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elbilo
07-01-2014, 06:02 AM
Hello, All!

I've had my uke for a few weeks and am having fun learning some chords and trying out different strum patterns, but I still have a long, long way to go. Anyway, my concert Flea came with D'Addario strings, which sounded good to me, but I just switched to Aquila, since many have praised these strings for the Flea. I also just ordered Living Water strings and am thinking about ordering Martin m600 strings as well, since they have been praised for the Flea too.

Since I'm a total beginner with the uke, does it make any sense to test out different strings before I can even play comfortably?

I feel that finding the sound that matches my vibe will inspire me to play more, but I'm wondering if I even have the ability to properly judge when I'm still a newbie.

Thanks,

Eric

vanflynn
07-01-2014, 06:32 AM
When I get a new uke I am a madman changing strings until I get some I like. I guess my take is if they have stopped stretching then you probably have a good feel for how they sound on your uke. You can swap them out back and forth no problem. I put each string in a marked baggie so I know which is which. At $6 or so finding string you like is the best investment you can make.

Good luck and happy string hunting!

PereBourik
07-01-2014, 07:01 AM
Never too early. Never too late.

As vanflynn said let them stop stretching before you make up your mind. Martin M600 are my choice for my concert Flea.

Newportlocal
07-01-2014, 07:58 AM
I use living water string or PhD strings on mine. Never too early to try a few different sets out. It will help you practice restringing, and you will find out what you like the best. Getting one of these has been very handy too.
http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Waves-Winder-String-Cutter/dp/B0002E1G5C
Yes, there are other things you can use, but these are really nice to have.

iamesperambient
07-01-2014, 09:40 AM
Hello, All!

I've had my uke for a few weeks and am having fun learning some chords and trying out different strum patterns, but I still have a long, long way to go. Anyway, my concert Flea came with D'Addario strings, which sounded good to me, but I just switched to Aquila, since many have praised these strings for the Flea. I also just ordered Living Water strings and am thinking about ordering Martin m600 strings as well, since they have been praised for the Flea too.

Since I'm a total beginner with the uke, does it make any sense to test out different strings before I can even play comfortably?

I feel that finding the sound that matches my vibe will inspire me to play more, but I'm wondering if I even have the ability to properly judge when I'm still a newbie.

Thanks,

Eric


living water strings are some of the best strings, i would install them and play them for a while and see if you like them.
I put a set of the re-entrant G (high d) ones on my baritone and i will never use another string again.

SteveZ
07-01-2014, 09:53 AM
The real question is whether you are having fun and learning something each time you change strings. With strings costing no more than a hamburger and fries at a fast-food joint, what's the loss?

If there is a music store near you where you can get strings (rather than online or mail order), consider giving the business to the local guy. Not only do you get strings faster, but it gives you a chance to talk to folk at the store (staff and other customers), and a lot can be learned that way. Also, if you need help or advice, it's good to know local folk.

vanflynn
07-01-2014, 10:16 AM
Here's a great resource for restringing

http://www.myamoeukuleles.com/restringing.html

Ukejenny
07-01-2014, 12:19 PM
Once strings settle in and you've got a really good feel for them, I say change again if you feel like it.

elbilo
07-01-2014, 12:48 PM
The real question is whether you are having fun and learning something each time you change strings. With strings costing no more than a hamburger and fries at a fast-food joint, what's the loss?

If there is a music store near you where you can get strings (rather than online or mail order), consider giving the business to the local guy. Not only do you get strings faster, but it gives you a chance to talk to folk at the store (staff and other customers), and a lot can be learned that way. Also, if you need help or advice, it's good to know local folk.

I definitely prefer going to a store. Luckily there is a nice music store about 30 minutes from me, which is where I got a Snark tuner and the Aquila strings. They had the Martin strings too, but they highly recommended the Aquila. I was forced to go online for the Living Water, since no place near me seems to carry them.

elbilo
07-01-2014, 12:54 PM
Here's a great resource for restringing

http://www.myamoeukuleles.com/restringing.html

Thanks! My first attempt went alright, but this will definitely help for the next time.

billten
07-01-2014, 12:57 PM
Switching strings is a fun adventure and it's all to your taste so nobody can tell you that you are wrong. On a flea I'd also recommend the Martin M600, the GHS fluro (both C and D tuning are cool) and for a really interesting one try the Aquila reds.

Icelander53
07-01-2014, 02:10 PM
Hello, All!

I've had my uke for a few weeks and am having fun learning some chords and trying out different strum patterns, but I still have a long, long way to go. Anyway, my concert Flea came with D'Addario strings, which sounded good to me, but I just switched to Aquila, since many have praised these strings for the Flea. I also just ordered Living Water strings and am thinking about ordering Martin m600 strings as well, since they have been praised for the Flea too.

Since I'm a total beginner with the uke, does it make any sense to test out different strings before I can even play comfortably?

I feel that finding the sound that matches my vibe will inspire me to play more, but I'm wondering if I even have the ability to properly judge when I'm still a newbie.

Thanks,

Eric

I think that's a valid and good question to be asking. In my experience as a newbie I really didn't have much handle on what would sound good to my ear over the coming months. Even at 6 months I'm just beginning to grok some of this string stuff and separate the facts from the fictions.

So I'd suggest putting the string issue aside until you really start to feel comfortable around your instrument and know more than a handful of chords and a strum or two. Then you'll have a ton more information about what works for you and you'll have stayed focused on what's important to a beginner. That stuff will all be there for you to work on in three or six months from now. My 2 cents..

iamesperambient
07-01-2014, 08:53 PM
I think that's a valid and good question to be asking. In my experience as a newbie I really didn't have much handle on what would sound good to my ear over the coming months. Even at 6 months I'm just beginning to grok some of this string stuff and separate the facts from the fictions.

So I'd suggest putting the string issue aside until you really start to feel comfortable around your instrument and know more than a handful of chords and a strum or two. Then you'll have a ton more information about what works for you and you'll have stayed focused on what's important to a beginner. That stuff will all be there for you to work on in three or six months from now. My 2 cents..

ive been playing for 10 years and just now with in the past few months have been trying out new strings
i always stuck with 3 brands aquila, Ko'olau Gold Strings or GHS strings. I'm finding now 'high end' brands
like living water really really really make a difference in giving your uke a better sound. I just ordered south coast strings
for my tenor (never tried them) will see how they sound. I found living water re-entrant G tuning strings are the optimal
strings for my taste for baritone, for soprano i found worth clears are perfect, concert aquila reds or nylgut and now
for tenor....im still searching for that optimal sound. it takes time but its a fun adventure and once you find the string
of choice its a very rewarding experience.

iamesperambient
07-01-2014, 08:56 PM
I use living water string or PhD strings on mine. Never too early to try a few different sets out. It will help you practice restringing, and you will find out what you like the best. Getting one of these has been very handy too.
http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Waves-Winder-String-Cutter/dp/B0002E1G5C
Yes, there are other things you can use, but these are really nice to have.

i just cut mine with nail clippers i should invest in one of these at some point :P

iamesperambient
07-01-2014, 08:58 PM
I definitely prefer going to a store. Luckily there is a nice music store about 30 minutes from me, which is where I got a Snark tuner and the Aquila strings. They had the Martin strings too, but they highly recommended the Aquila. I was forced to go online for the Living Water, since no place near me seems to carry them.

living water is sold only from ken middleton on his website their not available anywhere else but totally worth it ken is a wonderful player
very creative guy and they are honestly amazing strings, he put so much work into designing them and the outcome is flawless !!!!

elbilo
07-01-2014, 11:45 PM
living water is sold only from ken middleton on his website their not available anywhere else but totally worth it ken is a wonderful player
very creative guy and they are honestly amazing strings, he put so much work into designing them and the outcome is flawless !!!!

ukerepublic.com has them too. i'm looking forward to trying them out!

iamesperambient
07-02-2014, 06:13 AM
ukerepublic.com has them too. i'm looking forward to trying them out!

oh do they? thanks for the info!
ill check it out they may not have the set i use for my baritone the
high D sets if they do happen to carry them it may be a bit cheaper.
If not i have no problem paying the extra shipping form the UK its well worth it.

stevepetergal
07-02-2014, 06:37 AM
Here's the original question:


Since I'm a total beginner with the uke, does it make any sense to test out different strings before I can even play comfortably?

My answer (yes, just me): It makes no sense at all for every reason in the book. Mostly the research takes your concentration away from the music and the ukulele becomes, in your mind, a tool for testing rather than a musical instrument. Some people can do it, but it's very hard to change gears when your foundation is set.

But, unfortunately it's encouraged around the UU.

With all the encouragement you're getting about trying all these string sets, I suggest you at least set yourself a limit. (Truthfully, I recommend you don't spend your time changing strings at all.) But if you must, play for a couple of months at least between string changes. Six months would be better. In fact, if you don't start changing strings for a year or so, you might be surprised at how very good you can make even the lousy strings sound. Then you've really got something. When you're actually making music, your research will be much more valuable, because you have a foundation based in musical and auditory experience.

There, I've said it.

greenscoe
07-02-2014, 06:40 AM
I've tried a few different strings on my tenors seeking a mellower sound. My latest uke was fitted with Worth Browns which many on the forum recommended for this result. I like them. However I decided to try a low G 4th string for the first time-in my case a used classical guitar D string I had at home. I really like the sound of this tenor uke now. I wonder how many uke owners/players have never tried a low G setup?

iamesperambient
07-02-2014, 09:26 AM
I've tried a few different strings on my tenors seeking a mellower sound. My latest uke was fitted with Worth Browns which many on the forum recommended for this result. I like them. However I decided to try a low G 4th string for the first time-in my case a used classical guitar D string I had at home. I really like the sound of this tenor uke now. I wonder how many uke owners/players have never tried a low G setup?


are worth browns really that mellow? their next on the list to try.
im trying out south coast SMU strings recommended by dirk of south coast for a mellower sound will see how they sound. I'm also going to try low G at some point. Still searching for the perfect string set for my tenor for baritone i found baritone high D (reentrant g) sets by living water are perfect and im sticking with them for my bari.

greenscoe
07-02-2014, 10:34 AM
Jamesperambient-Sorry, I should have been clearer. I like the Worth browns because of the feel rather than any great difference in sound: they are thinner strings. I didnt find them to be that much mellower though many others find them to be so. My point in posting was really to say that by using a low G, I have found the sound of my uke preferable. The low G means that it doesn't sound as bright to me. I was suggesting that if players want to try different strings then they also might like to think about a low G option too.

iamesperambient
07-02-2014, 12:34 PM
Jamesperambient-Sorry, I should have been clearer. I like the Worth browns because of the feel rather than any great difference in sound: they are thinner strings. I didnt find them to be that much mellower though many others find them to be so. My point in posting was really to say that by using a low G, I have found the sound of my uke preferable. The low G means that it doesn't sound as bright to me. I was suggesting that if players want to try different strings then they also might like to think about a low G option too.

prob gonna try low g soon for that
less bright sound I'll prob get living
waters or south coast to try it out.

Kayak Jim
07-02-2014, 02:59 PM
But if you must, play for a couple of months at least between string changes. Six months would be better.

I agree with this. Whether it's my ear or the strings I don't know but it always takes a few weeks at least before I'm comfortable with the sound/feel of new strings. Then I like coming back to that place every time I play. Only the K-Golds came off before they needed replacement as I didn't like their temperature sensitivity requiring frequent retuning.

stevepetergal
07-03-2014, 08:01 AM
I wonder how many uke owners/players have never tried a low G setup?

Almost all of them.

Justalogin
07-03-2014, 12:20 PM
The problem with forums like this is that 99% of the discussion is about gear. People think that purchasing yet another instrument (rare or expensive), or swapping out and replacing strings, is going to deliver musical bliss. If you go down this rabbit hole, you're basically wasting time and energy on irrelevant things.

Spend your energy on learning songs.

stevepetergal
07-04-2014, 04:08 AM
The problem with forums like this is that 99% of the discussion is about gear. People think that purchasing yet another instrument (rare or expensive), or swapping out and replacing strings, is going to deliver musical bliss. If you go down this rabbit hole, you're basically wasting time and energy on irrelevant things.

Spend your energy on learning songs.

Agreed 100%.

There's nothing wrong with a forum like this discussing tech issues. It's very difficult to impossible to make an internet forum about musicality. But, I stand by my claim that it's a very bad idea for us to encourage new people to start restringing their instruments as soon as they arrive. It's not about strings. It's about music. The tech stuff is used to enhance the music, not the other way around.

elbilo
07-04-2014, 01:30 PM
I appreciate all the input from everyone! I think I'll wait until I'm a little more seasoned before restringing again. While practicing simple songs, I realized I need to focus on getting my fingers to loosen up and maneuver better for chord changes. I also don't think I'm able to pick up on the fine difference between strings. As the Aquila strings are starting to settle in better, I really can't tell if they are any different than the D'Addario strings that were on it.

Eric

Justalogin
07-05-2014, 01:38 AM
Forget strings. Forget about 'em all together. There are plenty of working musicians who don't even know the strings they use.

Think of it this way: When playing an instrument, you want to capture the attention of your audience (which includes yourself). Now, the type of STRING on your ukulele is completely irrelevant to whether or not you grab someone's attention. The same goes for: how expensive your instrument is, what brand it is, how old it is, etc.

Instead, what matters are: the song you play, and how well you play it.

billten
07-05-2014, 01:55 AM
I agree with this kind-of, but...

there are a lot of us here on the forum that are really playing the uke as a hobby. It's a bit of fun, not a run to perfection or anything else that adds stress to our lives. Chatting about gear and strings is a cool distraction and a part of the fun of getting 'into' playing the uke for an average hobby-ist. I do agree that you can easily drop into an arms race always thinking that the next best uke or string or strap or whatever will improve your playing. But if you don't go nuts about it and you realize that you will always be the lowest common denominator with your playing, i think that there is nothing too bad about talking about gear and such.

Incidentally i just got my dream uke, been playing it a couple of weeks and i almost feel a sense of loss because i now know that there is no point in poring over the marketplace boards thinking about if this or that uke would sound good. I know that there is nothing out there that will ever sound better to me than what i have and also i have years of playing to go before i am even close to managing to get the best out of this instrument i have here already. My UAS is cured and i'm not sure i like it, hahahaha. UAS is fun so long as you manage it for the hobby it is...

Anyhow, enjoy and play lots...



Forget strings. Forget about 'em all together. There are plenty of working musicians who don't even know the strings they use.

Think of it this way: When playing an instrument, you want to capture the attention of your audience (which includes yourself). Now, the type of STRING on your ukulele is completely irrelevant to whether or not you grab someone's attention. The same goes for: how expensive your instrument is, what brand it is, how old it is, etc.

Instead, what matters are: the song you play, and how well you play it.