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View Full Version : Choosing the right strings for your Ukulele..



mm stan
03-25-2012, 10:19 PM
Recently I started a the thread on "Revisiting an Old Friend"
and I am having fun again with my Oscar Schmidt OU5....it really
has been bringing out the creative side out of me..for instance I've
just zoning out and feeling and letting the music flow and coming
naturally with new patterns.You know, looking back now.I believe that
there are special ukes and there are ukuleles you can bring out
the best in them..By that I mean, choose the strings that match your
uke..for instance, if you have a deeper muted sound, I would throw
on Aquilas..and if it is too bright, Id throw on some Alohi's.. and do
the best set up on your ukulele.. I guess this experience for me reinforces
my previous beliefs and reaffirms that I must remember
this..Do any of you have experiences like this you want to share with
all of us?? and do you have ukes that at first needed work, and now
have become your favorite and elevated your learning..

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
03-25-2012, 10:54 PM
Now and then I get lucky and find the perfect strings for a uke. Lately, two ukes have perfect matches: an Aquila set is bringing every possible good sound out of my old Harmony soprano; a D'Addario J65 set does the same for my plastic (fantastic) Islander. Perfect.

When the uke-and-strings match is just right, it inspires new rhythms, dynamics, chords, and melodies. Fun.

Plainsong
03-26-2012, 03:55 AM
I'm of two minds about it. I think that what we do with our fingers and how well the instrument is ready to be played has more of an impact than the strings.

Having said that, I could rave all day long about what Martin Fluoros can do for an Ohana sk-38, or especially what a set of t2's can do for a Kanile'a superconcert.

It's like a friend of mine said when he used to give voice lessons, and students would ask him about the latest old wive's tail that helps sooth the throat. He'd say it was an old wive's tail and doesn't help in the least... and that they should try it. :D

vanflynn
03-26-2012, 05:45 AM
"the right strings" are a holy grail quest and that's one of the things I like about the uke. I like trying various types. They each give the instrument a different voice. I do tend to come back to Medium Brown worths on my Ohana and Black Fremonts on my Monkeypod Lanikai (although I just got some D'Addario titaniums that I am looking forward to trying out).

connor013
03-26-2012, 06:08 AM
I just got some D'Addario titaniums that I am looking forward to trying out).

My titaniums came in the mail yesterday (thanks UU!) and have posed a dilemma since. I have a Favilla that will need strings once it's cleaned up, but I also have a Ohana sk21 that still has the stock Aquilas on it (not my favorite choice).

So, do I hold off and string up the Favilla, or do I swap out the sopranino?

vanflynn
03-26-2012, 06:45 AM
You can always put the favilla's back on!

the.ronin
03-26-2012, 09:31 AM
All I can say is if you do find a set of strings that sound really good on a particular uke, save that packaging!!

I actually save all the latest packaging of strings I'm using on all my instruments (just the label part that says specifically which strings they are) and jot down which instrument is using them just for this purpose.

chrimess
03-26-2012, 09:42 AM
to me, it really comes down more to style of play, fingerpicking is something I love to do with lower tension strings like the Worth CTs and Jake-like shredding with D'addario nylons or the Worth CTs.
Aquilas are good allrounders but don't seem to mix well with Koa as the Mistery Man explained above.

connor013
03-26-2012, 09:45 AM
All I can say is if you do find a set of strings that sound really good on a particular uke, save that packaging!!

I actually save all the latest packaging of strings I'm using on all my instruments (just the label part that says specifically which strings they are) and jot down which instrument is using them just for this purpose.

I do the same, although I'm not sure why (I only have five ukes and three are strung with Worths). Feels like a good practice, though. Like I'm a responsible instrument owner -- yikes, so lame.

mm stan
03-26-2012, 09:45 AM
Aloha Ralf,
When you find the right string, you know almost Immediately, it will bring out a balanced clean tone..I am
always on the quest to find a better string for a particular ukulele..

Tazthedog
03-26-2012, 09:45 AM
The difference a set of Martin Fluoros made to my Mainland Mahogany Concert over the stock Aquilas was incredible. It completely changed the character of the instrument and gave it a chiming, bell like sound. The stock Aquilas were louder but ultimately coarser. However the Aquilas totally transformed my wife's Ashbury Concert. Horses for courses and all that........

mm stan
03-26-2012, 09:48 AM
Aloha K,
I think strings are the interchangeable voice box for the ukulele, it almost always improves your current
factory strings and you just need to experiment which ones will suit your uke best..

mm stan
03-26-2012, 09:50 AM
Aloha Vanfynn,
Give the Martins a try..not only they have a good tone but they are balanced and comfortable..

mm stan
03-26-2012, 09:52 AM
Yes Yes I too keep records at first on which ukues and strings and graded their preformance, after a while
you have a good idea which strings will work on what ukes..

mm stan
03-26-2012, 09:57 AM
Aloha Christian
Comfort and playability are big factors for me too...although you sacafrice tone for that, sometimes it is worth
it..for picking I prefer higher tension sometimes, but it loses it rich sound, yes style of music comes in hand too.
strumming I almost always prefer playability foremost..

mm stan
03-26-2012, 10:00 AM
Aloha TTD,
Yes Yes you get it...the right strings can make a sugnificant difference and keep your intrest and motivation in
your uke playing to grow as a player...

Hippie Dribble
03-26-2012, 10:45 AM
I had a crappy sounding mahalo soprano with stock strings which I simply replaced with worth clears and shaved a smidgeon off the saddle to lower the action. The sound was 200% better and the intonation considerably improved.


He'd say it was an old wive's tail and doesn't help in the least... and that they should try it. :D

Great call K...this is it exactly. try everything. pre judge nothing. be always open to new things and don't close your mind to being able to learn from anyone and any experience. applies to uke strings and life. :)

patfia
03-26-2012, 11:05 AM
The Aquilas on the Makai were decent but replacing them with Worth Clears brought out a different instrument ... clear bell like and a decent low end as well. Almost forget it's a laminate. The Aquilas were dull in comparison on this tenor. But the C does sound kind of boomy. Next up, Martins

Kanilea is brand new for me and still has the Aquilas on it. I'm giving them a little while but am looking forward to trying other strings. Definitely like the feel of the Worths on the tenor better. Have Martin and D'Addario nylons in waiting and am thinking of trying Savarez and Southcoast on both.

Gadzukes!
03-26-2012, 11:06 AM
I great player can make any uke sound good. A beginner player needs all the help they can get, and strings are a great place to start!

mm stan
03-26-2012, 11:13 AM
Aloha Gadzukes,
Yes In the learning curb it has it advantages...but it has a lot more, it also sparks creativity and allows you to grow even more ...

ukuleledaveey
03-26-2012, 01:42 PM
yeah i am in the process of trying strings out on my newish SK35G i took the factory fitted Aqulias off and put the martin fluros on and i love how it sounds, i also have a pack of the ko'aloha golds to try, but i am in no rush to taked the martins off, i also put the martins on my pocket uke, and have ordered some worth browns to try on my recently aquired baritone but thats another story lol, i really fins the string threads really interesting, i guess i need a life ha ha :0

mm stan
03-26-2012, 01:46 PM
Hey Dave,
I'd be in no rush with the golds...Glad you enjoy the martins...put them on you baritone too...M630 I think...yes happy strummings..