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View Full Version : 4,6, or 8 string ukulele?



Misguided Musician
02-03-2008, 10:05 AM
What Kind of Ukulele do you prefer? 4 string, 6 string, or 8 string? and Why?

Fred Miu
02-03-2008, 10:18 AM
4 strings.

if i wanted 6 or eight strings, i would play guitar haha.

tripl3thr33
02-03-2008, 11:11 AM
4 strings.

if i wanted 6 or eight strings, i would play guitar haha.

But the thing is, the 6 and 8 strings are just paired with other strings so you just play them as if it were like 1 string. For the case of an 8 string uke, it's like gG - cC - EE - AA with the g's and "fred miu is the greatest person EVAR" c's and octave apart of their counterparts.

I kinda want to get a 6 or 8 string.... but I wanna see what it's like first lol

Fred Miu
02-03-2008, 11:45 AM
But the thing is, the 6 and 8 strings are just paired with other strings so you just play them as if it were like 1 string. For the case of an 8 string uke, it's like gG - cC - EE - AA with the g's and c's and octave apart of their counterparts.

I kinda want to get a 6 or 8 string.... but I wanna see what it's like first lol

true, Diezo posted a video on how he tunes his 6 strings. i personally prefer 4 strings


btw...did you notice something about your post? ahaha

NukeDOC
02-03-2008, 12:51 PM
i had two six string ukes. i converted them both to 4 string. while they were nice to have at the time. i got over them pretty quickly. it was a blessing in disguise, however, since the 1.5" neck width at the nut, made them easier to pluck with. (most 4 string tenors are 1-3/8" at the nut)

so now, when i finally get started on getting my custom uke made, i know that will be one of the criteria i will request.

Landon
02-03-2008, 12:51 PM
i have one of each. and 8 string is the most expensive for a reason. It sounds so much better you have no idea until you play on one. although i play on my 4 string most of the time, but thats only because i like to pick.

Misguided Musician
02-03-2008, 12:58 PM
i have one of each. and 8 string is the most expensive for a reason. It sounds so much better you have no idea until you play on one. although i play on my 4 string most of the time, but thats only because i like to pick.
I haven't really played a 8 string but I've heard good things like it's more versatile when playing chords.

NukeDOC
02-03-2008, 01:08 PM
I haven't really played a 8 string but I've heard good things like it's more versatile when playing chords.

i wouldnt say its more versatile. you play it just like you would a regular 4 string. as a matter of fact, it would kinda make it a little less versatile, since you are bound by what those octaved strings will sound like.

that was one of the things that got to me with the 6 string. the C strings were octaved and sometimes when that high C rang out during some plucking, it just didnt seem right. it wasnt out of tune or anything. it just didnt seem like it belonged.

if you are going to use it mainly for strumming, a 6 or 8 would be just fine. i would recommend an 8 though.

diezo on youtube has an nice 8 string. and he makes that thing sing. i put up a video before testing out my kala when it was still a 6 string. seeso pointed out that on the doubled string, it sounded as if i has a "chorus" effect on it. i agree.

UkuLeLesReggAe
02-03-2008, 07:34 PM
4 string tenor ukulele!!!! woooooooooooooooooo

tripl3thr33
02-03-2008, 09:31 PM
i wouldnt say its more versatile. you play it just like you would a regular 4 string. as a matter of fact, it would kinda make it a little less versatile, since you are bound by what those octaved strings will sound like.

that was one of the things that got to me with the 6 string. the C strings were octaved and sometimes when that high C rang out during some plucking, it just didnt seem right. it wasnt out of tune or anything. it just didnt seem like it belonged.


ah i c. thanks for your opinion nuke. i like to pick more than strumming so i guess i'll reconsider. or try it out before i actually buy one. :D

Keonikapila
02-03-2008, 09:51 PM
I primarily play 4 stringers, but I have an 8-string Lanikai, and I'm planning on eventually buying an 8-string Kamaka and demoting to the Lanikai to another beach-uke.

8-strings are fun, and once you get used to it you can get away with picking. As a matter of fact, if I'm not mistaken, Taimane Gardner plays an 8-string.

tsudawuda
02-03-2008, 10:06 PM
4 strings. picking is my specialty.

NukeDOC
02-03-2008, 10:50 PM
keoni makes a good point too. taimane does play an 8 string uke. and she plucks all the time.

is there any place you can test out a 6 or 8 string uke to see if it is something that you want?

Misguided Musician
02-04-2008, 06:02 AM
i wouldnt say its more versatile. you play it just like you would a regular 4 string. as a matter of fact, it would kinda make it a little less versatile, since you are bound by what those octaved strings will sound like.

that was one of the things that got to me with the 6 string. the C strings were octaved and sometimes when that high C rang out during some plucking, it just didnt seem right. it wasnt out of tune or anything. it just didnt seem like it belonged.

Thanks for clarifying that. I like strumming and picking so having a 6 or an 8 wouldn't be as enjoyable. Well I'll still prolly get one for like jam sessions but I'm still contemplating.

dajoka
02-04-2008, 06:17 AM
i like da 4 string too, since i like fo pick. Da only 6 string i would even consider is dat Koaloha d-vi. Ya, in know, it's more like a ukulele sounding guitar, den anyting, but at least da extra 2 strings dea give you mo low range, den jus doubling up certain notes eh?

tripl3thr33
02-04-2008, 06:06 PM
keoni makes a good point too. taimane does play an 8 string uke. and she plucks all the time.

i was just watching some of her videos and was thinking the same thing. she picks mad crazy! lol.

AdamTheHobo
02-07-2008, 03:36 PM
4 because i play guitar and 8 is way too many string for me

rainbowprof
06-09-2009, 01:34 AM
Wow, that Taimane is dynamite. Brilliant picking and strumming on her 8 string uke. I recently got a Pono koa 8 string tenor myself and love it. It's a bit hard to play cleanly though, it came with Koolau Gold strings- maybe Aquila are a bit lighter. Anyone have an opinion? I like picking and it sounds okay on this uke but my left hand tires too fast:( More practice I guess. Barre chords aren't easy to hold with 8 strings....

UkuLeLesReggAe
06-09-2009, 01:38 AM
4 strings.

if i wanted 6 or eight strings, i would play guitar haha.

good, & the best, reason why.

ichadwick
06-09-2009, 01:52 AM
It's a bit of limited poll. While most of my ukes are 4-string, I also have an 8-string and like it for some songs or just as a change. It's not either-or; it complements the collection.

I disagree with the poster who sugegsted that if you want more strings, get a guitar. They're not even closely similar. The eight string is to a four what a 12-string guitar is to its native six: richer, fuller, and different. If anything, an 8-string uke is more mandolin-like, but it's a wan comparison.

Try one. You may be pleasantly surprised by the sound. It certainly adds a fullness to a jam or group session.

rainbowprof
06-09-2009, 02:32 AM
Agreed, I'm reticent to say that I prefer one over the other- though I play the 4 string more often. Maybe until I become more confident on the 8 string. The 8 string certainly has a richer tone, as its made of better (and is all solid) wood and it's a tenor. But richer doesn't mean better;)

HaileISela
06-09-2009, 03:24 AM
It's a bit of limited poll. While most of my ukes are 4-string, I also have an 8-string and like it for some songs or just as a change. It's not either-or; it complements the collection.

I disagree with the poster who sugegsted that if you want more strings, get a guitar. They're not even closely similar. The eight string is to a four what a 12-string guitar is to its native six: richer, fuller, and different. If anything, an 8-string uke is more mandolin-like, but it's a wan comparison.

Try one. You may be pleasantly surprised by the sound. It certainly adds a fullness to a jam or group session.



yes !

Kanaka916
06-09-2009, 06:16 AM
Take a closer look at Taimane's 8 string cutaway Kamaka @ .12 in this vid (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQm_9jGefZw&feature=related). The G and C courses are doubled while the E and A strings are singles.

1014
06-09-2009, 06:18 AM
at one point i didn't like how a 6 (and 8) string `ukulele sounded. but now that my skills are rounding out, i find myself wanting one. one of the brick and mortars i frequent has both a kamaka 6 and 8. i play (both strum and pick) both and the sound gets better each visit. i wish i had the kala to blow on one.

Bratset
06-09-2009, 06:34 AM
I love 4 and will continue to play 4 strings :D

ukulele2544
06-09-2009, 12:41 PM
I like a 4 string ukulele. 'caus I kinda pick a lot......

danged
06-09-2009, 01:21 PM
I have a 4,6 and 8 string, but I play the 4 string most of the time. I play the 8 string when performing with a group, fuller sound and good for strumming Hawaiian music. The 6 strings allows picking and strumming without getting the chorus effect of an 8.
What I play all depends on the occasion.

Andybeans
06-09-2009, 01:32 PM
i prefer 4 strings, because it's the only kind i've ever played. i could see an 8 string being pretty cool for like a duet, but other than that i don't see the point.

rainbowprof
06-10-2009, 08:50 PM
Take a closer look at Taimane's 8 string cutaway Kamaka @ .12 in this vid (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQm_9jGefZw&feature=related). The G and C courses are doubled while the E and A strings are singles.

Hey, that's amazing. I never thought of doing that. She is one mighty accomplished player. I wrote to her and asked about her strings and she said she uses Savarez guitar strings on her 8 string uke:).

rainbowprof
06-10-2009, 08:53 PM
I have a 4,6 and 8 string, but I play the 4 string most of the time. I play the 8 string when performing with a group, fuller sound and good for strumming Hawaiian music. The 6 strings allows picking and strumming without getting the chorus effect of an 8.
What I play all depends on the occasion.

Maybe we have the same 8 string uke. The Pono koa. Do you use the Koolou strings on it or have you found better ones. The g bass string seems to wear really fast. The outer winding is already aworn after 2 months of infrequent playing on mine!!

HaileISela
06-10-2009, 09:19 PM
Maybe we have the same 8 string uke. The Pono koa. Do you use the Koolou strings on it or have you found better ones. The g bass string seems to wear really fast. The outer winding is already aworn after 2 months of infrequent playing on mine!!

I played my new Pono Mango Tenor (4 strings) for like two weeks and the wound G string is already worn out on the 2nd fret...

danged
06-10-2009, 09:31 PM
Maybe we have the same 8 string uke. The Pono koa. Do you use the Koolou strings on it or have you found better ones. The g bass string seems to wear really fast. The outer winding is already aworn after 2 months of infrequent playing on mine!!

I do have the same uke. I also have a Pono PKT2 that I am using a D'addario wound G string, and Saverez classical guitar strings for the C,E and A. They are by far the best sounding strings I've had on the uke, after trying the factory golds, Aquilla's (which I don't care for) and Hilo's. I was about to try the Worth's, until I received a free set of the strings I'm using from Brian Tolentino.

I posted a question on tech support to see if anyone could help me figure out which classical guitar strings I need for a 6 string and my Pono Koa 8 string.

rainbowprof
06-10-2009, 11:13 PM
I wondered if the frets weren't properly dressed. I was wondering if I should write to Pono. They supplied the strings with the uke- I thought maybe the strings themselves were from a bad batch. Unfortunately where I live uke strings aren't easily available and it costs the same for postage as for the strings... I bought an extra set of strings with the uke thinking this would last me simply ages, but this is kinda perplexing. I've never had this problem with stringed instruments before. Although I've had d string on guitars just break (when I wasn't playing it) from what I imagine werechanges in temperature or humidity.

mile38
06-11-2009, 04:06 AM
I have an 8-string white label Kamaka tenor ukulele. It has the best/sweetest sound that I have ever heard from a ukulele. You have to hear one to really appreciate it. Mostly used for strumming, with some practice you can learn to also pick it.

Kanaka916
06-11-2009, 05:38 AM
Hey, that's amazing. I never thought of doing that. She is one mighty accomplished player. I wrote to her and asked about her strings and she said she uses Savarez guitar strings on her 8 string uke:).
A number of folks are using Savarez Alliance (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9117) and D'Addario T2 Titaniums (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7737).

rainbowprof
06-12-2009, 12:21 AM
A number of folks are using Savarez Alliance (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9117) and D'Addario T2 Titaniums (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7737).

Wow, just the review I was looking for.:D
So he recommends Savarrez 541r, 542r, 543r, 544r ( low g) or 541 g (re-entrant). I'll check out the 2 sites he suggested to pick some up. So chop them in half for 2 sets ( tenor and concert sets). Dynamite. Not what the instrument sellers implied....

So, should be fine for a pono 8 string , I guess? What do you think for a kala concert spalted mango with solid spruce top?
As an aside, does anyone have an opinion about these solid wood ukes (or where the top is solid) - is a small uke humidifier sufficient to moderate the humidity in winter?

Sayyadina
06-12-2009, 03:01 AM
Does anyone know if the 8-sting ukes are built differently then the 4 string instruments? Because two times the amount of strings means double tension, right?
I have been talking to Rigk Sauer from RISA and he told me Ko'olau had some problems concerning tension with their PT8 model.

rainbowprof
06-12-2009, 04:04 AM
Does anyone know if the 8-sting ukes are built differently then the 4 string instruments? Because two times the amount of strings means double tension, right?
I have been talking to Rigk Sauer from RISA and he told me Ko'olau had some problems concerning tension with their PT8 model.

Well, I'd be interested to hear about that as that's the model I would like to put these Savarez or D'Addario on Pono PKT8. Strangely the low g Koolou gold that came on it has worn out in like 2 months. Considering it's not the only instrument I play its unreasonably fast to wear out a new string. I only play it a few times a week...:(
I assumed there must be extra bracing to compensate for the increased tension generated by the double courses!

jcs
12-13-2013, 03:32 AM
i have 2 8 strings. one is tuned with the high octave strings first on the bottom sets, the other with the two low first. it is a more tuneful instrument to my ear than a 4 string. it also has more volume. i fingerpick both the 8 strings, sometimes one suits the song better than the other. i often detune the high string one down 4 notes. where the two octave strings are really useful. this allows me to play in e with g fingering, and again it seems a very acceptable sound. i cant see why it is easier to pick a 4 string than an eight. you only hit the first string of the pair just as in a 4 string.

jcs
12-13-2013, 03:44 AM
i have a pono 8, i use clear worth fluoro carbon strings, they produce a very bright sound. i am going to try living water strings as it was suggested that this would prevent the buzz of the lower string hitting its set partner. it is strung low g, high g , low c high c, not the more usual way with the high string first. the worth strings have lasted a good while. it gets played a lot maybe an hour a day. and hammered as i like hard picking. as for extra bracing i have no idea. it stays in tune and seems very stable.

Cornfield
12-13-2013, 03:49 AM
I have an older Kamaka 8 string. It currently has Worth Clears (all fluorocarbon, no wounds) on it. I like these strings a lot on this ukulele. It is not my "go to" uke for everything but it produces a great, full, sound.

FiL
12-13-2013, 04:10 AM
Like most things, it depends on what you play and who you play with. I play a lot of folk and rock. My main instrument is an 8-stringer, but I also often play a 4-string tenor banjo-uke. I play with a lot of acoustic guitarists, and a regular 4-string uke just doesn't cut it. Both the 8-stringer and the banjo uke can cut through the guitars and claim their own sonic space.

- FiL

iamesperambient
12-13-2013, 06:33 AM
What Kind of Ukulele do you prefer? 4 string, 6 string, or 8 string? and Why?

i think the 6 and 8 stringed ukes have a really full /pretty sound i wouldn't mind having one in the future for a unique voice, but over all i prefer 4 string classic ukes for a day to day playing basis.

mds725
12-13-2013, 06:35 AM
I agree that the poll may not be detailed enough to present an accurate picture. I selected the 4-string option in the poll, but it doesn't accurately reflect what I play because I also play 6-string and 8-string ukes (including a rare 8-string Kamaka baritone I bought from the great MGM at HMS). I would have liked a poll option like "4-string, but I also play the others" and the companion option "4-string; I don't like 6-string or 8-string ukes."

iamesperambient
12-13-2013, 06:38 AM
I agree that the poll may not be detailed enough to present an accurate picture. I selected the 4-string option in the poll, but it doesn't accurately reflect what I play because I also play 6-string and 8-string ukes (including a rare 8-string Kamaka baritone I bought from the great MGM at HMS). I would have liked a poll option like "4-string, but I also play the others" and the companion option "4-string; I don't like 6-string or 8-string ukes."

since im a huge fan of baritone ukes in fact as of now i prefer baritones i gotta say i have heard how an 8 string baritone sounds and being its a kamaka 8-string baritone
that really would be a dream to play i'm sure. so when you put it in perspective ....the poll i agree doesn't explain the detail. and to the 'if i wanted 6 or 8 strings id play guitar comment" its in courses like a mandolin or 12 string guitar its not like the strings are in a different tuning, you play it the same way as a 4 string it just gives a fuller sound.

cigarfan
12-13-2013, 07:05 AM
Never played a 6 or 8 string. My answer was easy.

Five Ways
12-13-2013, 09:51 AM
90% 4 string but love my KoAloha 6 string, would like to try an 8 string one day.