PDA

View Full Version : 6 string tuning options, advice?



unplaned
12-25-2007, 12:44 AM
Hi all, I just became the proud owner of a 6 string concert uke. until now I have always played g, c, e, a, and I'm wondering what tuning do you guys use on the paired strings? I apologise if its a really nooby question, it might be the first of many from this particular user!!;) But Ive googled it and found alot of the info a bit confusing. Have a great christmas, and many thanks in advance for any advice you guys can share!

JTY
12-25-2007, 02:53 AM
Congrats on your new 6-string..:)

Tune the double strings same to each other. Actually, the A string double is an octave lower.. while the C is just doubled with 2 hi-C tuned strings (but different gauges..).
Here, I got a G-string 6'er, but dont play it too often.

NukeDOC
12-25-2007, 05:17 AM
i have two 6 string tenors.

my kala is strung g-cC-E-aa. the C strings are octaved, while the A strings are doubled high. i put it like this because of the intermittent need to pluck that A string. it just sounds funny when you need a high note and that bass A comes crashing through. the octaved C strings are just fine as they are since, when you have to pluck them, the bass C is usually dominant and the high C gives you a faint twang for some life. you can hear it here... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOhSUkNuxI8

my lanikai is strung g-cC-E-aA. so the only difference is the A strings are octaved with a high A and a bass A. the uke came with a wound A string, and i replaced it with a spare C string just tuned down a bit. it actually made it a little mellower, because that wound string was just obnoxious. this format is great for just straight strumming IMO. you can hear it here... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg19gPaxvS8

JumpingPulgas
12-25-2007, 10:31 AM
That was cool braddah! :D Hope you guys win the contest.

I would also like your opinion on tuning a 4 string uke. I have a 4 string tenor tuned GCEA with a wound C. Is it better to have it tuned with a low g or does it depend on the song I'm playing? Or maybe I need to buy another uke tuned with a low G? :D


i have two 6 string tenors.

my kala is strung g-cC-E-aa. the C strings are octaved, while the A strings are doubled high. i put it like this because of the intermittent need to pluck that A string. it just sounds funny when you need a high note and that bass A comes crashing through. the octaved C strings are just fine as they are since, when you have to pluck them, the bass C is usually dominant and the high C gives you a faint twang for some life. you can hear it here... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOhSUkNuxI8

my lanikai is strung g-cC-E-aA. so the only difference is the A strings are octaved with a high A and a bass A. the uke came with a wound A string, and i replaced it with a spare C string just tuned down a bit. it actually made it a little mellower, because that wound string was just obnoxious. this format is great for just straight strumming IMO. you can hear it here... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg19gPaxvS8

NukeDOC
12-25-2007, 11:11 AM
That was cool braddah! :D Hope you guys win the contest.

I would also like your opinion on tuning a 4 string uke. I have a 4 string tenor tuned GCEA with a wound C. Is it better to have it tuned with a low g or does it depend on the song I'm playing? Or maybe I need to buy another uke tuned with a low G? :D

hmmm i guess that all comes down to your preference or the song you need to play... if you have to get those low notes with that low G string. but i personally prefer the high Gsomething about having such a warm sound come out of a small instrument made for high notes. so that high G IMO gives it more life and gives the uke that distinct unique sound. on the other hand, there are times when im playing a certain song that i wish i had a low G on my 4 string uke hehehe.

obtw, i think i figured out what was so obnoxious about that original low A string on my 6 sting ukes... it was a wound string. so it just rang out hard core. when i switched it out with a nylon string (just used a spare C string i had lying around) i got that fullness that i was looking for from a 6 string uke. so here's the dilemma on your side... you see, i have three main ukes. two of those with pickups, giving me no need to be able to pluck on my 6 string. so i found another spare C string and changed it back to octaved aA strings. so when plugged in, i will use this one for songs i strum on, and use the 4 string on songs i pluck on.

so i guess i would have to say, if i only had one uke and it was a 6 string, i would tune it g-cC-E-aa just to be more versatile. but since i have more ukes, then each has its purpose and is tuned accordingly.

unplaned
12-25-2007, 11:44 AM
thanks heaps guys, given me loads to think about..this new 6 string is a really nice instrument compared to what I'm used to. It was delivered with a damaged wound string and to be honest I'm not keen on the wound string thing so tomorrow I'm off to buy some strings..there isn't a shop within 30 miles that stocks uke strings so I'm thinking I might have to wing it a little and buy some guitar strings to provide me with a temporary g string while i wait for ebay to deliver. thanks for all the info lads!

(the reason I mention the string issue is I'm hoping one of you might jump in and warn me if this is a bad idea....as I said before I'm 6-8 months into a self taught journey with the uke and very much still feeling my way) This is already the most advice anyone has ever given me on uke matters and I'm very grateful for all of it!!! :)

NukeDOC
12-25-2007, 01:53 PM
thanks heaps guys, given me loads to think about..this new 6 string is a really nice instrument compared to what I'm used to. It was delivered with a damaged wound string and to be honest I'm not keen on the wound string thing so tomorrow I'm off to buy some strings..there isn't a shop within 30 miles that stocks uke strings so I'm thinking I might have to wing it a little and buy some guitar strings to provide me with a temporary g string while i wait for ebay to deliver. thanks for all the info lads!

(the reason I mention the string issue is I'm hoping one of you might jump in and warn me if this is a bad idea....as I said before I'm 6-8 months into a self taught journey with the uke and very much still feeling my way) This is already the most advice anyone has ever given me on uke matters and I'm very grateful for all of it!!! :)

well i did some research on some strings and believe it or not, fishing lines. (high g tuning)

d'addario pro arte tenor ukulele strings
nylon monofilament about $4 a set
g 0.029" 0.74mm
C 0.041" 1.04mm
E 0.033" 0.87mm
A 0.029" 0.72mm

worth brown fluorocarbon
mellower sound than clear about $15 a set
g 0.0244"
C 0.0291"
E 0.0260"
A 0.0224"

worth clear fluorocarbon
stronger voice than brown about $15 a set
g 0.0244"
C 0.0291"
E 0.0260"
A 0.0224"

seaguar fluorocarbon fishing leader material
spools of 25yds $20-35 a spool (goes up as line test increases)
40lb test 0.024" 0.620mm
50lb test 0.026" 0.660mm
60lb test 0.029" 0.740mm
70lb test 0.031" 0.810mm
80lb test 0.036" 0.910mm

this should give you an idea of what line diameters to look for when you go shopping for your strings. you can always order a set online. or if you have a friend that is heavy into fishing, maybe they have some line that you can use in the meantime. ive used it before... its not bad, but i still didnt like it.

if you cant get individual strings at your local guitar shop, try going to your local tackleshop. a lot of times, they have bulk spools of line that they will sell to you by the yard. take this info and based on the diameters of the d'addarios you may be able to find what you need in a monofilament nylon fishing line. and pay about 10 cents.

i know someone that has worth strings on their uke and i loved how they felt. then again, i just threw some d'addario pro artes on my 4 string and those are great as well (aldrine's fav strings). personally, next time i need to make an order online for some stuff, im going to buy several sets of the d'addarios just to have em stocked and at hand.

JTY
12-25-2007, 06:31 PM
If you want a non-wound 6-string set, try the Worth strings. I like the feel, sound and tension of the worth clears. I get um from:
http://www.ukuleleworld2.com/product.php?productid=409&cat=7&page=3

(at the price of a single set, theres enough to do 2 ukes)

NukeDOC
12-25-2007, 06:44 PM
really? wow, well that throws my whole plan out the window. hahaha. thats actually not bad at all then. but in that case im just going to play the strings that i have now into the ground and when i need new ones ill just order them. thanks for the info. i didnt know that there was enough for two ukes.

JTY
12-25-2007, 07:06 PM
yeah, all the worths are like this.. better just cut um in half first.

one time I screwed up one by stringing one string up with too much slack and then cut um too short.. so not enough for the 2nd tenor scale by only 1 or 2 inches :mad:, so I had to use um on a soprano. lucky the gauge was the same.;)

unplaned
12-28-2007, 05:48 AM
Nukedoc, jty thanks so much for the help guys. The uke sounds ok now and worth strings are on their way so should really sound sweet ! I'll post a vid on youtube as soon as poss! thanks again fella's!

HungSolo
01-09-2008, 07:17 PM
If you want a non-wound 6-string set, try the Worth strings. I like the feel, sound and tension of the worth clears. I get um from:
http://www.ukuleleworld2.com/product.php?productid=409&cat=7&page=3

(at the price of a single set, theres enough to do 2 ukes)

I need to restring my new Uke pretty soon, don't like whatever came installed. What do you think about the Worth's with respect to sustain?

JTY
01-09-2008, 08:36 PM
I need to restring my new Uke pretty soon, don't like whatever came installed. What do you think about the Worth's with respect to sustain?
IMO, they are pretty decent. I do know that the Worth clears have higher tension than aquilas of the same scale, and the higher string tension does exert more force on the soundboard when strummed/picked. As for sustain.. the scale length, sound box/wood, neck/headstock mass, fret width, nut, saddle etc. plays a role here too.

HungSolo
01-10-2008, 02:31 PM
IMO, they are pretty decent. I do know that the Worth clears have higher tension than aquilas of the same scale, and the higher string tension does exert more force on the soundboard when strummed/picked. As for sustain.. the scale length, sound box/wood, neck/headstock mass, fret width, nut, saddle etc. plays a role here too.

I think might give them a try. Thanks.

modi
01-22-2008, 09:23 AM
hey i have a 6 string kamaka from around the 70's i think (it has the old school tuning pegs)

how do you feel about just doubling the C and A strings ?
so it would be g cc e aa

NukeDOC
01-22-2008, 09:44 AM
hey i have a 6 string kamaka from around the 70's i think (it has the old school tuning pegs)

how do you feel about just doubling the C and A strings ?
so it would be g cc e aa

because of the thickness of the C strings, i dont know if i would want to do that. when strumming, they might make contact with each other, causing buzzing and loss of sustain. but who's to say you shouldnt give it a try. im just assuming what it would sound like.

as for the A strings. double em. i like it better that way.

modi
01-23-2008, 05:53 AM
i tried it, and it kinda worked, but i just didnt like it that much.
im assuming you tune the aa like the normal 4 string right? or do you use the octave lower?

also, could i tune my 6 string to a baritone DGBE?

thanks alot!
-Jon

NukeDOC
01-23-2008, 08:05 AM
i tried it, and it kinda worked, but i just didnt like it that much.
im assuming you tune the aa like the normal 4 string right? or do you use the octave lower?

also, could i tune my 6 string to a baritone DGBE?

thanks alot!
-Jon

i prefer the double normal high A strings. it gives it a little bit of a chorus sound, while still being pluckable.

and i dont see why you couldnt tune to DGBE. just make sure that you are using a string gauge with the right thickness that will give you the tension you need at that tuning.