View Full Version : Strings That Can Make A Pocket Uke Sound Good Tuned To GCEA?

Papa Tom
10-19-2018, 04:02 PM
My pocket uke really sings when tuned to almost [I]anything [I]except standard (High G) GCEA tuning. I'm not one of those people who can transpose on the spot and I'd love to be able to sit down with someone playing a soprano and easily share chords. Also, I find it a lot easier to sing when I am in the GCEA "register."

Is there a string manufactured for pocket ukes that won't flutter like a rubber band when tuned to GCEA?

Bill Sheehan
10-19-2018, 04:35 PM
I feel your pain, Papa Tom! I've struggled with that question too! Maybe the practical solution is to go ahead and crank it up to ADF#B, and then when you play with someone else, hand them a capo and say, "Here, place this on your second fret please... and by the way, you're singing all the leads tonight." Seriously, though, perhaps you could consider designating your pocket uke as your personal "dedicated ADF#B uke", and then use a GCEA regular soprano size when you play with other folks?

Papa Tom
10-20-2018, 01:55 PM
ADF#B still sounds hollow. This uke doesn't really sing until it's at CFAD, but then it's useless for singing or playing with other people. There may not be an answer to this question. I think I may just sell my Tom Pocket Uke to someone who might enjoy using it for more than strumming and singing.

Bill Sheehan
10-20-2018, 02:21 PM
Still sounds hollow at ADF#B? Doggone it, that little guy really likes some tension! But you're right, Papa Tom, there may well be someone out there who would appreciate having it as more of an "instrumental" uke, kind of like a sweet little music box. And I suppose if a person was going to strum and sing, on a strictly "solo" basis, chords could be worked out for the songs such that the vocal range is comfortable. I understand these Tom Pocket Ukes are excellent, so I'm betting you'd have a purchaser pretty quickly!

10-20-2018, 03:16 PM
I've found Fremont Black line Hard soprano strings work very well on my pocket Ukes. GCEA wise.

Try the Hards.

10-20-2018, 04:33 PM
I've found Fremont Black line Hard soprano strings work very well on my pocket Ukes. GCEA wise.

Try the Hards.

Agreed. I have purchased them from both Uke Republic and The Ukulele Site. I’ve grown to like the look of fluorocarbon strings, but nothing clear currently works like the Fremont black hard strings.

10-20-2018, 04:53 PM
I wanted gCEA tuning on my pocket uke. I looked through my string box and found that a Martin C string is thick enough to hold a C note at that length. The rest I made up from various spares - probably tenor strings, but maybe even baritone. Anyway the result satisfied me - reasonable tension and tone, and I can have the uke in my bag if I want to work out a tune.

10-20-2018, 05:44 PM
My pocket uke is tuned D#.
That's 3 halftones above soprano.

Its way better in tension n tone. No floppy strings.


10-20-2018, 11:34 PM
When I had a sopranino, I tuned it CFAD and transposed the songs we played to that tuning so I could sing along with the group. I insert the chord diagrams into the songsheet so I simply read the diagrams. That way I don't need to remember what key I'm in as I play. This chord sheet I made shows how various tunings transpose and has the little chord diagrams which you can cut/paste in to the songsheet. https://1drv.ms/w/s!ApA9i-oo5pNGi7s5eW0azgWPvgzIZw

Papa Tom
10-22-2018, 03:26 PM
Jim: I wasn't able to get into OneDrive to see your chord diagrams.

In any event, it took me almost the entire first two years of playing the soprano (GCEA) ukulele to wean myself off chord diagrams. I definitely don't want to get back into that habit!

Just want to let the rest of you know that I haven't abandoned this thread. All of your suggestions are appreciated and, as soon as I have some free time again, I plan to try them all.

Jim Hanks
10-22-2018, 03:49 PM
SSP: Southcoast recommended G tuning for sopranino with the Extra Light set:
I have 10 of 'em available

10-23-2018, 08:30 AM
thanks for that Jim very handy mate much appreciated

Jim Hanks
10-23-2018, 11:42 AM
Oh, and just to be clear if it wasn't, "G tuning" means dGBE - an octave higher than typical baritone tuning or a fifth higher than normal soprano/concert/tenor tuning