PDA

View Full Version : Changing strings without wire cutters?



sleepsinashoe
08-11-2009, 08:19 AM
Hey, I'm a beginner who just bought some Aquila nylguts (haven't arrived yet) for his Makala dolphin. This'll be the first time I'm changing strings that aren't violin, and I didn't realize I might need wire cutters. Is there any nifty way to get them cut without wire cutters? Like bending them back and forth a lot (I don't have a clue if that'd work on nylon), or plain scissors? Or do I even need to get them cut?

Thanks in advance

sukie
08-11-2009, 08:22 AM
Don't bend 'em back and forth. I use a wire cutter but that's because that's how I was taught to do it. A scissors should work though. Some people seem to like not cutting the strings. To me that looks sloppy. But what works for you is what's best for you. There's no right or wrong way. Just don't bend them back and forth. Oh! I guess that means there is a wrong way.

dnewton2
08-11-2009, 08:24 AM
plain ole scissors should work. I like nail clippers too.

itsme
08-11-2009, 08:40 AM
plain ole scissors should work. I like nail clippers too.
I would go with nail clippers over scissors. For one thing, strings are more like the consistency of toenails, so one "snip" should do it more efficiently. With scissors, you run the risk of slipping and having a pointy end gouge the finish on your uke. Also, many specialty scissors (like those for cutting fabric or hair) are easily ruined for their intended purpose by so much as cutting cardboard with them.

hoosierhiver
08-11-2009, 08:46 AM
Nail clippers are best in my opinion.

yookyoolayleeh
08-11-2009, 09:26 AM
I have to ask... Do you keep a separate set of nail clippers for your uke strings, or just reuse your toenaily gross one? Not that it bothers me or anything.

*shudder

WhenDogsSing
08-11-2009, 09:51 AM
Here's what I use...They've served me well...:D

toubisard
08-11-2009, 09:52 AM
Yes nail clippers are the thing all the best ukulistas (just made that up) carry nail clippers for personal grooming. Remember short nails on the left hand and slightly longer nicely rounded nails on the other, unless you do it the other way.

Citrus
08-11-2009, 10:23 AM
I just unwind the tuning knobs (forgot the real name for them, brain fart) until the strings come off by themselves... I'm probably doing it the long way.

GrumpyCoyote
08-11-2009, 10:38 AM
Nail clippers are best in my opinion.

true dat... Plus, I always have nail clippers in my cases. Easy peasy.

Lanark
08-11-2009, 10:38 AM
I use the cat's claw clippers. They're ideal in size, shape and design. And she doesn't mind.

itsme
08-11-2009, 11:20 AM
I just unwind the tuning knobs (forgot the real name for them, brain fart) until the strings come off by themselves... I'm probably doing it the long way.
If you want to keep them as spares, that's what you have to do.

But if you don't care about keeping them, it's much faster to just de-tune until they're completely slack, then snip at each end and undo the windings. It's a lot less cranking. :)

Skrik
08-11-2009, 11:29 AM
Don't cut the strings. It releases all the tension on the instrument all at once, and the neck can flip backwards, snapping at the heel.

OK, I made that up, but you don't need to cut the strings. Really.

flyingace
08-11-2009, 11:35 AM
Here's what I use...They've served me well...:D

Much like what i've used for 20 years for guitar and anything strung! My grandmother owned a TV repair shop and gave me a little pair of needle nose with wirecutters (about 4") and they come in handy for pulling knots tight and clipping. Always carry them in my gig bag!

GX9901
08-11-2009, 11:41 AM
I got into the habit of wrapping the extra strings into a loop. On strings that I do cut (with sissors or nail clipper), I still leave enough string to loop it. I'm not sure why I do it though. :p

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_hMJKe0Vprf4/Sd10W5b0UZI/AAAAAAAAAns/zbABJx3tGxU/s640/DSC02511.JPG

ukulelearp
08-11-2009, 03:41 PM
Scissors, nail clippers, kitchen knife, anything sharp really.



I got into the habit of wrapping the extra strings into a loop. On strings that I do cut (with sissors or nail clipper), I still leave enough string to loop it. I'm not sure why I do it though. :p

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_hMJKe0Vprf4/Sd10W5b0UZI/AAAAAAAAAns/zbABJx3tGxU/s640/DSC02511.JPG

Hey, that ukulele looks familiar...

Bluke
08-11-2009, 06:25 PM
Use any tool you have. Nail clippers, dikes, scissors, your teeth, who cares. Just cut them. It's only plastic.

wickedwahine11
08-11-2009, 06:55 PM
With scissors, you run the risk of slipping and having a pointy end gouge the finish on your uke.

Follow itsme's advice and please don't use regular scissors. I did this the very first time I changed the strings on my Kamaka tenor and caused two gouges in the finish on the curly koa. I almost cried over it and it still make me wince every time I look at those marks. I now use the nail clippers or the the curved end nail scissors...much safer.

ichadwick
08-12-2009, 10:15 AM
Me, I'm easy with not cutting them at all, and either coiling them or letting them hang:
http://www.ianchadwick.com/essays/ukulele/fluke_all_01.jpg
Kinda like my hair most days.