View Full Version : Left hand injury + string tension

11-21-2011, 07:40 PM
Hi Everyone,
I've been dealing with - and recovering from - a left hand injury for about a year. Playing barred/jazz chords (which I love to do) on my KoAloha tenor aggravates the pain. I'm using the Worth clear low G strings. Someone suggested recently that I should try low tension strings. Would anyone have thoughts on this? I researched the Worths and the clear vs. the brown Worths are the same diameter. I'm not sure about the tension but presumably it's the same? Does anyone have experience with joint/hand pain? Should I try Aquilas or the D'addario Pro Arte ukulele strings?

I really want to keep playing my ukulele and I'm willing to try whatever it takes. My physical therapist (who works with symphony musicians) has given me suggestions as well. But I have no idea if changing to different strings will be helpful.
Thanks so much.

Ken Middleton
11-21-2011, 08:18 PM
If you change to a string made from a different material (Aquilas are Nylgut and Pro Arte are nylon), you will just change the tone a bit. There is not much difference in tension between different strings for the same sized instrument.

My suggestion would be to slacken of the strings that are already on it. Take them down a tone (one full step) to Bb tuning (F Bb D G) and see if that makes playing easier. If it does, keep it that way. You other alternative would be to get a concert or soprano instrument, both of which have slacker and thinner strings than a tenor.

You might also want to consider taking the action down a little. Not too much though. Remember that if the action is too low you will get fret buzz (particularly if you lower the notes as well) and you will lose tone and volume. Many, many players think that they have had a "setup" because their action is low and then they find that they can't play loudly or get a decent tone.