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Thread: Always bringing a backup?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Always bringing a backup?

    Just a silly thought, from someone who never does gigs, but is courious.

    Recently there was a thread about how rarely strings break. But if a string did break on an ukulele the day of a gig, new strings would not have time to settle in.

    What do the gigging ukers do?
    Bring a spare uke every time?

    One thing is if a busking show must be cancelled, or that one song you would play at an open mike. But if someone has a payed gig, the show must go on.

    I imagine that a classical guitar player must be in more of right spot. Wound strings are more likely to break and an extra guitar is more difficult to bring than an extra ukulele.
    Ohana SK30M mahogany super-soprano, Cort UKEBWCOP Blackwood concert, Anuenue African Mahogany Tenor, Fluke Koa Tenor, Hora M1176 spruce Tenor

  2. #2
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    Default

    My group plays gigs often, but none of us (over 40 people) ever bring a spare, even me and I play bass uke. I know I'm leaving it to chance, but I have somewhat limited mobility and don't want to be encumbered more.


    This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly West near the Beverly Center
    9 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 11 solid body bass ukes, 9 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 34)

    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
    • Member The CC Strummers: YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers
    Last edited by kohanmike; 09-04-2019 at 08:46 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default

    I'm a giging classical guitarist and always carry a spare set and a few singles. If you use fluorocarbon trebles and composite core basses they stretch out very fast. I've played a few gigs where I opened my case and the D string snapped and it was really no biggie if I showed up 30 minutes early to set up gear. Change the string (D'Addario EXL), tune it a whole step sharp and it's 90% settled at downbeat. A quick tuning adjustment between numbers and it sounds great.

  4. #4
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    I play a classical guitar & never had a string break. I did have some start to unravel but could see the wear on the string + the intonation was off by that time. Was just being lazy when I knew I should have changed the strings.

    Am wondering if ukulele string breakage could be avoided simply by changing strings when they start to sound bad. There are more than a few uke players in our groups that go years or have never changed their strings.

    Had a whole lot of steel strings break back when I had an electric guitar. Have 15 year old stainless steel strings on my bass (donít sound as good as nickel but their sound doesnít deteriorate) & have never broken one of those.

  5. #5
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    If you’re an ordinary player turning out with others then the show can go on without you, and if you’re a key person someone else will almost certainly lend you their instrument. Some folk would be happy enough to just sit out the meet, and others take two instruments for either variety and just because they can.

    In group playing sessions I’ve only once come across a string breaking for someone; as I carry new and part used strings with me I so was able to supply that player with something to get them playing again. They did have to tune-up quite a lot over the evening but at least they were able to do something. I’d be surprised if I’m alone in normally carrying such provisions with me.

    Personally I believe that the risk of string breakage is so low, and the remedy (install one new or part used string) so easy to implement, that for my playing string breakage is a non-issue, even if I busked it wouldn’t be an issue. However if you’re a professional musician doing a paid performance then having both a spare instrument and strings is wise, the risk of needing them is still very low but the consequences of failure might be significant.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 09-03-2019 at 10:28 PM.

  6. #6
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    I always take a back-up ukulele with me. The only thing better than a ukulele is two ukuleles (or more).

    John Colter.

    ps. I play only soprano, so it is (as they say) no biggie.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by UkingViking View Post
    Just a silly thought, from someone who never does gigs, but is courious.

    Recently there was a thread about how rarely strings break. But if a string did break on an ukulele the day of a gig, new strings would not have time to settle in.

    What do the gigging ukers do?
    Bring a spare uke every time?

    One thing is if a busking show must be cancelled, or that one song you would play at an open mike. But if someone has a payed gig, the show must go on.

    I imagine that a classical guitar player must be in more of right spot. Wound strings are more likely to break and an extra guitar is more difficult to bring than an extra ukulele.
    I usually bring two ukes to jams just for the variety. I switch back and forth, often with a banjo uke. Going from a tenor to a sopranissimo is interesting. : )
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  8. #8
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    Nov 2011
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    Ma., Ga., Fl.
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    I remember from the guitar world that if a string breaks you just change it, and keep tuning and retuning while playing.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2017
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    Utah
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    I'm flying from Utah to Florida in November for TBUG & a family visit. The thought of bringing spare strings for my Clara popped into my head a few days ago. I think I have some spare Oasis brights around, so I'll throw them in my bag, just in case. I'm sure I can get spares at a ukulele festival, but it's no problem to bring along the strings I want.
    My ukulele family.....
    KoAloha Koa concert - circa 2006
    aNueNue Moon Bird concert - Spruce & Rosewood - 2018
    Blackbird Clara - 2019
    Kanilea KCS-SSP super soprano - circa 2016

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gochugogi View Post
    I'm a giging classical guitarist and always carry a spare set and a few singles. If you use fluorocarbon trebles and composite core basses they stretch out very fast. I've played a few gigs where I opened my case and the D string snapped and it was really no biggie if I showed up 30 minutes early to set up gear. Change the string (D'Addario EXL), tune it a whole step sharp and it's 90% settled at downbeat. A quick tuning adjustment between numbers and it sounds great.
    Oh, so there is trick to get playable classical strings in 30 minutes. I thought they needed so sit for at least a day to last through just one song without stopping to tune.

    I had quite a few guitar strings break, but probably due to age. My nylon stringed guitar used to hang on the wall for years with little playing and the same strings left on it.
    Ohana SK30M mahogany super-soprano, Cort UKEBWCOP Blackwood concert, Anuenue African Mahogany Tenor, Fluke Koa Tenor, Hora M1176 spruce Tenor

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