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View Full Version : Low-G versus high-G



ichadwick
05-15-2008, 04:31 AM
All of my ukes are tuned in the traditional high-G (re-entrant) tuning. But I am considering getting another uke to tune to to low-G. Any comments on playing high versus low G? Any recommended strings (should the low G be a wound string?)?

Or are there ukes that are better low G than high?

UkuleleHill
05-15-2008, 04:48 AM
Here is a comparison of the same song and player I hope NukeDoc is ok with me posting this...

Low G Wonderful Tonight (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrhJs7oIm7I)

High G Wonderful Tonight (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyKmh8WjTOI)

Esy
05-15-2008, 04:53 AM
use SEARCH:nana:

zymeck
05-15-2008, 05:24 AM
Ive recently put a set of Low-G aquila strings on a cheap Makala i bought a while back. (I had a set of 'high-G' aquilas on there)
Basically, i just removed my old 'G-string' (oo-er) and stuck the new (wound) one on.

I havent had a proper play with it yet, but I like it! The low-g makes it sound quite 'ballsy' compared to the high-g, and think it will just add a little bit of variety of sound when i play with other people.

Because i tend to just strum along rather than doing lots of fancy finger picking, i havent noticed that half of my repertoire suddenly sounds odd, and it now means i can pull of a nice version of Still Alive (http://ukulelehunt.com/2008/04/13/jonathan-coulton-still-alive-portal-end-credits/)

Hope this helps

4strings707
05-15-2008, 06:23 AM
I just switched from high G to low G recently. I bought worth browns. I like it so so. Theres some songs that just don't sound right to me. like when i play lets dance...it doesn't sound right with the low G. but when I play drop baby drop, it sounds sick. i'm thinking of buying a set of worth brown with a high G and interchange them when i need to.

NukeDOC
05-15-2008, 06:31 AM
Here is a comparison of the same song and player I hope NukeDoc is ok with me posting this...

Low G Wonderful Tonight (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrhJs7oIm7I)

High G Wonderful Tonight (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyKmh8WjTOI)

no prob at all. i dont think i ever noticed that i did one version with high g and one with low g. haha.

dave g
05-15-2008, 07:35 AM
I've gone low-g on a couple sopranos recently and I really like it.

NotoriousMOK
05-15-2008, 08:57 AM
All of my ukes are tuned in the traditional high-G (re-entrant) tuning. But I am considering getting another uke to tune to to low-G. Any comments on playing high versus low G? Any recommended strings (should the low G be a wound string?)?

Or are there ukes that are better low G than high?


If memory serves me (this is more and more rare these days) you have a Fluke, don't you? Mine responds very well to the LowG strings (see my sig). Now I'm all about feeding the UAS beast, but you might consider trying LowG on an existing uke if you have a choice.

My ears liked re-entrant on my soprano Flea and my Gstring tenor, and the LowG was a good match on my Fluke. I tried LowG on the tenor and the flea, and my ears didn't care for it, but that's me -- have fun!

UkuleleHill
05-15-2008, 09:07 AM
Do you think we might be able to get a High G low G post stickied since it seems to be a hot topic?

TokyoUketarist
05-15-2008, 12:33 PM
I love the sound of both but I prefer low G because it gives you so much more options to play( an extra 4th interval). Having the G and A string on a High G be just 1 note different is really a waste, I mean they are so close that it limits the range you can play in. Try playing bass notes and chords at the same time on a High G you can't. For example Herb Ohta jr. (Low G) plays more of a chord melody style fuller sound. But Jake Shimabukuro will tend to go for rhythmic strumming because of the lack of bass notes. Both are awesome players so don't get me wrong it is just personal preference. High G is well more ukey and low G more guitary I think.:rolleyes:

Howlin Hobbit
05-15-2008, 06:09 PM
Having the G and A string on a High G be just 1 note different is really a waste, I mean they are so close that it limits the range you can play in. Try playing bass notes and chords at the same time on a High G you can't. For example Herb Ohta jr. (Low G) plays more of a chord melody style fuller sound. But Jake Shimabukuro will tend to go for rhythmic strumming because of the lack of bass notes.

G below middle-C is barely into the bass clef on a music staff (it's the top space). So you really only have the three highest bass notes (G, G#/Ab, and A) even on low g tuned ukes.

Having the two outside strings only one step apart means that a downstrum and an upstrum have much the same sound. This is where all those flashy strums shine, and in fact, is what makes many of them possible.

Jake, Ohta-san Jr. (and heck, even me) play chord melody stuff. Herb just does his arrangements with those few extra low notes. Jake works within the limits of his uke's range.

Me? I stumble along and try to keep learning.

ichadwick
05-16-2008, 02:41 AM
Thanks. I appreciate the advice and the discussion. I'm wrestling with a UAS-related issue: should I restring one of my existing ukes or buy one specifically for low-G. I like the individual sound each uke produces, so I'm reluctant to change any of them and possibly lose that, but of course buying a uke simply for the single string is rather self-indulgent. At least that's what my wife says.

However, as a guitar player, I sometimes find the high-G frustrating because chords and solo runs are so different and some songs I play on guitar just don't sound right on the uke (others, of course, sound wonderful). I think I'd like to experiment with the low_g tuning to see what happens.

I'd also like to experiment a bit with some open tunings so perhaps I'll need another uke designated for that, too...

Phil Major
05-16-2008, 06:54 AM
Perhaps this has already been touched on, but I am still unclear: when strung in Low-G, would I play songs the same way? I mean, if I strum a song in high-g (I strum basic songs only) in one particular way, would I continue to play the song the same way (fingerings and all) if I had a low-g instead?

I've always wondered about this...

4strings707
05-16-2008, 07:07 AM
Perhaps this has already been touched on, but I am still unclear: when strung in Low-G, would I play songs the same way? I mean, if I strum a song in high-g (I strum basic songs only) in one particular way, would I continue to play the song the same way (fingerings and all) if I had a low-g instead?

I've always wondered about this...

sometimes i would strum the same way, sometimes not. with the low G you can really hear it. it stands out alot. but with the high G its kinda hidden in the chord. i find myself trying different ways to play the same chord...like the C chord. instead of the regular 3rd fret A string...i play the variation which sounds really nice. anyway thats my opinion. others might think differently

TokyoUketarist
05-16-2008, 07:40 PM
Perhaps this has already been touched on, but I am still unclear: when strung in Low-G, would I play songs the same way? I mean, if I strum a song in high-g (I strum basic songs only) in one particular way, would I continue to play the song the same way (fingerings and all) if I had a low-g instead?

I've always wondered about this...
Basic chords are the same shape the notes are the same it's just an octave apart.

Howlin Hobbit,

I didn't mean that you can't play a chord melody style with a high G I just meant using slash chords or anything requiring a bass note with the melody is almost impossible. Even a plain old C chord has the 5th note G up an octave. Because when you play a basic chord you play 3 of the notes with 3 strings which pretty much leaves you with 1 string which almost always has to double 1 of the other notes.

Phil Major
05-17-2008, 06:39 PM
Thanks guys... I would've guessed to just play it straight up, but I guess going through some variations would make sense.

ichadwick
05-20-2008, 01:08 PM
If memory serves me (this is more and more rare these days) you have a Fluke, don't you?
Among others... but I am looking at a tenor FLuke for the low-G tuning.