Low G Low G Uke, is there a size that fits better?

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Fhede

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I watched a video of about Low G vs High G where the Uke Instructor Kev, suggest that after a while of playing the Uke, try the Low G in a good quality made Tenor Uke.
Is there a Size that fits better for Low G Uke?
I guess that it's a personal choice... but may be not... let me know your thoughts, experience or whatever you think about it!
Thanks in advance.
 
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Do you mean size of ukulele? Try looking for videos of Herb Ohta Sr (aka Ohta-San) on YouTube. He plays a soprano Martin with low G.
 
Do you mean size of ukulele? Try looking for videos of Herb Ohta Sr (aka Ohta-San) on YouTube. He plays a soprano Martin with low G.
Yes, size of Ukelele...
Just want to know of there is a Standard size of Uke for playing with low G, or if these are totally independent thing.
 
We have low G on two tenors and a concert and it seems to work fine. I'm sure it depends on instrument and type of low G to some extent, but I think it is mostly personal preference for sound and style of play.
 
Yes, size of Ukelele...
Just want to know of there is a Standard size of Uke for playing with low G, or if these are totally independent thing.
Each of the sizes can be high or low G. In that sense, they are independent. But if you observe (or poll, or count...) the prevalence, you should find that a large majority of tenors are low G and sopranos are high G. Reasons of course can depend on the individual but there are perhaps historical and physical reasons.

Conjecturing:
Soprano in high G is the traditional sound many associate with the ukulele before acquiring one. This is the sound from almost a century ago when it was in vogue. A low G on a soprano likely has some less desirable issues to deal with with the low G maybe overwhelming the other strings and the shorter scale having much less sustain. Often players cite liking the extended (lower) notes for fingerpicking, but fingerpicking is tougher due to fret spacing on a soprano.

These low G concerns are not as difficult to deal with on the tenor scale. And the sound is somewhat closer to a guitar than a high G soprano to some. And that is what many players like and desire. So low G matches this better.

So while breaking no rules, it is almost surprising when someone asks for a high G on tenor, or a low G on soprano. And yes, Ohta-san plays a low G soprano and Jake a high G tenor.
 
We have low G on two tenors and a concert and it seems to work fine. I'm sure it depends on instrument and type of low G to some extent, but I think it is mostly personal preference for sound and style of play.
Thanks ailevin!
 
Each of the sizes can be high or low G. In that sense, they are independent. But if you observe (or poll, or count...) the prevalence, you should find that a large majority of tenors are low G and sopranos are high G. Reasons of course can depend on the individual but there are perhaps historical and physical reasons.

Conjecturing:
Soprano in high G is the traditional sound many associate with the ukulele before acquiring one. This is the sound from almost a century ago when it was in vogue. A low G on a soprano likely has some less desirable issues to deal with with the low G maybe overwhelming the other strings and the shorter scale having much less sustain. Often players cite liking the extended (lower) notes for fingerpicking, but fingerpicking is tougher due to fret spacing on a soprano.

These low G concerns are not as difficult to deal with on the tenor scale. And the sound is somewhat closer to a guitar than a high G soprano to some. And that is what many players like and desire. So low G matches this better.

So while breaking no rules, it is almost surprising when someone asks for a high G on tenor, or a low G on soprano. And yes, Ohta-san plays a low G soprano and Jake a high G tenor.
Great, great feedback @rainbow21 !
Thanks!
 
there are perhaps historical and physical reasons
There are definitely physical reasons for both the string tension and body resonance.

Given the same string material and tuned to the same note, a string will be higher tension at a longer length and lower tension at a shorter length. This is why a bass guitar typically has a longer scale length than a normal guitar, and why uke-scale guitaleles generally sound better tuned A-A instead of E-E.

To get low-G on a concert or soprano you need a heavier string than on a tenor or a baritone, or you may need to tune it to an unplayably low tension. Whether you like the heavier string or the lower tension is a matter of taste.

Modern string technology can stretch the possibilities by making more playable heavier strings. This is how we manage to eek out bass notes at a U-Bass scale less than half the length of an upright bass.

There are also synergies with the resonance of the body: low notes have longer wavelengths and need more airspace. Taking to an extreme, there's a reason why upright basses are so large, and bass ukes (the same tuning in a MUCH smaller size) need to be plugged in.

For most people, low-G on a tenor hits a sweet spot for string weight, tension, and resonance. Others prefer low-G on a baritone, and some like it on a concert. Low-G on a soprano is quite rare.
 
Watch Herb Ohta play his soprano low-G on YouTube. You'll have a hard time finding anyone who can play jazz-style ukulele better on a larger ukulele. Larger ukuleles may be better for rock-and-roll and some folk music.
 
There are definitely physical reasons for both the string tension and body resonance.

Given the same string material and tuned to the same note, a string will be higher tension at a longer length and lower tension at a shorter length. This is why a bass guitar typically has a longer scale length than a normal guitar, and why uke-scale guitaleles generally sound better tuned A-A instead of E-E.

To get low-G on a concert or soprano you need a heavier string than on a tenor or a baritone, or you may need to tune it to an unplayably low tension. Whether you like the heavier string or the lower tension is a matter of taste.

Modern string technology can stretch the possibilities by making more playable heavier strings. This is how we manage to eek out bass notes at a U-Bass scale less than half the length of an upright bass.

There are also synergies with the resonance of the body: low notes have longer wavelengths and need more airspace. Taking to an extreme, there's a reason why upright basses are so large, and bass ukes (the same tuning in a MUCH smaller size) need to be plugged in.

For most people, low-G on a tenor hits a sweet spot for string weight, tension, and resonance. Others prefer low-G on a baritone, and some like it on a concert. Low-G on a soprano is quite rare.
Thanks @Arcy super intersting!
 
Yes as Arcy has stated the physics of vibration need long scale and large top surface area to support the longer wavelengths of lower tones. While you can hear a low tone generated by a sufficiently thick string on a small instrument it will lack many overtones and not fit well with the rest of the strings. Standard size uke was originally designed to sound best with D as lowest tone, concert with C, tenor was extended to support a low G, and baritone scale D an octave below standard.
 
Yes as Arcy has stated the physics of vibration need long scale and large top surface area to support the longer wavelengths of lower tones. While you can hear a low tone generated by a sufficiently thick string on a small instrument it will lack many overtones and not fit well with the rest of the strings. Standard size uke was originally designed to sound best with D as lowest tone, concert with C, tenor was extended to support a low G, and baritone scale D an octave below standard.
Thanks a lot for the outstanding feedback of all of you!
 
I have a soprano, low G and a tenor, high g, and another soprano, high g. I use Aquila Lava sets on everything, and once, I put a tenor low G string on one of my sopranos and a few days later the bridge popped off with a hugh BAM!!! I won't be putting tenor strings on my soprano anytime soon, the Aquila soprano low G sets work fine.
 
Hi @Fhede ! In your listening and watching videos, so far, have you been drawn to low the low G sound? Coming from guitar, it might resonate better with your ear and feel.

As you're getting ready to swap the strings on your Ohana, what you could do is buy a single low G along with your new string set. Try that first and save the high G from the set, in case the low G sound isn't for you.

Here's a prime example of a prime low g concert uke from a prime player, to tickle your tastebuds...



To answer your initial question, I definitely lean towards low G. I have a low G soprano and many low G tenors, but I keep a concert in high G for certain songs/arrangements that do better in that voicing. I'm more of a finger picker / chord melody player than a strummer.

Hope it helps some! I'm enjoying your exploration and looking forward to more ukulele madness to seep in!! 😁
 
This is one reason people start hoarding collecting ukes...to keep one in high g and one in low G.
 
This is one reason people start hoarding collecting ukes...to keep one in high g and one in low G.
Yes, it's the perfect excuse to buy two of each size Uke! 🙃
Although my idea is to try to be the most "classic" I can... don't forget that I'm a guitarplayer, and if I get too close to the guitar, I will prefer the guitar! :D
And both, Tenor size and Low G "take me close" to the guitar... that's why I bought a Concert to get in the Uke-World, although that the most read suggestion is go for the Tenor...
But... as we all know, it's a matter of time that I'll buy a tenor and set in Low G. 😅
For example, it's a great idea to get a Tenor in Low G as a previous step to the guitar for my kids! 😄
 
I do the opposite.
My Sopranos and Concerts are tuned low G because the lower tension works better for my fingerpicking style.
My Tenors are tuned high-G because the higher tension suits the strumming style I use on high G.

First of all, note that I have a long way to go before I have a significant experience with the Uke, so it's more a feeling or an expectation my following comments.
I guess that what I most like (the magic) of the Uke is its joyful and bright tone, and I guess that the High G is a fundamental in this. As larger sizes tend to sound less bright, I guess that the High G is more important to keep this tone I like from the Uke.

But again, this doesn't mean that I will try a tenor with Low G and after playing it a while I start to like it more than a Concert or Soprano with High G.

Just sharing my thoughts about it, that in some way match with your comment of using larger size with High G and smaller size with Low G, but for another reason.
 
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Hi @Fhede ! In your listening and watching videos, so far, have you been drawn to low the low G sound? Coming from guitar, it might resonate better with your ear and feel.

As you're getting ready to swap the strings on your Ohana, what you could do is buy a single low G along with your new string set. Try that first and save the high G from the set, in case the low G sound isn't for you.

Here's a prime example of a prime low g concert uke from a prime player, to tickle your tastebuds...



To answer your initial question, I definitely lean towards low G. I have a low G soprano and many low G tenors, but I keep a concert in high G for certain songs/arrangements that do better in that voicing. I'm more of a finger picker / chord melody player than a strummer.

Hope it helps some! I'm enjoying your exploration and looking forward to more ukulele madness to seep in!! 😁

I didn't answer you directly, but as I wrote, my idea is to try to be the most "classic" I can... and contrary to what you can expect, as I'm a guitarplayer, if I get too close to the guitar with the Uke, I will prefer to play the guitar! :D
That's why I bought a Concert to get in the Uke-World, although that the most read suggestion is go for the Tenor...
But certainly the Low G will be much more friendly for me.
Anyways, as we all know, it's a matter of time that I'll buy a tenor and set in Low G. 😅
 
don't forget that I'm a guitarplayer, and if I get too close to the guitar, I will prefer the guitar! :D
I play my baritone the least, because I just want the two extra strings of my classical guitar after picking up the baritone because it is too close to guitar. Same reason I don't play electric uke (like with an amplifier), I just want to play my electric guitar if I want those kind of sounds.
 
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