View Full Version : The care and feeding of gut strings. Help.

04-28-2011, 06:25 AM
Ok, so I've searched and read about gut strings over the last 48 hours, and I have found a wealth of *sound* information, but not what I'm looking for. (BTW, to the people who take the time to make youtube videos with several different strings - you are awesome, mahalo)

Here is what I'm looking for: How can I best not speed them to an untimely death?

I read no fingernails, ok that makes excellent sense. Anything else like that?

Most importantly: dryness! I read that they can go dull in humidity. Well I have a dramatic reverse of that. It is DRY where I live. 10,000 in elevation, and no matter how much snow is around, the atmosphere around her is just *so* dry. Will this make them more brittle? :confused:

I would like to have them long enough to really get a feel for their action and their sound, so I really don't want to ruin them early from my own ignorance.
Mahalo! - m.

04-28-2011, 06:42 AM
I use gut on a couple of banjo ukes. I love the sound.

Don't sweat this. I've had one set on for nearly a year and they sound fine. I don't do anything special for them.

If you're concerned about low humidity, you're probably already humidifying your ukes to around 50% - your gut strings will be fine under those conditions and aren't going to dry out. And they're not going to go real slack unless you're in a very high humidity day, i.e. a downpour or a foggy, damp day, which sounds unlikely where you are.

No matter what you do, you'll want to replace them when they start to sound dull. That's going to vary depending on how often you play them to other factors. Your experience will be different from others' - I've been told they'll only sound good for a few months, but again, mine have been on for a year and sound excellent. I once picked up a uke that still had a set of guts that were put on sometime in the 50s. They didn't sound great, but they did actually sound OK, certainly comparable to an older set of nylons, so the conventional wisdom was wrong in that case.

04-28-2011, 06:49 AM
Ok, great! I thought I might be too concerned. :o Whew.

Mahalo. :) M.