Would Classical guitar strings work on a tenor?

Contrails

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Hi guys,

I am just wondering if a light tension classical guitar string(1st 4 strings) work on a tenor uke. Anyone tried it before? I am not looking for the tension of a tenor ukulele but more of something like a soprano scale tension on a tenor. I want something with less tension. Hoping to improve the sustain on one of my ukes. The classical string work fine on my B6 baritone tuned G to G but that is 20 in scale. So am wondering if I tune it to GCEA on a Shorter scale there is a possibility of it being ok? I don’t want to go any higher than a light gauge otherwise the strings get too fat for my liking. If anyone has tried it before I would appreciate your inputs. Thanks
 

Peter Frary

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Strings are strings. Jake likes D'Addario Pro Arte classical guitar strings, but he goes for the heavier gauges. I buy D'Addario Pro Arte classical guitar string singles for my classical guitars and have many times used them on my tenor 'ukuleles. I used the .028" nylon for the 1st string; .032" nylon for the 2nd string; .040" nylon for the 3rd; and a .028" silver wound for the low G. Lighter than Jake's custom D'Addario set but I'm a soft touch player. Basically the same measures as the first four strings of a D'Addario Pro Arte classical guitar EXP45 set.

If you're into carbon strings, the measurements are smaller, e.g., .024" for the guitar's 1st string. I find .024" too high tension on both guitars and 'ukuleles and prefer .022" (not available in guitar sets). In such cases I roll my own from Seaguar.
 

man0a

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This video is not recent and he doesn't say where he got this information, but they sound reasonable.
 

Contrails

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Strings are strings. Jake likes D'Addario Pro Arte classical guitar strings, but he goes for the heavier gauges. I buy D'Addario Pro Arte classical guitar string singles for my classical guitars and have many times used them on my tenor 'ukuleles. I used the .028" nylon for the 1st string; .032" nylon for the 2nd string; .040" nylon for the 3rd; and a .028" silver wound for the low G. Lighter than Jake's custom D'Addario set but I'm a soft touch player. Basically the same measures as the first four strings of a D'Addario Pro Arte classical guitar EXP45 set.

If you're into carbon strings, the measurements are smaller, e.g., .024" for the guitar's 1st string. I find .024" too high tension on both guitars and 'ukuleles and prefer .022" (not available in guitar sets). In such cases I roll my own from Seaguar.
Wow thanks that’s great. Opens up a lot more choices of strings for me. Really appreciate it.
 

Teddy

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Has anyone that's done this notice any appreciable difference? What do you like about the guitars strings that you don't get from the ukulele ones?
 

Sporky

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The difference is in how it's packaged. With the ukulele branded ones you know it'll be fine, but with classical strings you need to get appropriate gauge strings. But the same principle applies if you only play guitar - strings are marketed as low, medium, high, very high tension etc., but the only difference is the gauges, so IMO the "tension" term is misleading... The thing is that a shorter scale naturally gives you a higher frequency if everything else, including tension, is the same. So you have much less tension on an ukulele to get the same pitch, or even a third higher pitch (gcea vs dgbe). The result is that you need to get thicker gauge strings than on a longer scale instrument (guitar) - those strings will require enough tension to reach pitch that they will be playable. In other words, don't get the "light" or "low tension" sets. Google the string diameters of nylon ukulele string sets and aim for classical guitar sets that contain those :) Or as per Peter's advice perhaps try strings of other material that will allow you to have smaller diameters than nylon.
Here's a useful tool I spent way too much time on when experimenting with strings. https://ukulele.de/RISAdata/StringGauge.html
 
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man0a

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Has anyone that's done this notice any appreciable difference? What do you like about the guitars strings that you don't get from the ukulele ones?
Classical guitar strings are usually made of nylon. Some ukulele strings are nylon, while others are fluorocarbon or other things. If you like nylon strings, classical guitar strings can give you more options for string tensions. Pro ukulele players often using string tensions that are much higher than the pre-packaged ukulele strings. Higher tensions are harder to play, but can give you noticeably better sound.
 

Kenn2018

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StringsByMail.com sells sets of Savarez Classical Guitar strings cut for use on ukuleles. They also offer two Savarez custom sets put together by a UU Member for Linear and Re-entrant tuning.

The standard Savarez set 150 R; Tenor Plain Strings
A String: 0.57mm dia. Tenor Set Tension 5.17 kg
E String: 0.69mm dia. Tenor Set Tension 4.26 kg
C String: 0.81mm dia. Tenor Set Tension 3.70 kg
A String: 0.57mm dia. Tenor Set Tension 4.10 kg
 

Peter Frary

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Classical guitar strings are usually made of nylon. Some ukulele strings are nylon, while others are fluorocarbon or other things. If you like nylon strings, classical guitar strings can give you more options for string tensions. Pro ukulele players often using string tensions that are much higher than the pre-packaged ukulele strings. Higher tensions are harder to play, but can give you noticeably better sound.
Actually, that was true for classical guitar a few decades back. Now you can take your pick of nylon, fluorocarbon, composite polymer, Nylgut, thin twisted metal wrapped in nylon tape, etc. I haven't used a pure nylon set on my classicals since the late 1980s. Most of us—classical guitar professionals—use mixed or hybrid sets. I use silver wound composite polymer thread basses (rather than nylon thread or silk), a fluorocarbon 3rd string and nylon or Titanium 2nd and 1st strings. On some of my classical I use Nylgut on the 1st and 2nd strings. I like fluorocarbon but the vibrato response is too weak for the 1st and 2nd strings, albeit some classical guitars love them.

Check out Strings by Mail and you'll see what I mean...
 

kissing

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Yes, ukulele strings are literally re-packaged classical guitar strings in many cases.

In fact, if you look at the gauges for D'addario Pro-Arte nylon strings, the "Concert Ukulele" set corresponds exactly with the Normal Tension guitar set (4th-1st, with low-G) and the "Tenor Ukulele" set corresponds exactly with the Hard Tension guitar set.

I personally use Normal tension classical guitar strings for all ukuleles - Soprano, Concert and Tenor.

For Baritone, I would use the middle 4 strings from the classical guitar set.
 

Peter Frary

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Like I said, string are strings, except when they're fishing line. Some 'ukulele strings are literally re-packaged fishing line! My fav are Seaguar Pink.