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Thread: Stringing a 6-String Uke

  1. #1

    Default Stringing a 6-String Uke

    I'm planning to pick up a 6-string uke and I want to tune it either like a guitar (EADGBE) or like a guitar's fifth fret (ADGCEA).

    How should I go about doing this? I haven't been able to find uke strings packaged in either of these tunings, so I've been considering using classical guitar strings. However, I know absolutely nothing about classical guitar, and I don't even know for sure if this would work. Can anyone confirm or deny that that would work, and if it will, can you recommend a brand of strings?

    THANKS!

  2. #2
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    I don't think that will work because of how the strings are positioned. The 1st course (A) is doubled and so is the 3rd course (C). The nut and the bridge is configured for that setup. See the following images. Take note of the string spacing of the guitalele and that of the 6 string uke.





    To string it like as you suggested, you would need to replace the nut as well try configure the bridge to separate the strings. I don't know if it's worth it. Best bet would be to get a guitalele like the Yamaha GL-1 . . .


    Nana ka maka; ho`olohe ka pepeiao;
    pa`a ka waha.

    Observe with the eyes; listen with the ears; shut the mouth.
    Thus one learns.


  3. #3
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    I'm not sure how it could work. On a typical six-string (fretboard pictured, below left), two of the four strings (the A and C strings) are paired with octaved strings and the paired strings are too close to each other to be fretted
    separately.



    What you might be looking for is a something like a Yamaha guitarlele or a Cordoba requinto (both of which are about the size of a baritone ukulele) or a KoAloha D-VI (fretboard pictured, above right), which I think has a tenor body. In each of these instruments, the six strings are equal distances apart and may be fretted separately. The necks of these instruments may be wider than the necks of six-string ukuleles to accommodate the equal spacing between strings.
    Last edited by mds725; 12-05-2011 at 11:31 AM.

  4. #4

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    Thanks so much guys. I didn't realize 6string ukes were strung with the doubled strings like that. I think I'll probably pick up that Yamaha.

    Thanks again!

  5. #5
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    I have one of the Yamahas. I like it a lot.

    It's a 17 inch scale (so tenor length) but the body size is more like a baritone uke, I think (don't have a baritone to actually compare it to). With that scale length, you'll have to tune it ADGCEA. And switch out the strings. The strings it comes with are pretty lousy. I put medium tension D'Addario classical guitar strings on it and it's a lot better now.

    I assume you have some guitar experience, but don't know what kind. This is basically a miniature classical guitar - that means a wide nut and a dead-ass flat fretboard. If you're used to playing a steel-string acoustic or electric, it'll feel a little foreign at first, but it's got a comfortable neck profile, and I adapted pretty quickly. It is a bit neck-heavy though, and i find that playing it for long periods can be a little fatiguing (probably be fine if I just used a strap...)

    The gig bag the Yamaha comes with is pretty cheesy, but I think the instrument alone is well worth the $100 I paid for it, so I'm not complaing about the gig bag.

    As far as requintos go... don't have have any real experience, but I considered getting one a while back and did a little research. Cordoba has three models, with scale lengths ranging from 19 inches to 23 inches (I think). Oscar Schmidt also makes one, with a 23 inch scale (I think). Any other requintos I came across were way outside my budget. In the end, the Yamaha Guitalele has satisfied my six-string cravings

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by thekaisersays View Post
    I'm planning to pick up a 6-string uke and I want to tune it either like a guitar (EADGBE) or like a guitar's fifth fret (ADGCEA).

    How should I go about doing this? I haven't been able to find uke strings packaged in either of these tunings, so I've been considering using classical guitar strings. However, I know absolutely nothing about classical guitar, and I don't even know for sure if this would work. Can anyone confirm or deny that that would work, and if it will, can you recommend a brand of strings?

    THANKS!
    Better off getting a guitarlele...as Danny Says the position of the strings and the setup...you could have your 6 string worked on..but what's the sense..???

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