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mikelz777
01-04-2014, 02:45 PM
Can you do a low G tuning using standard strings?

If the standard GCEA strings are numbered 1 (string closest to floor) to 4 (string closest to ceiling) and you reordered them from 1, 2, 3, 4 to 1, 4, 2, 3 would that work properly? The reordering would put the largest gauge string closest to the ceiling and then each string below that would descend to the lowest gauge string closest to the floor in order.

Example: Martin M600

(A)1 - .0191
(E)2 - .0256
(C)3 - .0340
(G)4 - .0216 (standard G tuning)

reordered:

(A)1 - .0191
(E)4 - .0216
(C)2 - .0256
(G)3 - .0340 (tune to low G)

I may have a 2nd uke soon and would like to see what it would be like to tune the "spare" uke to a low G. I already have spare strings so I'm hoping I could achieve a low G tuning using them rather than having to find/buy a low G.

Maybe I'm totally off and the above approach wouldn't work but if not, is there another way to achieve a low G tuning using a standard set of strings? (assuming you're starting with a new set)

cdkrugjr
01-04-2014, 03:23 PM
If you do, you'll wind up with a very slack 3 and 4.

The normal 4 will be tuned a fifth low, and the normal 3 a 4th low.

I would call that "Unplayably slack." A single low-G would be better, but best would be getting a dedicated low-G set, of which there are dozens available.

mds725
01-04-2014, 03:31 PM
String sets are really inexpensive. It's your ukulele and you can do what you want, but I don't understand the need to reconfigure strings made for re-entrant G tuning to get low G tuning when for somewhere between $5 and $10 you can get a set made for that purpose.

mikelz777
01-04-2014, 03:40 PM
.... I don't understand the need to reconfigure strings made for re-entrant G tuning to get low G tuning...

-Because I already have several sets of re-entrant strings, I don't have any low G string sets
-Because I have re-entrant strings I like here and now with no added expense whereas to get low G strings I have to find them, order them, wait for them, incur additional expenses and hope that I like them.
-If I can achieve a working low G set up with what I already have, why wouldn't I?

cdkrugjr
01-04-2014, 05:36 PM
-Because I already have several sets of re-entrant strings, I don't have any low G string sets
-Because I have re-entrant strings I like here and now with no added expense whereas to get low G strings I have to find them, order them, wait for them, incur additional expenses and hope that I like them.
-If I can achieve a working low G set up with what I already have, why wouldn't I?

Well I suppose were that a feasible solution it would be a reasonable approach, yes.
8-)

Unfortunately it isn't.

mds725
01-04-2014, 05:48 PM
Well I suppose were that a feasible solution it would be a reasonable approach, yes.
8-)

Unfortunately it isn't.

That was kind of my point. The OP would be asking at least three strings to do something other than what they were designed to do. Even if those strings could do something other than what they were designed to do, I can't imagine they'd do it well. I like experimentation as much as the next person, and I hope the OP tries reentrant strings as low G strings. I'd be curious to see how it works, if it does. But if it doesn't work, maybe he can swap a set of his reentrant strings for a set of low G strings.

clayton56
01-04-2014, 06:02 PM
keep the first 3 of the re-entrant set but buy a single string for classical guitar at your local music store, probably a D string, nylon wound, cost $1-2

Ipcmlr
01-04-2014, 06:15 PM
keep the first 3 of the re-entrant set but buy a single string for classical guitar at your local music store, probably a D string, nylon wound, cost $1-2
Thats what i'd do as well.

mikelz777
01-05-2014, 06:06 AM
Well, I'm a big fan of trying to make due with what I already have but it doesn't sound like it's going to work. It was an idea that sounded good in theory but apparently won't work in practice. Maybe I'll still try it out with an old set of strings if I can make the lengths work or if I feel like fussing around with a lot of changing around strings next time I put a new set on. Thanks for the replies.

iamesperambient
01-05-2014, 06:36 AM
Can you do a low G tuning using standard strings?

If the standard GCEA strings are numbered 1 (string closest to floor) to 4 (string closest to ceiling) and you reordered them from 1, 2, 3, 4 to 1, 4, 2, 3 would that work properly? The reordering would put the largest gauge string closest to the ceiling and then each string below that would descend to the lowest gauge string closest to the floor in order.

Example: Martin M600

(A)1 - .0191
(E)2 - .0256
(C)3 - .0340
(G)4 - .0216 (standard G tuning)

reordered:

(A)1 - .0191
(E)4 - .0216
(C)2 - .0256
(G)3 - .0340 (tune to low G)

I may have a 2nd uke soon and would like to see what it would be like to tune the "spare" uke to a low G. I already have spare strings so I'm hoping I could achieve a low G tuning using them rather than having to find/buy a low G.

Maybe I'm totally off and the above approach wouldn't work but if not, is there another way to achieve a low G tuning using a standard set of strings? (assuming you're starting with a new set)


you are gonna end up with a floppy g string and it won't sound right it wont have the right tension to give it a powerful bass boom.
i would just buy a single low G string for whatever size you have it should be pretty cheap and just install the one string.

coolkayaker1
01-05-2014, 06:57 AM
you are gonna end up with a floppy g string and it won't sound right it wont have the right tension to give it a powerful bass boom.
i would just buy a single low G string for whatever size you have it should be pretty cheap and just install the one string.

I agree. :cool:

Manalishi
01-05-2014, 07:38 AM
I have done this with Aquila strings on a TENOR scale and it works fine:

Low G Tuning Using A Set Of 'High G' Re-entrant Strings:

For G use the C string
For C use the E string.
For E Use the G string.
For A use the A string

Did it once on a CONCERT scale and it was acceptable.On a Soprano,it does not sound good!
I got the idea from a site that said that IZ used to string his ukes this way,and that was good
enough for me to try!

mikelz777
01-05-2014, 07:50 AM
There's one positive vote for the method!

OldePhart
01-05-2014, 08:20 AM
The tension would definitely be pretty low on the G and C strings. If you can adjust to that it might work "ok" or might not and a lot of the answer probably depends on the uke in question. While you might get it to work, I don't think it would be optimum, and I'd be especially concerned about intonation on those slack strings if you play up the neck at all.

All in all probably better to get a single classical guitar string for the low G. On baritone ukes I've found that a guitar string up a fifth from the intended note works well (i.e. a "D" guitar string for the "G" on a baritone uke). I think that G on the baritone is the same pitch as the low G so a "D" string would be a good start but on a shorter scale (tenor or concert) you might end up needing to try an "A" string.

John

Osprey
01-05-2014, 08:45 AM
It is interesting to me that people spend hundreds if not thousands on a ukulele and then try to skimp and save $5 - $10 on strings
Cliff

mikelz777
01-05-2014, 02:23 PM
It is interesting to me that people spend hundreds if not thousands on a ukulele and then try to skimp and save $5 - $10 on strings
Cliff

The whole point of starting the topic was one of expediency and convenience, not skimping and saving. I was hoping that I could achieve a low G tuning here and now with what I already had on hand and proposed a method I hoped would work. From what I'm hearing in response it's not going to work and that's fine, it's part of the learning process. It's not like I'm never going to experience a low G tuning because of a perceived stubborn refusal to air out the wallet and spend $5-$10. I guess implying I'm cheap is one way someone might interpret this thread but it's not what was intended in starting it.

frukmana
01-05-2014, 03:18 PM
Hi, I think Glen Rose did it with his baritone uke. He used a concert strings set and reordered it.

I tried it once with my baritone using aquila baritone gCEA set.
So the order of the strings goes like this CEgA and I tuned it into GCEA. The top three strings that I reordered worked well and the tension felt nice to me but the A string kept breaking, wonder why...

I'm not an expert, just wanna share and hope this can be a little help for you :D

glenrose
01-08-2014, 05:09 AM
I’m strictly a jazz ukulele player and as you may know from my Jazzy Ukulele books, I only play with a low-G configuration.
I do this easily enough by taking a new set of strings and just rearranging them in order of thickness. You pretty much just take the high-G and put it where the A string is. You’ll probably want to get a new set because if the strings you have on now are cut they might not be long enough when swapped. I’m quite satisfied with this sound. All the tensions are just fine. You’ll hear how it sounds on all of my YouTube video postings. I have a page devoted to it at the end of Jazzy Ukulele Workbook One, but you can get a free PDF download explaining in detail from the first page of the Jazzyukulele.com web site. I’m not saying that this is the best or only way, only what I do and am happy with. That’s my two-cents worth. I typically use Aquila strings.
Glen Rose – Jazzy Ukulele

Osprey
01-08-2014, 05:22 AM
Welcome to the forum Glen.

G Hill
01-08-2014, 06:04 AM
Another way that has worked for me in the past is to just use another 'C' string as the low G. Tension for me was fiine.
Give it a bash............
Cheers
Gary

mikelz777
01-08-2014, 10:26 AM
Another way that has worked for me in the past is to just use another 'C' string as the low G. Tension for me was fiine.
Give it a bash............
Cheers
Gary

I think we have a winner here, thanks Gary!

I'm due for a string change soon so I'll change the 1st (A) and 2nd (E) strings, leave on the old 3rd (C) string and use the 3rd (C) string from the new set as the 4th and tune it to low G. I'll give it a bash and if I end up liking it, I can buy a low G set of strings going forward. Your solution will be a great way to try it out with what I already have on hand.

Pueo
01-08-2014, 11:54 AM
I used to use D'Addario Pro Arte re-entrant Tenor strings and re-strung them as described earlier: G string as E, E string as C, C string as low G - I also heard Braddah Iz did that - and had no issues with playabilty on my Pono Tenor. The only thing is that yes, the low G string is a lower tension and when I played through an amp the Low G was not as loud as the other strings - but sounded fine acoustically.

I have not tried this on anything but Tenor scale ukuleles.

I have also since just gone to Worth clears, I can get a Low G set with all plain strings. That was the original reason for my wanting to try it, was not wanting wound strings but still wanting low G.

mikelz777
01-08-2014, 12:25 PM
I have also since just gone to Worth clears, I can get a Low G set with all plain strings. That was the original reason for my wanting to try it, was not wanting wound strings but still wanting low G.

That was one of my goals as well. I don't want a wound low G string.

SailingUke
01-08-2014, 01:04 PM
That was one of my goals as well. I don't want a wound low G string.

Buy a flat wound polished low G.
Long life, great sound, no squeak and no nut modification needed.

glenrose
01-08-2014, 04:08 PM
Thanks, I finally found time to get here.

glenrose
01-08-2014, 04:25 PM
Hi, yes, that's the way I do it on my tenor and my bari ( with the extra long concert set made for bari length) I remember when I first started trying to get a low G, I tried all kinds of things, wound guitar strings, various classical guitar strings, etc. But I found in the end I was happiest just re-arranging a normal set like you describe above. I find it more congruous to stay with the same set rather than mixing and matching . but, I admit I am lazy. I don't doubt that there are possibly better ways. But to each his own. It's all about what you are personally satisfied with. I have never been able to discern any difference between the size, or circumference if you will, between the (high) G and A strings. Nor can I discern a difference in the sound or tensions when I switch them around with each other. So I gave up worrying about it. I can't figure why you had the experience of the A string breaking line you describe above and you were maintaining the A string as it normally was. I don't think it has anything to do with re-arranging the strings then unless I'm missing something from your description. By the way, if anyone is interested they can go to my JazzyUkulele.com web site and get a free PDF download of a detailed description of how I go about it. I have a section on various tunings in Workbook One as well that talks about it more.....
Glen Rose - Jazzy ukulele

glenrose
01-08-2014, 04:26 PM
Above I was trying to respond directly to Frunmana's posting on page 2 on this topic but my reply seems to get posted in line instead. Please see his posting to understand where this fits in. Thanks...Glen Rose

glenrose
01-08-2014, 04:45 PM
Just to lighten up the conversation.......I have heard that Mike DeSilva uses or used to use fishing tackle on some of his custom made ukes. You might want to check with him on the veracity of that as it's just hear say. But I have heard of others doing the same. This puts an interesting perspective on things. By the way, Southcoast Ukes offers what they call a "linear set" . It's a low-G set. I still can't figure out why they don't just call it a low-G set, I think it would define the product better. (http://www.southcoastukes.com/linear.htm) They sent me a sample and I've got to say I liked it pretty darn well....Glen Rose-Jazzy Ukulele