Low G on soprano

espermatozoilo

New member
Joined
Dec 5, 2020
Messages
17
Points
3
Hi! I'm thinking to give a chance to a low G on my soprano. Have somebody any experience with this? How does it work?
Sorry for my English, I'm from Spain 😅.
 

Cadia

Active member
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Messages
657
Points
28
One of my Romero Creations sopranos came low g,
 

rainbow21

Active member
Joined
Sep 30, 2018
Messages
959
Points
28
The one caveat is that if you currently do chord melody or fingerpicking on high G, some of the songs you are accustomed to may not play well on a low G or require some adjustment (in playing or listening). I do have one in each (though concert scale) and play my high G 95% of the time.
 

rafter

Active member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
220
Points
28
I spend more time playing low than high G, and I love sopranos with low G. That said, it doesn't sound great on every soprano. Thus far, I prefer it with sopranos that are more ring than bark. I think newer style ukuleles rather than more traditional ones. In my experience, low G on a Rebel or a KoAloha sounds great. But for a Martin or Bruko, high G was better.

I wish I knew more music for high G, but I prefer fingerpicking and low G lends itself to that.

I also prefer unwound to wound strings, but with low G, if you use an unwound, you'll likely have to file the nut slot a bit to fit the string. This isn't a very difficult job, and you can have a shop do it, but if you decide to go back to high G, you have to fill the slot again to fit the smaller string. My recommendation is to try it out first with a wound low G, since they're thinner, and you might not have to change the nut slot. Then you can decide if you want to keep low G more permanently and make nut slot adjustments as you need.
 

kissing

Active member
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
4,020
Points
38
It generally works OK. Sure, you won't get the kind of bass response you would on a tenor - but it'll work.
If you want to easily source an all-purpose low-G string, just get a classical guitar D string.

That will work as a low-G string for sopranos, concerts and tenors.
 

VegasGeorge

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
1,547
Points
48
I really like Low G Soprano. I have a number of Sopranos, and only a couple have been left with reentrant tuning. If your style of playing incorporates a lot of strumming, like George Formby, then stay with the reentrant tuning. It gives the Uke a brighter, livelier sound. But, if you finger pick, and pick out melodies, the Low G will really pay off.
 

captain-janeway

Active member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
1,002
Points
38
Can anyone recommend a soprano model for low g? I have just an inexpensive Kala that sounds awful with a low g.
I usually play a cedar top or mahogany concert, both of which I like with low g.
I almost exclusively finger pick and wouldn't mind trying a smaller size. Might make those E stretches a little easier. I'm usually playing A key songs up the neck but I like the lower register you get down the neck
 

man0a

Active member
Joined
Sep 22, 2019
Messages
525
Points
28
Can anyone recommend a soprano model for low g? I have just an inexpensive Kala that sounds awful with a low g.
I usually play a cedar top or mahogany concert, both of which I like with low g.
I almost exclusively finger pick and wouldn't mind trying a smaller size. Might make those E stretches a little easier. I'm usually playing A key songs up the neck but I like the lower register you get down the neck
Ohta-San is the master of low-G sopranos. He plays a Martin Style 3. Here's a video:
You might also try one of those Romero ukuleles with a soprano neck and oversized body to give the low-G an extra boost.
 

rafter

Active member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
220
Points
28
Can anyone recommend a soprano model for low g? I have just an inexpensive Kala that sounds awful with a low g.
I usually play a cedar top or mahogany concert, both of which I like with low g.
I almost exclusively finger pick and wouldn't mind trying a smaller size. Might make those E stretches a little easier. I'm usually playing A key songs up the neck but I like the lower register you get down the neck

I have tried it on a KoAloha (koa) and two Rebels: a spruce/mahogany double and a mango thinline. I would consider trying it on a pineapple, if I come across the right one.

The best sounding one was the spruce/mahogany Rebel. I don't know if it was the spruce, the thickness and dimensions of the body, or what. I just put a low G on it as an experiment and never went back.

The KoAloha sound pretty good with a low G as well, but I did not think it was a significant improvement over the spruce Rebel, and unlike the Rebel, I sometimes felt like I was missing out on the high G. That is, with the Rebel, I felt like the low G conversion was an all around gain. With the KoAloha, it feels like more of a trade-off.

For kicks, I also strung up a thinline, mango Rebel with low G. At first, I thought it was a mistake, because the sound was not as good as the other two. However, I tend to play low G songs most of the time, and the thinline was so much fun that I would reach for it all the time. While I'm not sure I would recommend low G on this instrument for anyone else, I'm having a blast with it.

One thing to consider. I don't think Rebels are great strummers, the KoAloha has them beat in that regard. And when strummed, I think high G usually produces a better sound, especially on sopranos. The low G can get a bit muddy. That said, I don't strum a lot, so it hasn't been as big of an issue. I think if you were going to spend more time strumming, a barky Martin or Martin-like soprano might be better for low G conversion.

Also, if you're not sure you're going to like the results, try low G with a wound string first, since you might be able to avoid having to file the nut. What's more, though I prefer unwound low G, they tend to be a bit more floppy and finicky when it comes to intonation on a soprano.

Edit: I should add: all the Romero sopranos I played sounded great with low G. Probably the best I've heard for low G sopranos. But I did not like the body shapes on the XS models and I don't like their standard headstocks, which make fretting at the first feel a bit cramped for me.
 

captain-janeway

Active member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
1,002
Points
38
Ohta-San is the master of low-G sopranos. He plays a Martin Style 3. Here's a video:
You might also try one of those Romero ukuleles with a soprano neck and oversized body to give the low-G an extra boost.
Thanks. Can't afford a Romero. Heard Daniel Ho playing on their site and it gorgeous but no way can I afford that price.
Anyone try one of these low g?
 

bunnyf

Active member
Joined
Jan 30, 2013
Messages
1,515
Points
38
I love a low G on my soprano. I put it in years ago and never went back. I do appreciate the re-entrant sound for strumming but I absolutely prefer low g for playing melody. More notes and laid out in an orderly linear fashion. I think it would sound good on any uke but you will most likely need to open up the nut slot if you want to use an unwound low G. It‘s very thick and usually won’t sit down in the nut slot but instead, it will ride on top (no good). Not difficult to open slot, but if you don’t want to (I didn’), just get a wound low g (they are thinner). I know some people don’t like wound strings for reason of feel, tone, balance or squeak but that’s not me. I like the Fremont soloist low g, which can be found online (I think Strings by mail, Just Strings, or Strings and beyond). Very low squeak, nice tone, good tension and fits in nut slot w/o mod.
 

DownUpDave

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Mar 15, 2014
Messages
6,185
Points
38
Thanks. Can't afford a Romero. Heard Daniel Ho playing on their site and it gorgeous but no way can I afford that price.
Anyone try one of these low g?

I think that Anuenue would sound good with the cedar top in low G. I have tried a few of my sopranos in low G and a softwood top (spruce or cedar) seem to give best results. I also strongly prefer a wound low G string as the more chimey sound helps. I find florocarbon low G on the small scale soprano too dull
 

necessaryrooster

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
May 17, 2021
Messages
266
Points
28
Thanks. Can't afford a Romero. Heard Daniel Ho playing on their site and it gorgeous but no way can I afford that price.
Anyone try one of these low g?
Dang, wish you were looking for a concert Romero; I could sell you one for cheap.