View Full Version : Beginner "eff-up" with strings - help much appreciated

10-02-2009, 07:36 AM
Hello everyone! :'D

I'm a very beginner (played a mere two days, going great though), so I decided to switch my old strings for some new Aquila strings, however...

I did it wrong. I put the "1st" string on the bottom, which apparently was the 4th string, G, and not the A.

So, I've pulled them off (will do right now, actually) and was thinking if they're still usable? :(

baawk. :wallbash:

10-02-2009, 07:41 AM
They should be fine.

10-02-2009, 07:41 AM
Or what the deuce, I'm not even sure anymore after reading the aquila-thing that followed.

Which string is which, if I strum with my left (if it even matters)?

Is it gcea from top to bottom, or bottom to top? :wallbash:
And "FIRST STRING", is that the top or bottom? G or A? Gah.

edit: thanks for quick answer, hoosierhiver. :)

10-02-2009, 07:43 AM
Let's keep the language family-friendly, kay?

Yes, your strings are still usable. It takes a very long time and lots of stress to ruin the elasticity of uke strings. Truth be known I have made the same mistake and just left it. The G and A strings are so close in gauge (sometimes the same diameter in some brands, aren't they?) that it barely makes a difference. Once they were tuned to pitch I never noticed.

You aren't the first person to make that mistake and use the same strings. You won't be the last, either. Don't stress. Uke's supposed to be fun.

10-02-2009, 07:46 AM
If you strum with your left hand, you're playing the uke lefty. So the G string is closest to you, and the A string is closest to the floor.

I've made that mistake with Aquilas before, and it actually didn't matter too much. The G and A are really similar. In fact, some manufacturers use the same gauge for the G and the A (there's just a little more tension when you tune it up to A).

10-02-2009, 08:00 AM
Wow, thanks A LOT for the quick and helpful answers!
Hopefully I learned something from my mistake. :'D
Sorry 'bout the language though, just panicked. :)

10-02-2009, 08:36 AM
No sweat. The person who never makes mistakes is the one who isn't learning anything.

10-02-2009, 08:37 AM
Ther are loads of nice and knowledgable folks here.
Don't be shy to ask questions.

10-02-2009, 09:27 AM
A lot of questions have been previously asked and using the search feature will usually get you an answer. If you feel the answer is somewhat insufficient or requires clarification, please post the question. HH is right tho, lost of friendly and knowledgeable members here.

Ukulele JJ
10-02-2009, 10:28 AM
If you strum with your left hand, you're playing the uke lefty. So the G string is closest to you, and the A string is closest to the floor.

That's actually the case whether you strum left or right-handed. First string is toward your feet, fourth string toward your head.

(I prefer to say "feet" rather than "floor", to cover those cases where you're playing the uke while lying in a hammock. :D)

(Oh, and there might be rare occassions where a left-handed player plays with the strings still strung "righty" style, like Dick Dale.)


Ronnie Aloha
10-02-2009, 10:44 AM
I made the mistake when I first got my D'Addario J71 strings. My original intent was to switch out a low G uke for high G. So I figured I just restring the G string to try it out and I open the string package labeld "G." I stretched it out for a day and thought, "Dang, this string requires loads of tension." A couple of days later I figure I'll switch the remaining three strings out and I find the enclosure in the package that says the G string is actually the the ukulele C string. Its a G string if used on a classical guitar. I switched it out and it works fine even after being stretched out for a couple of days. It probably helped it hold its tune in G!

10-12-2009, 08:11 PM
And "FIRST STRING", is that the top or bottom? G or A? Gah.

...the 'first' string is the A at the bottom.


<edit> oh, this might help, Soetnoewzen. It is something I (another lefty) am working on to learn notes and chords. Unfinished as yet, but it might help.


10-14-2009, 05:09 AM
I did the exact same thing when I did my first uke string change (also to Aquilas).

In the eternal words of Michael Jackson... "you are not alone..."

I just smacked myself in the forehead and pulled off the string (i had only put on the A and E stings when I noticed that the next string, C was thicker than the E and I had done it backwards) and switched them around and they seem to work fine. I wouldn't worry about it. New strings go through a lot of stretching before they are stable. Give them a week of playing and tuning and you'll see that they will hold their tune overnight.