View Full Version : String Problems

03-12-2011, 01:45 AM
I just bought some D'addarios from eBay. They arrived today as advertised, but I had a look at the packet and the individual packets that the strings come in and it looks like the strings are B F# D A instead of the standard G C E A strings that I was expecting.

Was I right to assume that they would be G C E A just because they were advertised as Ukulele Strings, and the seller should have advertised the fact that they are meant to be tuned differently?

Or are all D'addario strings tuned this way?

Does it even matter at all that they are tuned this way?

I have no musical background whatsoever, so any advice on this would be greatly appreciated, as I need to no soon whether I'm eligible for a refund or not.

03-12-2011, 02:29 AM
From what I can tell, D'addario soprano strings are for D tuning (B, F#, D, A). This was a preferred tuning for sopranos during the vaudeville era. A lot of people still prefer it. This tuning is just one step up from C tuning. So, as long as you're not playing with other people who have tuned differently, you can just tune the ukulele to D, and play it as if it were in C. You can tune the strings to C, but it is likely that they will be a little loose and not sound as bright and loud as they would tuned to D.

03-12-2011, 02:32 AM
Thanks for the help. I think I might string them on my cheapest uke just to test them, and if I don't like them I'll try and return them.

03-12-2011, 05:07 AM
I found it so overwhelming when I went to order strings. Everyone talked about Worths and Martins and .... Then I got to the websites and found different tunings and different tensions and .... Eeegads! I bought strings to test out the low g and they don't fit so if I want to use them I have to alter my uke. Let us know how yours work out.

03-12-2011, 06:25 AM
This confused me at first until I realized that you had noted the strings backwards (one usually starts from the "top" string as the uke is held for playing and works down).
As hmgbrg notes above A D F# B was once a very common tuning for sopranos, it is only a step up from the current "standard" of G C E A and those strings will probably work just fine tuned GCEA.

03-12-2011, 08:08 AM
I have used those particular strings on many of my soprano ukulele without issue. Tune them to re-entrant gCEA. They will be fine.

03-12-2011, 09:56 AM
Those strings should solve the problem, but read the first post carefully.

03-12-2011, 10:11 AM
I never liked D'addarrio's. They might have changed since I last tried them, but I remember the outside packet saying ukulele strings, but when you looked at the individual strings they were clearly marked as guitar strings with similar but not even the same diameter as desribed on the packaging.

03-12-2011, 11:40 PM
I personally think the seller should have said what the tuning was on the strings.

BTW - if you put them on your uke (ie knot them and coil them at the peg) I would not expect the dealer to allow you to return them!

If you want them changed, leave them unopened and swap them.

03-13-2011, 11:34 AM
I've decided to keep them and put them on my cheapest uke, and I've ordered some Aquilas for my pride 'n joy. I get the impression that Aquilas seem to be the accepted standard for high quality strings, plus I like the white colour.

03-13-2011, 11:49 AM
I like Martin's better than Aquilas.

03-13-2011, 01:55 PM
I've decided to keep them and put them on my cheapest uke, and I've ordered some Aquilas for my pride 'n joy. I get the impression that Aquilas seem to be the accepted standard for high quality strings, plus I like the white colour.

Well, I wouldn't say they're the accepted standard for high quality strings. They're definitely good quality and will sound okay on almost any uke, if you're looking for a fairly bright tone. However, higher end all solid ukes often exhibit more complex tone with other strings - especially fluorocarbon like Worths or Martin M600s.

I have Aquillas on some of my ukes, couldn't take them off of others fast enough. What I've come to believe from my experience (which is far less than some others here, for sure) is that the Aquillas are kind of the "800 pound gorilla" of strings. No matter what uke you put them on, they're going to exhibit a definite character that identifies them as Aquillas. On some ukes, a more subtle string like a Worth or Martin lets more of the uke's voice through.

So, I'd certainly try Aquillas, but I wouldn't stop there. Play the Aquillas 'til they start getting a bit dead, then try some other strings for a while. That way you get a better feel for what's out there.