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View Full Version : How Do You String Your 6 String Ukes?



blue_knight_usa
09-07-2013, 09:15 PM
Hi All, I think my next uke (after I get my CR whenever it's done) is going to be a 6 string tenor. I have seen folks string up those ukes in various ways.

Doubling up on the G and E
Doubling up on the C and A

How do you have yours strung and do you use wound strings and if so on what strings?

Let's see some video links or audio links to hear it if you can. Would love to hear the various ways. Already scoured YouTube but looking for something current with cleaner audio (maybe a SoundCloud link) and some more accurate information on the type of strings used, etc.

Appreciate the info everyone.

Mahalo!

coolkayaker1
09-07-2013, 09:56 PM
Good query, Jay. I'm going to sit back and see the answers, too.

PhilUSAFRet
09-08-2013, 12:45 AM
I'm under the impression that a standard 6 string uke has the C and the A doubled.. I have mine strung G cC E AA for a high G setup. I think leading with low c compensates a bit for the high G. I'm using Southcoasts. I do wonder if anyone else uses a similar aA set up for the first two strings though. I haven't seen one with the G and E doubled.

mm stan
09-08-2013, 01:31 AM
Aloha Juay,
I myself prefer octaves meaning HI C and Low A for My Kamaka's....no unison for me :)

Doc_J
09-08-2013, 02:32 AM
Aloha Juay,
I myself prefer octaves meaning HI C and Low A for My Kamaka's....no unison for me :)

I'm with Stan. Octaves make my 6string sound so full, like two differently tuned ukes playing in unison.

PhilUSAFRet
09-08-2013, 02:43 AM
Ok, some of us are very visual. I want maximum fullness and "chime." If standard tuning is G CC E AA, what setup are you using? High G? CC or CA or?
AA or Aa or ???

greenie44
09-08-2013, 03:22 AM
I'm with Stan. Octaves make my 6string sound so full, like two differently tuned ukes playing in unison.


Me too. And, through experience, I have found putting the high A on the outside and the high C on the other side works best for my playing style. I accidentally strung one of my 6-strings with the A strings reversed and immediately noticed the difference. Oh, and Southcoast Strings, which you are probably happy to hear.

Doc_J
09-08-2013, 04:11 AM
Ok, some of us are very visual. I want maximum fullness and "chime." If standard tuning is G CC E AA, what setup are you using? High G? CC or CA or?
AA or Aa or ???

start with regular reentrant tuning

G:C:E:A

add higher octave C+, and lower octave A-

=> G:C,C+:E:A-,A

BTW here's a sample of my 6-string. https://app.box.com/s/xqg3mccjl4u9umzr94vo

PhilUSAFRet
09-08-2013, 11:42 AM
Ok, I think I've got it. My current setup does not make my Pono sing like want (doesn't fair well compared to savagehenry's Sailor 6 string with the same setup) Sounds like I need to get a regular C, a C+ and a low a string. Hmmm, I was only 3 strings off. Thanks Doc. I think I'll try it. I originally got turned on to a 6 string after hearing/playing a custom 6 string concert. The lady that had it didn't know how it was set up.

SailingUke
09-08-2013, 01:42 PM
It is all personal preference and there are many prior discussions on 6 string tunings.
I went with low G octave C's and unison A's.
I like the octave A's when strumming, but melody and fill notes sounded weird.
For straight strumming I agree with high G and octave C's & A's.

strumsilly
09-08-2013, 03:39 PM
it is all personal preference and there are many prior discussions on 6 string tunings.
I went with low g octave c's and unison a's.
I like the octave a's when strumming, but melody and fill notes sounded weird.
For straight strumming i agree with high g and octave c's & a's.
what he said

blue_knight_usa
09-09-2013, 06:18 PM
I play finger style mostly and do strumming more on Hawaiian tunes, but I heard a guy play a 6 string finger style once and it was insanely good sounding, so full but have no idea what he was using. That was well before I ever thought of getting a 6 string made, but I recall his G sounded lower than just a high G.

What if you used low G instead of reentrant tuned and did:

Low G: C,C+: E: A-,A

Anyone try that, or maybe someone reading this can try the low G and get a recording? That would be nice.


start with regular reentrant tuning

G:C:E:A

add higher octave C+, and lower octave A-

=> G:C,C+:E:A-,A

BTW here's a sample of my 6-string. https://app.box.com/s/xqg3mccjl4u9umzr94vo

Coconut Willie
09-10-2013, 05:46 AM
Aloha Juay,
I myself prefer octaves meaning HI C and Low A for My Kamaka's....no unison for me :)

I agree with Stan....my Kanilea is strung with the 2 octaves....tried the unison but prefered the 2 octave sound better. (just my taste)

molokinirum
09-10-2013, 07:47 AM
Double up on C & A with the octaves. That is what I do.

molokinirum
09-10-2013, 07:51 AM
It is all personal preference and there are many prior discussions on 6 string tunings.
.....I like the octave A's when strumming, but melody and fill notes sounded weird.
For straight strumming I agree with high G and octave C's & A's.

This is a great point...learning some finger picking and on the octave strung 6 string uke it does sound a bit weird. Depends on your style of playing. Strumming or picking....oh heck, just get two 6 string ukes!!!

fernandogardinali
09-10-2013, 08:41 AM
I never played an instrument like that, but I find it very interesting. Seems to be an intermediate between a standard ukulele and a taropatch:

http://www.gryphonstrings.com/instpix/38089/

blue_knight_usa
09-13-2013, 02:52 PM
Aloha Juay,
I myself prefer octaves meaning HI C and Low A for My Kamaka's....no unison for me :)

Mahalo Stan. High G or low G?

Down Up Dick
05-09-2014, 04:08 PM
I'm very interested in all this as I just got a new sixer. Mine is stock G, cC,E, aA, and I intend to play mostly chords for singing. I would consider changing strings for a better sound, but I'm pretty happy with it now. EXCEPT playing the outside low A is difficult (to say the least). I was getting a lot of thunks and buzzes, but I'm fretting better so they're going away. I've seen where some are using two As in unison. What good is that? Does that make the A louder?
I just resurrected this thread so I could find out what others are doing with their sixes now.

Teek
05-09-2014, 06:04 PM
Standard tuning is reentrant with octaves. I had one with low G and another one low G with doubled A. I like the octave A but it can sound weird depending on what is being played. It adds a drone that gives a more somber tone I think. The old beater I have now is reentrant with octave C&A strings, Southcoasts.

Kanaka916
05-09-2014, 07:18 PM
1st course (A) in unison, 3rd course (C) in octave and 4th course is low G . . . I didn't like the low A because it kinda overpowers the other standard A and being unison it just chimes. Just my dos centavos.

Down Up Dick
05-10-2014, 04:45 AM
I agree that the low A is overpowering, but I like that it seems to lower the pitch of the Uke. It's difficult for me to fret though, but I'll get it better.

savagehenry
05-10-2014, 08:30 AM
I really like reentrant with octave c and double a. I put the lower c on top and it sounds great when fingerpicking.

SailingUke
05-10-2014, 10:26 AM
One really cool things about 6 strings is the variety of tunings.