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Thread: Steel Strings Tenor GCEA (Low G)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    5

    Default Steel Strings Tenor GCEA (Low G)

    Hey everyone,

    I have just purchased a Risa LP Electric Tenor Steel String Uke.

    https://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-an...-Sunburst/1YS5

    I read a buch of reviews and just loved the sound on the vids I watched. Its not due to arrive until April because I'm down in Australia, but I'm excited to get it.

    In the meantime I'm looking to see how I can buy strings for it.

    The store reccomends these ones from Risa.

    https://www.southernukulelestore.co....tyle-ukuleles/

    These guys are in the UK and the only other supplier I can find is in the US and they are out of Stock.

    Does anyone know if I can get these or an equivilant anywhere else?

    What are your thoughts on using Guitar strings? Shorter strings will mean less tension to achieve the notes so I'm thinking that it might be OK to tune up to GCEA using light gauge guitar strings like 9's or 10's.

    If you can see something wrong with this logic that could put my new instrument at risk let me know.

    If you have any other Idea's I'd love to hear it.

    I'd just like to be able to get strings locally rather than odering in bulk online.

    Thanks for any help.

    Jas

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
    Posts
    4,772

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    Guitar strings should work fine. With guitalele, normal tension nylon guitar strings yield ADGCEA tuning so I don't see why that wouldn't work just as well with steel string electric. You might have to experiment with gauges to find what works for you. Starting light is certainly safest. If they turn out too loose, you can always go heavier.
    Ukulele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Bonanzalele concert
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127
    Pelem, A, EJ45LP

    !Flukutronic!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    Guitar strings should work fine. With guitalele, normal tension nylon guitar strings yield ADGCEA tuning so I don't see why that wouldn't work just as well with steel string electric. You might have to experiment with gauges to find what works for you. Starting light is certainly safest. If they turn out too loose, you can always go heavier.
    Thanks Jim. This is along the lines of what I was thinking. I'll start light and see how I go.

    Thanks for the quick response.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Blaine, Washington
    Posts
    2,339

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    I used Ernie Ball Slinky's 4 middle strings. Any steel string around the diameter on will work. If too floppy, use a higher gauge.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2016
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    NYC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
    I used Ernie Ball Slinky's 4 middle strings. Any steel string around the diameter on will work. If too floppy, use a higher gauge.
    As Patrick had said, and is common wisdom here on UU it seems, the 'middle four' strings from any steel-string electric guitar set is often used here.

    Some have instead used the first four strings from such a set, meaning D-G-B-E strings for a lighter gauge and lower tension, but there are a few reports of being unable to intonate well with the thinner strings, even with the function of the adjustable saddles found on steel-string electric ukes (similar to those on steel-string electric guitars).

    Ernie Ball Slinky series strings come in various gauges, and are a good starting point. Here in the USA most of these sets are ~$5, so pretty cheap to buy a few sets to try, since sadly it is difficult to re-use steel strings and move them around since once wound on the tuner post, they develop a kink or crimp that is weakened and can often break when re-installed and tuned up to pitch.

    Many moons ago (decades) when I played electric guitar, I used the Ernie Ball Super Slinky sets. Mainly because they were cheap and it was all I could afford, but that also allowed me to keep several sets on hand for a small investment. IIRC, these were 0.09" for the high E to 0.042" for the low E.

    For a long time now I've not played any guitar and am very happy with my concert Flea.
    -Joe......Have uke, will travel...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Pickering, ON, Canada
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    If you have a set of calipers measure the diameter, if not find this out from the supplier or manufacturer. You can buy individual D’Addario guitar strings from Strings by Mail. Or a full set with the same diameters of the 4 strings you need
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields walnut pineapple super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Enya Nova *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe King View Post
    As Patrick had said, and is common wisdom here on UU it seems, the 'middle four' strings from any steel-string electric guitar set is often used here.
    As a major steel-string electric ukulele fanatic, I am going to respectfully disagree with this "common wisdom".

    Middle 4 strings of standard 0.09 and 0.10 sets are good for tuning like a baritone ukulele (DGBE) on tenor scale steel string electrics.

    My recommendation are to use the 4th-1st (DGBE) strings of standard 0.09 and 0.10 sets to tune up to GCEA.

    The tension will be spot on.

    Middle 4 strings tuned up to GCEA will have horrendous tension, not healthy for the instrument (nor for your playing).


    In the world of steel strings, you do have some leeway of tension range (which is why light and heavy gauge sets are available). Keep in mind instruments may require some adjustment and setup for the tension of strings chosen (eg: truss rod, intonation at bridge).


    List of steel string electric ukulele/guitaleles I own/owned:

    -Risa steel string tenor (single coils, sunburst)
    -Risa steel string tenor (LP humbucker, black)
    -Risa steel string soprano (single coils, sunburst)
    -Risa steel string soprano (LP humbucker, sunburst)
    -Vorson steel string tenor (single coils)
    -Strat style 8-string tenor (single coils)
    -Epiphone PeeWee Les Paul (guitalele, ADGCEA)
    -Jupiter Creek tenor steel string
    -APC Braguinha steel string with piezo pickup
    -Eastwood Warren Ellis 4 string electric tenor guitar
    -Ozark 4 string tenor guitar with piezo pickup

    Also have an equally long list of electric guitars.
    Last edited by kissing; 01-24-2020 at 04:00 AM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
    If you have a set of calipers measure the diameter, if not find this out from the supplier or manufacturer. You can buy individual D’Addario guitar strings from Strings by Mail. Or a full set with the same diameters of the 4 strings you need
    That is a possibility, but in my view needlessly time consuming when it is well known electric guitar strings 4th-1st conveniently tune up to GCEA on an ukulele's shorter scale.

    To prove it, recommended tensions listed on Risa website for Tenor strings: 0.026(W), 0.017, 0.013, 0.010 (1st)

    This is similar to most electric guitar 0.010 sets. Tested in practice to work perfectly well.
    Risa strings themselves are simply re-packaged electric guitar strings, manufactured in the same way to spec.


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kissing View Post
    That is a possibility, but in my view needlessly time consuming when it is well known electric guitar strings 4th-1st conveniently tune up to GCEA on an ukulele's shorter scale.

    To prove it, recommended tensions listed on Risa website for Tenor strings: 0.026(W), 0.017, 0.013, 0.010 (1st)

    This is similar to most electric guitar 0.010 sets. Tested in practice to work perfectly well.
    Risa strings themselves are simply re-packaged electric guitar strings, manufactured in the same way to spec.


    I owned a Risa LP just like the OP has got. My suggestion was to find out the gauges, which you have supplied. The OP said ordering from Risa is too expensive so I gave a cheaper alternative as you have. If the OP can pick up a full set of cheap electric guitar strings at a local shop and use #4-#1 that would work
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields walnut pineapple super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Enya Nova *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  10. #10

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    From my experience, ordering individual strings (at least in my parts) tends to cost more than just buying a single electric guitar set.

    It just seems like a more complicated and expensive option compared to the obvious use of guitar sets, that have done the hard work for you.

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