View Full Version : Linear strings in G theory question

01-16-2013, 01:25 PM
Southcoast Strings has a new set of strings I'm interested in. Simply put, if I put a set of Linear Strings in the key of G on my ukulele, will the fingerpicking songs I have in the key of C sound like the melody, but just in a different key? Another way of putting it is: If I follow the tabs, will I have the same song in a different key? I would sure like to be able to play songs with a linear set (low 4th string) on my soprano! I think the answer is YES, but before I order the strings, I would like an opinion from an EXPERT. :)
Thank you.

01-16-2013, 03:53 PM
The answer is yes, in a different key. If you're tuning to the key of G, that means your 3rd string will be g. You'll have DGBE like a guitar unless you're using a high d. That's what could foul things up. If your tabs are for using a high g in the key of C, your G tuning must use a high d.

You can play pieces using a low fourth string in place of a high fourth but they will be slightly different and some melodic elements may disappear.

Vice versa, if a piece is tabbed for a low fourth it may work but you'll lose some harmonic movements.

01-16-2013, 04:46 PM
Oh my. I'm not sure I understand. I would be using it to play Mike Lynch's Pieces (for example) written for a linear C tuning. So would that turn out OK?

Patrick Madsen
01-16-2013, 07:17 PM
Yes.The song will be in the key of G rather than C. Otherwise, it is the same fingering. Make sure you look at the guide chart next to the strings to make sure they are right for the size uke you're playing.

01-16-2013, 08:03 PM
Yes the distance between the notes and chords will be the same, but the pitch will be different. So the songs will sound as they should, but not in the original key. That won't matter, unless you're jamming with others, or it just doesn't have the same feel in the new key. That does happen, composers have favorite keys even. But really, it should be ok. If you're playing with others who, like you, are on C Concert instruments, just tell them it's in G.

01-17-2013, 05:26 AM
Thank you very much for your help!:)

01-17-2013, 01:47 PM
Hello hibiscus,

You should let everyone know what you think on these. You're the first UU member to order this set (after all - only available for 3 days now).

For those who like key of G, and for those who like linear tuning for small ukes, this set does both. It's d' g' b' e", or an octave up from what is traditional on a Baritone.

Beleive it or not, a variant of this tuning, d' g' b' d", or open G was likely the original tuning for the Machete, or early ukulele. You can either relax the 1st string to try it that way, or we offer an additonal 1st w/ a little more tension. It comes from our new dedicated Machete Ukulele set.

It's a beautiful fit for a Soprano, as the low note in either of these tunings (d'), is the same low note from the old "Ukulele Standard" Key of D tuning. Cavaquinho players never lost the open tuning, but now a lot of them play the linear "guitar" set-up as well.

You could say it's a great new sound for a Soprano, or you could say it's kinda like the great old lost sound of the Soprano - either way you'd be right.

01-17-2013, 05:51 PM
I'm really excited to try them, and I'll do an amateur's review! You (or whomever I talked to) was very helpful.