Arthritis and Strings..

Graham Greenbag

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“I should use some ghs black nylon. I have a bunch of those.”

If you already have some GHS H10 Strings then why not try them out? My own experience with lighter C strings is that they don’t intonate well but you might find otherwise.
 

CountryMouse

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No worries on either end of it: Beau Hannam has the easy way to restring, guaranteeing you retain the correct string length to wind. (When I grow up, I want a one of his instruments!)


Bluesy.
Thank you! There is a lot here to help me, although this is not the type of bridge I am attempting to do. But he has a lot about knots! And how to wind!

CMouse
 

CountryMouse

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“I should use some ghs black nylon. I have a bunch of those.”

If you already have some GHS H10 Strings then why not try them out? My own experience with lighter C strings is that they don’t intonate well but you might find otherwise.
I am being silly about cosmetics. I didn't want black strings on this particular ukulele. I'll see what else I have... :)

CMouse
 

Joyful Uke

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Here is a video on how to change strings on a slotted bridge:

You might be able to jump to about 2:30 in the video.

Figuring out how many knots you need, (and you might not even want to bother with the figure 8 type knot), is the hardest part. So, that might be some trial and error - with the string popping out until you guess right. That's why I keep track of what worked, and keep in the case when I did the string change, what type of strings I used & what gauges there are, and how many knots each string needed. It comes in handy as a reference the next time I change those strings.

The first time is the hardest, but keep at it, and it will eventually work. :)
 

mikelz777

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See my reply above/below about trying to do a slot bridge change. I can't get the knot back out of the string in order to do a better knot. I can't even get the old string back in now. I hate this.

CMouse
My apologies, I missed that part of the story but now I can better understand your fear and frustration. Good luck to you, I hope you resolve your issue soon.
 

Joyful Uke

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BTW, I thought that I had a set of Ko'olau Gold strings, but I can't find them, so maybe I'm mistaken. But if I do find them, I'd be glad to send them to you. All I'm finding right now, though, is my stash of Living Water, Uke Logic, Worth, and Oasis strings.
 

Graham Greenbag

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Any update on the string change attempt?

I guess CM will let us know in time and might be struggling at the moment, we sometimes tend to take strength and skill for granted but one of my old female relatives was never strong and now struggles with physical things.

I recently bought an old Uke for very little. It came fitted with clear nylon strings and I set it up a few days ago, I’m very pleased with the results. OK, it is a bit quieter than my other Ukes and the C string intonation isn’t good beyond the first few frets (not an issue in normal playing / chord strumming) but otherwise it’s got a lovely sweet and full tone and my fingers barely know that they’re pressing on the strings. On quieter I have several other Ukes for times when louder is helpful (like at the Uke Club meeting’s), but who needs loads of volume all of the time? Quieter - and still with a nice tone - just isn’t an issue at home and sometimes it can even be an advantage or asset (’cause you don’t disturb others as easily).

Recently this long thread ran about people’s like of Nylon Strings: https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/index.php?threads/nylon-fans-assemble.146575/

Nylon isn’t for everyone and it does have some issues, but I’ve just been pleasantly surprised by what it has to offer. Sometimes it’s good to revisit choices, set old judgements and prejudices aside and look at things with fresh eyes. Oh, and I did I mention it’s real easy on the fingers too. 🙂
 
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CountryMouse

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Here is a video on how to change strings on a slotted bridge:

You might be able to jump to about 2:30 in the video.

Figuring out how many knots you need, (and you might not even want to bother with the figure 8 type knot), is the hardest part. So, that might be some trial and error - with the string popping out until you guess right. That's why I keep track of what worked, and keep in the case when I did the string change, what type of strings I used & what gauges there are, and how many knots each string needed. It comes in handy as a reference the next time I change those strings.

The first time is the hardest, but keep at it, and it will eventually work. :)
Thank you! That IS the hard part! I hate a string popping me--it stings! I'm also having trouble getting the string to go down into the slot. :-( I will definitely keep track of what I did and slide it into the gig bag's pocket. I always do that with what kind of strings are on the uke.

CMouse
 

CountryMouse

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BTW, I thought that I had a set of Ko'olau Gold strings, but I can't find them, so maybe I'm mistaken. But if I do find them, I'd be glad to send them to you. All I'm finding right now, though, is my stash of Living Water, Uke Logic, Worth, and Oasis strings.
Oh, you don't need to do that. I should've chosen something I have a lot of. :p
 

CountryMouse

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Any update on the string change attempt?
Noooooo! I was mad and went and played Animal Crossing: New Horizons instead. :-D I needed to change our island's summer decorations to autumnal ones anyway. And weed.

When I get the courage up again, I'll let you know. :)

CMouse
 

CountryMouse

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I guess CM will let us know in time and might be struggling at the moment, we sometimes tend to take strength and skill for granted but one of my old female relatives was never strong and now struggles with physical things.

I recently bought an old Uke for very little. It came fitted with clear nylon strings and I set it up a few days ago, I’m very pleased with the results. OK, it is a bit quieter than my other Ukes and the C string intonation isn’t good beyond the first few frets (not an issue in normal playing / chord strumming) but otherwise it’s got a lovely sweet and full tone and my fingers barely know that they’re pressing on the strings. On quieter I have several other Ukes for times when louder is helpful (like at the Uke Club meeting’s), but who needs loads of volume all of the time? Quieter - and still with a nice tone - just isn’t an issue at home and sometimes it can even be an advantage or asset (’cause you don’t disturb others as easily).

Recently this long thread ran about people’s like of Nylon Strings: https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/index.php?threads/nylon-fans-assemble.146575/

Nylon isn’t for everyone and it does have some issues, but I’ve just been pleasantly surprised by what it has to offer. Sometimes it’s good to revisit choices, set old judgements and prejudices aside and look at things with fresh eyes. Oh, and I did I mention it’s real easy on the fingers too. 🙂
I am just taking some time off from all the worry about strings and being mad at myself for buying a lot of ukes this year and not paying attention to action and getting my fingers messed up. My therapist suggested the autoharp. HA! That's what I *used* to play years ago before cancer surgery. I hate playing autoharp on my lap and "up" was now not possible. Then I discovered the ukulele and enjoyed that. I stopped for years, though (2013-2021), because of YouTube's copyright rules and not enjoying trying to find "safe" songs. I went off into other hobbies. It was my sister who got me back into it, in her enthusiasm for playing remotely/ZOOM for her church and wanting to get a "nicer" uke, one that didn't look like a "toy". She set off my UAS! :) But I got in trouble with listening to online teachers and over-practicing. Grrr.

So I'm going to let the whole string thing rest a while. I'll see which of my older ukuleles might work for me now. But I'll be able to come back to this thread and re-read all the helpful things you-all have said!

I still can't tell about Aquila strings--are they harder or easier on the fingers? Somewhere between nylon and fluorocarbon?

CMouse
 

Graham Greenbag

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“I stopped for years, though (2013-2021)”
That explains some of your problems in that it takes time for the skin on a person’s finger tips to toughen up and after such a gap your skin is now likely soft and thin.

“I'm going to let the whole string thing rest a while. I'll see which of my older ukuleles might work for me now. But I'll be able to come back to this thread and re-read all the helpful things you-all have said!”
Seems like a good way forward to me. Good luck with things, when you build up to revisiting them.

“I still can't tell about Aquila strings--are they harder or easier on the fingers? Somewhere between nylon and fluorocarbon?”
Yes, somewhere between. From own rough comparisons tests I would say that that was clearly the case but where between between is open to interpretation and also depends a little on which Nylon and which Fluorocarbon strings are fitted. When I first started using them I found that Fluorocarbon strings were harder on the hands than Nylguts, and so my finger tips had to toughen up more - I’ll only use the standard and light tension versions of Fluorocarbon strings. With Nylon I’m barely aware of the strings and pressing harder than is needed is the issue to look towards when using them - a light and gentle touch seems sufficient to me but YMMV.
 
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CountryMouse

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“I stopped for years, though (2013-2021)”
That explains some of your problems in that it takes time for the skin on a person’s finger tips to toughen up and after such a gap your skin is now likely soft and thin.

“I'm going to let the whole string thing rest a while. I'll see which of my older ukuleles might work for me now. But I'll be able to come back to this thread and re-read all the helpful things you-all have said!”
Seems like a good way forward to me. Good luck with things, when you build up to revisiting them.

“I still can't tell about Aquila strings--are they harder or easier on the fingers? Somewhere between nylon and fluorocarbon?”
Yes, somewhere between. From own rough comparisons tests I would say that that was clearly the case but where between between is open to interpretation and also depends a little on which Nylon and which Fluorocarbon strings are fitted. When I first started using them I found that Fluorocarbon strings were harder on the hands than Nylguts, and so my finger tips had to toughen up more - I’ll only use the standard and light tension versions of Fluorocarbon strings. With Nylon I’m barely aware of the strings and pressing harder than is needed is the issue to look towards when using them - a light and gentle touch seems sufficient to me but YMMV.
This is not and never was about calluses, although I did play from February until July of this year just about every day. I did develop calluses and the skin on my fingertips was no longer soft and thin. I posted this back up the thread. This is what it was:


So the reason I am trying to be careful going forward is that it's possible I did permanent damage in my fingers. They did not mention in the above thread what *I* had: sharp shooting pains in my left-hand fingers (not just the fingertips but all the way up my fingers) for three days straight (and NOT playing ukulele or anything). If it had gone on, I would've seen a doctor.

So from all the advice I have been given (almost all of it very helpful), here is what I need to do: be careful about the action (that's why I was pressing down too hard) and adjust the action via a capo on nuts that can't be altered; practice *not* pressing down hard; use the easiest-on-my-fingers strings; tune all (or most) of my ukuleles to B tuning; NOT practice for long periods of time (Amanda Palmer says in her "Ukulele Anthem" "Just limit yourself to three chords and do not practice daily." (tongue-in-cheek--have fun with the ukulele and don't make it into a chore); and do not listen to online teachers who try to get you to do things *their* way which might not necessarily be the best way for everyone. I think I've covered my game plan. OH. And learn how to restring my ukuleles--the scariest thing I still haven't done. :p

Thanks again, everyone!

CMouse