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View Full Version : New baritone strings snapped, want clarification.



misterdub
12-03-2009, 11:21 AM
Ugh! I just got my first baritone ukulele delivered today, finally sat down with it this evening, tuned it up, played it for about an hour and my D string snapped.

I've never had a string snap on my concert or tenor uke. Is this common with baritones? Since it was the 'D' it was one of the wound non-nylon strings (or at least, didn't feel nylon). I have a digital tuner which has never failed me in the past so I'm sure it wasn't tuned too high...

It came from a reputable person, was shipped properly with the strings really loose. Basically, I'm wondering if this is something I can expect more from my baritone, if I happened to get some bum strings or if it was something I did wrong... :confused:

Either way, very frustrating since I only got an hour in with my new, beautiful uke and it's going to be shelved until I get new strings now. :mad:

MGM
12-03-2009, 01:48 PM
wond low ukulele strings of any brand all break easily...They are wound on a silk core rather than steel like electric guitar strings and are suject to breaking easily At our shop it is comman to be restringing Baritones and have the string snap before they even get up to pitch once. the best ones i have used for longeviotity are those bronze ones that i get from hilo on special order

HoldinCoffee
12-03-2009, 02:27 PM
I had a Hell of a time tuning my baritone for the first time! I heard that *POP sound and stopped tuning it, but I knew I wasn't an octave off. Since I didn't want anything to snap I put it away. Then I said screw it. I've snapped many a string! But lately, I'm getting better with it. When the uke starts to *pop and make strange noises, I back off and let the strings stretch. I also buy several sets of strings at a time just in case.

NatalieS
12-04-2009, 01:24 PM
My baritone's wound strings have snapped several times. I later realized they were all snapping at the exact same place: the nut. It turns out the groove for the string was way too narrow and was pinching on the string, thus weakening it. I got some small files at a hobby store and widened the groove, and haven't had one snap since.

It's very frustrating because wound strings, IMO, are much more prone to breaking for no good reason. The D string on my bari is already starting to fray at the end and I know it's just a matter of time before it unwinds for good. I've heard you can lessen the risk of a wound string unraveling by not cutting it.

I hope this helps... I'm no expert, this is just what's happened in my experience with my bari.

eleuke
12-04-2009, 06:07 PM
My baritone's wound strings have snapped several times. I later realized they were all snapping at the exact same place: the nut.

:agree: Natalie is dead on. Check your nut and saddle for anything that could mess up your wounds. Frets too. Tie bar, and how you string them through the tuner posts. Wounds are like babies. You even look at em the wrong way and they snap. Smooth every part of the uke they touch (but don't change the string length at the nut) and you'll have good results. The bari I refurbed for a friend has played the same strings for a year now. With cheap strings at that. It can be done.

misterdub
12-05-2009, 05:15 AM
Thanks everyone for the responses. I managed to find some cheapie strings at a local store to hold me over until the good ones get delivered on Tuesday. I've restrung, keeping in mind what you've all said and so far so good. Played it for about an hour without incident. I'll definitely be more gentle from now. I think was used to the plain unwound nylon strings and was tuning them without care of the feedback I was getting from the strings.


When the uke starts to *pop and make strange noises, I back off and let the strings stretch. I also buy several sets of strings at a time just in case.

That's exactly what I did this time around. This time it was the G making the creaking noises and so everytime I heard it, I'd back off, let it sit for a minute and then keep going. Took forever to get it in tune going all slow like that but I didn't snap string! :-)

Thanks again everyone! Glad to know this is normal...

GrumpyCoyote
12-08-2009, 04:30 PM
The nut, and the machine head's eye hole thingie (the little hole on the post you put the string in to wind it up) are both common culprits. A LIGHT filing usualy cleans it up. A decent guitar tech can do it for super cheap in just a minute or two if you don't want to go at yourself. The key is to clean and bevel the edge a bit - just a bit, to keep it from cutting or gnawing at the string.

That said, strings break - it's just something they do. Like MgM said, the wound strings are even more prone to it. I always buy two sets (at least) every single time I buy strings. Buying one set is just and invitation to have one pop as soon as you string it.:D

dirk.li
12-09-2009, 05:55 PM
Ugh! I just got my first baritone ukulele delivered today, finally sat down with it this evening, tuned it up, played it for about an hour and my D string snapped.

I've never had a string snap on my concert or tenor uke. Is this common with baritones? Since it was the 'D' it was one of the wound non-nylon strings (or at least, didn't feel nylon). I have a digital tuner which has never failed me in the past so I'm sure it wasn't tuned too high...

It came from a reputable person, was shipped properly with the strings really loose. Basically, I'm wondering if this is something I can expect more from my baritone, if I happened to get some bum strings or if it was something I did wrong... :confused:

Either way, very frustrating since I only got an hour in with my new, beautiful uke and it's going to be shelved until I get new strings now. :mad:

I had this issue once with brand new Aquila Baritone strings and I was angry because they had been expensive. I'm using Martin M630 strings since then and it has never happened again.

Lately, I'm using the M630 strings only for the wound strings and Seguar fluorocarbon fishing line for the non-wound. Check out my vids, the fishing line sounds absolutely excellent! I'm using them now on all my ukes. For the baritone it is:

d: M630, silver-plated copper wound nylon
g: M630, aluminum wound nylon
b: Seguar Fluorocarbon fishing line, 0.78 mm, 6.397 kg at a 550 mm scale
E: Seguar Fluorocarbon fishing line, 0.57 mm, 6.087 kg at a 550 mm scale

Ukuleleblues
12-30-2009, 12:26 PM
Sometimes you can take a pencil and put a little graphite in the nut slot that will help the string slide. You might want to look real close that the nut and make sure it's not wedging the string in or has a sharp edge. Tuner hole witha sharp edge wil do it as someone said earlier. But it wounds like with the poppin noise the string is binding in the nut. Try the pencil trick.

HaileISela
12-30-2009, 01:07 PM
I had the same with my Kala Baritone. It broke three Aquila D strings. so I was using the GHS string it came with until I finally got a new set (two weeks ago) and filed the nut and saddle slightly before putting it on. I lost a lot of money and mood on that.

Claire Saunders
05-15-2015, 08:55 PM
Hi Dirk.li-
Tell me more about the fishing lines. I looked up exactly what you wrote and could not find anything about mm's or kg's. I found the brand Seguar but it only asked me what #pound number I wanted. The thought of having 25 yards of string after paying about $10 a set for Aquila makes me motivated to get more info on where to get it and what to ask for. So where do I get it and what do I ask for? (my attempt at humor)
Claire
PS My favorite quote of all time is "Always be in a state of becoming."--Bob Dylan