PDA

View Full Version : Low G question



Shorebird
08-06-2014, 02:31 AM
I was wondering do you play the same chord configurations with a Low g setup as with the more std "High" G setup?

PhilUSAFRet
08-06-2014, 02:39 AM
Yes..........the chord will just sound deeper.

billten
08-06-2014, 02:48 AM
Yes..... and it will sometimes also sound just wrong! At other times it will sound just great :) very dependent on the song, type of play and the arrangement you are playing.

Icelander53
08-06-2014, 03:23 AM
That's worth adding for sure. Most of the time it sounds wrong to my ear. I've got one out of eight ukes in low G and I hardly every drag it out due to that. I'm about to restring it. On the other hand with the high G things at least sound OK and usually great. So If I had only one uke or was a beginner I'd stick with the high G. Not everyones going to see it that way however.

SteveZ
08-06-2014, 03:41 AM
I've got all mine strung in low-G. It's an "ear" thing and I'm just used to low-G. Also, my singing voice (as bad as it is) rumbles along in a lower pitch, so high-G just doesn't mesh well with it. So, it's a personal thing where everyone is right.

oldcookie
08-06-2014, 04:33 AM
On my Mainland, the low G dominates the rest of the strings when not fretted, so I compensate for that when strumming or picking. Other than that, the chords sounds fine.

I find that it is easier to play songs originally meant for guitars on low G for some reason, but YMMV. I'm contemplating a 5 string as my next uke, cause I always feel I am missing something with just low G or high G tuning.

PereBourik
08-06-2014, 05:03 AM
Yes, it's an ear thing. I was no fan of Low G tuning until I got to some second and third position chords. Once you start moving up the neck Low G comes into its own. I'll keep one or two ukes strung Low G now. It goes with the jazz pieces I'm trying to learn to play.

moetrout
08-06-2014, 05:10 AM
I just tried out a wound low g aquilla string last night. It really seemed to take over and that's all I could hear. Are all low g strings like this? Should I try another? I am leaving it for now, but my first impression is that I did not like it.

coolkayaker1
08-06-2014, 05:10 AM
I learned recently on UU that low-G gives five additional notes, called semitones, compared to re-entrant tuning.

Why anyone would tolerate the occasional cringe-worthy chord sounds, as well as the open low G string thud, similar to a car muffler falling to the roadway, for five more measly notes is hard to figure.

RAB11
08-06-2014, 05:43 AM
I learned recently on UU that low-G gives five additional notes, called semitones, compared to re-entrant tuning.

Why anyone would tolerate the occasional cringe-worthy chord sounds, as well as the open low G string thud, similar to a car muffler falling to the roadway, for five more measly notes is hard to figure.

I use those five measly notes quite often when picking melody lines. My Low-G Korala is my main uke, I do agree that some songs just need High-G though. Particularly ones that are originally piano pieces I find.

coolkayaker1
08-06-2014, 05:46 AM
I use those five measly notes quite often when picking melody lines. My Low-G Korala is my main uke, I do agree that some songs just need High-G though. Particularly ones that are originally piano pieces I find.

I can respect that, Rab. Do you pick melody lines on the lowG string as opposed to the A string? I don't know, I'm asking only.

janeray1940
08-06-2014, 05:50 AM
I learned recently on UU that low-G gives five additional notes, called semitones, compared to re-entrant tuning.

Why anyone would tolerate the occasional cringe-worthy chord sounds, as well as the open low G string thud, similar to a car muffler falling to the roadway, for five more measly notes is hard to figure.

LOL! I pretty much use my low G ukes to play arrangements specifically written for low G, exactly because of this cringe-worthiness. I find that most arrangements written for reentrant ukes, particularly simple arrangements with first-position chords, sound really awful on low G, especially when played in a group of other ukes that are all reentrant... which is a situation I find myself in fairly often. Sometimes I bring two ukes, low and high G; other times I travel light with just the low G uke and play different inversions, or just strum the first three strings, to compensate. In general I find that barre chords usually sound OK on my low G uke; it's those simple first-position ones that make me cringe.

Me, I need those five additional semitones :)

RAB11
08-06-2014, 05:52 AM
I can respect that, Rab. Do you pick melody lines on the lowG string as opposed to the A string? I don't know, I'm asking only.

It's mainly because I play a lot of guitar songs, a lot of riffs or solos (that I attempt anyway) need four linear strings as opposed to three. Just allows more flexibility in my opinion, no matter where you are on the neck. My own lack of talent probably accounts for that though. I'm sure people far better than me can do the things I wanna do and more on a re-entrant uke just fine. The thudding never really bothers me when I strum to be honest.

kohanmike
08-06-2014, 06:15 AM
I asked my instructors last week about that, both Jason Arimoto and Brad Ranola of U-Space, who said that low G is usually better for finger picking, reentrant for strumming. I know the leader of CC Strummers, Cali Rose, prefers low G, even when we all use high G, but she does a lot of picking during most songs.

Down Up Dick
08-06-2014, 06:25 AM
I had a low G on one Uke, and it buzzed annoyingly so I put it on another where it was okay until it broke. But, since I mostly like to accompany songs anyway, the high G suits me fine. However, when I do pick tunes, I use my baritone or pick them in a higher key.

itsme
08-06-2014, 06:29 AM
I just tried out a wound low g aquilla string last night. It really seemed to take over and that's all I could hear. Are all low g strings like this? Should I try another? I am leaving it for now, but my first impression is that I did not like it.
Wound strings have a different tonal quality. To my ears, a single wound string sticks out like a sore thumb. I much prefer an all-plain set on tenor.

Baritone is another story. Tried several different sets of all-plain, but the two lower strings were too weak and floppy. For bari, I like a two-wound/two-plain set. That way the tone is more balanced, like on a classical guitar which has three plain and three wound.

janeray1940
08-06-2014, 06:34 AM
Wound strings have a different tonal quality. To my ears, a single wound string sticks out like a sore thumb. I much prefer an all-plain set on tenor.


Have you tried using either a classical guitar string, or a Fremont Soloist? I've never found a fluoro low G or low G "set" that I liked, because in both cases I find the low G to sound kind of awful. What brought me around to it was using a wound guitar string, and then when the Soloist "squeakless" strings came out I was sold. I use that plus Martin fluoros and on my ukes, nothing else has come close to sounding as good.

Dan Uke
08-06-2014, 07:03 AM
I can respect that, Rab. Do you pick melody lines on the lowG string as opposed to the A string? I don't know, I'm asking only.

Surprisingly, it allows you to play Jake's songs a little bit easier if there's such a thing. Instead of going for that crazy stretch on the C E A string you play the C note on the G note string so you'll be much closer to the E & A strings.

Also if a song is written in reentrant, you can play the G strings notes on the 2nd or 3rd string, depending on the arrangement. Finally, because of those extra notes you can play a few more finger picking songs without transposing it from the original key.

Steve, you'll be a reentrant player and I'll be a low G player and that's a good thing! :cheers:

coolkayaker1
08-06-2014, 08:11 AM
Interesting replies from Rab, JRay and Nongdam. I never thought of some of that, like the Jake song angle.




Steve, you'll be a reentrant player and I'll be a low G player and that's a good thing! :cheers:

If we were both reentrant players it'd be a better thing, but sure. :p:p:p

PereBourik
08-06-2014, 09:22 AM
PhD Strings - Low G set.

Discuss

SailingUke
08-06-2014, 10:00 AM
High G - Low G, it is all and evil plot to make buy more ukuleles.
Like any of us really needed an excuse.

;););)

Shorebird
08-06-2014, 10:18 AM
On my Mainland, the low G dominates the rest of the strings when not fretted, so I compensate for that when strumming or picking. Other than that, the chords sounds fine.

I find that it is easier to play songs originally meant for guitars on low G for some reason, but YMMV. I'm contemplating a 5 string as my next uke, cause I always feel I am missing something with just low G or high G tuning.

With the problem I am having with chords I want a two string

Pueo
08-06-2014, 10:56 AM
I do not like wound strings on ukuleles in general. I do like low G for some things. RAB's comment about needing linear tuning for runs down to the G string are exactly why I prefer it for some songs. I now typically use Worth strings, all plain, low G on the two ukuleles I have strung with Low G, my Kamoa Grand Concert and my Pono tenor. I also have a six-string tenor, and that goes back and forth between Low G, Low A, or both low G and Low A tuning depending on what strings I feel like getting. I switch it up almost each time I re-string it. I do not like the drone that can happen with a wound low A or low G especially on the six string.
With all plain strings though, I do not experience any droning.
My other ukuleles are all strung re-entrant. I think the next ukulele I purchase may be a 5-string, because I like the idea of both High and Low G on the same ukulele. :)

coolkayaker1
08-06-2014, 11:17 AM
LOL! I pretty much use my low G ukes to play arrangements specifically written for low G, exactly because of this cringe-worthiness. I find that most arrangements written for reentrant ukes, particularly simple arrangements with first-position chords, sound really awful on low G, especially when played in a group of other ukes that are all reentrant... which is a situation I find myself in fairly often. Sometimes I bring two ukes, low and high G; other times I travel light with just the low G uke and play different inversions, or just strum the first three strings, to compensate. In general I find that barre chords usually sound OK on my low G uke; it's those simple first-position ones that make me cringe.

Me, I need those five additional semitones :)

I read this three times. This all makes good sense to me. Especially the up-the-fretboard part. When low G string is fretted, it sounds much improved and, dare I say, lovely. The reason that low G sounds great with those jazzy chords, the 2-4-2-4 stuff is that closed chord shapes are superb on the low G.

When unfretted and plucked, the low G strings dongs like Quasimodo's tower bell!
69758

Nickie
08-06-2014, 12:09 PM
I play the same chord shapes, and sometimes it sounds like I shouldn't. Tamara really likes the lo G sound, she said it makes sense to her ear, and the re-entrant doens't....go figure, she's a guitar player....some songs that I pick sound totally raunchy on the lo G....some sound better....
I'm using Aquila Reds....the uke is quieter than when it was on Aquila whites....but I like it....it's a whole new learning curve for me....I need to learn more closed chords, I think...I can't wait to try it miked up, when I have time....
I know, I know, here I am wasting time on UU...but I'm not home, I'm at work, and there's all kinds of spare time...here...
Any other suggestions for better playing on the lo G?

stevepetergal
08-06-2014, 12:17 PM
I despise re-entrant because, with it, the low G stuff sounds terrible. I hate linear because it makes everything else sound even worse. Consequently, I hate playing either. But, when I do, I'm always disappointed. If you heard me play, you'd know exactly what I mean.

Nickie
08-06-2014, 12:32 PM
I despise re-entrant because, with it, the low G stuff sounds terrible. I hate linear because it makes everything else sound even worse. Consequently, I hate playing either. But, when I do, I'm always disappointed. If you heard me play, you'd know exactly what I mean.

LOL, OMG, you are too funny!

Steedy
08-06-2014, 12:48 PM
You take the high road and I'll take the low road,
And I'll be in Scotland before you.
But me and my G string will never meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. :)

coolkayaker1
08-06-2014, 02:07 PM
I play the same chord shapes, and sometimes it sounds like I shouldn't. Tamara really likes the lo G sound, she said it makes sense to her ear, and the re-entrant doens't....go figure, she's a guitar player....some songs that I pick sound totally raunchy on the lo G....some sound better....
I'm using Aquila Reds....the uke is quieter than when it was on Aquila whites....but I like it....it's a whole new learning curve for me....I need to learn more closed chords, I think...I can't wait to try it miked up, when I have time....
I know, I know, here I am wasting time on UU...but I'm not home, I'm at work, and there's all kinds of spare time...here...
Any other suggestions for better playing on the lo G?


http://youtu.be/8YafhDexY6I

Nickie, start with this little series by Mr. Ross. It's high G, but can be done on low G uke, too. The key: it's a fabulous first foray into closed chords.

wickedwahine11
08-06-2014, 02:13 PM
PhD Strings - Low G set.

Discuss

They are my favorite on one uke, but I prefer the Southcoast HML-RW on another uke. I still prefer the unwound option but I can't deny the Southcoast strings are the best sounding low g strings (overall) I have tried. The only reason I don't put them on the uke with the PhD strings is because that one is pretty lightly braced and I was concerned about the higher string tension on it.

Nickie
08-06-2014, 02:43 PM
http://youtu.be/8YafhDexY6I

Nickie, start with this little series by Mr. Ross. It's high G, but can be done on low G uke, too. The key: it's a fabulous first foray into closed chords.

Thanks! I'll have to watch it at home, work lpatop is useless on you tube!

iamesperambient
08-06-2014, 06:27 PM
I was wondering do you play the same chord configurations with a Low g setup as with the more std "High" G setup?

the chord shapes are exactly the same, it just has a lower tone to it due to the G it will give it the linear sound which is high to low
like a guitar, and you won't get the same jangle as you will with a re-entrant tuned uke, but yes your chords will be 100 % exactly the same.

Roselynne
08-06-2014, 11:08 PM
I play guitar, but I grew up around re-entrant tuned ukuleles in Hawai'i (though I didn't play back then). Re-entrant just sounds right to me, so 3 out of 4 of my ukuleles are re-entrant.

Both of my teachers, however, were/are low-G enthusiasts. Therefore, my 4th ukulele is low-G, for use in class. (When I brought in a re-entrant, it did not go well.)

Perforce, I've grown accustomed to that low-G sound, especially on arrangements meant for that tuning. Still, I won't eliminate re-entrant from my toolbox. Re-entrant, for me, is the root sound I sought from the beginning.

Yup. It's a conspiracy hatched by the UAS forces.

Booli
08-07-2014, 01:43 AM
I came to the uke after 35 yrs of playing guitar and could not get my brain wrapped around re-entrant tuning at first.

I had enough trouble trying to rename the chord shapes, and the notes on the fretboard, and all but had to try and forget the brainwashing (ahem, training and practice) from years of playing guitar. Lots of unlearning, but lots of just playing and improvising to find the relationships of the notes on different strings, and eventually realizing things like, hey 2220, 2225, 7655 are all different ways to play and voice a D Maj chord - NICE!

When I started, re-entrant notes sounded so wrong that it would cause my brain to freeze and I would lose my place in the song, and often become frustrated. NOT GOOD.

So I went with low-g in the beginning on everything but soprano (started with tenor, then later added a concert, and then later still soprano).

The problem I had was to find an unwound low-g string with enough tension on a shorter scale that also did not sound thuddy like a rubber band. I've tried over a dozen different unwound low-g strings, and the only thing with enough tension for me was some 130# test fluorocarbon fishing leader (0.0444"). but while the tension was right the sound was very dead (too much tension I think) so I tried 100# test fishing leader (0.0408") since the fattest/heaviest fluorocarbon strings sold are the LGEX from the Worth Clears that are 0.0433" and still kind of floppy to me on a concert scale. I gave up on low-g for concerts and have them all re-entrant, and now have 2 out of 4 tenors re-entrant.

I think it depends upon the song you will play, if you need the lower notes....

I have learned that the intervals will be different with re-entrant and I have learned to like it just as much as linear tuning.

For the tenor I can do the 0.0358" unwound low-g fluorocarbon string that is the PHD, Worths Brown and Clear, & Fremont blacklines without an issue, but for a WOUND low-g I find that like Janeray has said the Fremont soloist polished wound low-g works well, as does the single string of Thomastic-Infeld CF-30 or CF-27, both are flatwound classical guitar strings and they too blend well with the other strings without overpowering them. OldePhart (John) introduced me to the Thomastik-Infeld strings, and they are great.

One day I will own a 5-string tenor, and then this whole low-g/high-g thing will be a non-issue on that instrument - at least that is what I wish for....

:)

PhilUSAFRet
08-07-2014, 02:47 AM
I only use low g when I want to play a little clawhammer style, using my thumb on that low G, or for jazz and bluesy songs. For just strumming without the thumb action on the low g and C, I haven't much use for it.

Down Up Dick
08-11-2014, 03:27 PM
PhilUSAFRet, I thought the whole point of playing clawhammer on the Uke was that it had a high 4th string (G) like a banjo. I read that somewhere. Maybe in one of my clawhammer books. That way one can get a sound similar to the one he gets on a banjo. Please let me know if I'm on the wrong track as I'm trying to learn more about clawhammer.

Down Up Dick
08-11-2014, 09:19 PM
Thanks for the info, ubulele, I appreciate it.

Icelander53
08-11-2014, 09:29 PM
Yes, it's an ear thing. I was no fan of Low G tuning until I got to some second and third position chords. Once you start moving up the neck Low G comes into its own. I'll keep one or two ukes strung Low G now. It goes with the jazz pieces I'm trying to learn to play.

That's interesting, I'm just beginning to move up the neck so I'll look out for that.