View Full Version : Question about 8 Stringed Ukuleles

12-26-2011, 02:41 AM
If i were to get an 8 string ukulele but I just wanted to restring it with 4 strings (take out the 4 alternate strings), would the missing strings cause a problem for the neck?

If so then would a solution be to double up the strings for the ukulele?

12-26-2011, 03:01 AM
If you were to do that, the spacing between the strings will be wider than that of a 4 string uke. I don't think there will be problems with the neck in that configuration. If you were to double up on the strings instead of using the configuration for an 8 string (gG, HiCC, ee, aa) it would sound like a 4 string doubled. The octaved strings gives a fuller sound. Just my dos centavos.

mm stan
12-26-2011, 03:05 AM
Why would you do that?? get the uke for the purpose...as Danny said...the spacing would be wider than you probally would like....

12-26-2011, 03:15 AM
The 8 string ukulele i might buy is much cheaper than my main ukulele and so, if i felt like only playing a 4 string ukulele while i'm out, i wouldn't need to bring my more expensive ukulele out but rather just unstring the 4 alternate strings. (And then restring when i feel like playing an 8 string).

12-26-2011, 03:51 AM
Undoubtedly worth a try! Yeah, the spacing would be wider than what you're used to on your main instrument. In my dictionary, different doesn't mean the same thing as bad. In fact I consider "different" desirable. Try something new, give yourself time with it, (it will feel wrong at first) and you may end up loving it. If not, restring it with eight strings again. You can keep it or sell it. No big loss, and you will have taken a potentially great trip.
In fact, I think I'll buy an eight string myself and try it out. Sometimes I wish I had a little more room for my fumbling fingers. If I like it, I may even have my Luthier make a four string nut for it. Sounds like an adventure!!

12-26-2011, 04:08 AM
As Stevepetergal says, give it shot, but personally, I wouldn't do it. If the 8-string you might buy is cheap, chances are you can get the same model in a 4-string for even less. An 8-stringer is built pretty heavy to handle the extra tension of 4 more strings, so with only 4 strings on it it will not sound as good as a comparable uke built for 4 strings. I'm also too lazy to be taking strings on and off all the time. Just my thoughts.

- FiL

12-26-2011, 04:16 AM
My only question is one of purpose: Why buy an 8-string if you want a 4-string. I have a lovely 8-string that sounds amazing. I wouldn't consider taking off 4 of the strings--it would be like buying a 12-string guitar and then removing 6 strings.

12-26-2011, 06:07 AM
I find myself trying so many configurations it gets crazy! Low G, High G, then I decide I like the wound C string for some things, and I need to try it all out on a tenor and a concert. Each configuration seems to be great for one thing or another, so of course I have to have one of each at all times. Then I want something else for a try.... It never seems to stop. If I tried all this with only high quality instruments, I'd have to sell the house.
Hey, you know Oscar Schmidt makes a model with wide spaced strings. I'll bet other makers do, too. Wide spacing can't be wrong. I'm Psyched!!! I can't get your idea out of my head.

mm stan
12-26-2011, 10:49 AM
If the OP is concered about price or budget...why take a chance like this..seems reckless to me... and taking the strings on and off, you'd have to break in the strings too again, not to mention
messing with the trouble of it... is it really worth it??

12-26-2011, 01:43 PM
If you were to do that, the spacing between the strings will be wider than that of a 4 string uke.

I don't think this is necessarily true. There would certainly be more space between strings on an 8-string with only four strings than on an 8-string with all eight strings. However, the neck on my 8-string Kamaka is the same width as the neck on my four string Kamaka tenor, and there's less space between any two sets of paired strings on my 8-string than there is between any two strings on my four string, which has been oen of the difficulties of learning to play my 8-string -- I have to be more precise with fretting to avoid having my fingers hit the neighboring strings. If I took out the same member of each pair (i.e., the left string of each pair or the right string of each pair) on my Kamaka 8-string, my spacing would be the same between strings as on my 4-string, but the strings would be slightly off center relative to the full width of the neck. Perhaps other ukulele manufacturers have wider necks on their 8-strings, so YMMV.