sets first! It's a lot easier!

I do love the sound of DGBE on a tenor. It's especially nice for jazz. Lyle Ritz stuff plays a dream in this tuning (though he used re-entrant.)

Matt

Jim Hanks
02-15-2016, 01:15 AM
There have been at least two threads on this very recently so see if you can look back in the forums. It is possible but not common. I love Southcoast but I doubt that is an option here. Dirk doesn't even like low D on a baritone body. :-)

drbekken
02-15-2016, 04:36 AM
Search for Gordon Mark on youtube. There are several delightful videos of him playing a low D tenor ukulele. Amazing stuff.

Kimosabe
02-15-2016, 07:33 AM
Thanks, Matty. I'll try your recipe and experiment as well. Yes, I have seen both Gordon and Doc's videos. I have also searched Dirk's sets, and am familiar with the Chee/Maisel dGBE set. I was just wondering whether I had missed a set that has been perfected. It seems Aguila has a set that promotes itself as a DGBE set, but really it is a high d.

Matty and Doc B seem to have the most direct experience. Thanks.

earljam
02-15-2016, 07:44 AM
...you could get a set and put a low D with them, I like the tension

Down Up Dick
02-16-2016, 03:27 AM
Well, I tuned my Gold Tone banjolele to DGBE again, and, again, I don't like it at all. The low G is boomy and the tone has got a "hollow" sound that I don't care for. It's tone was great until the strings settled in. I read somewhere that Ukes just don't sound good down low, and I agreed when I read it and changed from DGBE. Buuuut, then I decided to give it another try.

Soooo, it's back to the drawing board. I really don't understand what's in our uke'n minds that makes us change everything. Why can't we just leave well enough alone? It might be different, if we knew what we were doin'.

Now I gotta change strings again--Ahhh, well . . . :old:

drbekken
02-16-2016, 04:34 AM
Well, I tuned my Gold Tone banjolele to DGBE again, and, again, I don't like it at all. The low G is boomy and the tone has got a "hollow" sound that I don't care for. It's tone was great until the strings settled in. I read somewhere that Ukes just don't sound good down low, and I agreed when I read it and changed from DGBE. Buuuut, then I decided to give it another try.

Soooo, it's back to the drawing board. I really don't understand what's in our uke'n minds that makes us change everything. Why can't we just leave well enough alone? It might be different, if we knew what we were doin'.

Now I gotta change strings again--Ahhh, well . . . :old:

I think you need a wooden/laminate uke to make the tuning work. A banjolele is different.

Down Up Dick
02-16-2016, 05:08 AM
You may be correct, but I have another idea.

Whenever I've had a boomy string before, I've noticed that it didn't boom when I finger picked but only when I strummed. Well, I'll just use my banjolele to learn some Clawhammer tunes I've been putting off and--viola!--save the day!

Or . . . just use this idea to keep from having to change strings again . . . :old:

DaveY
02-16-2016, 05:28 AM
Well, I'll just use my banjolele to learn some Clawhammer tunes I've been putting off and--viola!--save the day!

Actually, I think it will still be a banjolele, and that restringing won't turn it into a viola.

Kimosabe
02-16-2016, 06:23 AM
Out of desperation or in a moment of inspiration I picked up my very nice Pono Tenor Electric and tuned it down to DGBE. I expected the strings to flop around and for my hands to get caught in the strings. Well, low and behold, it ain't so. The tension is actually very pleasant as is the sound.

So, a major discovery I've made this year is that there's much more leeway in the tuning of your strings. I use South Coast and Aguila.

Let's make sure we understand the basics: the third string is the name of the tuning! So, if you play baritone consider tuning it G, G#/Ab/, A, A#/Bb. That all depends on what's best for your voice or the resonance of your instrument.

Of course, you don't want to break off the neck of your instrument, or lose an eye from a broken string. I haven't broken any necks or lost any eyes with those tunings.

And with tenors, tuning down from C to G or anywhere in between only involves the chance of tripping over your strings if they're dangling on the floor.

Just do it!

Down Up Dick
02-16-2016, 08:08 AM
Kimosabe, in the third paragraph of your post. I have no idea what you're talking about.

"Baritone tuning" is indeed the key of G, but it's Hi D GBE! I think "tuning down" would make the strings very floppy. :old:

Kimosabe
02-16-2016, 09:53 AM
Kimosabe, in the third paragraph of your post. I have no idea what you're talking about.

"Baritone tuning" is indeed the key of G, but it's Hi D GBE! I think "tuning down" would make the strings very floppy. :old:

Going from G to G# is raising the tuning a half step higher than standard baritone tuning. Raising it to A is a full step higher.

Dirk of South Coast talks of how the optimal tuning for the resonance of a baritone is not the G tuning. It's higher.

I was referring to the name of the tuning, the pitch of the third string.

70sSanO
02-16-2016, 11:36 AM
This has become an interesting thread to me since I just happened to find a nice Harmony baritone and I am really enjoying it. Finally found what it's like to play a baritone.

So, I have a 18" tenor that is not getting much use at the moment. Has anyone taken the A-D-G-B strings from a classical guitar string set and used them on a tenor tuned as D-G-B-E?

John

Down Up Dick
02-16-2016, 12:05 PM
Well, Kimosabe, I still don't understand, but it doesn't really matter, I guess. Maybe you're on a different level from me. Anyway, I hope you enjoy whatever you're talking about.

Dirk posted me a long time ago. He's the one who told me that low, low tones weren't best for ukuleles. Something about the size of the body. But I had the strings and decided to try it again. Maybe the strings'll sound better when I'm clawhammering, and I won't have to change.

Anyway, good luck on your Uke Journey! :old:

coolkayaker1
02-16-2016, 11:04 PM
I tuned my high-tension high G Southcoast stringset in my Covered Bridge tenor down to reentrant dGBE this past morning. I played it several times during the entire day. It "works", but is not nearly as pleasant sounding as my two baritone ukes with dedicated baritone strings when I play them side-to-side.

The down-tuned tenor strings are "muddy", with less string-to-string distinction than the strings on my baritone. Also, the G string of the dGBE-tuned tenor strings has sustain that is longer and out of proportion to the other three strings; this is not the case on the "proper" baritone sets.

So, yeah, I agree with the notion from Mr. Hanks that it's possible--technically, on my tuner, it's baritone dGBE on my tenor, and using tenor strings--but it's not common, and now I know why. I'd have to break out my galoshes every time I'd want to wade into the muck. Lol.

It's akin to putting Prius tires on a Corvette. Is it possible? Yes. Is it pleasant to drive? No. Lol.

Ymmv. Just my take. (And I'd have thought if any strings would have been successful,mit would have been, in fact, the Soiuthcoat High Tension tenor set...it's the highest tension set they make, dont know the lettering nomenclature)

Nickie
02-17-2016, 03:27 AM
Actually, I think it will still be a banjolele, and that restringing won't turn it into a viola.

LOL Davey, you made me bust a gut laughing.
I just restrung a tenor uke with the dGBE set that Craig Chee uses. They are from GHS strings.
I think it sounds pretty darn good.

Kimosabe
02-17-2016, 05:59 AM
There seems to be a misunderstanding on the parts of some of the commentators. I did not tune a reentrant tenor set down to dGBE on my tenor. I tuned a linear set down to DGBE.

Down Up Dick
02-17-2016, 06:11 AM
You're correct; that can be done. That's what I also did, and, as long as I fingerpick it, I think it'll be all right. The low D is the fly in the ointment. Now, I'm gonna use the banjolele to finish up Aaron Keim's Clawhammer book.

But I don't care for the sound of strumming it with its boomy low G at all. Well, happy uking! :old:

Tootler
02-17-2016, 12:15 PM
I've been very happy with my tenors tuned down to dGBE. To me the Bruko sounds better than the tenor Fluke whose G Does boomy but others have said the Fluke sounds really good. The Risa will work with anyway as there's no body resonance to worry about. I play my Risa at open mics as it's easy just to plug in. It needs a preamp but with a preamp, it works well and again I've had positive comments on the sound. "Big sound from a little instrument" is typical.

Down Up Dick
02-17-2016, 01:48 PM
Tootler, what did you use for the low D? :old:

coolkayaker1
02-17-2016, 04:27 PM
There seems to be a misunderstanding on the parts of some of the commentators. I did not tune a reentrant tenor set down to dGBE on my tenor. I tuned a linear set down to DGBE.

Aren't three of the four strings we're talking about the same in your model and mine?

I do prefer reentrant. Even have it on my baritone Ukuleles, so that is the only way to make a direct comparison of down-tuned tenor to baritone in my shed.

I appreciate your bringing this up, Kimosabe. It just didn't work for me. On the good side, if it works for the majority who try it, uke manufacturers can cease production of baritone ukes altogether!

Kimosabe
02-17-2016, 09:08 PM
I love my ukes of different sizes and keep them tuned differently. Tenor GCEA linear, concert gCEA, one baritone DGBE, and one dGBE. Lastly, I have a very nice Pono cambered electric tenor tuned GCEA. I just didn't want to put out for another uke, an electric baritone, which would be very useful in my music endeavors. Finding that I can tune the Pono DGBE and GCEA with the same set of strings is a money and space saving revelation.

The tension and clarity may not be perfect but I don't need or even believe in perfect. Members have commented on the beauty of a Gordon Mark video where he beautifully plays a tenor tuned DGBE and one commentator pointed out the the strings aren't perfectly balanced in loudness but Gordon Mark compensates with his skill.

coolkayaker1
02-18-2016, 02:26 AM
The tension and clarity may not be perfect but I don't need or even believe in perfect. Members have commented on the beauty of a Gordon Mark video where he beautifully plays a tenor tuned DGBE and one commentator pointed out the the strings aren't perfectly balanced in loudness but Gordon Mark compensates with his skill.

I'm curious, does Mr Mark use tenor strings down tuned to baritone tuning, as suggested in your post #14 below, or does he use some form of dedicated strings for the purpose, such as a guitar String-set?

My experimentation and lackluster results were only because I was trying your suggestion (and it worked for you, I'm not denying that in the least). But, if there's an alternative, I'd like to try it. Thanks.

coolkayaker1
02-18-2016, 02:27 AM
Out of desperation or in a moment of inspiration I picked up my very nice Pono Tenor Electric and tuned it down to DGBE. I expected the strings to flop around and for my hands to get caught in the strings. Well, low and behold, it ain't so. The tension is actually very pleasant as is the sound.

Just do it!

Is this what Mr Mark does?

Down Up Dick
02-18-2016, 03:34 AM
Aquila makes a Hi-D GBE set for tenors. That's what I had before, but the low G was red and very boomy. The set I have on now is from strings that I collected from different sets.

I'm sorry I retuned my banjolele, but I can still use it. :old:

Kimosabe
02-18-2016, 07:13 AM
Not sure what Gordon Mark does. Would be very interesting to know. I'll try to do some investigating.

70sSanO
02-18-2016, 08:20 AM
So....

Has anyone tried these?

http://www.labella.com/products/fg114/

They are for a 17" scale.

John

drbekken
02-18-2016, 09:31 AM
Not sure what Gordon Mark does. Would be very interesting to know. I'll try to do some investigating.
I don't know either what Gordon Mark does, but for my video I put regular DGBE baritone strings (GHS) on the tenor, and tuned it just like a baritone. The sound was ultra mellow.

Camsuke
02-18-2016, 09:50 AM
Hannabach also have fractional Classical Guitar strings. There are many options for scale length and tension which will suit baritone or tenor ukes.
https://www.stringsbymail.com/classical-guitar-strings-1/hannabach-57/kinder-strings-129/

70sSanO
02-18-2016, 09:55 AM
Hannabach also have fractional Classical Guitar strings. There are many options for scale length and tension which will suit baritone or tenor ukes.
https://www.stringsbymail.com/classical-guitar-strings-1/hannabach-57/kinder-strings-129/

I just happen to stumble on the La Bella strings and it is nice to know about Hannabach. If anyone notices the diameters of just the 1st and 2nd strings, they are .030" and .035"/.036". These are pretty hefty stings that would seem to hold up to the shorter scale. Plus there are 2 extra wound guitar strings (E and A), so you could possible add tension by going to a larger diameter string for the bass strings.

John

JackLuis
02-18-2016, 02:59 PM
It seems to work on cheap Tenors too. I was thinking about a set of Southcoast reentrant dGBE's for my Caramel Tenor, after I bought a Baritone Caramel. After reading this thread I detuned my D'Addario Low G's down to DGBE and wow not too floppy!

I'm thinking the dGBE might be better for the little body size, but the DGBE sounds pretty good. A dedicated set of strings might improve the tension but for a sound check, the standard strings seems to work Okay.

Thanks guys you saved me some money. :cheers:

edited
I didn't want to stretch out my D'Addario low G to see how a high d would sound so I used an Aquila Super Nylgut C string I had around tuned to Hi d. Now my tenor sounds like a Uke instead of a guitar. This Tenor was not very exciting linear tuned to C, but reentrant to G, it is much nicer, at least to me. The Super Nylgut is a little brash sounding compared to the D'A Carbons. I may try another fluorocarbon C string tomorrow.

Tootler
02-18-2016, 10:08 PM
I didn't want to stretch out my D'Addario low G to see how a high d would sound so I used an Aquila Super Nylgut C string I had around tuned to Hi d. Now my tenor sounds like a Uke instead of a guitar. This Tenor was not very exciting linear tuned to C, but reentrant to G, it is much nicer, at least to me. The Super Nylgut is a little brash sounding compared to the D'A Carbons. I may try another fluorocarbon C string tomorrow.

I find the Worth "Fat" (CF/BF) strings which are sold as a high tension C tuning set work well tuned dGBE on a tenor. I actually use the CF but the BF should do just as well. It's just a matter of whether you prefer browns or clears.

Down Up Dick
02-19-2016, 03:09 AM
I find the Worth "Fat" (CF/BF) strings which are sold as a high tension C tuning set work well tuned dGBE on a tenor. I actually use the CF but the BF should do just as well. It's just a matter of whether you prefer browns or clears.

Geoff, is your dGBE high D or low d? If it's low, I'm trying to figger out what string you used. I asked once before. :old:

JackLuis
02-19-2016, 10:26 AM
I find the Worth "Fat" (CF/BF) strings which are sold as a high tension C tuning set work well tuned dGBE on a tenor. I actually use the CF but the BF should do just as well. It's just a matter of whether you prefer browns or clears.

I have a few sets of Aquila's and Phds to try out things before I spend any more money on strings. I haven't tried Worth browns yet.

Playing the dGBE tenor against the GCEA tenor this morning, I'm really liking the dGBE sound. I'll break out my Baritone book and beat the Bari against the Tenor to see how they compare. The bigger body of the Baritone has a lot more resonance, the tenor is a little lighter sounding.

Comparing it to my GCEA Tenor I prefer the lower tuning.

Ukuleles are fun!

engravertom
02-20-2016, 10:59 PM
This old thread has info that might help.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?56441-Successfully-tuning-the-guitalele-to-eadgbe&highlight=Guitalele

Someone mentioned trying the adgb strings from a classical set, tuned up to low DGbe . That might work, but the a string is mighty thick for a tenor Uke nut.

I have a Baritone tuned DGBe right now. It is really too low, but sounds pretty good. I am using a set of D'Addario strings. It really works better a half step up. But there is one song I sing that needs that low D tuning... I may go back to re entrant on that Baritone eventually.

I mostly use South Coast strings. There is so much good info on that site! Given a certain instrument and string set, I am finding that the instrument will tell you what it wants to be tuned to. I even treat drums that way now. But, sometimes we compromise.

As for the boomy low 4th string, I am finding that if I arrange my playing so that the I chord of the song, ( The chord that is the same name as the key of the song ) is played with the G chord shape ( or D for DGB e tuning ) the boominess is less troublesome , because the lowest string is the root note of that chord. If you are going to do that for songs in different keys though, You will have to use a capo.

Low G tuning used to bother me when I based my playing on the C shape ( or G for baritone tuning ) because the low string, often being louder than the others, sounded "off" , perhaps because it is the 5th note of the chord. For some reason it never bothers me in re entrant tunings .

Down Up Dick
02-21-2016, 05:08 AM
I think some UUers are getting dGBE and DGBE mixed up. There was a thread about that a while back, and that's when I adopted Lo-D GBE vs. Hi-D GBE. That, I think, makes talking about it much more understandable at least to me.

So, I have one Hi-D GBE tenor Uke. Understand? Good. :old:

Tootler
02-21-2016, 06:41 AM
Geoff, is your dGBE high D or low d? If it's low, I'm trying to figger out what string you used. I asked once before. :old:

By dGBE, I mean high D. I tend to use DGBE for low D unless I specifically state which.

I think Worth CF/BF strings are only available as re-entrant but I could be wrong. The supplier I get them from only show re-entrant sets.

Down Up Dick
02-21-2016, 08:07 AM
Okay, Geoff, thanks. I thought you had attained a low D on a tenor and wondered how. :old:

coolkayaker1
02-28-2016, 05:45 AM
Mr. Mayer adds some experienced perspective on Feb 28, 2016.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AmFv92Z3pE

JackLuis
02-28-2016, 08:00 AM
This thread has gotten me exploring a whole new side of Ukes. I'm quite enjoying my Caramel Tenor now. When I first got this CT-100 I was a little disappointed with it's sound. It wasn't 'bad' but it didn't have the tone of my Rubin RT-100 Travel tenor. I love the tone of the RT-100, but it is only 40 mm deep in the body and is very quiet compared to my CT-100 which is ~66 mm deep.

After reading this thread I de-tuned the CT-100 to G tuning and put on a PHd high g string tuned to High d, as I didn't want to stretch out my D'Addraio Carbon Low G string. This worked out pretty well, though the string tension is low. This does have the advantage of making barre chords easier and may get me to playing them more.

I went up to my local Uke shop and tried to get some Worth Brown Fat's, however they had none, nor did they have the higher tension Fremont's which I find very nice on my Ohana Concert. So I bought a set of Fremont black lines (normal tension) to try re-entrant G tuning out on my RT-100, figuring that if they didn't work I could just tune them up to C and try out the High G on the RT-100 again.

While reading the Southcoast tech notes I discovered that the Tenor was designed for G tuning, but flopped and has migrated to C tuning. Their page suggested the High d would be better for the Tenor as the body resonance is ~G making the Low D susceptible to 'wolf' notes, (maybe that explains the booming I get on my Low G concert?).

Anyhow, I put the Fremonts on the RT-100 and kept re-tuning to get the strings settled. I found that the RT-100 still sounds nicer that the CT-100 but is even more quiet in G tuning, which my wife says is an advantage by the way. The string tension is very slack and I may just crank it up to C tuning after a while and try out re-entrant C in the RT-100.

I put in a question to Southcoast about a set of Re-entrant G strings for my CT-100 and will order a set when they reply with a recommendation. Hopefully this will be more acceptable than the de-tuned D'Addario Carbons. I'm hoping I don't have to adjust the nut slots for the heavier strings?

Jim Hanks
02-28-2016, 08:36 AM
I put in a question to Southcoast about a set of Re-entrant G strings for my CT-100 and will order a set when they reply with a recommendation. Hopefully this will be more acceptable than the de-tuned D'Addario Carbons. I'm hoping I don't have to adjust the nut slots for the heavier strings?
HU-NW. I have those on my banjolele and did not have to change the nut.

JackLuis
02-28-2016, 09:02 AM
HU-NW. I have those on my banjolele and did not have to change the nut.

That's what I thought but they describe the tension as a little low on 17". Are they floppy?

They appear to be optimum for a 20" Baritone, which I need as well. My new Bari came with Super Nylgut strings and they don't 'float my boat' so I was going to try a set of Southcoast's but wanted a High d and Low D string set to see if the re-entrant bari was better?

Jim Hanks
02-28-2016, 10:26 AM
They are on the low side as far as tension but definitely not floppy. If you wanted a higher tension, you'd have to go up to XHU-SW but then you're into wound strings which is not my preference. Or put them on the baritone as you said. I have not tried low D Southcoast as again, they're wound and I'm just not interested.

JackLuis
02-28-2016, 10:38 AM
They are on the low side as far as tension but definitely not floppy. If you wanted a higher tension, you'd have to go up to XHU-SW but then you're into wound strings which is not my preference. Or put them on the baritone as you said. I have not tried low D Southcoast as again, they're wound and I'm just not interested.

Yes I hear ya on wound strings. My Bari has wound 3&4 and I can't play it for more than 15 minutes without my fingers complaining.

Tootler
02-28-2016, 10:54 AM
This thread has gotten me exploring a whole new side of Ukes. I'm quite enjoying my Caramel Tenor now. When I first got this CT-100 I was a little disappointed with it's sound. It wasn't 'bad' but it didn't have the tone of my Rubin RT-100 Travel tenor. I love the tone of the RT-100, but it is only 40 mm deep in the body and is very quiet compared to my CT-100 which is ~66 mm deep.

After reading this thread I de-tuned the CT-100 to G tuning and put on a PHd high g string tuned to High d, as I didn't want to stretch out my D'Addraio Carbon Low G string. This worked out pretty well, though the string tension is low. This does have the advantage of making barre chords easier and may get me to playing them more.

I went up to my local Uke shop and tried to get some Worth Brown Fat's, however they had none, nor did they have the higher tension Fremont's which I find very nice on my Ohana Concert. So I bought a set of Fremont black lines (normal tension) to try re-entrant G tuning out on my RT-100, figuring that if they didn't work I could just tune them up to C and try out the High G on the RT-100 again.

While reading the Southcoast tech notes I discovered that the Tenor was designed for G tuning, but flopped and has migrated to C tuning. Their page suggested the High d would be better for the Tenor as the body resonance is ~G making the Low D susceptible to 'wolf' notes, (maybe that explains the booming I get on my Low G concert?).

Anyhow, I put the Fremonts on the RT-100 and kept re-tuning to get the strings settled. I found that the RT-100 still sounds nicer that the CT-100 but is even more quiet in G tuning, which my wife says is an advantage by the way. The string tension is very slack and I may just crank it up to C tuning after a while and try out re-entrant C in the RT-100.

I put in a question to Southcoast about a set of Re-entrant G strings for my CT-100 and will order a set when they reply with a recommendation. Hopefully this will be more acceptable than the de-tuned D'Addario Carbons. I'm hoping I don't have to adjust the nut slots for the heavier strings?

The tension in tenor C tuning strings tuned down to G is too low. That's what found when I first tried G-tuning on a tenor but there was nothing to lose if I didn't like it as I could easily tune back up. However, I did like it and then went looking for suitable strings. I considered South Coast and they are probably the best bet but I felt they were a little too pricey once you had added the cost of sending them to the UK plus the risk of having further costs added by customs, especially as I would be wanting more than one set so I decided against them. Aquila make a re-entrant DGBE set for tenor ukulele and I ordered a set but the red G string would not fit on my Bruko tenor. they did fit on my tenor fluke and I tried them for a while but I was not too keen on them. I eventually settled on Worth Fats which I got online from a UK supplier. They fit fine on my tenors and I find tension reasonable - subjectively it feels similar to a standard soprano set on a soprano ukulele which suits me fine as I am not keen on the high tension of standard C tuning strings on a tenor. Ken Middleton (Living Water Strings) will supply a re-entrant DGBE set for a tenor as a custom set and I suspect the string gauges will be similar to Worth Fats.

Ukulelerick9255
02-28-2016, 07:39 PM
Ken Middleton makes both low D and high D sets in his Living Waters brand.

Jim Hanks
02-29-2016, 01:41 AM
Ken Middleton makes both low D and high D sets in his Living Waters brand.
Yes, but this thread started about low D on a tenor. I find the LW low D set too floppy on 19" baritone and have it turned up to Ab. I think it would be atrocious on a tenor. Just my :twocents:

drbekken
02-29-2016, 02:53 AM
I have said this before, but a good way to get DGBE (low D) tuning on a tenor is to use classical guitar strings. Get rid of the two E strings of a guitar set, and tune in the following manner:

The guitar A string becomes the low D on the uke
The guitar D string becomes G on the uke
The guitar G string becomes B on the uke
The guitar B string becomes E on the uke

I can almost guarantee that the tension will be just fine, and the sound will be lovely and mellow.
Give it a try.

JackLuis
02-29-2016, 05:59 PM
I have said this before, but a good way to get DGBE (low D) tuning on a tenor is to use classical guitar strings. Get rid of the two E strings of a guitar set, and tune in the following manner:

The guitar A string becomes the low D on the uke
The guitar D string becomes G on the uke
The guitar G string becomes B on the uke
The guitar B string becomes E on the uke

I can almost guarantee that the tension will be just fine, and the sound will be lovely and mellow.
Give it a try.

Should they be full size strings guitar or quarter sized like the La Bella?

drbekken
02-29-2016, 06:28 PM
Should they be full size strings guitar or quarter sized like the La Bella?

I use full string size, normal tension. Haven't tried hard tension, but it might work just fine.

coolkayaker1
02-29-2016, 07:07 PM
This sounds like great advice, Doc. I'm guessing, but do not know, that Mr. Mark's may do something along these lines. I'm going to give it a yank. Thanks.


I have said this before, but a good way to get DGBE (low D) tuning on a tenor is to use classical guitar strings. Get rid of the two E strings of a guitar set, and tune in the following manner:

The guitar A string becomes the low D on the uke
The guitar D string becomes G on the uke
The guitar G string becomes B on the uke
The guitar B string becomes E on the uke

I can almost guarantee that the tension will be just fine, and the sound will be lovely and mellow.
Give it a try.

Down Up Dick
03-01-2016, 06:13 AM
I have a Lanakai concert banjolele tuned to Lo-C GDA, and the Lo C is a bit floppy but usable. Irish Tenor banjo(lele) doesn't use the 4th string much anyway (so far), and it's played with a flat pick.

I just thought I'd mention it. I don't know why Aquila doesn't make a tenor set. :old:

coolkayaker1
03-06-2016, 03:29 AM
Mr. Mayer's part 2 of Alt Tuning (part 1 in prior link). He discusses tenor-sized ukes tuned DGDE at 3-minutes into the video.


http://youtu.be/SRcRDrfmCD0

drbekken
03-06-2016, 04:00 AM
Mr. Mayer's part 2 of Alt Tuning (part 1 in prior link). He discusses tenor-sized ukes tuned DGDE at 3-minutes into the video.


http://youtu.be/SRcRDrfmCD0

Basically, I agree with the views expressed on baritone tuning. The tenor, however, sounds better to me in a dGBE tuning - with a high D. Low D on tenor is cool enough, but high D is better. Listen to the Lyle Ritz recordings. He plays re-entrant G6 tuning on the tenor. My opinion is that GCEA on the tenor is less than optimal. But as stated in the video; what you like is what you like. People must play what they want!

Tootler
03-06-2016, 05:11 AM
Mr. Mayer's part 2 of Alt Tuning (part 1 in prior link). He discusses tenor-sized ukes tuned DGDE at 3-minutes into the video.

http://youtu.be/SRcRDrfmCD0

I get the points he is making as long as he is referring to tuning a baritone up and the tenor the same as a baritone ie low D DGBE.

However, some have tuned a baritone in reentrant GCEA an octave lower than the normal tenor - soprano pitch. That would put the tuning in the same pitch range as regular baritone tuning, though some do say it sounds muddy, others like it.

On tuning the tenor DGBE, I'm with Doc Bekken. Tuning the tenor reentrant dGBE, in my view, sounds better than GCEA. The G string in dGBE tuning is the same pitch as the G string on a tenor tuned linear GCEA so the two tunings are in the same pitch range with dGBE lacking some of the higher notes of linear GCEA but the reentrant tuning makes the sound more ukulele like and the overall lower pitch gives the tenor a richer sound which better suits it, imo and distinguishes it from the smaller sizes.

Families of wind instruments are all tuned differently at pitches that suit their size. Similarly with the violin family, the larger ones are tuned to lower pitch than the smaller ones to make the most of their acoustic qualities. So, to my mind, it makes no sense to tune different sized ukuleles all the same.

70sSanO
03-31-2016, 08:39 AM
Rather than start a new thread, I decided to add to this one. There are so many good points made in earlier posts that should not be lost.

I have a couple of 18" scale tenors. One is tuned to high g and the the other low G. I have not been able to enjoy the low G tuning, I try it every now and then, but it just doesn't work for me and it sits in its case.

About a month or so ago I picked up a Harmony 19" scale baritone. I think it was strung with either Aquila Nylgut low G concert or low G soprano and tuned to low D (DGBE) because it only has a single wound D string. So I bought concert and soprano low G Nylgut sets. I replaced those strings with Aquila concert low G set. Still breaking in, but the tension is seems about the same as the old ones.

Now I am left with this low G soprano set... and I have a tenor just sitting there. So I figured I'd string it up and see how it would work. I was barely able to fit the strings to the farthest tuner, but I tuned it up and I was pretty surprised at how well it sounded. The strings are just a tad lower tension than the baritone, but IIRC Aquila Nylguts tend to increase tension (feel) as they break in so I will have to see how it goes. At 12:00am last night it sounded pretty darn good and the strings were not flopping all over the place, even the unwound baritone G. I'll have to see how well it sounds in the light of day. For a 17" scale it may not quite work as well.

I am also pondering the use of phosphor bronze strings with the tenor tuned to DGBE. When looking at that approach, string tension will dictate if I can can use .010s or .011s or some combination. I am also not sure if the string tone will be too tinny.

John

Down Up Dick
03-31-2016, 10:04 AM
Why don't Ukers who want low pitched, four string instruments just buy baritone Ukes or tenor guitars? :old:

70sSanO
03-31-2016, 11:12 AM
Why don't Ukers who want low pitched, four string instruments just buy baritone Ukes or tenor guitars? :old:

I have a baritone and I already have 3 tenors and I would like one of them with linear tuning and I really don't like linear in the higher pitch (low G). I know that low G is great for others and I have heard some fantastic playing on a low G tenor ukulele, but it doesn't work for me. I've tried it a few times over the past 5 years, on a particular ukulele that sounds really good tuned to low G, but I have found I have more fun playing a baritone in linear. If this works out, I will leave one downstairs and one upstairs.

John

whistleman123
03-31-2016, 12:40 PM
[QUOTE=Down Up Dick;1832450]Why don't Ukers who want low pitched, four string instruments just buy baritone Ukes or tenor guitars? :old:[/

For me, part of the allure of ukeulele was the small size and portability of a soprano uke. So I don't want a larger instrument. Since my goal is jazz & swing I choose Bb tuning with low F. The South Coast Mellow Low G set speaks well on my Aiersi soprano.

Nickie
03-31-2016, 01:17 PM
Why don't Ukers who want low pitched, four string instruments just buy baritone Ukes or tenor guitars? :old:

D.U.D.
I can speak for Tammy. She loves the portability of the tenor, but gets confused by the change from guitar to uke chords. And it sounds friggin awesome!

drbekken
03-31-2016, 07:27 PM
Why don't Ukers who want low pitched, four string instruments just buy baritone Ukes or tenor guitars? :old:

And the answer is.....SOUND: http://youtu.be/-uyyDXTl6dA

Patrick Madsen
03-31-2016, 07:59 PM
Doc B. what classical stringset are you using? Light, med,heavy? Middle four strings right?

drbekken
03-31-2016, 09:33 PM
Doc B. what classical stringset are you using? Light, med,heavy? Middle four strings right? Just to make things difficult; in this video I use regular GHS baritone strings. With classical guitar strings, D'Addario normal tension.

Soundbored
04-01-2016, 12:28 AM
Seven pages of people guessing what strings will work... I guess you're all more willing to waste money experimenting than I am.

Please do yourselves a favor, and look up the string tension fomula.

DownUpDave
04-01-2016, 01:17 AM
Seven pages of people guessing what strings will work... I guess you're all more willing to waste money experimenting than I am.

Please do yourselves a favor, and look up the string tension fomula.

Just about everyone of your replies I have read is either critical, cynical or down right insulting. You were able to accomplish all three in just one post. Congratulations

This is an open forum where people like to talk about stuff. That's why we are here. You are obviously very knowledgeable.........many of us are still learning

70sSanO
04-01-2016, 04:21 AM
Seven pages of people guessing what strings will work... I guess you're all more willing to waste money experimenting than I am.

Please do yourselves a favor, and look up the string tension fomula.

Been there done that.

Would like to see one with fluorocarbon, but haven't found one with that selection. I have run nylon and gut.

Tension is great is you are looking to establish maximum tension, such as using steel strings to prevent damaging an instrument. That is why I posted that I may try steel strings at one point and I have run preliminary numbers.

And I have run the numbers for my string set, the best I could, and "theoretically" I am around 25lbs.

But, there is no string calculator that tells me how this or that tension will feel because that number alone doesn't tell me why longer baritone strings at 50lbs feel softer to me than concert strings at 30lbs. More importantly it won't tell me how well my particular ukulele will sound at a particular tension. There are dozens of Bb tuning threads because some people like the sound better, without consulting a calculator.

We had a massive "grail" thread a while back where the fluorocarbon tenor A string is .46mm and Worth offers a fluorocarbon A string up to .60mm. The emotions in that thread were over the top, but no string calculator could change anyone's mind on what they like.

John

Tootler
04-01-2016, 07:58 AM
Been there done that.

Would like to see one with fluorocarbon, but haven't found one with that selection. I have run nylon and gut.

Tension is great is you are looking to establish maximum tension, such as using steel strings to prevent damaging an instrument. That is why I posted that I may try steel strings at one point and I have run preliminary numbers.

And I have run the numbers for my string set, the best I could, and "theoretically" I am around 25lbs.

But, there is no string calculator that tells me how this or that tension will feel because that number alone doesn't tell me why longer baritone strings at 50lbs feel softer to me than concert strings at 30lbs. More importantly it won't tell me how well my particular ukulele will sound at a particular tension. There are dozens of Bb tuning threads because some people like the sound better, without consulting a calculator.

We had a massive "grail" thread a while back where the fluorocarbon tenor A string is .46mm and Worth offers a fluorocarbon A string up to .60mm. The emotions in that thread were over the top, but no string calculator could change anyone's mind on what they like.

John

This page http://www.stringbusters.com/Ko-Bespoke/productlist.asp?cat=1/UKULELE/UKULELE%20WORTH gives overall (total for set) tension for Worth strings with comparison with some other widely available strings. It's probably not exactly what you are looking for but it's the best I've found. I found it useful in deciding to try Worth Fats for tuning a tenor to re-entrant DGBE. I do agree what is the right tension is very much a matter of personal perception. What I find too high (or too low) a tension is different from what others find.

I suspect the issue you mention with the perceived difference in tension between baritone and tenor strings has to do with the length of the string. It's easier to press a longer string down than a shorter one even though the longer string is at higher tension.

70sSanO
04-01-2016, 01:53 PM
Thanks! Any bit of info helps. Surprised to see the Aquila had that much more tension than Worth (fluorocarbon).

John

JackLuis
04-01-2016, 02:03 PM
I ran around looking for "Magic Strings" to make my tenor sing baritone. In an experiment I just detuned a set of D'Adarrio Carbon low G to DGBE and guess what, they worked just fine. The tension is less but that isn't bad IMHO. I tried PHD's and Fremont High g for dGBE and they worked just fine.

I bought a set of Aquila's for dGBE on a tenor but haven't found the need to change from my Worth Brown fats or my Fremont Blacklines. I like a re-entrant tuning better so I play High d but the low D worked pretty well.

I retuned to C6 the other day to see what the Worth's would sound like and I changed back because it wasn't as nice as G tuning. I like the lesser tension of G tuning, but you may not. Now these are all Flourocarbon strings, maybe nylon wouldn't work as well, but Nylguts worked just fine too.

Now I'm not a great player and my ears have been abused by artillery and aircraft so maybe I am not as discriminating as some of you, but hey, it works for me.

kissing
04-01-2016, 04:16 PM
Detuning gcea strings to low dgbe is far from ideal. Floppy.

ADGB (middle 4) strings out of a classical guitar set, such as D'addario pro-arte is the charm for both tenor and baritone ukes in low dgbe.

The dgbe strings from the classical guitar set (normal tension) corresponds to gcea on ukulele.

No need for using complicated formulae.. its simple common sense.

The D'addario pro-arte concert uke set gauges correspond exactly to the dgbe strings of the regular tension classical guitar set.

The Pro-arte set for tenor ukulele corresponds to the Hard tension classical guitar set.

70sSanO
04-02-2016, 09:58 AM
So today my tenor is sporting D'addario phosphor bronze .010 - .030 acoustic guitar strings tuned to DGBE. I don't want to overstate it, but on this particular ukulele it is really loud and not tinny. I ran the numbers and it is around 43lbs which is fine.

The intonation was a little wonky on the .010 (E) and the .014 (B), but that has gotten a bit better and it is susceptible to bending a little too easily. I may swap out the .010 and .014 for a .011. - .015 if I need too and everything looks fine.

It has made me wonder the possibilities of doing this on a Pono tenor that has a truss rod. The 17" Pono scale brings the tension to around 40lbs with .011 -.030. I can't believe no one has done this before, especially on a Pono tenor.

John

kissing
04-02-2016, 02:06 PM
Its probably not a good idea..

Its not just the neck, but the bracing of the ukulele body and thickness of the top that makes steel strings inappropriate for a uke designed for nylon string.


Pono do have a new line of ukulele designed to take on steel strings though. I forget what they are called.

coolkayaker1
04-02-2016, 03:48 PM
Seven pages of people guessing what strings will work... I guess you're all more willing to waste money experimenting than I am.

Please do yourselves a favor, and look up the string tension fomula.

Every question in the known universe can be looked up. The very next time you ask anyone a question more general than where you put your car keys, stop yourself: the answer's already out there.

Humans, by nature, ask questions and garner the opinions of their fellow man. It's called community.

Not being flippant: you can choose to save your string money and live in isolation with a book, SB.

But, the communal side of you had you read this thread, and we welcome any input you may share.

Soundbored
04-02-2016, 03:52 PM
So today my tenor is sporting D'addario phosphor bronze .010 - .030 acoustic guitar strings tuned to DGBE. I don't want to overstate it, but on this particular ukulele it is really loud and not tinny. I ran the numbers and it is around 43lbs which is fine.

The overall tension is fine, and obviously mandolins, citterns, and other small instruments are steel strung.
I think the main problem with what you have so far is the difference in tension between the the two bottom, and the two top strings:

String 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Note E4 B4 G3 A3
Gauge 0.0100 0.0140 0.0230 0.0300
Unit Weight 0.00002215 0.00004342 0.00010801 0.0001866
Scale Length 17.0
Frequency 329.63 246.94 196.00 146.83
Tension (lbs) 7.200 7.921 12.414 12.035 total: 39.571

70sSanO
04-02-2016, 07:21 PM
The overall tension is fine, and obviously mandolins, citterns, and other small instruments are steel strung.
I think the main problem with what you have so far is the difference in tension between the the two bottom, and the two top strings:

String 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Note E4 B4 G3 A3
Gauge 0.0100 0.0140 0.0230 0.0300
Unit Weight 0.00002215 0.00004342 0.00010801 0.0001866
Scale Length 17.0
Frequency 329.63 246.94 196.00 146.83
Tension (lbs) 7.200 7.921 12.414 12.035 total: 39.571

That is probably why a .011 and .015 would be good candidates for the 1st and 2nd strings. Right now the uke is with my brother. He and his wife are going on a month long trip and he has never taken to a uke sound. He plays guitar. He really likes the way it plays, but I told him he could swap out the top 2 strings if he wanted to.

I have to admit when he was playing it, it was pretty sweet.

John

70sSanO
04-02-2016, 08:12 PM
Soundbored,

Thanks for running your numbers. I appreciate the effort. It is obvious that you know your stuff. And thanks for pointing out the differences in string to string tension. I should have said this in my post above.

John

TheCraftedCow
04-03-2016, 05:30 AM
Aquila makes tenor dGBE sets for tenors in Reds and Whites. I have both for sale. No...I did not wade through the six previous pages. Forgive my redundancy if someone has already said what I am repeating.

70sSanO
04-03-2016, 07:42 AM
Aquila makes tenor dGBE sets for tenors in Reds and Whites. I have both for sale. No...I did not wade through the six previous pages. Forgive my redundancy if someone has already said what I am repeating.

Quick recap... The discussion has primarily revolved around low D (DGBE) tuning on a tenor. The issue is string tension, generally lack there of. It has turned a little darker as I strung a tenor with steel acoustic guitar strings tuned down to G.

John

Alex K
10-06-2016, 08:15 AM
I did the calculations and worked out that if you put baritone strings on a tenor and tune them two semitones higher than a baritone (EAC#F#) then you have the correct string tensions. In effect, you're just playing a baritone with a barre or a capo on the second fret. I tried this arrangement on my Kala tenor and it worked fine. Like you, I was seeking a tuning which matched my voice, and one extra tone higher was close enough.

JackLuis
12-14-2016, 01:18 PM
I've been trying strings out for DGBE or dGBE on my tenors for a few months. I like the sound of them. I'm sort of stuck in SAS but it's cheaper than UAS.

I've found that Fremont Black line Tenor and D'Addrio Carbons strings tuned to dGBE to be acceptable (to me) but lacked a little tension, which in itself is not bad. I put a set of PhD Low G stings on a spruce topped tenor, tuned it to DGBE and found the tension to be too low. I tend to snag the stings while strumming, though they do sound good. Worth Brown Fats worked too, they are eccentually Baritone strings with a 0.319 Hi-D, I'm going to try them with a Baritone 0.358" Low D from my Baritone set. The Browns tend to be 'warmer" than I'd like though.

Fremont makes a set of Bari-Tenor Strings for dGBE and I just ordered two sets and a Fremont soloist Low G string. I thought I'd see if the Soloist will give me a low D with acceptable tension.

JackLuis
12-19-2016, 08:29 PM
I got my Fremont Bari-tenor strings today and a soloist, put them on a CT-310 spruce top and they are still settling, but it appears that the soloist will do a cretiable job as a low D string. I'll put up a review in a day or two after they settle down but initial testing looks promising. :)

JackLuis
12-20-2016, 09:26 PM
See my review of eight sets of strings for dGBE including the DGBE using a Fremont soloist as a Low D.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?124671-dGBE-DGBE-for-a-Tenor-Eight-options&p=1922295#post1922295

I think that Worth Brown Baritone stings would work but I did not try them on a tenor in this review. I did try Worth Brown Fats in Hi d though. They are the same as the Baritones except for the G/D string.