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View Full Version : should i replace my ukulele strings?!



xhedgehogsrockx
04-21-2010, 01:05 AM
i have a ukulele, it's probably about 8 or 9 years old. the strings feel kind of plastic-y and i don't like the sound that much. is it wrong to replace the strings because of that?

SailQwest
04-21-2010, 01:20 AM
Those sound like perfect reasons to change strings! Strings are pretty inexpensive and can make a big difference in the sound and feel of your ukulele. And while there are varying opinions about string life, I think most people would consider that way too long between string changes. :)

There are a lot of great strings and lots of threads with string information and opinions. And trying different strings of your ukulele can be very satisfying when you find strings that you really love.

Darthouellet
04-21-2010, 01:23 AM
I think that when you start to think that maybe it's time to change the strings of your ukulele .... then it IS the time to do it. The sound will be better anyway.

the52blues
04-21-2010, 01:28 AM
Strings are so inexpensive that some people change them just to try a different brand. The old classical guitar joke used to be - It's time to change your strings when they start staying in tune! I could see not changing them in a year but 8 or 9? Treat yourself and your uke to a new set of stings.

Tudorp
04-21-2010, 01:35 AM
Without doubt change them. Yes, I do believe strings can become "dead"... Over time, they can stretch enough to loose their elasticity..

I recommend Aquila Nuylguts, and also as I stated in another thread I had bought several packs of colored strings from Jasper Happy in England. He is on Ebay and sells strings of his design. I am actually very happy with his strings. The gauge is smaller than standard strings and might take some getting used to due to that, but they feel very nice on your fingers which equates to being able to play longer. After settling in (about a week pf playing), I have noticed several nice features about them. Their sustain is very nice, and I have found that I can control the volume I play from very soft, or loud with them for some reason. You can barely touch the strings, and they will ring... Kinda cool once you get used to how to control that and create cool effects..

ghostrdr
04-21-2010, 04:38 AM
I was really intimidated the first time I tried to change my strings. It was a lot easier than i thought and it re-invigorated my interest in the ukulele. Theconstant going out of tune was/is annoying though.

I'd say go for something that will make your uke sound totally different!

Lanark
04-21-2010, 07:51 AM
... The constant going out of tune was/is annoying though...

Another good reason to have more than one uke. When you change strings on one and they're stretching out and getting acclimated you can play the other one.

Dane
04-21-2010, 10:11 AM
Yeah change em! Gosh Sometimes I find myself changing string every month, cept I've kind of found my favorite for my uke now, so not as much.

You can always help your strings out in the stretching process, I place my left hand over the nut and give a little upward stretch to each string, it helps out a LOT. Just don't pull too hard...

clayton56
04-21-2010, 11:10 PM
you can change the strings?

heyjude
04-22-2010, 12:21 AM
you can change the strings?

Yes, and it's a lot less expensive than keeping the strings and changing the uke.

Jude

ichadwick
04-22-2010, 01:12 AM
i have a ukulele, it's probably about 8 or 9 years old. the strings feel kind of plastic-y and i don't like the sound that much. is it wrong to replace the strings because of that?
The chemistry and physics of strings - all materials - shows that as they age and stretch, they lose some of their dynamic properties that allow them to vibrate efficiently. They lose their elasticity. Since the role of strings is merely to vibrate (the actual sound production is the role of other components), then you should replace them when they are unable to do that at their best ability. Eight or nine years is well beyond their 'best before' date.

Plastic - including nylon and fluorocarbons - deteriotate under numerous environmental pressures including moisture and sunlight, making them sound flat and dull. Metal strings can be subject to corrosion and rust as well. All strings are subject to stretching, contamination from the oil and acids on your fingers, dust, friction and so on. Individual strings will also age and wear differently, so you can have a set with three good-soundng strings, but a fourth that's gone flat.

So the answer is: yes. Change them, and do so more frequently. I generally purchase more than one set at a time so I can have a spare or two handy.

Strings can last 1-2 years with care (cleaning, kept out of sunlight and away from excess moisture). But it depends on how often and how hard you play. With concert playing or recording sessions, they may last a single day. Many people change their strings every 3-6 months regardless of the sound. I tend to go to the 6-12 month cycle, but it depends on hoow the instrument sounds at any time.

ichadwick
04-22-2010, 01:14 AM
Yes, and it's a lot less expensive than keeping the strings and changing the uke.

Jude
Hmmm. I thought it was a perfectly good reason to get a new one. Honey, my ukulele doesn't sound well. I think it's sick. I better order a new one so I can keep playing... It's worked for me. Might not if she ever reads this thread...

dentuke
04-22-2010, 01:28 AM
You mean I could buy strings separately.... All this time I've been buying strings from MGM and I thought he was giving me a free ukulele ?

paraclete
04-22-2010, 07:10 AM
Hmmm... change the strings! I just put new strings on my uke... had been 4 months, and it was long overdue for change! But then I play a LOT.

Kite
04-22-2010, 02:16 PM
The chemistry and physics of strings - all materials - shows that as they age and stretch, they lose some of their dynamic properties that allow them to vibrate efficiently. They lose their elasticity. Since the role of strings is merely to vibrate (the actual sound production is the role of other components), then you should replace them when they are unable to do that at their best ability. Eight or nine years is well beyond their 'best before' date.

Plastic - including nylon and fluorocarbons - deteriotate under numerous environmental pressures including moisture and sunlight, making them sound flat and dull. Metal strings can be subject to corrosion and rust as well. All strings are subject to stretching, contamination from the oil and acids on your fingers, dust, friction and so on. Individual strings will also age and wear differently, so you can have a set with three good-soundng strings, but a fourth that's gone flat.

So the answer is: yes. Change them, and do so more frequently. I generally purchase more than one set at a time so I can have a spare or two handy.

Strings can last 1-2 years with care (cleaning, kept out of sunlight and away from excess moisture). But it depends on how often and how hard you play. With concert playing or recording sessions, they may last a single day. Many people change their strings every 3-6 months regardless of the sound. I tend to go to the 6-12 month cycle, but it depends on hoow the instrument sounds at any time.

That was really informative! never knew some of those factors would affect strings, thanks!