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DanY
07-14-2017, 04:46 AM
Hey everyone!

What's a good soft set of strings for really sore fingers?

I've got a tenor with Worth Brown strings and I'm unable to practice long until it gets really uncomfortable. I'm looking for a good practice set for longer sessions so volume isn't important to me. There are so many string choices so if anyone can point me in the right direction, I'd really appreciate it! Thanks!

WCBarnes
07-14-2017, 05:00 AM
Tenors have never been my favorite scale because they tend to have a higher tension than the others. I assume this is partially what is causing the sore fingers. I have found a couple solutions that work for me:

1) If it is for practice and you will be playing solo, tune it down 1/2 or 1 full step. By this I mean instead of GCEA tune it GbBEbAb for a 1/2 step or FBbDG (Bb tuning is actually rather popular) for a full step. You play the same way only with reduced tension on the strings;

2) Try Living Waters strings. In my experiences, I have found them to be the most comfortable to play. Everyone has their own preferences, so what is easy/comfortable to me may not be for someone else, but those are my favorites on a tenor scale.

Good luck with your search!

jer
07-14-2017, 05:09 AM
If those are the standard Worth BT set, they are not too high of tension to begin with compared to some others.
You may want to try a set of strings labelled as "concert" strings. They will have lower tension on a tenor. If you want to go even farther, you could try a "soprano" set...but it'd have to be from someone who ships with longer length string.. A Worth concert or soprano set would work, but you may not have enough string to make two sets as usual. D'addario ships some of their offerings in guitar string lengths, like the Pro Arte nylon (it's lower tension than their other offerings to begin with). So concert or soprano there would be long enough. Same thing with La Bella nylon.

I should add: With lower tension you will gain some sustain and lose some volume generally, but you can get some buzzing too if you go too low for what your uke setup will allow...Intonation may or may not be effected.

You may just have to do some experimenting. I hope you find something that works!

Croaky Keith
07-14-2017, 05:23 AM
Use 'concert' strings, much more comfortable, all my tenors have them, flourocarbon. :)

jer
07-14-2017, 05:52 AM
Use 'concert' strings, much more comfortable, all my tenors have them, flourocarbon. :)

If I was going to stay in GCEA tuning, I was going to switch to concert strings too.. It got me thinking how ukulele strings are sold compared to other stringed instruments like guitar or bass. With those you just get labels more like "medium" "light" "custom light" , etc. etc. and it is understood you just grab whatever tension you're after for your instrument...Other than Worth and maybe a couple of others a lot of the uke string sets are just sold in one tension for the size of uke. Really though, a "concert" set would be the equivalent of a "custom light" set of guitar strings maybe and a "soprano" would be the equivalent of extra light, etc. etc....just a lighter gauge....
I may be simplifying that a bit, but it was just something I was thinking about recently when looking at strings.
It might've even been one of your posts I'd seen here in the past that got me thinking more about it. I know I've seen mention of some people putting concert strings on tenors recently. For whatever reason I never thought as much about this with ukes as I have recently.

Ziret
07-14-2017, 06:16 AM
Rather than changing your strings, I'd suggest you make sure your ukulele has been set up properly. High action is hard on your fingers. Also, just cut back on how long you play for a couple of weeks. It really won't take long before you've built up calluses and can play as long as you want. Play a few minutes a few times a day for a few weeks. Unless you have an emergency deadline of learning to play, relax and don't play marathon sessions. But seriously, get the action checked.

DanY
07-14-2017, 09:48 AM
Thanks everyone! Great advice all the way around, I'll give all these suggestions a try.

DanY
07-14-2017, 07:24 PM
My fingers thank you guys! Tuning down a full step worked like a charm and it's made my tenor easier to play. Much appreciated!

spookelele
07-15-2017, 04:07 AM
more practice is the solution for more practice. your fingers will get used to it.

bratsche
07-15-2017, 06:33 AM
Haha, I have a somewhat different but related issue. It's just the A string, though. It's so thin it feels like I'm plucking on a cheese cutter. Nothing bothers my left hand, I'm referring only to the right fingerpads. Not sure I want calluses there!

bratsche

Tootler
07-16-2017, 09:08 AM
I found the tension too high on a tenor at first. My solution was a bit more drastic. I tuned down to dGBE. It did mean a string Change but I found I liked the tuning. I have recently got a 6 string tenor and I do not find the higher tension an issue on that. I reckon it's a matter of accustoming yourself to the higher tension. I still find if I play too long my LH fingers get sore and I have to rest for a while. Tuning down to Bb can be good. As well as reduced string tension you may find the uke actually sounds better at the lower pitch and if you need to go back to GCEA at any time, you can put a capo on the second fret.

Doc_J
07-17-2017, 03:53 AM
Hey everyone!

What's a good soft set of strings for really sore fingers?

I've got a tenor with Worth Brown strings and I'm unable to practice long until it gets really uncomfortable. I'm looking for a good practice set for longer sessions so volume isn't important to me. There are so many string choices so if anyone can point me in the right direction, I'd really appreciate it! Thanks!

Fatter strings and/ or a lower action (good setup) will cause less pain on uncalloused fingers.

As previously mentioned, lower tunings/lower tension also Help.

Steedy
07-17-2017, 07:36 AM
+1 for Living Water strings. They feel soft and they sound good too! :cool: