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View Full Version : Low G problems on Concert Uke-please help!



insula
09-02-2013, 06:56 AM
I need advice-diagnosis-of a major frustration with Low G tuning-every time I attempt to put a Low G set (first Aquila, then Mahana) on my Makai solid mango concert (which I love to death), the strings sound like garbage. I mean really bad-like a sonic boom is coming out of the soundhole (tuning & intonation is fine, checked & double-checked). I'd like to be able to play some classical & do some more fingerpicking (I have Rob MacKillop's Gaspar Sanz book & Mark Nelson's book ready to go) with Low G to make my uke sound a bit more like classical guitar. Is this just wrong-do I need a tenor strung Low-G, or can I produce the desired sound on my concert? Any suggestions welcome-Gracias.

UkeKiddinMe
09-02-2013, 07:02 AM
Can you post an audio or YouTube clip?

UkerDanno
09-02-2013, 07:02 AM
just say no to low G!

Olarte
09-02-2013, 07:09 AM
Low G doesn't seem to work right on concert or sopranos. I only string low G on my tenors.

And to play classical, you will probably benefit from the larger and longer fretboard of the tenor size.

hibiscus
09-02-2013, 07:41 AM
My KoAloha Concert sounds fantastic with a low G. I asked them for a low G string, but I don't know which strings they use. I tried a South Coast low G set on a former concert, and it sounded good, also. It's fun to have a low G to try different songs!

Lori
09-02-2013, 08:13 AM
I need advice-diagnosis-of a major frustration with Low G tuning-every time I attempt to put a Low G set (first Aquila, then Mahana) on my Makai solid mango concert (which I love to death), the strings sound like garbage. I mean really bad-like a sonic boom is coming out of the soundhole (tuning & intonation is fine, checked & double-checked). I'd like to be able to play some classical & do some more fingerpicking (I have Rob MacKillop's Gaspar Sanz book & Mark Nelson's book ready to go) with Low G to make my uke sound a bit more like classical guitar. Is this just wrong-do I need a tenor strung Low-G, or can I produce the desired sound on my concert? Any suggestions welcome-Gracias.

The "sonic boom" problem is something that is pretty common when switching to low G. You usually have to alter your thumb technique to play that string softer to get a more balanced sound. Eventually, you won't even think about it when you switch ukuleles from re-entrant to low G.

If the other strings are sounding OK, experiment with different brands and types of low G strings until you find something that sounds good on your uke. A non-wound string might give you a more even tone. I have a couple of concert sized ukes tuned to low G, so it can be done.

–Lori

insula
09-02-2013, 09:25 AM
Thanks for the input, everyone-I currently have plain Aquilas on my uke now, will try to find an unwound lowG to see if that helps. I also once read that a classical guitar string could be used in place of a wound low G, forgot which mm though. When I feel the wound metallic string, I guess I go back to guitar mode anyway, like I should be playing alternating bass. ( now that's an idea-alternating bass & Carter-style ukulele!)

Cheers & Happy Labor Day to all.

AKuker
09-02-2013, 11:10 AM
I have low g Worth Medium Browns on my Ohana concert and it sounds pretty good. The g is a non- wound string and it fit the nut without adjustment. Might be worth a try.

wayfarer75
09-02-2013, 11:12 AM
Maybe you're plucking too hard on the G string? I tried a wound low G on my concert (Koolau Mahanas); I liked the sound but prefer the high G on that uke. It's maybe partly your ear adjusting too. I wouldn't be too quick to change strings.

Additionally, I have the MacKillop book with Sanz's songs. I know that's for high G ukes. Nelson's "Fingerstyle Solos" book is for high G, but I'm not sure it's the one you're referring to. MacKillop's book sounds great on a high G concert. I feel transported in time when I play.

PhilUSAFRet
09-02-2013, 12:27 PM
It's about scale length. Low g works best on a baritone, and less well as the scale length decreases. That being said, there are some folks here who are happy with a low g on their concert. Hopefully, they will chime in. With wound strings, the wound C string mitigates the low g a bit. You've got some good advice re: check the nut slot, etc. Good luck