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View Full Version : Fifth(GDAE) tuning, damages are inevitable?



yurey
02-01-2018, 11:36 PM
The other day, I tuned my concert uke(KALA FMCG) in GDAE.
2 days later 1st string snapped. (I suppose it's because I loosened strings often to reduce tension) And then I realized that the bridge hole was nearly broken.
I knew this tuning was not safe, but I didn't see this coming that early. Now I'm wondering if there would've been no damage if it was an ebony bridge, cuz they should be much harder than rosewood.
To guys play uke in the same tuning, is your uke alright? Or, damages as in like warping a neck, bellyig or a bridge issue are sure to happen??

106419

bsfloyd
02-01-2018, 11:56 PM
What strings / string set were you using, yurey? Were you using the standard concert scale strings that came with your Kala or were you using the Aquila 31U strings designed for fifths tuning for concert scale?

yurey
02-02-2018, 01:11 AM
Oh, sorry I forgot to mention that. I used Worth CM-LG
https://www.elderly.com/worth-cm-lg-soprano-concert-with-low-g-uke-set.htm
I used its 1st string as the 2nd. And I used 0.0185-inch fluorocarbon fishing line as the 1st string.
Aquila 30U wasn't available in my country. 31U was for a concert, but I needed GDAE.

yurey
02-02-2018, 01:19 AM
Now that, I should've written like "GDAE on a concert uke" There's no GDAE set for a concert really.

Jim Hanks
02-02-2018, 01:22 AM
Your first string is way too high tension. The thinnest string Southcoast sells will give that high e on soprano scale but even it is not recommended for concert.

LimuHead
02-05-2018, 08:55 AM
I replied to your PM.

The string set you used was for standard low G tuning (GCEA). The A string from that set can't be tuned up to the high E needed for GDAE tuning.

The Aquila GDAE set for soprano will work, but you may have to find an alternative for the high E string if the scale length on your concert is longer than 15 inches.

Aldon

ukulelekarcsi
02-08-2018, 03:32 AM
Now that, I should've written like "GDAE on a concert uke" There's no GDAE set for a concert really.

True, and there probably won't be one. It's very much like trying to tune a viola like a violin... your E would need to be too thin to be heard or to be useable. In fact, why not try a viola tuning (BGDA, same but 7 half steps lower)?

bsfloyd
02-08-2018, 06:29 AM
True, and there probably won't be one. It's very much like trying to tune a viola like a violin... your E would need to be too thin to be heard or to be useable. In fact, why not try a viola tuning (BGDA, same but 7 half steps lower)?

Just to correct, viola tuning would be CGDA - (probably just a typo).

David Colpitts
04-24-2018, 05:03 AM
Hello. I am all GDAE, all the time, since I came to the Uke that way, and don't have the brain or left fingers for chords. Somehow, the rapid tune playing (for Irish, mostly) is coming along nicely, and the GDAEs are soprano with the Aquila set designed for "soprano fifths, a baritone with pieces from classical guitar strings and the baritone set it came with, and the newest and most promising "low" instrument is a new Cordoba Tenor 24T. I have it strung with a mixture of extra-hard-tension classical guitar strings and the Aquila highest string that came with the Cordoba. It is quite loud, with surprising sustain and easy fingering. Sounds like a small classical guitar, but I guess that's what it is, save for the tuning. Like a small tenor guitar, then, with fingering like the little ones but a 16" scale length, and the same octave-lower-than-fiddle-and-mando range. It sounds like it does, I suspect, because of the maple back and sides but particularly the solid cedar top. I am trying to figure out YouTube
to post clips. Is there a way I can send just a sound sample attached?

(Edited to say:) Thanks!
David

Jim Hanks
04-24-2018, 07:16 AM
Is there a way I can send just a sound sample attached?
Use a hosting site like soundcloud.com or https://clyp.it/ and post the link here.

merlin666
04-24-2018, 11:29 AM
Interesting thread. Historically ukuleles were all Soprano and tuned two steps higher in D (A, D, F#, B) but I have no idea what kinds of strings were used more than 100 years ago. So anyway, if one wanted to tune their Soprano uke in D to accomplish the vintage sound, what kinds of strings would one need to avoid potential damage?

kypfer
04-24-2018, 12:15 PM
Interesting thread. Historically ukuleles were all Soprano and tuned two steps higher in D (A, D, F#, B) but I have no idea what kinds of strings were used more than 100 years ago. So anyway, if one wanted to tune their Soprano uke in D to accomplish the vintage sound, what kinds of strings would one need to avoid potential damage?

100 years ago, ukulele strings would have been gut for the treble strings and wound silk for the thicker string(s). Nylon wasn't invented until the 1930's.

As for "D" tuning, in my experience, a set of "normal" (generic) nylon strings on a soprano ukulele is good for C or D tuning, the more esoteric materials, flourocarbon, nylgut etc. may need special consideration and the manufacturers probably have specific sets for each tuning, if they feel it to be necessary. I believe "D" tuning is still widely used in some countries, so it's not an unknown area (at least, it shouldn't be ;)

YMMV :music:

SteveZ
04-24-2018, 01:30 PM
GDAE on a soprano uke is possible, but it takes patience. Have tried it many times and the E string is the problem. The commercial string sets have extremely thin E strngs which tend to snap ite easily. The only E string alternative I have found that doesnt easily snap is 20-pound test monofilament fishing line. The line can take the tension, and the sound quality is tolerable.

CGDA or DAEB on a soprano are more reasonable fifhs tunings, with the sound nod going towads DAEB. The Aquila 31U CGDA set for concert (fine for tenor, too) works reasonably well for DAEB on a soprano.

Bill Sheehan
04-24-2018, 02:19 PM
Merlin, I would agree with kypfer's comment above-- that a soprano set will be okay for both the "g C E A" and the "a D F# B" tunings. Lately I've taken to landing right in between the two, which I guess would be "a flat, D flat, F, B flat". Not quite as big a jump from "standard", and the moderate increase in tension seems to feel better to the touch, and makes the uke bark a little better!

Torinsall
06-24-2018, 10:32 AM
Have a Pono baritone uke with CDAE tuning:

G ... classical guitar high tension low E tuned to G
D ... baritone DGBE set, move D over one space
A ... classical guitar high tension G tuned to A
E ... baritone DGBE set, keep the E

Mivo
06-24-2018, 01:55 PM
Interesting thread. Historically ukuleles were all Soprano and tuned two steps higher in D (A, D, F#, B) ...

Before the 1920s, they were probably tuned GCEA, actually, according to John King's ukuleles history book (great read). The earliest ukulele method book is in that tuning.

Aquila and D'Addario both make D tuning sets. These have lower tension than what you get if you tuned up C tuning strings. (I really like the Aquila ones.)

Tootler
06-25-2018, 09:44 AM
I have my Pearwood Bruko soprano tuned ADF#B with a standard set of living water soprano strings. The tension feels similar to a concert with a regular GCEA set. They work fine but the Bruko is designed for D tuning and so will take the extra tension anyway.