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Thread: Problems Tuning Low G String

  1. #1
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    Default Problems Tuning Low G String

    I was looking for a wound C string to go along with my wound low G.

    I have just replaced my G string with a classical guitar D/ 4th string (D'addario Pro Arte J4504). Along with it I replaced my C string with a classical guitar A string / 5th (D'addari Pro Arte J4505) as per suggestions on the following threads:

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...t=wound+string

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...emove-the-thud

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...guitar+strings

    I made sure I didn't mix the strings. I installed the C string first (A/5th guitar string) and left the D guitar string unopened. Once I finished the C string, i unpackaged the guitar D string and installed it as my g string.

    Using a chromatic tuner app on my phone, I tuned my uke. It doesn't sound right. I used three apps...tuned it according to the apps..but when i strum it, doesn't sound right. The E and A strings sound right. but not the g and the wound C.

    It's almost as if the g string sounds an octave too high when I tune it. When I tune it down, the string is too slack and the sound is too low compared to the other strings.

    Did I use the wrong strings? help!
    Last edited by teedotaj; 08-24-2014 at 06:48 PM. Reason: added link

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    Quote Originally Posted by teedotaj View Post
    I have just replaced my G string with a classical guitar D/ 4th string (D'addario Pro Arte J4504). Along with it I replaced my C string with a classical guitar A string / 5th (D'addari Pro Arte J4505) as per suggestions on the following threads:
    I don't care what anyone told you, that's back-asswards. The CG A string is thicker and heavier than a CG D string. If you're doing low G tuning, it makes absolutely no sense to use a lighter string for G and a heavier one for C.

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    I don't think an A string from a guitar set will give you the right C note. The best you would get would be an octave below middle C for that string, instead of middle C. In that case, you would get some very odd sounding tuning, with the low G note being the proper tone (the G below middle C), and the C string an octave too low. The guitar string that is closest to middle C tuning would be the 2nd or B string, which usually isn't wound. You can find ukulele sets with a wound C string. It can be a bit tricky in a forum when beginners are "helping" beginners. Always check the post number to get an idea of their practical experience.
    –Lori

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    Quote Originally Posted by itsme View Post
    I don't care what anyone told you, that's back-asswards. The CG A string is thicker and heavier than a CG D string. If you're doing low G tuning, it makes absolutely no sense to use a lighter string for G and a heavier one for C.
    that's what i thought too! It didn't make sense to me that I'm using a higher string for a lower string on a Uke to get a low g tuning. But at least two guys claimed that and at least three threads and they all said it worked for them. =/ I tried it anyway despite thinking it odd. lol ok so I guess I'm not just imagining it that my uke sounds way off right now with that set up lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori View Post
    I don't think an A string from a guitar set will give you the right C note. The best you would get would be an octave below middle C for that string, instead of middle C. In that case, you would get some very odd sounding tuning, with the low G note being the proper tone (the G below middle C), and the C string an octave too low. The guitar string that is closest to middle C tuning would be the 2nd or B string, which usually isn't wound. You can find ukulele sets with a wound C string. It can be a bit tricky in a forum when beginners are "helping" beginners. Always check the post number to get an idea of their practical experience.
    –Lori

    thank you for this explanation! I have no background in music theory and whatever knowledge I have are pieced together from various sources online. This helps a lot! I will put old Aquila C string to see if the low g matches.

  6. #6
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    You took a classical guitar A string and tuned it 15 semi tones higher than intended. I'm surprised the bridge has not flown off the body of your ukulele.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mc View Post
    You took a classical guitar A string and tuned it 15 semi tones higher than intended. I'm surprised the bridge has not flown off the body of your ukulele.
    don't say that lol. I'm actually worried now

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori View Post
    You can find ukulele sets with a wound C string. It can be a bit tricky in a forum when beginners are "helping" beginners. Always check the post number to get an idea of their practical experience.
    I am not a big fan of having a single wound string on a uke. The difference in tonal quality and sustain makes it stick out like a sore thumb.

    You can find low G uke sets with 2 wound and 2 plain strings. Then it's more balanced, like how a classical guitar has 3 wound/3 plain.

    In general, I prefer all plain strings on my ukes (even low G) with the exception of baritone. After trying several different all-plain sets on my bari, I decided they just didn't cut it (the two lower strings seemed floppy and didn't really power the top) and went for a 2/2 set. Better balance and volume, more "guitar-like" but that's what people usually say about baris anyway.

    And, yeah, Lori, I've seen a lot of newbies giving bad (and sometimes just plain wrong) advice to other newbies here. But more than their post count, I'd look at their registration date. I'd be more inclined to give credence to someone who's been here for some time but doesn't post a lot than I would to someone who's brand new and just started playing.

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    Thank you everyone!

    This has been helpful and informative for me. I can only hope that this thread would be helpful for future newbies looking for a solution for the same problem I am facing right now.

    In summary, installing a classical guitar A string (5th string) to replace your ukulele's wound C string did not work for me. And some more experienced posters around here would advise against it. I have no idea how it worked for the other guys I took that advise from, but it certainly made my tenor ukulele way off tune.



    EDIT:

    I kept the guitar D string as the "wound low G string".
    I also purchased another set of strings : D'addario J54. These are actual Tenor Uke strings unlike the J45 set. It also comes with a wound C string which is what I wanted in the first place.

    For those looking for wound C string to complement a wound low G, the D'addario J54 set comes with it (but not with a wound low G). Don't use a guitar A string as your C string...it doesn't work lol.

    This set up works for me: Wound Low G + Wound C + regular Aquila E and A. The wound C complements the wound low G very well. The wound low G doesn't stand out on it's own.
    Last edited by teedotaj; 08-24-2014 at 06:45 PM. Reason: just to update with better info without bumping thread from 8 months ago

  10. #10
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    Just buy yourself a good set of strings...they should already be tested and work fine....it's the easiest way.... BTW what kind of tenor do you have and what is the scale on it?
    Making music is a gift in itself, and when you can share it ....it is your gift to others

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