PDA

View Full Version : tenor ukulele!



krush050
03-23-2016, 05:12 PM
so I'm getting a tenor ukulele. The reason i want one is so i can have the low G. A lot of what I'm doing sounds better with linear tuning. I'm getting into more technique like finger picking and more chord melodies. I know its going to be different than my soprano and also be a learning curve, but in the long run will it be easier? Am I headed in the right direction? also can you string a concert with a low g?

Kyle23
03-23-2016, 05:20 PM
Hell you can string a soprano with a low g. Anything comes easier with time. I've seen little kids on YouTube play tenors beautifully, so as long as you like how it sounds and practice I don't see why it wouldn't get easier.

uke4ia
03-23-2016, 06:01 PM
so I'm getting a tenor ukulele. The reason i want one is so i can have the low G. A lot of what I'm doing sounds better with linear tuning. I'm getting into more technique like finger picking and more chord melodies. I know its going to be different than my soprano and also be a learning curve, but in the long run will it be easier? Am I headed in the right direction? also can you string a concert with a low g?

I have a low G on one of my two concerts. The problem with low G on a soprano or concert is that the slot for that string in the nut may be too narrow for the thickness of a low G string. I tried having a guy who's considered a uke expert in my area widen the slot to accomodate a low G, and I wasn't happy with the result I got. The low G that I'm using right now on a concert is an Aquila Red, because it's unusually narrow for a low G string and it still sounds good. Many people have had problems with Aquila Red low G strings breaking. If you use one, you need to be careful to put on the string and tighten it up as much as possible before you put it into the slot.

I've got low G strings on both of my tenors. I use standard tension classical guitar strings on the tenors, and I love the sound that gives me.

kohanmike
03-23-2016, 07:32 PM
Widening a slot in a nut is not a difficult thing to do, any good tech with the proper tool should be able to do it easily.

Martynas
03-23-2016, 09:21 PM
Hello im new can someone explain what is low g? And why some ukes can do it and some cant

Pier
03-23-2016, 10:20 PM
Hello im new can someone explain what is low g? And why some ukes can do it and some cant

Instead of the re-entrant tuning gCEa, with the g being higher in pitch than C and E, you tune your instrument GCEa, si the G is lower in pitch, like the guitar tuning.

This way you increase the register of the ukulele, adding lower notes. In a standard "high G" tuning the lowest note is the open C; in a "low G" tuning you add 5 more notes on the lows, so that you can play more bass-lines while fingerpicking or soloing, and have fuller sounding chords.

However you lose some of the "character" of the Ukulele.

It's hard to put the low G on some ukuleles because lower notes need bigger strings, bigger strings need tension to vibrate properly, and the scale lenght (the distance between the nut and the bridge) of a soprano is not the best, because shorter the scale, lower is the tension needed to reach the pitch.

Hope it helps :)

Mivo
03-23-2016, 10:53 PM
Hello im new can someone explain what is low g? And why some ukes can do it and some cant

It is related to the body size of the instrument. Very simply put, if the body is too small, lower frequencies don't have enough "room". You can do low-g on a soprano, but it won't really "unfold" (resonate) the way it does with a bigger body. For details, have a look at Dirk's in-depth treatises on the topic of tunings and sounds: http://www.southcoastukes.com/019-1.htm

wayfarer75
03-24-2016, 12:04 AM
A wound low G isn't as big as unwound; widening slots isn't required. Low G can do very well in concert scale and there are players who use low G on sopranos. Some concerts sound more like tenors and some more like sopranos, anyway. It just depends.

DownUpDave
03-24-2016, 12:10 AM
Yes you should get a tenor.....................and a concert and a baritone to keep your soprano company. Next question ;)

Soundbored
03-24-2016, 12:46 AM
...The problem with low G on a soprano or concert is that the slot for that string in the nut may be too narrow for the thickness of a low G string.

So much misinformation in this thread. There is no problem using Low G on a Standard ("soprano") ukulele. A classical guitar wound "D" string is typically only 0.028, and will fit right into the existing nut slot. No changes needed.

The resulting tension is right in line with the other three strings. I also find it balances well in volume.

Whether you like the sound or not is another story, but it costs little to try it. I suggest watching some John King and Ohta San YouTube videos, rather than listening to forum "experts".

pointpergame
03-24-2016, 05:37 AM
There are far less hostile ways to put this. And he did say "...the nut may be too narrow..."

Which "expert" do we listen to to tell us which "experts" are wrong? ...I prefer an open forum

mmfitzsimons
03-24-2016, 06:56 AM
I'm no expert, just speaking from personal experience and personal preference, but I've come to agree that low G sounds great on tenors, good on certain concerts, and not so great on sopranos. Someone like Dirk who's made a career of not just thinking about these things, but actually experimenting and manufacturing could obviously explain why a lot better than me.

Tootler
03-24-2016, 07:04 AM
Fluorocarbon strings being of higher density are generally of smaller gauge than Nylon or Nylon Composite (Such as Aquila) so will probably give fewer problems with the nut slots being too narrow. I have fitted fluorocarbon dGBE sets to my Bruko Tenor and Tenor Fluke with no problems. The G string in that tuning is the same as the low G in a linear GCEA set so it's fair comparison. Others prefer wound low G strings. It's a matter of personal preference.

Croaky Keith
03-24-2016, 07:06 AM
I suggest watching some John King and Ohta San YouTube videos.

Those two are superb players using low G on soprano, so it proves that any uke can have a low G. :)

Croaky Keith
03-24-2016, 07:11 AM
Fluorocarbon strings being of higher density are generally of smaller gauge than Nylon or Nylon Composite (Such as Aquila) so will probably give fewer problems with the nut slots being too narrow.

Living Water fluorocarbon low G strings went straight on to my Kala KA-SLNG & KA-CEME without any need for slot widening, the low G string is 0.91mm (concert scale).

Soundbored
03-24-2016, 07:54 AM
I'm no expert, just speaking from personal experience and personal preference, but I've come to agree that low G sounds great on tenors, good on certain concerts, and not so great on sopranos. Someone like Dirk who's made a career of not just thinking about these things, but actually experimenting and manufacturing could obviously explain why a lot better than me.

I don't have a problem with anyone stating that they personally don't like Low G on soprano. Who can argue with personal preference?

But what takes the conversation in the wrong direction, IMO, is this appeal to Science (Southcoast ukes, lol), and implying or stating outright that it simply doesn't work. The linked article pulls data out of context from other sources, and then makes what I consider to be an incoherent argument. For every example he provides "proving" resonance matches lowest note, there are two examples that don't match. Yet it's quoted here daily as the definitive statement on the subject.

And the soprano ukulele is hardly unique: the full size 4/4 violin has a standard scale length of 12.8", a body resonance of ~275 Hz, and a bottom note of G3 (196 Hz). I don't see anybody arguing that violins should all be re-entrant tuned to G4 on the fourth string. But then I doubt that violinists are expecting full "bass" from this string. Like people enjoying Low G on ukulele, they probably prefer the woody, midrange "plunk", and excellent balance it offers.

Ukulelerick9255
03-24-2016, 08:03 AM
If your nut isn't glued in have someone build a separate nut to accommodate a low G width and then you can interchange nuts and have the best of both worlds.

uke4ia
03-24-2016, 01:52 PM
So much misinformation in this thread. There is no problem using Low G on a Standard ("soprano") ukulele. A classical guitar wound "D" string is typically only 0.028, and will fit right into the existing nut slot. No changes needed.

The resulting tension is right in line with the other three strings. I also find it balances well in volume.

Whether you like the sound or not is another story, but it costs little to try it. I suggest watching some John King and Ohta San YouTube videos, rather than listening to forum "experts".

Yes, I'm merely speaking from the perspective of someone who tried several low G strings that wouldn't fit into a nut slot. And then brought the uke to someone widely considered one of the uke experts in the greater Boston area to have the nut widened. Which resulted in an oversized slot that gave the string a booming sound. But of course you know what my experience was better than I do.

SteveZ
03-25-2016, 07:56 AM
To understand "nut slots" and when resizing is necessary, it may help to understand it from the tech's viewpoint.

On a concert set-up in standard (reentrant) GCEA, the string diameters (using Aquila NylGut) are G (.67mm), C (.95mm), E (.72mm) and A (.62mm). In cutting the nut slots, each slot is going to be just a smidgeon wider then the string, so the string does not bind or is pinched by it being wedged into too small a slot. It's the old "don't put a size 9 foot into a size 8 shoe."

Now if one want to substitute the high-G for a low-G string, one must insure the low-G string will slide comfortably within the G nut slot. A wound low-G string has a diameter almost identical to the high-G unwound string. This is not accidental by the string makers.

Now, if someone wants to substitute the unwound high-G string (.67mm) with an unwound low-G string (which would have a diameter of 1.10mm), it should be obvious that a 1.10mm unwound string is not going to slide comfortably within the nut slot which was cut to accommodate a 0.67mm string. Conversely, placing a 0.67mm string into a nut slot cut for a 1.10mm string is going to result in the 0.67mm string wobbling around the too-wide slot, causing string buzz and other nuisances.

So, if one doesn't want the nut to be resized to have low-G, the easiest way is to simply use a low-G wound string since it's diameter is usually the same (or darned close to it) as the high-G string for which the nut slot was originally cut.