DGBE Tuning On a Tenor

BiosphereDecay

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My reason for wanting to do this is partially because I have a tenor that I never use anymore, and also because I want a uke with a lower range that I could use in my music as a bass of sorts. Linear tuning.

I don't want to buy an actual baritone, because they're big and I don't have a lot of space, I'd rather put the money elsewhere, and I want low string tension.

Getting red strings would be a big plus, but if I feel another color suits my purpose significantly better, I may let go of the color preference. I kind of think mixed colors could be cool too.

I've read some pre-existing threads on this subject, but I'm looking for a specific color and tension. I'm also interested in having both the D and G be wound to emphasize the bass notes more.

Already talked a little bit about strings in another thread, including La Bella 820 silver wound nylon guitar strings, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with the tenor yet. I think tuning it like a baritone will be the most useful direction to take it for me.

So that brings me to my actual questions. What strings should I look at for this type of tuning? I'm okay with mixing sets. In the other thread about strings, I talked about using the LaBella 820 strings in this manner: 0.34 wound as 4th, 0.029 wound as 3rd, 0.032 as second, and 0.028 as first. When I suggested this I was still thinking GCEA however. I don't know a lot about baritone, so I I'm looking for guidance on which string gauges would suit a linear DGBE tenor, with 3rd and 4th strings wound.
 
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I think I may have been overthinking this. I found a thread suggesting to just use normal baritone strings. I'm not sure why I didn't think that was a possibility, but I could just buy these: https://www.stringsbymail.com/dadda...itone-ukulele-clear-nylon-wound-3rd-1813.html

Not red, but cheap and simple.
I asked someone about just putting baritone strings on a tenor and he said that the tension would be way too low. They make strings for that, though. Here's one:
(I've never used them, tho.)
 
I asked someone about just putting baritone strings on a tenor and he said that the tension would be way too low. They make strings for that, though. Here's one:
(I've never used them, tho.)
I would like the lowest tension possible, as my fretting hand fatigues quickly. Would the tenor sized strings you linked be higher or lower tension than a standard tenor? Would the baritone strings I linked be lower tension than a typical soprano? Just trying to get a better picture of what they would be like.
 
Honestly, I still say 820s but with a small revision: Use the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th strings.

That way you’ll have red strings, 2 unwound / 2 unwound, and enough tension to play without having to rely on amplification.
 
Honestly, I still say 820s but with a small revision: Use the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th strings.

That way you’ll have red strings, 2 unwound / 2 unwound, and enough tension to play without having to rely on amplification.
I forgot to mention that you’ll likely need to widen the nut slots. Alternatively, you could buy a cheap premade classical guitar nut (if there’s a music store near you, they likely have them behind their tech bench) with appropriate string spacing and just file it down to size.
 
Would the tenor sized strings you linked be higher or lower tension than a standard tenor? Would the baritone strings I linked be lower tension than a typical soprano?
(The only reason I'm replying is so that you won't think I'm ignoring you.) Unfortunately, I have no idea. 😕
 
If your seeking low tension, the strings @Wildjoy recommends would be lower tension than the 820s I recommended and lower than eve. standard tension tenor strings. Low enough to require care when fretting notes.
Hmm it's hard to know which would be better without feeling them. Soprano tension is ideal, but I don't really play it much because of the cramped fingerboard. I'm kinda leaning toward the la Bella's, but I'll think it over today.
 
Aquilla 11U-ATGT is a set made for DGBE on a tenor. Replace the high D with a classical guitar A string single. can't help with the color
 
I have the UBB strings installed on a cheap Enya (25D mahogany laminate). I think they use Labella for the two wound strings. They’re pure fun, and put that low sound in a compact form I can easily throw over my shoulder and take to the beach.

For me they’re limited in the scope of what I want to play, though - I find the wound strings reaaaally squeaky if I shift up the fingerboard, and they sound awful with the nails I’ve grown for fingerstyle as well. So I mostly stick to fingerpicking patterns that let me boss the wound strings with my thumb and enjoy the feel of the concert reverberating against my body.
 
I have the UBB strings installed on a cheap Enya (25D mahogany laminate). I think they use Labella for the two wound strings. They’re pure fun, and put that low sound in a compact form I can easily throw over my shoulder and take to the beach.

For me they’re limited in the scope of what I want to play, though - I find the wound strings reaaaally squeaky if I shift up the fingerboard, and they sound awful with the nails I’ve grown for fingerstyle as well. So I mostly stick to fingerpicking patterns that let me boss the wound strings with my thumb and enjoy the feel of the concert reverberating against my body.
I see myself using this instrument to play fingerpicked bass lines in my music, with a standard tuning ukulele playing lead/rhythm. I don't think I'll be doing a whole lot of strumming on the baritenor. I haven't actually played it yet though, so who knows.
 
I see myself using this instrument to play fingerpicked bass lines in my music, with a standard tuning ukulele playing lead/rhythm. I don't think I'll be doing a whole lot of strumming on the baritenor. I haven't actually played it yet though, so who knows.

I don’t really strum much, I tend to default to a 4-2-3-1 fingerpicking pattern across various chords, so that’s reasonably close to your bass lines use case. Playing with others who are in standard tuning breaks my brain, but you might have more agile neurons 😁
 
D = .036w
G = .030w
B = .034
E = .028

That's what I would suggest, assuming fluorocarbons. Nylons tend to be a tad larger, but it's a start. Nutwork is required no matter what type you choose. Intonation? That's hard to predict but could be a problem. If you want lower tension even more so...

You can buy "baby-bari" strings as a set, but try finding these in a classical guitar set would work just fine. I use Pro'Arté on some of my tenors.
 
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If your seeking low tension, the strings @Wildjoy recommends would be lower tension than the 820s I recommended and lower than eve. standard tension tenor strings. Low enough to require care when fretting notes.
I was just about to say, those nylons are quite taut. Reason why they project so well...
 
I went for the la Bella 820s. I'm going to try the 5th 4th 3rd 2nd setup that @bacchettadavid suggested. The wound strings will fit as is, but I'll be filing for a long time to fit that 0.040 B string. Hopefully it's worth it for the red.
 
I’ll be keen to read your impression of how the Enya Nova handles the low D.

You might want to make a small trial run of installing the 1st string in the A course (tuned to G or A) and the 4th string in the C course (tuned to G). That way you can at least see if you like how they sound before you risk making any needless adjustments to the nut. The 820 trebles trend toward bright. I think the Nova is likely to come alive, but insofar as I like Novae, I also them strung with Aquila Reds, which are likewise bright.

If you end up liking those two strings, then dismount the 1st string and install the other three. Let us know your thoughts!
 
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I’ll be curious to hear how the nut adjustment goes. I tried a wound low g on my soprano Nova and decided that getting it sat properly was going to involve likely buzzing. (The action on all the soprano Novas I’ve met is nice and low. Might be different on the tenors with their metal frets.)
 
I’ll be curious to hear how the nut adjustment goes. I tried a wound low g on my soprano Nova and decided that getting it sat properly was going to involve likely buzzing. (The action on all the soprano Novas I’ve met is nice and low. Might be different on the tenors with their metal frets.)
Yeah the tenor action is pretty high at the saddle, but not too bad at the nut. The saddle appears to be some sort of embedded rubber or something though? I don't think it's possible to lower it.
 
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