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Thread: Tie Bridge String Changing Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Question UPDATE: Tie Bridge String Changing Question

    I've been changing guitar steel strings for 45 years, but have to admit these ukes are new to me. So, I have a question.

    I understand the tie process, but the videos I've watched always talk about leaving each individual string end turned down toward the uke body after pulling it tight. Kala has pulled all the string ends together and has run them down the back of the bridge (see picture).

    Is what Kala did necessary?

    What is the best way to do these ends?

    I'm planning to change to a new set, which will include a low G wound string. Will the Kala method still work with that?

    Any pics you'd like to share would be appreciated.

    P_20181012_085413.jpg
    Last edited by frets alot; 10-21-2018 at 08:50 AM.
    Susie
    Pono MB-6
    5 Taylor's and a Martin
    Fingerpickin' since 9/11/73

  2. #2
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    I tend to do what Kala have done in your photo, but only because it keeps everything fairly neat and avoids potentially sharp strings ends coming into contact with the body.

    It's not necessary though, you can cut each string individually if you prefer.

  3. #3
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    IMG_0028.jpg

    Here's one of my string changes. I don't think it's super neat, but it works for me. Sometimes I trim them super short, only after the strings have settled in for a few days. That way I don't have to worry about the knot possibly coming undone.

    The main thing is that you don't want the ends getting caught on sleeves or scratching your arms.

    If they stick out too much, whether up or down, they can be a bother. Make sure at least they are laying flat.
    -Abe (ah-bay)
    Teacher/musician/podcaster
    ukuleleabe.com
    Abe’s Ukulele Podcast

  4. #4
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    Yeah, I'm looking forward to hearing suggestions in this thread. A few times, on tie-bar bridges, I found that the string end near the bridge ended up too high, not on the back end of the bridge, so when I clipped it short, it stuck up, and poked my hand. I suspect you need to hold the string down on the bottom side of the bridge before tightening the knot, so the string end stays out of the way, but I've found that hard to do. The neat weaving of the strings, so the ends are secured by the other strings before snipping has eluded me so far.
    John

  5. #5
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    Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada
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    My tenor is tied this way. It helps to anchor the string, but makes it awkward to change any string. I’m guessing you have to release tension on the neighbouring string (C) to change the g.
    LACole
    Laurie Ann Cole

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  6. #6
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    Yep, you do, & that is why I don't tuck the string ends under its neighbour.

    The only real thing to worry about is to make sure the tail end is being held by the loop at the back of the bridge, I use my thumb nail on it whilst pulling the string tight, it usually stays in place OK, so that I can thread the tuner & bring it up to tension.

    (If you don't like doing it this way, you can tie a small bead onto the string end, then just feed it through the bridge, & thence to the tuner.)
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  7. #7
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    I don't know anybody who does this besides Kala. If there was a benefit all the others would jump on board. I think it's just a signature thing at this point.

    Just trim the ends short with a nail clipper so they don't buzz on the top and go on your merry way.
    Brad Bordessa

    My guide to fretting and fingering (NEW): Left Hand Technique for 'Ukulele

  8. #8
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    I either don't tie string ends together behind the bridge.
    Just don't let the ends poke upwards behind the bridge and you will be fine. Something along the line what Croaky Keith told to make them slant downwards.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    Look at the Cordoba Classical Guitar string instructions on YouTube. It shows a good way to tie the strings on a tie bridge.
    Mahalo sell their ukes with the fancy weaving. It looks interesting but the manufacturers would be better off spending the time doing a better set-up.
    One thing to watch when messing around with the strings on a tie bridge, especially the fat strings, is that they can dent the top without a lot of effort. I think the less you do to the less chance of denting the wood. I usually slip a business card behind the bridge to protect the top. Doing the weaving just increases the chance of denting the top in my opinion.
    In my experience the "weaving" happens naturally. I usually put the 4th string on first and the string end naturally points off to the right because of the angle of the knot, the end then gets trapped under the next string, and so on...

    That's exactly why I do it that way, as long as I haven't left the string ends too long I only have to cut one string at the bridge - the last one.

    FWIW, each of my string ends only reaches as far as the next string, not all the way to the first string like in the Kala photo.

  10. #10
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    Hey, thanks for all the replies. I have several good suggestions to get this string changing job done right. I appreciate it!
    Susie
    Pono MB-6
    5 Taylor's and a Martin
    Fingerpickin' since 9/11/73

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