View Full Version : When do I replace my strings and...... ?

12-29-2012, 04:37 AM
OK, I am new to the forum and just can't believe the great information available here. As well I must congratulate everyone as this is the friendliest forum I have ever seen albeit I have limited exposure to many others.

My Ukulele is a Fender Nohea Tenor, I have it strung low g with Aquila nyglut on the 1,2 & 3rd strings and a D'Addario Pro.Arte Classical guitar ( .76mm) for my low g.

I think I like a soft rich sound versus a bright sound.

I did snap a wound string and replaced it about 3 months ago.

I am recovering from a hip replacement surgery this winter so I am home and playing lots. Playing lots means I am seeing some improvement which makes me play more.

How do I know when my strings need changing ?

If they are worn out , can it cause a buzzing sound ? I seem to be getting a buzzing on my first string playing a c chord and sometimes on my second string especially if I am playing with enthusiasm. It seems like a new sound and not something that has been there all along. I have been reluctant to just change the strings because the Ukulele stays in tune so well I didn't want to mess with it.

I know there is a lot of information about strings on the site and read the sticky about strings ( great stuff BTW )

In another thread there was a good discussion about red Aquila non wound low g's, I saw a picture of a Ukulele with 2 red ones ( the G and C ) what's with that ?

Does anyone know of a site that ships to Canada for a reasonable price ? The one I checked wanted $12 shipping for $8 strings and when I thought OK then I'll get 3 or 4 sets just to make it worthwhile they added another $12 for every set.

Any suggestions would be most helpful.

12-29-2012, 04:53 AM
Aquilas do sometimes buzz when they get worn because the coating on them starts fraying - also the string can wear at the nut and sink lower into the slot, causing buzzing.

If you're going to be playing a lot I recommend fluorocarbon strings as they will outlast most nylon strings by probably a factor of 8 or 10 (I also happen to like how they sound). However, fluorocarbon strings are also a little thinner than nylon - this is worth considering because if your buzz is caused by the string sinking lower at the nut the fluorocarbon strings might buzz. BTW, I find that Aquila strings wear out even faster than ordinary nylons but I use the tip of my nails a lot.

Also, fluorocarbons will typically be a little brighter sounding than nylons so if a soft sound is important to you you might want to look at Ko'Olau Gold strings. These have beautiful tone but they do seem to be rather temperature sensitive and go up in pitch a few cents after you begin playing so you need to retune after warming up. I have them on my mango soprano and have decided to live with the tuning issue because they tame that bright uke and make it very nice.

Of course, if you like the sound you've been getting from the Aquilas then I would simply replace those. BTW, since you prefer the Pro-Arte string for the low G anyway I would simply purchase high-G Aquila strings - I think those sets are about a buck cheaper than the low-G sets and in an emergency you can use the high-G string to replace a broken A string.

As for string sellers - there are several online outfits that specialize in strings for all instruments but I have noticed that some of them seem to make their money on shipping. :) You might try the regular music retailers like Elderly Instruments or some of the ukulele vendors like HMS, Uke Republic, etc.


12-29-2012, 06:29 AM
Thanks for the great info, I'm certainly not sold on the wound guitar string for a low g , it's just that's all I've ever tried. The stores up here never had anything else I could use and recommended that.

I might try and few other sets just to see what I like best. I guess the way to address the buzzing is to have someone in a good shop take a look.

12-29-2012, 09:11 PM
A small Priority Mail box costs 5.35 USA and the same size is $12.25 to Canada. I am an authorised Aquila reseller. Somehow I don't think the biblical exhortation to take in strangers means to charge excessive shipping fees.

12-30-2012, 01:46 AM
Have you thought of buying them from amazon?

Here in the UK they stock many different types of ukulele strings. And they won't charge you more for postage.

12-30-2012, 06:50 AM
I don't know about tenors because I play sopranos and the odd concert, but I agree that worn Aquila's can buzz. If Worth Browns are available for tenor you might enjoy them; I have them on a mahogany soprano and they are mellow and lovely. Also Martin's are great strings.

12-30-2012, 07:02 AM
Thanks everyone for your suggestions, having only ever tried the one kind I think I should be buying a few different kinds and doing some experimenting.