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Thread: So confused about high/low G

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    Default So confused about high/low G

    I purchased a Fender Montecito Ukulele today. The price was good, but the strings were a wreck so I brought it home to try it out since the store has a lenient return policy. It is a tenor size, so I picked up some Aquila New Nylgut "Tenor Reg" (10 U) strings. I replaced all of the strings, and I ended up with low G tuning. I checked some of the reviews on the ukulele (should have done this ahead of time, but it was an impulse buy), and it does in fact come setup for low G.

    My understanding was that you could switch back and forth between low and high G just by switching out the string. However, I think the 10 U strings are high G, so I don't understand how I ended up in low G.

    I am very new to this, so I am probably missing something obvious. Can someone please help me understand what is going on here?

  2. #2
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    Yes, the Aquila 10u set is high-G. You may just have it tuned an octave too low, maybe try tuning up an octave to the higher G.
    John

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    10U strings are for regular tuning or re-entrant tuning. If you still have the packaging look at the packaging and you should find a little table which has a colour and a note. The Aquila strings have a colour dipped on one end. Then you match the colour to the open string note.
    If you have lost the packaging, then look at the strings and work out which is the fattest and which is the skinniest and then line them up in order of fatness. You have possible put the fattest string in the wrong place. This is how they should look:
    Skinniest - Open E string
    Fattest - Open C string
    2nd Fattest - Open E strin
    2nd skinniest - Open High G string
    Hopefully you have not trimmed the strings yet. You can take them off and start again and it wont make a lot of difference to the strings.
    Yes, I just installed a set today of Aquila tenor strings today. The color code is on one end of each string, hopefully you haven't cut that off already. My packaging says:

    G = White
    C = Green
    E = Blue
    A = Red
    John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Matheda - Make sure you are using the correct string for the G string before tuning it an octave higher. It should be the second thinnest. If it is the thickest, you have probably used the C string and you might damage your uke if you try to tune it that high.

  5. #5
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    Matheda, just to clarify and set the context, are you in fact wanting to go with the "high G" option for your tuning, rather than "low G"?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    the wild west, Canada
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    10U strings are for regular tuning or re-entrant tuning. If you still have the packaging look at the packaging and you should find a little table which has a colour and a note. The Aquila strings have a colour dipped on one end. Then you match the colour to the open string note.
    If you have lost the packaging, then look at the strings and work out which is the fattest and which is the skinniest and then line them up in order of fatness. You have possible put the fattest string in the wrong place. This is how they should look:
    Skinniest - Open E string
    Fattest - Open C string
    2nd Fattest - Open E strin
    2nd skinniest - Open High G string
    Hopefully you have not trimmed the strings yet. You can take them off and start again and it wont make a lot of difference to the strings.
    You might have a hard time telling the difference between the G and the A strings as they're close in size (very close in some string sets), but the C & E will be obvious, thickest and 2nd thickest.
    Glenn

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    260

    Default

    Do take note of what you are using to tune your Uke.

    Use a Tuner with U / Uke / Ukulele showing and it will tune to High G.

    You need to set it to Chromatic to tune to low G, you then cross check in that the 12th fret G of the Low G string is the same as the fretted G on the E string, the fretted fifth on the Low G being the same as the open C.
    Col.
    From the UK with a bad case of MIAS.
    Korg PA700, Korg Kross 2, Gibson LP, Fender Jazz Bass,
    + Amps, PA, Boss GT100, mixer.
    Ukes - Kala KA-TEME and Risa ST electric solid body.
    Uke wish list, a Bass, make and model yet to be determined

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    470

    Default

    Lots of good advice here. Do you think you can still return the uke with different strings installed? Also switching between high and low G strings often also requires adjusting nut and saddle and sometimes slots in the bridge as well.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    Default

    Thank you everyone for the great information and advice! As expected, the problem was between the chair and the ukulele :-)

    I confirmed that I had the color-coded strings in the correct positions. Just due to inexperience it felt like if I tightened the G very much more it would be too much, but I was able to tune it up a full octave with no problem. Even though this ukulele ships as a low G, it sounds good to me as a high G. It tunes up fine and sounds like what I am hearing on videos I am watching.

    Thank you again!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Finland
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    Strings don't have much range. Sets come balanced and you can tune them maybe a few steps higher, or lower, thats all.

    There are online tuners for instruments, some use your microphone and some like this just gives High G string alternatives for you to listen:
    https://ukebuddy.com/ukulele-tuner

    What ever clip on tuner you get it does not need show you any Herzes, just use your ears.

    No string can be tuned an octave higher or lower than it is intended. And sets are made so strings have a sort of even balance of forces between them.

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