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View Full Version : This may be heresy but....



spazus_maximus
12-03-2009, 09:11 AM
Does anyone know of a steel string Uke? &/or Anyone working with one?

Im thinking one with rosewood backs & sides & a spruce top would be awesome flatpicked!

MGM
12-03-2009, 09:24 AM
but why???

psesinkclee
12-03-2009, 09:32 AM
I know that the Banjoleles by Spanky Ukes are all steel strings, and I think the Juniper Creek electric solid body ukes also use all steel strings.

RevWill
12-03-2009, 09:33 AM
That's a cavaquinho.

buddhuu
12-03-2009, 09:35 AM
but why???

:agree:

LOLz! :D

spazus_maximus
12-03-2009, 09:36 AM
but why???

Im from west Tennesee & around here It's all about bluegrass....The nylon just cant compete in volume against a mandolin,fiddle & especially a banjo...plus im not sure the nylon has enough attack to be flatpicked as fast as the traditional bluegrass instruments. I would just love to see some smoking ukulele flatpicker in a traditional bluegrass jam!

spazus_maximus
12-03-2009, 09:41 AM
That's a cavaquinho.

Had no idea that even existed...cool!

AcousticMonster
12-03-2009, 09:43 AM
Im from west Tennesee & around here It's all about bluegrass....The nylon just cant compete in volume against a mandolin,fiddle & especially a banjo...plus im not sure the nylon has enough attack to be flatpicked as fast as the traditional bluegrass instruments. I would just love to see some smoking ukulele flatpicker in a traditional bluegrass jam!

Spazus...I feel your pain. I come from a guitar background and used to do a lot of speed picking. I use a pick to play uke and there are some solo things I want to do but cant pull off because of the nylon strings. It's like speed picking on taffy, lol.

Some of my friends wanted me to play some surf songs with them as well, but I cant pull of the "flutter picking" on nylon either. Hopefully there is a company that sells metal uke strings.

ukecantdothat
12-03-2009, 10:03 AM
I love this sort of heresy! Steel string ukes are out there, but I don't know how good they are. Fender makes an electric mando (or used to...) that can be strung for uke. I would just amp my uke if I were you, or go into the PA if there's one there. Here's an excellent post regarding battery amps:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5333

There are some good stick on pickups out there, or, in a pinch, just drop a lapel mic in the sound hole and tape over it to reduce feedback. Run it thru a cheap EQ pedal, like a Boss, and you can get it shaped good enough to play with other non-amped players at least.

freedive135
12-03-2009, 10:13 AM
It is Heresy!!!! and what Mike said....:eek::p;)
and see this thread
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22434

Now if I was playing in a bluegrass jam and wanted to do it on a Uke I would go with a Reso Tenor from Mya Moe or do it right and get one of these!!!!

http://www.myamoeukuleles.com/model%20lap%20steel.html

as far as pickin surf your choices are either a Fender Jaguar or Strat unless you can find a Mosrite!!! nothing else will do!!!!:rulez:

spazus_maximus
12-03-2009, 10:21 AM
http://www.myamoeukuleles.com/model%20lap%20steel.html

Now were on to something....my want list just grew an inch!

hoosierhiver
12-03-2009, 10:51 AM
I use steel mandolin strings on my concert sized banjo-uke.

Ahnko Honu
12-03-2009, 11:15 AM
Had no idea that even existed...cool!

Amen, get a cavaquinho. ;)

uke5417
12-03-2009, 01:33 PM
I've seen old steel-stringed tenor guitars with scale lengths about the same as a bari uke.

DogBisquit
12-03-2009, 02:29 PM
Now were on to something....my want list just grew an inch!

Is this Slack Key territory?

ukulelegal
12-03-2009, 03:56 PM
I saw one the other day...it made me sad...it was on display at a Mexican restaurant and the strings were broke...I wanted to rescue it but it was in a glass display case...

Doctroid
12-03-2009, 04:56 PM
Heresy is all in the mind. Just ask the heretics who added keys to a flute, or put valves on a trumpet, or stuck a clarinet mouthpiece on an ophicleide (and dubbed it a "saxophone"), or electrified a guitar. Doing what you need to do to get the sound and feel you want is a musician's imperative, and you can ignore those who say you'll go to Hell for it.

But watch out for the higher tension metal strings would require.

hoosierhiver
12-03-2009, 04:59 PM
I saw one the other day...it made me sad...it was on display at a Mexican restaurant and the strings were broke...I wanted to rescue it but it was in a glass display case...

Maybe they'd swap for a nice pinyata.;)

koalohapaul
12-03-2009, 08:00 PM
I built a concert for my brother years ago. He switched out the steel strings after a while but the ukulele sounded great when they were on. If I can remember correctly, I used light gauge trebles from an acoustic steel string set. The shorter scale length worked out perfectly, with the higher tuning.

Oh yeah. Kimo Hussey's cd features a steel stringed ukulele on almost, if not every track. It's a unique sound and very enjoyable cd.

clayton56
12-03-2009, 10:07 PM
If you went with tenor scale (17") it would be the same tension as guitar if you tuned it to regular GCEA tuning. So it would be just like playing the top 4 strings of a guitar with a capo at the 5th fret.

You would want one with a thicker top though, metal strings would overwhelm the thin uke wood. Sounds like you need to make your own. And you should probably reinforce the bridge-to-top joint with dowel pins or it might pull off.

Also, what about those metal Resonator ukes? I bet they would be the bomb with metal strings.