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Thread: How common is it, among Ukulele players?

  1. #1
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    Default How common is it, among Ukulele players?

    "How common is it among Ukulele players" to change the High G String, to a lower octave "G" string? I've noticed that in a few different YouTube videos?

    What's the reason for doing it, besides "personal preference?"
    "When everything falls apart, plucking strings
    Keeps me sane!"

    -Soupy

  2. #2
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    It is mostly personal preference however with a low g you get 5 notes that no other string has. High g you don't really get any. You'll find the most high g fingerpicking songs don't even use the g string unless it goes into some sort of chord. I prefer high g mostly because its more common
    Youtube: http://m.youtube.com/user/BIGDB12123

    Ukuleles: Kanile'a KPE tenor, Martin s1, martin style 3

  3. #3
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    5 notes? I thought there were 8 notes in an octave? I'm confused! (lol)
    "When everything falls apart, plucking strings
    Keeps me sane!"

    -Soupy

  4. #4
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    You get G, G#, A, A# and B which are lower than C with a low G-String.

  5. #5
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    Low-G is common, for sure. Many great players love having those lower pitches available for playing melodies and finger-picking. One does have to give up the traditional ukulele sound in exchange for those extra five notes, though. If you're curious, you can buy a single guitar string. Here are great ukulele player's James Hill's recommendations (from the Ukulele in the Classroom website):

    We recommend using a classical guitar G string (hard or extra hard tension). The gauge (thickness) of the string should be about 0.040". Cut the guitar string in half to get two ukulele strings! D'Addario is a very good brand:

    D'Addario Pro-Arte (Hard Tension, 0.0410")
    D'Addario Pro-Arte (Extra Hard Tension, 0.0416")

    These can be found at most local music stores.

    Important Note: if you are using a soprano-sized instrument in C6 tuning (g, c, e, a) we recommend that you use a wound low-4th string (just like Hawaiian ukulele master Herb Ohta, a.k.a. "Ohta-san"). You will get a much better low-G sound on soprano-sized instruments this way. String gauge should be between 0.026" and 0.030". Our recommendation:

    D'Addario Classic Silverwound (0.029")
    -Ralf Youtz

    My videos are here.

    The future is unwritten.

  6. #6
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    I listened to a sound comparison of some Ukulele strings and liked the tone of a High G set by Kamaka, but decided to order a Low G set (since the Kamaka strings were not available on Amazon.com) from Aquila.

    I'm a big advocate for D'Addario strings across the board, but I'm always open to other options.
    "When everything falls apart, plucking strings
    Keeps me sane!"

    -Soupy

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by soupy1957 View Post
    What's the reason for doing it, besides "personal preference?"
    Pretty simple: a good excuse to buy another uke - you can't easily swap the string and let it settle, this will take a couple of days on a single uke. If you have one in low and one in high, you can swap the sound much quicker...
    Soprano Concert Tenor Bass
    Makala MK-S (Baton Rouge SU-BW)
    Kala SSTU-FMCP (ukuMele FC)
    Makala Waterman (ukuMele)
    Firefly Walnut (Aquila)
    Flight TUS50 (ukuMele)
    Flea M-42 (Worth CM-LG)
    Koa Pili Koko Acacia (Aquila CGDA)
    Big Island KTO-CT (ukuMele)
    Blackbird Clara
    Pono MTDX8 (Worth BM) Kala Ubass EM-FS (Aquila Red)

    more about all my ukuleles on just.4str.in

    Every artist was first an amateur (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

  8. #8
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    Louis0815: Depends on the amount of usage. When "I" change out a set of strings on any of my guitars, or mandolins or what have you, I play for a couple hours after the change out. So in MY case, it's not a matter of "days."
    "When everything falls apart, plucking strings
    Keeps me sane!"

    -Soupy

  9. #9
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    Yeah, but still: even a couple of hours seems too long if you wanna swap just for a few songs
    Admittedly, once people go for either high or low g they usually stick with it for a while (or indeed have different ukes for the different tunings like myself)
    As you said, it's mostly a matter of personal preference.

    And I would be honestly surprised if a set of ukulele nylon strings would really be settled (i.e. holding the tuning for longer than just an hour or so) after a couple of hours playing. Not that I doubt it, I simply don't have any experince with that - I am just an occasional player and have never tried to "break in" new strings with extended playing. Actually I never thought about that (and I don't think it's fun in the beginning with the strings getting out of tune while looking at it).
    Maybe some of the more experienced players & performers can add some opinions here....
    Soprano Concert Tenor Bass
    Makala MK-S (Baton Rouge SU-BW)
    Kala SSTU-FMCP (ukuMele FC)
    Makala Waterman (ukuMele)
    Firefly Walnut (Aquila)
    Flight TUS50 (ukuMele)
    Flea M-42 (Worth CM-LG)
    Koa Pili Koko Acacia (Aquila CGDA)
    Big Island KTO-CT (ukuMele)
    Blackbird Clara
    Pono MTDX8 (Worth BM) Kala Ubass EM-FS (Aquila Red)

    more about all my ukuleles on just.4str.in

    Every artist was first an amateur (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

  10. #10
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    Queanbeyan, NSW Australia.
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    I play mostly low G. Or in my case low E or low F as I usually detune the ukulele 2 or 3 semitones. It suits my style and vocal range as I play ukulele to accompany my singing.

    I'm not a traditional ukulele player however. If you want to go traditional you want high G. Other than that try it out and see if it suits you.

    Anthony

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