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View Full Version : Low G, more and more



dkcrown
09-16-2011, 02:01 AM
I am finding that I am playing my ukes that are tuned low G more and more, for both fingerpicking and strummimg. The low G tuning also seems to be a better fit for my singing voice.(As lousy as that is)

So my question for those of you have both a uke tuned re-entrant and one low G, what percentage of time do you spend playing both tunings? I play 80% low G, 20% re-entrant.

Hippie Dribble
09-16-2011, 02:03 AM
Hi dk

I confess to having all my ukes tuned re-entrant. When I hear someone play pieces in Low G they sure seem to have that extra ingredient that High G doesn't. I hope I'll feel bold enough to branch out with some Low G playing at some time in the future.

dkcrown
09-16-2011, 02:13 AM
I am finding that I am playing my ukes tuned low G more and more, both for fingerpicking and strumming. The low G tuning also seems to fit my singing voice better.(As lousy as that is)

My question for those of you with at least one uke tuned low G and one tuned re-entrant is this. What percentage of time do you spend playing each? I play low G about 80%, and re-entrant about 20%.

23skidoo
09-16-2011, 02:15 AM
As a guitarist who picked up the 'uke this spring, I started off with low G tuning.... just tried a high G a few weeks ago when I restrung.... It's interesting and I like some things about it, but I'm switching back, probably this weekend. Wish I had two ukes so I could have one of each, but with the style of music I play - mostly bluegrass, country, rock, a little jazz - I just prefer having a little more bottom end. I'm sure it has a lot to do with my comfort level as a guitarist, as well, but I really do prefer the sound - just can't hear what I want to hear out of the instrumennt with the re-entrant tuning.....

dkcrown
09-16-2011, 02:41 AM
Mods, I'm not sure how this ended up being two threads. Can you eliminate this one or combine it into the poll thread?

Thanks

Skitzic
09-16-2011, 03:22 AM
I like low G for certain songs. It gives the song an entirely different feel. Most of my time is spent in high G though.

I play an 8 string alot, so I guess I should really say I spend equal times in both...

Manalishi
09-16-2011, 03:28 AM
I tend to string my Tenor and my Baritone LOW G and
all of my Sopranos re-entrant.But I play mostly the same
songs on either! Some 'work' better than others but really
they all sound fine anyway providing you hit the right chords!

Nuprin
09-16-2011, 03:33 AM
I've got my MP tuned to low G and everything else tuned re-entrant. As I mostly play chord/melody style, there are only a couple of songs I've learned that work for low G. I would say I play re-entrant about 90% of the time and low G 10%.

wickedwahine11
09-16-2011, 04:50 AM
Mods, I'm not sure how this ended up being two threads. Can you eliminate this one or combine it into the poll thread?

Thanks

Hey there, threads now merged.

As to your question, I started off with only high g, and I was one of the reentrant snobs, who felt since that was traditional, that is what I should play. At the time, I asked a lot of Hawaiian folks and it seemed like the low g was gaining a lot of popularity among people so all of a sudden it didn't seem so foreign as I heard it played a lot.
I began listening to a lot of low g music like Brittni Paiva and Herb Ohta Jr., and really liked the depth it gave.

I ended up stringing one of my ukes low g so I could learn to play a particular song (the Paiva and Ohta versions of "Europa" and quickly found how much I liked low g chords for jazz, blues and rock music. I then began to play the low g more consistently and finally reached the point where now I play it 99 percent of the time. I still like high g on the occasional song "Five Foot Two" stuff, but I've now gone completely over to the dark side and am low g all the time.

PoiDog
09-16-2011, 04:50 AM
I'm at about an even split, as both seem to have benefits and drawbacks to them. I like the rich and fuller sound of the linear tuning, but there is something more playful and lively with re-entrant.

Since I only have one uke I tend to alternate which I play based on what strings I have. I've been playing linear for about three months now, but I just restrung with a set of standard Ko'olau Alohis, so I'm back on the re-entrant phase for a bit, I suppose.

janeray1940
09-16-2011, 04:52 AM
I like low G for certain songs. It gives the song an entirely different feel. Most of my time is spent in high G though.


Yes. This.

The songs that I play with my low G uke were all arranged specifically for low G. When I play just about anything else on it, I'm not really all that happy with the sound.

dkcrown
09-16-2011, 05:16 AM
Hey there, threads now merged.


Thank you, Staci :)

CTurner
09-16-2011, 05:33 AM
For me, the low g tenor uke I play almost requires a mindset change, after playing reentrant for a while. It's not just that certain songs sound better with those lower notes, but the approach and feel for those kinds of songs needs to be different. I think I breathe differently when I do low G. : )

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
09-16-2011, 06:04 AM
100% re-entrant so far; that bright sound is one thing I love about ukulele. Lately, though, I've been getting more and more low G curious; I just need to remember to pick up a low G string next time I'm at the shop.

Wicked
09-16-2011, 06:05 AM
I just cant't seem to find a low G string that I like... I wish that I could, but I have very particular tastes regarding string tension and gauge.

Skitzic
09-16-2011, 06:39 AM
For me, the low g tenor uke I play almost requires a mindset change, after playing reentrant for a while. It's not just that certain songs sound better with those lower notes, but the approach and feel for those kinds of songs needs to be different. I think I breathe differently when I do low G. : )

Now that I think about it, I breathe differently on low G too! I think the mindset change is automatic with me, as I never really noticed it until I thought about it.


I just cant't seem to find a low G string that I like... I wish that I could, but I have very particular tastes regarding string tension and gauge.

That was my original issue with low G. I couldn't find a string I liked. Still haven't found one I'm completely comfortable with, but I've found wound ones to be more acceptable then plain ones. Now I found a baritone I love, and may change that out to strings made for GCEA...we'll see.

AC Baltimore
09-16-2011, 11:43 AM
Coming from guitar I really enjoy the low G, but I do not think I will ever abandon high G. I am currently using an aquila low g set on my kala thinline tenor. I am on the hunt for a more balance low g that so the g is not so over powering. I hear Ko'olau makes such a set. But I do love the warmth of low g for strumming.

good lord I just said low g a lot lol.

Gillian
09-16-2011, 02:02 PM
I just cant't seem to find a low G string that I like... I wish that I could, but I have very particular tastes regarding string tension and gauge.

Ditto. The only (unwound) one that I've tried is the Worth Clear low-G and it sounds flat and dull compared to the other strings.

Another complaint I have is that the nut slot isn't cut wide enough in most of my ukes to accept a fatter low-G string. I wish uke makers would cut the nut slot to allow for this option. KoAloha and Nalu do.

engravertom
09-16-2011, 02:29 PM
I said 50 -50. It used to be almost 100 % re entrant, but now I have my guitalele strung re entrant AND with a low G also, plus a low D. I had to ditch the low A in order to have the two G strings. So, I can play either way on the same Uke. I wanted the range of notes of the Guitalele, but after a short while, I missed the re entrant sound. This set up is my compromise.

wickedwahine11
09-16-2011, 03:13 PM
Ditto. The only (unwound) one that I've tried is the Worth Clear low-G and it sounds flat and dull compared to the other strings.

Another complaint I have is that the nut slot isn't cut wide enough in most of my ukes to accept a fatter low-G string. I wish uke makers would cut the nut slot to allow for this option. KoAloha and Nalu do.

I'm curious, which Worth clear low g set did you try? Was it the CTLG because I didn't like those at all. I do like the Worth CHLGHD set though as it is much more balanced. It is my understanding that KoAloha recommends that set. Or if you decide to experiment again with low g in the future, you may want to try the Fremont Blackline set.

Doc_J
09-16-2011, 03:26 PM
Currently, I just have 2 ukes in low G tuning (Compass Rose tenor, Kanile'a concert). All my other sopranos and concerts are re-entrant.

Several months ago I tried low G Alohi strings on a Kamaka soprano, and liked it. Here's a link to that with sound samples for low G and high G strings that Kamaka.
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?45868-Low-G-on-a-Soprano-.....YES!&highlight=kamaka+soprano

itsme
09-16-2011, 03:44 PM
I like low g a lot. :)

But I just realized that out of 7 ukes, I only have 2 in low g, and one of those is currently out of commission because a bridge pin flew out and wasn't found. So I guess I'm playing more in high g these days.

Rzr
09-16-2011, 03:55 PM
Low .

Gillian
09-16-2011, 05:56 PM
I'm curious, which Worth clear low g set did you try? Was it the CTLG because I didn't like those at all. I do like the Worth CHLGHD set though as it is much more balanced. It is my understanding that KoAloha recommends that set. Or if you decide to experiment again with low g in the future, you may want to try the Fremont Blackline set.

You guessed it, it was the CT-LG and CM-LG sets I've tried and am not at all happy with the low-G.

Thanks for the suggestions. I think Elderly might be getting an order from me pretty soon....

kerley
09-16-2011, 10:19 PM
Second the Fremont Blacklines with unwound low G. I find the balance is fine.

I prefer low g on my soprano as it gives more depth to the chords - unless it is just because I played bass before. Like to go to extremes of scale length :-)

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
09-17-2011, 09:47 PM
Thanks for starting this thread, Dana. It's reminded me to buy a set of low G strings and check out how they sound/feel.

Earlier today, I mounted the Aquila low G set on my SpruceHouse S-O. The S-O has more sustain than my other ukes; the low G string sounds great and feels very different. It's almost like getting a new instrument for the cost of a set of strings. Very cool.

Also, I like the wound string for the deepest note on my uke---it's both deep and bright---very nice.

23skidoo
09-18-2011, 03:25 AM
Wow, I'm surprised by the poll results.... maybe it's just that the folks who took the time to respond to this thread tend to be more low G-friendly, but I've always gotten the impression that the 'uke community was mostly - like 80-90% - re-entrant tuned.....

gyosh
09-18-2011, 03:44 AM
I'm curious, which Worth clear low g set did you try? Was it the CTLG because I didn't like those at all. I do like the Worth CHLGHD set though as it is much more balanced. It is my understanding that KoAloha recommends that set. Or if you decide to experiment again with low g in the future, you may want to try the Fremont Blackline set.

With the unwound "g" did you have to widen the nut? I'm experimenting with different string sets in hopes of getting a more balanced sound. Right now I have a set ordered that has a wound 4 & 3 hoping it smoothes out the bottom end. I wanted to try an unwound set, but I didn't want to have to widen the nut and then find I still wasn't satisfied.

Oh, and for the purpose of this survey, I keep my tenors low g, and my sopranos re-entrant. I like the sound of the "traditional" uke so I'm currently looking at a super concert for ease of playing (my hands feel too cramped on sopranos), I'll keep that one re-entrant as well.

emmaemme
09-18-2011, 07:13 AM
My new tenor has got a low g. Sounds like a guitar. Love it!

Facepalm anyone?

earljam
09-19-2011, 01:15 PM
Me too. My Kala ASAC-T came with a wound low G and i liked the sound, but it unraveled in a couple of months and the local music store carries only re-entrants, so I put on some D-Addarios and like that sound too. Probably stay that way for a while since I have only one uke and am working on developing a claw hammer stroke.

Sanagi
09-20-2011, 08:38 PM
I came around to preferring low G. The range and versatility you get from that tuning in the compact uke form factor hits a sweet spot for me. I still appreciate what re-entrant tuning can do for finger-picking, though.

mainiac
09-21-2011, 06:01 AM
I just cant't seem to find a low G string that I like... I wish that I could, but I have very particular tastes regarding string tension and gauge.
Have you checked out the Southcoast strings? They have a linear set w/ a non-wound G that I like a lot. Their site is very informative too.

freackykit
09-21-2011, 07:30 AM
Hi dk

I confess to having all my ukes tuned re-entrant. When I hear someone play pieces in Low G they sure seem to have that extra ingredient that High G doesn't. I hope I'll feel bold enough to branch out with some Low G playing at some time in the future.

What Eugine said

Chris

localmana
09-21-2011, 08:56 AM
I have a low G on my tenors and concert and "high"G on my sopranos......and I play my tenor (Compass Rose) 99% of
the time. I find also that I mostly finger pick which I like the low G. I think the "high" G is better for strum alongs.

Wicked
09-21-2011, 11:41 AM
Have you checked out the Southcoast strings? They have a linear set w/ a non-wound G that I like a lot. Their site is very informative too.

No, I haven't. I might get one of their combo packs and experiment. Thanks.

peterp
09-21-2011, 05:31 PM
All 5 ukes I own are tuned re-entrant. Even the tenor. I'm able to really sustain notes in a melody when I have all four strings in a narrow tuning range.

808boy
09-21-2011, 11:31 PM
Learning a Hapa Haole Hawaiian song from the past didn't sound right strumming. I learned a picking pattern on the net and now the song sounds so wonderful and romantic. The low g carried the bass end of the chords but had to add the g to match the chords, normally the g string is in the open position(i.e., instead of an A7 with the g string open, I use an A so the g string would match up to the rest of the strings). Loving the low g on certain songs, especially ballads and love songs.................................BO.......... .................

engravertom
09-22-2011, 01:46 AM
All 5 ukes I own are tuned re-entrant. Even the tenor. I'm able to really sustain notes in a melody when I have all four strings in a narrow tuning range.

yes, and the re entrant tuning helps when you are playing further up the neck. With the high G and the A strings just one step apart, you have more options to play across the neck in a certain position, as opposed to stretching further up the neck to keep a melody line fluid. This is essential if one is trying to play campanella style. I think a true 5 string Uke would be interesting, with a low G and a high g far enough apart to play each note selectively.

buddhuu
09-22-2011, 02:28 AM
I did low G for quite a while, but eventually just drifted back to re-entrant and stayed.

My preference for re-entrant is not particularly passionate, it just makes little difference to me. I pretty much like the two tunings equally as they both have their moments to shine. So, as re-entrant strings seem easier to buy I just follow the path of least resistance!