Beads anyone?

70sSanO

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I was in a bind to find beads for a pinned bridge on one of my ukes (I had been experimenting with steel strings) when changing back to fluorocarbon. I ended up using the string ends from the steel set. I thought it would add unnecessary weight and hurt the sound, but to me it sounds fine, actually better than I recall before the experimenting. It got me wondering if the metal beads are a good thing tone-wise. I know some people use brass pins on guitars. I'm sure I am imagining things. Either way they didn't cost me anything as the strings were going to get tossed.

John
 

Graham Greenbag

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This is quite an old thread but the information will still have value to somebody.

I had a cheap Uke that I converted to through bridge. Though I could have bought and used beads I opted to use very small washers instead and they worked perfectly - they cost very little and IIRC had a bit over a 2 mm hole in them to match the strings’ knots; probably a model makers size. Another of my cheap Ukes has a tie bar bridge, I reused some old strings on it - worked fine. So a knot on the end of the string followed by a washer, then thread the string through the bridge and over the saddle; connect at the tuners as normal and there you have residual length pre-used strings back in action. Worked perfectly and saved me the price of a new set of strings.
 
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Ukecaster

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I use beads on my string-thru ukes. Got a big bag of craft beads at Walmart, with a letter A-Z on each bead, they work well. I don't bother matching up letters to strings, that would be way too OCD. :D
 
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Joyful Uke

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Any downside to trying beads on a slotted bridge where it is hard to get the knots to stay in place? Would it damage the bridge? Seems like it could make changing strings easier, though. Any suggestions on how to use the beads on a slotted bridge? Or reasons to avoid trying it?