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Thread: First-Time String Change

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    New Jersey, USA

    Default First-Time String Change

    I'm a very reluctant string changer, guitar or uke, but I've been working with the Glen Rose Jazzy Uke material, and he recommended Low-G for his stuff. I'm a 30+ year jazz guitarist and I knew that his chord voicings would sound better with low G, particularly when the changing chord tone in the progression is on the fourth string (think Dm7, fifth fret barre, 5555, to G9, 4555). You get it. Besides I have four ukuleles, one of which is a solid mahogany Lanakai LM-T tenor. I thought Lo-G would sound good on the tenor. So I experienced two things at once, changing strings on a tie-bridge instrument, and Low-G. It came with Aquila Nylgut High-G, which I like and am used to.

    I put on Aquila SuperNylgut Low-G; the fourth string is red. I watched a dozen videos on YouTube on restringing. They were remarkably alike on tying on to the bridge, but very different on attaching to the tuning peg. Anyway I went once above the hole over the string coming thorough and then down the peg. It worked fine.

    First Impressions. The strings were very stiff when uncoiled, and a little harder to handle and tie than I expected. I've never owned a nylon string instrument before so I had no experience with them. I chose this set because it has a plain fourth string, not wound. But, the touch and texture of it was rough(er), not slick like the others. Also a bit surprising.

    The low G tone was really different. I think it'll take some getting used to. I like the re-entrant tuning because it keeps me from thinking of the uke as a little guitar, which in turn keeps me thinking of uke songs and techniques. The Low G will work well with jazz and blues I'm sure. I'll just have to get used to it.

    Anyone out there tried these strings? Any ambivalent Low-G players out there?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Sumter County, FL


    Coming from guitar/mandolin, much prefer low-G. It just registers better in my ears.

    Ukuleles: Martin T1K (T)*, Oscar Schmidt OU28T (T8), Lanikai LU-6 (T6), RISA Solid (C), Effin UkeStart (C), Flea (S)**
    Banjo-Ukes: Duke 10 (T)*, Lanikai LB6-S (S)*
    Tenor Guitars: Martin TEN515, Blueridge BR-40T
    Tenor Banjo: Deering Goodtime 17-Fret
    Mandolin: Burgess (#7)***

    Tuning: *Reentrant C CGDA. **DAEB. ***GDAE. The rest are CGDA

    The inventory is always in some flux, but that's part of the fun.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Minneapolis, MN, USA


    I have listened to some players who sound good with a low G. I also play guitar and mandolin but only use high g on the uke. I bought a baritone uke which I used for about 2 hours and then gave it away, just prefer the tenor with reentrant tuning. Like I say, I have enjoyed some great players using low G, I am just not one of them.
    I am the best ukulele player on my block!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Santa Monica, CA


    Congrats on your first string change! I have not yet tried the SuperNylgut but it sounds like they provided an Aquila Red for the low G. I am a huge fan of the Reds, but as of now I only play re-entrant. I imagine in a few years when I'm much better I'll also have a uke strung low G. I love the sound of low G when played by others, but the few times I tried myself -- which was really only when one of my ukes came strung that way originally -- none of the stuff I know how to play sounded very good (admittedly, everything I've learned so far was written for re-entrant).
    More an appreciator of the ukulele than a true player. My motto is: "Don't matter how good it ring if it ain't got some bling."

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.—Voltaire

    Curious about the relative importance of tonewood vs. the luthier? See Luthiers for a Cause to learn more!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    SF Bay Area


    I have one tenor for each tuning. Low-G is easiest for me, music theory-wise, since my first instrument is guitar.

    I grew up, however, around re-entrant, high-G sopranos (although I didn't really play). This is the sound that called to me in the first place, and it's still the sound that feels "right" to me.

    Plus, high-G arrangements are easier to find. Tide seems to be turning toward low-G, however, so ... once again, best to have both, if possible.
    Kamaka Gold Label (Soprano -- c. 1960s -- gCEA)
    "Miss Terry" (Soprano -- c. 1910s-1920s[?] -- ADF#B)
    Keli'i Gold Series (Tenor -- 2012? -- gCEA)
    Kamoa E3-T [Brown] (Tenor -- 2012? -- GCEA)
    ... plus several 6-String Calabash Cousins ...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Ashland, Kentucky


    Low g or reentrant to me, is depending on what music I'm wanting to play. Hawaiian music or camping songs, I'm a reentrant guy. Country music or southern rock, I use a uke with low g. I'm attempting to learn Stairway To Heaven right now, and it sounds much better with a low g strung uke. Same thing with Hotel California.

    Incidentally, my 10 year old daughter had VNS implant surgery on Friday. I took my uke along as the kid loves music. I was playing Hotel Cailiforia while she was in the recovery room, and her nurse recognized it. Made me feel good. My first publicly recognized song.
    You, sir, are the devil. --Tammy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Kerrville, TX - Heart of the Fabulous Texas Hill Country


    I recently put the Aquila Red low G on my new Tenor. I like it that way. At first, I thought the Red might be overpowering the other strings. Then my playing adjusted, or my ear did, and now everything sounds OK. I used to play Tenor with a low G wound classical guitar string. They didn't sell low G strings for Ukulele back then. I think that string produced a weaker sound, and I probably got used to plucking it harder to compensate. That's not necessary now. As far as re-entrant tuning goes, I like it a lot, but I'm satisfied having it on my Concert and Soprano instruments. They "ring" better with the high G, and the Tenor resonates so nicely with the low G. I think it's a great combination.
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

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