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Thread: Best strings to use on DGBE tuned Tenor Guitar for a long time baritone uke player.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    29

    Default Best strings to use on DGBE tuned Tenor Guitar for a long time baritone uke player.

    What im really asking here, is what strings can I put on a tenor guitar, that firstly wont rip my damn fingers to shreds because im used to wound nylon and not steel, and secondly, im used to pressing lightly to hit a note or hold a chord, i dont want high tension steel, hard steel, so that im having to press so much harder to get the same effect.

    What lighter gauge, or perhaps, wound type of strings are there available for a DGBE chicago tuning, on a tenor guitar

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    contact Soouthoast. They made tenor guitars for nylon strings, so should be the best source

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    22

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    I use light steel strings on my chicago-tuned cigar box-ish guitar. Nothing special, just a set from my local music store for $5 or so, and leaving off the E and A. The particular set in question is https://www.long-mcquade.com/8185/Gu...ings_11-46.htm but I'm sure any light set would be fine. See some videos of tuning options at https://hackaday.io/project/26034-cigarbox-ish-guitar (scroll down a bit). I experimented with a low D but didn't like how it sounded.

    Even with light strings, it is harder on my fingers than nylon strings. While I do prefer nylon, the bright sound of steel can be a nice change for certain songs.

    What is the scale length of your guitar? Obviously if it is shorter than 25" or so, any set of strings will be lighter than they would otherwise be on a full scale guitar.

    Cheers

    Edit: Of course the above is assuming you want to use steel strings. If you prefer nylon then try some classical guitar sets and just use the top 4 strings.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2011
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    The Big Scioto, on the Banks of the Ohio
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    I don't have a tenor guitar, but I do have a tenor banjo (22.5" scale) in Chicago tuning. I use the four high strings out of a light electric guitar set (Ernie Ball super slinky 9's, in the pink package). Works just fine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Pickering, ON, Canada
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    If you are asking about steel strings give the Martin Silk and Steel a try. They are an extra light gauge string with a nice folksy tone. Just use the first 4 strings out of the set of course.

    You can also swap out the "guitar wounds for either classical wounds or baritone wounds. I have done this on a tenor guitar tuned DGBE with the steel trebles remaining. It makes a big difference in tension, much softer.
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 02-18-2018 at 12:58 PM.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    CH
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    From my experience, any set of light to medium acoustic steel string set should work. The set I liked best, so far, is Pyramid Silver Plated Wound Medium Tension, with the first string starting at .011. Pretty easy on the fingers, while still providing a full sound.
    Enjoying instruments by - Beau Hannam - Jay Lichty - Jerry Hoffmann - Luis Feu de Mesquita - Kala - Kamaka - Kanile'a - KoAloha - Ko'olau - Moore Bettah - Pono - Romero Creations - and others

  7. #7
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    Oct 2014
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    Paris, Ontario
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    Newtone strings do custom orders....https://www.newtonestrings.com/......and thus different tensions.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    22

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    I'm not sure about the volume on a tenor guitar made for steel strings but strung with nylon but try it. as to choice...not sure you can buy a tenor set of nylon, long enough for a tenor guitar unless you use a classical guitar set.
    I would recommend using nylon banjo strings or all-nylon harp strings. I buy mine from Robinson's Harp Shop on west coast but their site shows east coast outlet also.
    for a 25.5" scale, I would start at .045, .040, .032, and .028. No wound string. They will last for a long time. If a little more tension is needed, a .050 can be used for the D string. I have used these on my banjos for 2 or 3 years without removing them.
    The biggest advantage is that you can buy 25 yard spools and they are cheap. You end up with years of string supplies.

    I keep thinking of more harp string advantages...they stop stretching in a couple of days and are very stable from then on.
    Last edited by john bange; 02-19-2018 at 07:16 AM.
    Martin 000c nylon string guitar
    Martin/Vega PS-5 long neck banjo(harp strings)
    Stella 12 string baritone guitar
    Kamaka HF-4 baritone ukulele

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Port Hope, Ontario, Canada
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    588

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    How your guitar is set up is as important as the type of string you use. Make sure you have a low action.
    DownUpDave's suggestion of a silk & steel set will make playing the lower strings easier, though my wife tried them for a while and found that they went dead very quickly. You could try a set of medium 5 string banjo strings which would give you a spare E string. Banjos are tuned many different ways with the same set of strings, but bluegrass players use gDGBD as standard tuning. The 1st string will easily go up to an E without breaking and the 5th string is usually the same gauge as the 1st.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Blaine, Washington
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    I'm having a custom big body baritone made now; probably more like a nylon tenor guitar. I wrote Dirk (Southcoast Strings) asking for string recommendations. He thought the LHL-WB set would be good for a longer scale length of 20 to 23". His strings are 33" long with this set having 2 wound basses. I've tried classical guitar strings on my baritones and always went back to Southcoast strings.

    I've had steel string acoustic ukes and always found them a bit too bright and lacking in bass. They did make me realize I missed the bottom two strings of a guitar so am having a parlor guitar, almost done, made by the same luthier making my big body baritone

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