View Full Version : Switch Strings?

07-14-2017, 08:16 AM
Hello, my name is Cristian.
After trying one I bought a cheap ukulele,
But perhaps it was too cheap!
As you can see probably the string are not in the right order (sorry for calling them 1234, it was just faster)
I think the string In position 3 should go in position 1 as it is thinner, while strings in position 1 and 2 should go respectively in position 2 and 3.
Am I right?
The uke is a Martin Smith... If I start enjoy playing it I'll buy a better one and I'll plant some succulents on this, but I would love to start with this one just to see how much I can enjoy it (I already play guitar).


Croaky Keith
07-14-2017, 08:35 AM
Normal tuning on a uke is gCEA re entrant, therefore the thinnest strings are on the outside, strings 1 (A) & 4 (g), with 3 being the C (3rd up from the bottom), & 2 being E.

(If you haven't already got a tuner, it is well worth getting one.)

Edit: In your picture it looks as though it has been strung linearly, & your numbering is in reverse.

07-14-2017, 08:49 AM
Thankyou Uke1950
so it is strung wrongly as I thought!
So, using correct numbering which is reverse than mine, I have to put
_string in position 2 (second from the bottom) as a (g) in position 4
_string in position 3 as a (E)
_string in position 4 as a (C)

or are E and C of the same thickness?

07-14-2017, 12:09 PM
String numbering refers to #1 starting at the bottom, closest to the floor and going up to #4 closest to your face. So gCEA is in the order 4,3,2,1, g is 4, C is 3, E is 2, A is 1. Number 1 is the thinnest string, #2 is a bit thicker, #3 is the thickest, #4 is a bit thicker than #1 but thinner then the rest of the strings. It is the second thinnest string

Hope this helps.

Dean Beaver
07-14-2017, 03:44 PM
Cristian, as you already play some Guitar I'm quite sure you will understand what I am saying here, .. If I were you I would examine your strings, and consider to lose those strings and replace them altogether with some decent Strings when you are able.
I did receive a new Soprano recently, and it was equipped with cheap imitation Aquilas, I simply could not enjoy playing the Uke with those rigid, and player unfriendly strings. If your strings are those Rigid plastic like type of string, I'd recommend swapping them over. To check them, simply slack off the strings and feel them, if they feel very Rigid they are the type I'm referring to.
Cheap and inexpensive Ukes are generally ok to learn on, but any Uke with awful strings will not play or sound good, and even a high quality expensive Uke will suffer.
I offer this advice simply because if you do intend to enjoy your Ukulele you will enjoy it a lot more with some decent strings.
Just like with Guitars, there are a selection of good strings to choose from.
You don't have to accept this advice of course, but I offer the advice regardless.

Croaky Keith
07-14-2017, 08:26 PM
On a normal re entrant, the C string is thickest, followed by the E string, the g & A could be the same thickness, & often are.

07-15-2017, 12:47 AM
Either it is strung linear or wrong.
If it is strung wrong, it is probably strung with cheap strings.
Switching strings have have already been on is tricky.

So you should probably put on some new strings, like others have suggested.

07-16-2017, 11:51 AM
it looks to me like the ukulele is in linear tuning and not reentrant. If it's strung for a right handed player, then the strings are in the right order but your numbering is the wrong way round. The string you have labelled 1 is actually 4 and the string labelled 4 is actually 1. When you are holding the uke for playing string no 1 is nearest the floor and string no 4 is nearest your head. This seems counterintuitive at first but you need to get used to it. The numbering of strings goes from highest to lowest pitch but the way we describe the tuning is the other way round - lowest to highest.

There is one slight complication as the ukulele commonly uses reentrant tuning, so string 4 is tuned to a higher pitch than string 3. If the instrument in your picture was in reentrant tuning string 4 would be thinner than string 3 but it's not so you are in linear tuning.

Finally if you are left handed, the uke is strung upside down.

07-16-2017, 10:27 PM
Thanks to everybody for helping!
So, since I was not aware of the possibility of a linear tuning I restrung the uke as you guys suggest (the two thinnest as g and A, the thickest as C...)
then I tuned it and it sounds like it should... except when in a chord I have to push a string on the first fret then it sounds out of tune, but it sounds good when I do other chords.
So I was thinking:
1. string are really bad and I'll follow the advice of Dean Beaver and UkingViking (thanks for that!)
2. the nut is too high and I have to fine it...

Has any of you experienced anything like that?
I'll probably buy new strings in any case!

07-16-2017, 11:10 PM
The issue of the nut height,and in some cases the bridge height too,
is whats know as 'setting up' your instrument,so that it is comfortable
to play,without causing buzzes (too low!) or forcing you to fret the
strings too hard (too high). Planty of advice in the various threads on
this forum,you will find all you need to know!
Aquila Nylgut strings are very popular if you get new strings,as are
Worth Browns and many other reputable makes. Try something and see
how it works out for you.

07-17-2017, 12:04 PM
If your nut is set too high, then when you fret a string near the nut it will go out of tune because you are having to stretch it to reach the fret. In addition you have to press harder to reach the fret. A no no in both case. A high bridge is less of a problem if you are mostly playing first position chords but will give similar problems if you start playing up the neck. Cheap strings can give intonation problems in addition to that because their gauge (diameter) can vary along the length. I had that trouble with the first uke I had. Intonation of the C string was terrible. (The other strings were just bad :) ). A string change made a huge difference.

Change strings for decent quality ones then check the intonation. If it's poor after a string change, have someone set it up for you.

07-24-2017, 10:46 PM
Thanks everybody!
lots of good advices!
I bought a set of aquila new nylgut, I will let you know about the results