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mendel
02-07-2011, 03:07 AM
Hi Guys!

I have never played a string instrument before the Uke, and I am wondering how someone knows when he or she is supposed to change the strings to new ones? Are there signs to look for, or is it just, every now and then you have to change them? Any info is appreciated. Thanks everyone!!

Mendel

bazmaz
02-07-2011, 03:13 AM
I came to uke from guitar, and they certainly last a LOT longer than steel strings. When I am playing guitar regularly, I have been known to change them every 2-3 weeks.

In the case of ukes, it can be months for me.

Sweat and grime etc doesnt affect the nylon in as quick a way as with steels. That said, you have to trust your ears - if they are sounding dull, swap them. You may also notice tuning issues, or nicks or grooves from frets - again, change them then.

mendel
02-07-2011, 03:17 AM
I play everyday, and I purchased my Uke in October. I have never changed the strings before. I fell like they sound pretty good, but I see that there are some grooves from the frets that I press down on on some of the strings. I guess I will play until they sound bad and I have to change them out. I just don't want to go through the hassle of having tuning problems again. I have an entry level Uke, and it was hell to get it to stay in tune in the beginning.

Tantal
02-07-2011, 03:25 AM
I have found it depends on the Uke, how often you play and what type of strings you use. For example, in my case, I have to change my Aquillas on my Oscar Schmidt Tenor after 150-200 hrs of play. That is when I can feel the "dent" made by the frets underneath the string. With my Uke, I get buzzing on the C string at that point. So I know I need to change. Hope this helps.

sailboats
02-07-2011, 03:27 AM
Take your finger and run it under the string every now and then....if you can notice indents left from the frets it is probably time to change it. But even then it comes down to preference. some people still find there strings sound good after a year of being on their uke. I tend to notice indents in the strings after about a month and change mine then.

If it doesn't sound good try changing up the strings.

joeybug
02-07-2011, 03:29 AM
I've never run strings down to the point where they HAVE to be changed, so this has helped me too, something to keep an eye on!

Kanaka916
02-07-2011, 03:32 AM
There are no hard and fast rules concerning changing strings and will vary with individuals. Take into consideration factors like how long and how often you play. Other telltale signs; constantly going out of tune and dead/flat strings. There are those who change them after playing a number of gigs, some will have a set time like 2-3 months or twice a year. Since strings are somewhat inexpensive, I carry at least 2 sets with me, sort of a just in case.

fitncrafty
02-07-2011, 04:02 AM
Hi Guys!

I have never played a string instrument before the Uke, and I am wondering how someone knows when he or she is supposed to change the strings to new ones? Are there signs to look for, or is it just, every now and then you have to change them? Any info is appreciated. Thanks everyone!!

Mendel

Here's a trick my daughter's violin teacher taught me... change them ONE at a time before you feel you HAVE to change them. Like one a week. It helps with the violin.
I just changed the strings on my Luna... I was DREADING it. I bought it in Oct too, the first night, I tugged, stretched, etc for over an hour.. Now I just need to tweak before I start to play, soon it will hold it's tune really well.
It did start to sound a little bad to me, and I was frustrated with it, I though maybe it was my playing, but it sounds better now. My strings didn't have an indents or anything though. Good luck!

Lori
02-07-2011, 05:47 AM
I usually keep the strings until they start to sound dull or have intonation problems. I rotate between a number of ukes, so I don't have to change strings that often. I don't think I have ever kept them on so long that they developed nicks. There is nothing like having new strings on a uke after they have stretched out!

–Lori

bazmaz
02-07-2011, 11:23 AM
Mendel - re the tuning issues in early days - cheap uke or expensive uke - ALL strings stretch! I keep this to a minimum using technique my school guitar teacher taught me when I was a kid playing spanish guitar.

Put strings on and tune - gently hook finger under string halfway between nut and saddle and slowly and carefully pull away from fretboard about a half inch to an inch. Retune, repeat, retune etc - you know when you are there as the tugging isnt too easy (dont overdo it)

Doing this, I can have my uke in tune in 15 mins, and only minor re-tuning next day

mendel
02-07-2011, 01:54 PM
PauljMik-

Great advice. I will be sure to try it when I am ready to replace my strings. I am hesitant to do so because I have no idea how to get the strings set up through the bridge. I will find something on YouTube about it when I have a moment.

fitncrafty
02-07-2011, 02:08 PM
PauljMik-

Great advice. I will be sure to try it when I am ready to replace my strings. I am hesitant to do so because I have no idea how to get the strings set up through the bridge. I will find something on YouTube about it when I have a moment.

This is not a video but was helpful to me in learning to change strings... http://www.myamoeukuleles.com/stringsKnots.html

TCK
02-07-2011, 02:36 PM
My Aquila's are pretty obvious when it is time to change- they just drop dead, and make some of the ugliest noises I have ever heard. Funny enough, as I play all my ukes every day usually...had three go within a day or two of each other. Anyway- posting to say if you have not heard it yet, you will- my ear is trained to accordion and it was obvious what the problem was immediately.