If you are looking for a quick and affordable way to upgrade your ukulele, then look no further! Many ukuleles today come set up with standard, lower-quality nylon strings, and you might be surprised how much of a difference a fresh set of higher quality strings can make to the sound of your uke!
When it comes to purchasing new strings though, there are a ton of options out there. Nylon or Nylgut? Wound or unwound? And what the heck is fluorocarbon? With all these options available to you, the ukulele player, it can all be a bit overwhelming. How do you know how to choose the right ones?
Fear not, in this article, I am here to walk you through some of the basics, and give you my top 3 choices for high-quality uke strings that I like to use!
But first, some general advice:
Buying New Ukulele Strings:
First and foremost, you are going to want to make sure to get the right size strings for your uke (soprano, concert, tenor, baritone, etc). Any strings you find should list what size uke they are meant for somewhere on the package.
Secondly, know the difference between low G and high G.
Third, know that when it comes to uke strings, it is not only a matter of quality but also one of preference. Don’t be afraid to try out a few different types of strings when determining what is right for you. Given how inexpensive they can be, it’s not too much of an investment to buy a couple of different options that interest you and try them out. When I first started I ordered 4 to 5 different types and brands and worked my way through them just to get a sense of what I liked.
Alright, now that we’ve got the basics covered, let’s jump into my top 3 uke strings recommendations!
Aquila Lava Series Ukulele Strings
This list is in no particular order, but the Aquila Lava Series is my personal favorite. I’ve got a set of Low G Lava’s on my tenor ukulele and love them!
Back in the day, instrument strings were often made out of gut –a material from the wall of animal’s intestines that provides longer life and better tension control for strings than modern synthetic materials, such as nylon. However, modern string manufacturers continue to try and emulate gut strings, and Aquila’s Super Nylgut – which is what the Lava series is made of – is a perfect example of this.
These strings offer a great tone for a mid-range price point, and I love the way the black strings look on my light-colored uke. The Nylgut will take a little longer to break in than some other materials though, so be prepared to retune frequently at the beginning.
D’Addario EJ87T Titanium
Another set of strings that both sound great and look great.
Unwound titanium strings have a translucent purplish hue to them that is very cool, and specialize in giving your uke a bright tone that projects well. I have found these strings to be particularly great for fingerpicking.
Worth Clear Fluorocarbon Strings
The next set of strings are a little pricier, but they are worth it!
Worth Creations out of Japan makes great uke strings, and one of the best parts of these strings is that each pack actually comes with long enough strings that you have enough for two full sets. So really these strings will last you twice as long and the price point is the same as if you were buying two sets of another string. Just make sure when you cut them you are cutting them in half.
These strings are made of fluorocarbon, which is actually the same material that most fishing lines are made of. One of the biggest benefits of fluorocarbon is that the strings are resistant to humidity changes and even are less sensitive to temperature changes than other materials.
As I said at the start, which strings are best for you will ultimately come down to personal preference. So my best advice is to just jump in and start trying some. If you are worried about the cost of having your strings changed, why not learn how to change them yourselves? It is actually quite simple and is a great skill to have.
For more lessons on chords, techniques, and songs, make sure to check out our site, www.ukelikethepros.com. We offer you a bunch of great ukulele content that comes hand-in-hand with an awesome ukulele community that will support you in this journey.