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Thread: Strings

  1. #1
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    Default Strings

    When I was a young lad in the 1940's-50's way back when "Nylon" was the new stuff that Ladies had their new fangled stockings made from.
    I first took an intrest in the Ukulele there were a few kicking about that were over-spill from before WW2 when they were all the rage..Us lads that got hold of e'm learned our basic 3 chords on them...I remember I learned how to play the Elvis song "Teddy Bear" on mine but it didn't sound quite right and i soon moved on to a cheap guitar hoping to become a 1960's teenage pop star.
    But back to the ukulele..in those days in the UK we went to the local music shop to buy our uke strings..They came in a paper packet and they were made from gut (catgut) there were no gauge sizes or anything and you got 2 fat ones and 2 thin ones Usually dyed red or green, the fat ones went in the middle and the 2 thin ones at each side ..there were no tuning symbols GCEA etc: on the packet cos' in those days you used to tune the ukes all over the place to suit the songs. Sheet music from those days had the little box symbols and at the top it would say TUNE UKE TO A D F#Bb or something like that....The only way to tune up was By ear, or with a piano, pitch reed tuner, or a tuning fork, No Electronic super dooper tuners. Nowadays i get bogged down with new players asking me what strings I prefer and what gauges do I recomend do i prefer Worth Browns to Clearwater and do i think Aqillas are more harsh sounding and why is my uke playing sharp/flat at the 12 fret...we never bothered with any things like that in the old days... we just used to just pick up the thing and play it. Kid's today dont know their born. good reading here https://www.ukulelemag.com/stories/v...kulele-strings
    Last edited by Timbuck; 06-02-2020 at 02:20 AM.
    http://ukulele-innovation.tripod.com ebay i/d squarepeg_3000 Email timmsken@hotmail.com

    If you can believe that moving images and sound, can fly through empty space across the universe and be seen and heard on a box in your living room ?.. then you can believe in anything.

  2. #2
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    My friends call me Titch. I have been known to clown.
    Ian Titulaer is my normie name.

    https://sites.google.com/site/titchtheclown/

  3. #3
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    Thanks for sharing that Ken. I enjoyed reading about what it was like back then.

    We're spoiled with too many choices. When you have to choose between chocolate, vanilla or strawberry, you can be confidently happy you made the right choice. When you have to pick from 31 flavours, there will be doubts you chose wrong! But that's a big driver of today's economy. Just when you think you got yourself the perfect gadget, a "better" version comes out.
    Glenn

  4. #4
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    Common misconception is that catgut strings were made from cats (meow!).

    Catgut makers usually use sheep or goat intestines, but occasionally use the intestines of cattle,[3] hogs, horses, mules, or donkeys.[4] Despite the name, catgut manufacturers do not use cat intestines. from Wikipedia.

    No cats were harmed in the making of those strings.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sequoia View Post

    No cats were harmed in the making of those strings.
    But they should have been..Signed Max. (Ken’s dog)
    http://ukulele-innovation.tripod.com ebay i/d squarepeg_3000 Email timmsken@hotmail.com

    If you can believe that moving images and sound, can fly through empty space across the universe and be seen and heard on a box in your living room ?.. then you can believe in anything.

  6. #6
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    Easily available information has gotten so complex that people spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about choices that will make no differences in their lives. I see it frequently in these posts and the wannabes I meet. Very few of us will actually outgrow a $200 uke, or learn to build a better one. No one wants to be held back by their equipment, but few people are willing to work hard enough to take advantage of what they have. It's discouraging, but it keeps the money flowing.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcalkin View Post
    Easily available information has gotten so complex that people spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about choices that will make no differences in their lives. I see it frequently in these posts and the wannabes I meet. Very few of us will actually outgrow a $200 uke, or learn to build a better one. No one wants to be held back by their equipment, but few people are willing to work hard enough to take advantage of what they have. It's discouraging, but it keeps the money flowing.
    You sound discouraged John. But be of good cheer. I say if people want to play around with different string sets and it gives them pleasure than why not? It might not make any difference acoustically but to their ear it might and that is really all that matters. Speaking hearing things that are not there, see the quote below:

    “You will enjoy a pitch black background, deep, yet lightning fast bass, smooth midrange, and most importantly, seemingly limitless top end extension. Though not at all bright or fatiguing in any manner, Pure Palladium’s sparkling highs allow for the presence of the often coveted sense of air as well as glorious imaging and soundstage. This interconnect possesses the ability to untangle even the most complex pieces of music.”

    Ummm... Okay, whatever dude.

  8. #8

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    And yet, Ken, I think you've moved on from catgut and nylon to fishing line IIRC ........

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcalkin View Post
    Easily available information has gotten so complex that people spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about choices that will make no differences in their lives. I see it frequently in these posts and the wannabes I meet. Very few of us will actually outgrow a $200 uke, or learn to build a better one. No one wants to be held back by their equipment, but few people are willing to work hard enough to take advantage of what they have. It's discouraging, but it keeps the money flowing.
    I recon that that just about hits the nail on the head. Folk, including me, get too involved in not particularly important details whilst ignoring or taking for granted the bigger picture. Whilst a tool still has to be good enough to do the job far too many of us concentrate on the tool, we go OTT in ensuring that we’re not going to be held back by poor tools, and we ignore acquiring the skill needed to use the tool well.

    It’s taken a while for me to realise the above and to seek out the balanced way of doing things. I now aim to buy and use products that aren’t unnecessarily expensive but are still noticeably better than my skill level, so something that I’ve a good chance of growing into as I work at user skills. In terms of Ukes I can’t see me outgrowing the $200 one but I can see me getting a whole load of fun out of it as I learn to use it better. Anyone wondering how good one can sound sound on a $200 Uke need only listen to Wifried Welti on his Bruko No6, he seems to be doing rather well and probably didn’t spend the full amount.

    Fancy strings? Well string selection has helped me get more volume and a better sound out of my Ukes but selection can be time consuming and full of subtle detail that ends up being confusing. There is something to be said for not getting too hung up on detail and to just get on with playing instead. Time spent learning how to use what we have to best effect is often better spent than that used to fund (earn), find and buy seemingly ‘better’ products.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 06-03-2020 at 01:04 AM.

  10. #10
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    Interesting story, and today we talk endlessly about which brand and model of strings are best and which tuner gives the most accurate readings.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

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