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ichadwick
03-17-2011, 12:01 PM
Use violin E strings for the two outside strings and violin A strings for the two inner strings, says May Singhi Breen, in the June, 1928, issue of Songs of Today. It was Breen's first column of ukulele lessons for the magazine. I came across the magazine on eBay and just got it. Interesting advice...

Anyone ever hear of this or similar advice re: violin strings and ukes?

itsme
03-17-2011, 12:21 PM
Maybe back in the day when strings were gut, but a quick look at what they've got at stringsbymail shows most everything is steel core, which I would hesitate to put on anything constructed for nylon strings.

OldePhart
03-17-2011, 12:56 PM
When that was written there probably weren't many "purpose built" ukulele strings. We are blessed in modern times with a plethora of very good strings for every style. I wouldn't even be tempted to try violin strings unless I went for an extended period where I couldn't get uke strings (unlikely to happen since I have 30m roles of fluorocarbon leader to cut my own).

John

Huna
03-17-2011, 01:05 PM
oh yeah, real gut instead of nylagut lol... sorta like naturalambs lol

WestPhillyUke
03-17-2011, 02:33 PM
Gut violin strings are still easily had. For example: http://www.damianstrings.com/violin.htm

...and of course Aquila still sells real gut ukulele strings.

Jim T.
03-17-2011, 04:10 PM
Strings specifically manufactured for 'ukuleles appeared as early as 1917, but the use of violin strings was standard practice for years before and after. For example, that's what Mekia Kealakai and George Kia recommended in their 1914 methods ("The 2nd banjo string (gut) is often used in place of the violin E string," Kia notes) and E.N. Guckert in his 1917 method.

ichadwick
03-19-2011, 12:40 PM
Have to try to find that booklet, or get a scan of it. I've added the PDF of the 1928 magazine in the DVD collection, by the way.

itsme
03-19-2011, 01:30 PM
Gut violin strings are still easily had. For example: http://www.damianstrings.com/violin.htm

...and of course Aquila still sells real gut ukulele strings.
But I don't understand why anyone would really want to use them these days. I do know that some people who play older period instruments that are into "historically informed performances" want the original type of strings made for them, but they are the exception.

Compared to modern synthetic strings, gut strings are ridiculously expensive, more subject to intonation problems/inconsistencies and they are not as durable.

ichadwick
03-20-2011, 01:11 PM
I agree. Gut strings on a modern uke seem somewhat of an affectation (but then to me, so do friction tuners).