How often do you have to tune?

ripock

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As to the original question, I tune every so often. And the re-tuning is functional rather than proactive. I'll be playing and something doesn't sound right. Then I'll pull the snark out and adjust the offending string. Last time I tuned I was playing an E add9 chord and it sounded a bit more dissonant than usual, so I re-tuned. Or in the past I was playing through some pentatonic shapes and I noticed an interval didn't sound right and I re-tuned. Admittedly I don't tune very often and I never tune for the sake of tuning just in case something is amiss. I usually just grab the uke and start picking.
 

ukudancer

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I tune before I start recording. If I'm going through the trouble of recording 4 instruments and a drum pedal, I better make sure I'm in tune...And not just at the open string. I usually check the other notes up and down the fretboard making sure my intonation is good.
 

Kenn2018

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I would absolutely change the strings. Strings do change with age. Especially with exposure to light and ozone. Nylon can lose elasticity and get brittle. Carbons are slower to change, but they do as well. Eventually, the strings just don't stretch anymore. (I'd love to know the diameters of 7 year old strings.)

Hold your C-string between your thumb and finger and move up and down the string. Most likely you will be able to feel an uneven wavy thickening and thinning to the string. That can contribute to the strings going out of tune.

It generally takes a day for new strings to be playable for short periods. And roughly two weeks before they completely settle.

My favorite strings are Living Waters Fluorocarbons. I have them on several tenors and they all react to changes in temperature and humidity. Sometimes in the space of two hours or so. Other strings also change, but not as much.

I check the tuning whenever I play. If it's been a day or longer since I last played it, the tuning has almost certainly changed. Usually they go flat, but sometimes I'm surprised and they go sharp. (Probably die to the difference in temp and humidity between the case and the house.)

Your daughter will thank you for changing the strings.
 

donboody

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I tune my ukulele every time I play it. Usually it needs only very very minor adjustments. But it takes like 2 seconds so I dont even think about it.
 

tluxtele

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I would absolutely change the strings. Strings do change with age. Especially with exposure to light and ozone. Nylon can lose elasticity and get brittle. Carbons are slower to change, but they do as well. Eventually, the strings just don't stretch anymore. (I'd love to know the diameters of 7 year old strings.)

Hold your C-string between your thumb and finger and move up and down the string. Most likely you will be able to feel an uneven wavy thickening and thinning to the string. That can contribute to the strings going out of tune.

It generally takes a day for new strings to be playable for short periods. And roughly two weeks before they completely settle.

My favorite strings are Living Waters Fluorocarbons. I have them on several tenors and they all react to changes in temperature and humidity. Sometimes in the space of two hours or so. Other strings also change, but not as much.

I check the tuning whenever I play. If it's been a day or longer since I last played it, the tuning has almost certainly changed. Usually they go flat, but sometimes I'm surprised and they go sharp. (Probably die to the difference in temp and humidity between the case and the house.)

Your daughter will thank you for changing the strings.
if you really want to know, I have a digital caliper and can let you know ;)
 

tluxtele

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Thank you all for your replies. I play bass and guitar. I change guitar strings often because I have the acid touch and they go dead quickly. But my bass strings can last me years. Not so much because I like the sound but because they're expensive. And I know bassist who love their strings to be a few years old. Anyway, that was part of me wondering how often you guys change your strings and if this going out of tune was the strings, the nature of a ukulele or it being a cheaper uke. Sounds like y'all are saying we shouldn't have to tune after playing a song.

Since posting this, I've picked up a nicer uke for myself (ka-smht-sc). I've had it for a week or so and haven't had to tune it once. That's been nice. Gives me hope for the little uke she's using.

I guess I now need to start learning about different strings. I'm going to start searching... and going back through this thread to see if there's anything string specific... but if you happen to read this... I'm up for any suggestions on types and brands to look out for. Are there soprano specific strings or are uke strings universal?

Thanks again to all of you. Really appreciate it.
 

Kenn2018

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Thank you all for your replies. I play bass and guitar. I change guitar strings often because I have the acid touch and they go dead quickly. But my bass strings can last me years. Not so much because I like the sound but because they're expensive. And I know bassist who love their strings to be a few years old. Anyway, that was part of me wondering how often you guys change your strings and if this going out of tune was the strings, the nature of a ukulele or it being a cheaper uke. Sounds like y'all are saying we shouldn't have to tune after playing a song.

Since posting this, I've picked up a nicer uke for myself (ka-smht-sc). I've had it for a week or so and haven't had to tune it once. That's been nice. Gives me hope for the little uke she's using.

I guess I now need to start learning about different strings. I'm going to start searching... and going back through this thread to see if there's anything string specific... but if you happen to read this... I'm up for any suggestions on types and brands to look out for. Are there soprano specific strings or are uke strings universal?

Thanks again to all of you. Really appreciate it.
Oh boy! That's a long subject. May I suggest you check out stringsbymail.com or stringsandbeyond.com and their listings and descriptions. That will answer a lot of your initial questions. Yes there are one size fits all strings sold as well as different strings for each size of uke. Both seem to work well. Essentially, the Nylons and their derivatives give a more hard edged sound. Often associated with a traditional Hawaiian ukulele sound. And Fluorocarbons (fishing line) and its derivatives. Which produce a more chimey sound. Somewhat like a classical guitar-ish sound.

Bright, warm, dark sounds are often used to describe the sounds produced by different strings. Note separation, resonance, sustain. Jangly, crisp, harsh, whang, bark, etc. have been used.

Some strings sound great on some ukes and not so good on others. The explorations are part of the fun of owning a uke.
 

donboody

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Thank you all for your replies. I play bass and guitar. I change guitar strings often because I have the acid touch and they go dead quickly. But my bass strings can last me years. Not so much because I like the sound but because they're expensive. And I know bassist who love their strings to be a few years old. Anyway, that was part of me wondering how often you guys change your strings and if this going out of tune was the strings, the nature of a ukulele or it being a cheaper uke. Sounds like y'all are saying we shouldn't have to tune after playing a song.

Since posting this, I've picked up a nicer uke for myself (ka-smht-sc). I've had it for a week or so and haven't had to tune it once. That's been nice. Gives me hope for the little uke she's using.

I guess I now need to start learning about different strings. I'm going to start searching... and going back through this thread to see if there's anything string specific... but if you happen to read this... I'm up for any suggestions on types and brands to look out for. Are there soprano specific strings or are uke strings universal?

Thanks again to all of you. Really appreciate it.
I really like Uke Logic Supercarbon Soft Tension strings, the Pink Sandia ones. I feel like they have a growling property that Aquila Nylgut, D'Darrio Titaniums, Fremont Black Line, and Martin Fluorocarbons do not have. I have the Uke Logics on a laminate mahogany tenor and a laminate mahogany soprano, and I think they sound incredible. They are my favorite strings. I have the Low G set on the tenor and high g on the soprano.

I also really enjoy the D'Darrio Titaniums that came on my Enya Nova Pro. They are the most jangly sounding strings I've played. They are a harder tension than the uke logics, but that doesnt bother me (also, uke logic has hard tension sets too, I just like the soft myself).

I liked the Fremont Black Lines, but I felt like I had to be more precise in my plucks to get the sound I wanted, if that makes sense. I also feel like these had the lowest volume.

Everybody knows about nylguts I think.

The Martin Flurocarbons are fine strings, theres nothing wrong with them. I prefer them to nylguts and black lines, but I like them less than the uke logics and Titaniums.
 

Cadia

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Tluxtele, to answer your original question, I tune up each uke before I start to play. Occasionally I tweek a little as I play and the strings warm up/stretch/whatever. In your case I'd change those strings out to start with - to a nice fluorocarbon if it were me - if you haven't done so already. Then after a week or two, tighten up the tuner if it seems to be slipping.
 

Cadia

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...The Martin Flurocarbons are fine strings, theres nothing wrong with them. I prefer them to nylguts and black lines, but I like them less than the uke logics and Titaniums.
The Martin uke strings remind me very much of my guitar playing days. I always preferred the sparkly, richer, more magical (to me) tones of Elixer steel strings that Taylor uses over the more "earthy" tones of the Martin guitars. I'm finding I have that same preference with ukes, and so I much prefer Uke Logics to Martin strings. Though I do have Martin strings on one Pono soprano and they are fine enough.