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Jo3x
06-27-2018, 07:09 PM
Hi,

I just got my new KA-ATP-CTG-CE from Mim a week ago, and Mim also helped to install Worth BT Brown strings. I've been really happy with it.

However, today when I started to tune it (they are out of tune in like less than an hour, I guess that's normal for new strings?), the A string was broken. Then I watched some changing string videos, and I feel that' not that complex. So I'm thinking of changing strings by myself (also I think I need to gain these skills anyway). But I still have some questions:

1) My experiences with uke is just less than one year. I'm still not that confidence that I can do it perfectly. Do you think I'd better reach out to a luthier in person to learn it first?
2) Do I need to change the A string only or it's better to change the four together?
3) Is there any recommendation on stores that sell strings?
4) Any recommendation on tools? Like the "Planet Waves String Winder & Cutter" by Andrew in his video.
5) Any tips for a newbie like me?

Thanks a lot!

Mivo
06-27-2018, 07:22 PM
The video below is the best one I know for changing strings on ukuleles. It's easy to do, just intimidating the first few times. There is no need to pay a luthier or a guitar tech to change strings. It's something you'll regularly do and it's a skill you want to have. It may take you an hour or longer the first time, while repeatedly re-watching the relevant section of the video, but eventually you'll do it in much less time. I'm not a very "handy" person, and I dragged the first string change out far longer than was good (I should have experimented with strings sooner, it might have saved me a couple of instrument purchases! Ukes can sound so different with different strings.) Other than a tuner and scissors, you don't need tools.

I'd change all four strings. This way, they will all be the same age and have the same wear. It is not normal that a string breaks, though. Did you accidentally tune it an octave higher than it should be? That would easily cause the string to snap.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-eqwZmlVpQ

Mr. Sweetie
06-27-2018, 07:28 PM
Hi,

I just got my new KA-ATP-CTG-CE from Mim a week ago, and Mim also helped to install Worth BT Brown strings. I've been really happy with it.

However, today when I started to tune it (they are out of tune in like less than an hour, I guess that's normal for new strings?), the A string was broken. Then I watched some changing string videos, and I feel that' not that complex. So I'm thinking of changing strings by myself (also I think I need to gain these skills anyway). But I still have some questions:

1) My experiences with uke is just less than one year. I'm still not that confidence that I can do it perfectly. Do you think I'd better reach out to a luthier in person to learn it first?
2) Do I need to change the A string only or it's better to change the four together?
3) Is there any recommendation on stores that sell strings?
4) Any recommendation on tools? Like the "Planet Waves String Winder & Cutter" by Andrew in his video.
5) Any tips for a newbie like me?

Thanks a lot!

1) you should do it yourself
2) that is up to you. I buy my strings in bulk, so if I break one, I replace one. but if they are aged, replace them all, it is fun.
3) they are on amazon.com and a million other online shops. If you have a local spot, check them first.
4) you can get winders and cutters but you don't need them.
5) watch this video https://youtu.be/kyv7uOiXsbM and have fun.

robinboyd
06-27-2018, 07:31 PM
Here are my answers:

1) No, I think you'll manage just fine, particularly with the video that Mivo provided.
2) I'd change all 4 for the same reasons as Mivo.
3) I've bought from Uke Republic, Strings by Mail, and Daniel Ho (PHD strings), and all of them have been great.
4) I've used pliers with a wire cutting attachment and even nail clippers to cut strings. You shouldn't need a specialist tool. A string winder is handy because without it you will be winding forever if you have geared tuners. They cost about $2. If you have friction tuners, you won't need it, though. Also, be careful that the winder doesn't scratch your headstock. I accidentally scratched the headstock of my favourite uke because I wasn't careful enough.

I also second what Mivo said about making sure you don't tune an octave high.

Jo3x
06-27-2018, 08:48 PM
The video below is the best one I know for changing strings on ukuleles. It's easy to do, just intimidating the first few times. There is no need to pay a luthier or a guitar tech to change strings. It's something you'll regularly do and it's a skill you want to have. It may take you an hour or longer the first time, while repeatedly re-watching the relevant section of the video, but eventually you'll do it in much less time. I'm not a very "handy" person, and I dragged the first string change out far longer than was good (I should have experimented with strings sooner, it might have saved me a couple of instrument purchases! Ukes can sound so different with different strings.) Other than a tuner and scissors, you don't need tools.

I'd change all four strings. This way, they will all be the same age and have the same usage. It is not normal that a string breaks, though. Did you accidentally tune it an octave higher than it should be? That would easily cause the string to snap.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-eqwZmlVpQ

Thanks a lot Mivo! Now I've got more confidence encouraged by your words.

Yes, I also suspect it was because I tuned it an octave higher. I start thinking of buying a tuner that shows octave info. The built-in one doesn't have octave info.

Jo3x
06-27-2018, 08:55 PM
1) you should do it yourself
2) that is up to you. I buy my strings in bulk, so if I break one, I replace one. but if they are aged, replace them all, it is fun.
3) they are on amazon.com and a million other online shops. If you have a local spot, check them first.
4) you can get winders and cutters but you don't need them.
5) watch this video https://youtu.be/kyv7uOiXsbM and have fun.

Thank you Mister Sweetie!

I'll do it myself encouraged by you guys.

Jo3x
06-27-2018, 08:57 PM
Here are my answers:

1) No, I think you'll manage just fine, particularly with the video that Mivo provided.
2) I'd change all 4 for the same reasons as Mivo.
3) I've bought from Uke Republic, Strings by Mail, and Daniel Ho (PHD strings), and all of them have been great.
4) I've used pliers with a wire cutting attachment and even nail clippers to cut strings. You shouldn't need a specialist tool. A string winder is handy because without it you will be winding forever if you have geared tuners. They cost about $2. If you have friction tuners, you won't need it, though. Also, be careful that the winder doesn't scratch your headstock. I accidentally scratched the headstock of my favourite uke because I wasn't careful enough.

I also second what Mivo said about making sure you don't tune an octave high.

Thank you Robin!

I'll change all 4, despite they have an age of like 7 days.

Mivo
06-27-2018, 09:51 PM
Yes, I also suspect it was because I tuned it an octave higher. I start thinking of buying a tuner that shows octave info. The built-in one doesn't have octave info.

I use the "Tunable" app (available for Android and iOS) when re-stringing, just to make sure I'm in the right octave, then switch to the clip-on tuner for the fine-tuning within the octave. After a while, you'll also hear if you are reasonably close to the note.

During my first encounter with friction tuners, I snapped a string because I had been used to geared tuners and I didn't realize that with fiction tuners you don't need to twiddle the knob nearly as much. Unfortunately, the knot of the snapped string also ripped out part of the already worn slotted bridge (it was a used uke) and I had to spring for repairs. It's the kind of thing you do once and then you know better the next time. :)

Croaky Keith
06-27-2018, 10:42 PM
Change one string at a time, bring it up to rough tune, do the next string, bring it up to rough tune, then the next, then the last. then bring them all back into tune again.

You will need to retune for a day or two, then they should have stretched & will start holding their tuning.

No tools needed, just coil the excess string into a small loop & tuck the ends through at the headstock tuners. :)

Jerryc41
06-28-2018, 01:14 AM
Hi,

But I still have some questions:

As the others have said, changing strings is easy enough, but it is a somewhat finicky job because you're dealing with small things in small spaces. It took me a while to learn the technique of wrapping the string around the tuning post - first over then under. Also, having one set of strings on hand is not enough. If you have to replace broken strings using the only set you have, then you have nothing in reserve. It's like have just one backup of your important computer files.

I think it's funny that they sell winding adapters for an electric drill. I can see a use for that if you're doing this all day long, but not for one set every few months. I wonder how long the tuning gears would hold up while being turned at full speed by an electric drill. Let me put that on my To Do List.

Strings are just about the cheapest item you have to buy for the ukulele. Imagine if you played a cello or a bass.

UkerDanno
06-28-2018, 06:06 PM
No tools needed, just coil the excess string into a small loop & tuck the ends through at the headstock tuners. :)

NO, No, No!!! That's sloppy work...just make sure everything's up to tune and stable and clip the ends with a fingernail clipper...sheeesh :biglaugh:

UkerDanno
06-28-2018, 06:09 PM
I think it's funny that they sell winding adapters for an electric drill. I can see a use for that if you're doing this all day long, but not for one set every few months. I wonder how long the tuning gears would hold up while being turned at full speed by an electric drill. Let me put that on my To Do List.

The handiest string changing tool I have...already had the power screw driver and pliers 110122

Jarmo_S
06-28-2018, 06:37 PM
Ukulele strings are changed so seldom that no string changing tools are needed. A guitar player with steel strings often changed can maybe take some advantage, but uke players stay away.

Strings can get cut if in contact with something sharp, seldom with frets saddle or nut, and get cut.

When changing take the old string out without cutting it and put it in safekeeping as a spare one. This works easy with knot end bridges, but old string can be reused also with a tie bridge saddle when needed. Then put a new string in in place with instructions given in internet, plenty of them. And tune it up. There is not in my opinion possibility of tuning an octave too high. So no need get any tuner showing the octave number.

Croaky Keith
06-28-2018, 10:31 PM
NO, No, No!!! That's sloppy work...just make sure everything's up to tune and stable and clip the ends with a fingernail clipper...sheeesh :biglaugh:

Ha, ha, if one of my strings breaks at the bridge, I just unravel it a bit & tie a new knot............ :nana::music:

mmn
06-28-2018, 10:42 PM
I'd recommend you spend some time trying to understand why it broke. New strings/instruments shouldn't do that. Hopefully it is the octave thing but if it happens again, it will happen again...!

UkerDanno
06-29-2018, 03:06 AM
NO, No, No!!! That's sloppy work...just make sure everything's up to tune and stable and clip the ends with a fingernail clipper...sheeesh :biglaugh:


Ha, ha, if one of my strings breaks at the bridge, I just unravel it a bit & tie a new knot............ :nana::music:

That comment has nothing to do with string breakage...:confused:


Ukulele strings are changed so seldom that no string changing tools are needed. A guitar player with steel strings often changed can maybe take some advantage, but uke players stay away.

Strings can get cut if in contact with something sharp, seldom with frets saddle or nut, and get cut.

When changing take the old string out without cutting it and put it in safekeeping as a spare one. This works easy with knot end bridges, but old string can be reused also with a tie bridge saddle when needed. Then put a new string in in place with instructions given in internet, plenty of them. And tune it up. There is not in my opinion possibility of tuning an octave too high. So no need get any tuner showing the octave number.

Good advice, but I have 8 ukuleles and change strings on all of them at least once a year, also change strings for friends once in a while, the power winder is very handy...at least get one of the $2 ones from your local music store.

Jo3x
06-29-2018, 07:12 AM
I'd recommend you spend some time trying to understand why it broke. New strings/instruments shouldn't do that. Hopefully it is the octave thing but if it happens again, it will happen again...!

Thank you!

Could you also shed some lights on other possibilities? This is a new uke with new strings. I have it just about 7 days. Hopefully, nothing wrong with the uke...

mmn
06-29-2018, 10:23 AM
Thank you!

Could you also shed some lights on other possibilities? This is a new uke with new strings. I have it just about 7 days. Hopefully, nothing wrong with the uke...

Hard to say not knowing where it broke.

Possible:
String got cut or knicked during stringing or since,
If between nut and saddle, bad string (rare),
If at the nut, nut slot pinching,
If at the saddle, pinching or top of saddle too thin,
If at tuner, metal burr.

WestyShane
06-29-2018, 11:18 AM
and even nail clippers to cut strings.

After scratching my headstock with scissors once, I ONLY use nail clippers to cut strings anymore.

Joyful Uke
06-29-2018, 11:22 AM
You might find this thread helpful:
https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?132568-String-Changing-Tips

I got some good tips from it.

Let us know how it goes for you.

robinboyd
06-29-2018, 02:54 PM
After scratching my headstock with scissors once, I ONLY use nail clippers to cut strings anymore.

I've never used scissors. Only pliers or nail clippers, usually whichever option I have at hand.

Jarmo_S
06-30-2018, 03:55 AM
Sometimes, but it is not very often your uke can have something too sharp regarding maybe saddle, but other things too.

My over 40 year old guitar, I made a new saddle, and because it was a little a bit too high on 12th fret, I sanded also the top to be a low towards bridge connection. It I made sharp edged, and thus the 4th string which is wound, became in my introduction to have the windings somewhat stuck. And the string snapped. Since then, maybe some wear on that, my guitar D-string have not snapped. Wound strings never are as strong as pure solids.

With your ukulele, it is or should not be any problem of how intonation wise your bridge, nut are done. The string should be able to handle. Except none too sharp of course, could have been even in the winding peg.

RafterGirl
06-30-2018, 04:30 AM
I have a confession to make .......I buy strings & then have my local acoustic guitar/uke shop change them. The shop is on the way home from work, they charge me $5, and it's done correctly in about 10 minutes. I am a person who is easily frustrated with fiddly things so getting it done properly & quickly is worth the $5 to me. It also allows me to maintain a good relationship with the small local shop (we use space in their studio for uke classes). I know I need to learn how to do it, but for now this works for me.

Jo3x
06-30-2018, 01:39 PM
Sometimes, but it is not very often your uke can have something too sharp regarding maybe saddle, but other things too.

My over 40 year old guitar, I made a new saddle, and because it was a little a bit too high on 12th fret, I sanded also the top to be a low towards bridge connection. It I made sharp edged, and thus the 4th string which is wound, became in my introduction to have the windings somewhat stuck. And the string snapped. Since then, maybe some wear on that, my guitar D-string have not snapped. Wound strings never are as strong as pure solids.

With your ukulele, it is or should not be any problem of how intonation wise your bridge, nut are done. The string should be able to handle. Except none too sharp of course, could have been even in the winding peg.

I just took a picture showing the position the string broke, it's around the nut. Could it be something wrong with the nut?

110147

Joyful Uke
06-30-2018, 02:36 PM
I have a confession to make .......I buy strings & then have my local acoustic guitar/uke shop change them.

You're probably the smartest one here.

When I got hone from work today, I was going to change strings on a uke, & decided to do an on-line continuing education class instead. That's how I knew that I was really trying to avoid the string change chore. :-)

Joyful Uke
06-30-2018, 02:41 PM
After scratching my headstock with scissors once, I ONLY use nail clippers to cut strings anymore.

Another thread suggested blue painters tape as one of the tools for string changing, & I think that has helped keep me from ending up with sine scratches.

robinboyd
06-30-2018, 03:07 PM
I just took a picture showing the position the string broke, it's around the nut. Could it be something wrong with the nut?

110147

To me, that looks like it broke above the nut. Possibly at the tuner? I'd check the tuning peg for sharp edges.

RafterGirl
06-30-2018, 04:14 PM
If the uke was set up and restrung by Mim, you’d think she would have picked up on a problem with the tuners or nut.

mmn
06-30-2018, 11:23 PM
I just took a picture showing the position the string broke, it's around the nut. Could it be something wrong with the nut?

Doesn't look like a nut problem. I'ma going with string defect. Unless it happens again...!

Jerryc41
07-01-2018, 07:50 AM
Another thread suggested blue painters tape as one of the tools for string changing, & I think that has helped keep me from ending up with sine scratches.

I use that blue tape to hold the strings in place while I get them started on the pegs. I don't cut them so close that I could scratch to top. If I'm patient enough, I like to bind the loose ends together along the bottom of the bridge.

Jo3x
07-02-2018, 08:21 PM
I received the strings I ordered last week, and I just finished installing them. it took me about 1.5 hours. I didn't use any tool except a nail cutter. One thing I'm a little bit worried is the tension of A string seems pretty strong. If it broken again. I think I'm going to have to reach out to Mim.

I changed all the four strings. Besides, I took one more step further. I installed the three unbroken strings (G, C and E) to my old concert uke. I feel they fit well. My old uke (Oscar Schimdt OU5) still had original strings (about 1 year old), and I think they are nylon. The fluorocarbon A string doesn't sound that bright as nylon to me, while the old C nylon string is not as playable as the fluorocarbon C. I'm happy with it.

Now I am a guy who has a fashionable uke with mixed strings. That's what's good about learning. You learn one thing, you got more than one.

Pics below showing my work. Thank you all!

110202
110203

robinboyd
07-02-2018, 09:05 PM
I received the strings I ordered last week, and I just finished installing them. it took me about 1.5 hours. I didn't use any tool except a nail cutter. One thing I'm a little bit worried is the tension of A string seems pretty strong. If it broken again. I think I'm going to have to reach out to Mim.


If the A string is noticably tighter than the others, you have a problem. Are you sure you're not tuning an octave high again? If you can make a recording on your phone and upload it to YouTube, anyone here will be able to tell you straight away.

Croaky Keith
07-02-2018, 10:13 PM
Hint: Your 'A' string should sound the same as your 'E' string fretted at the 5th fret, it's the same note - so if it sounds higher, it is up an octave.

Uke Don
07-03-2018, 06:08 AM
Your A string should be at 440 Hertz. Find a tuner that shows frequency, like on some phone apps like Peterson. In the future, for a slot head run the winding on the outboard sides of the string hole in the shaft rather than inboard. That way it puts pressure on the string windings and helps maintain tuning.

Nickie
07-03-2018, 06:10 PM
Do I need to change the A string only or it's better to change the four together?

My luthier said he asked Doc Watson how he knows when to change strings.
Doc told him "When I break one."

mmn
07-04-2018, 03:56 AM
... My luthier said he asked Doc Watson how he knows when to change strings.
Doc told him "When I break one."

I'm guessing Doc Watson, if he wasn't just joking, would break a string long before they went dead (RIP)!