What are the best ukulele strings out there? A simple answer will not be sufficient because it depends on what type of sound and feel you are looking for when playing your ukulele. I will highlight some of the best ukulele strings around, and explain what makes them some of the top string brands based on materials, sound, and feel.
You can decide on what you enjoy the most by reading all the specs and hearing Terry Carter –founder of Uke Like The Pros– playing ukuleles with all these strings. He breaks them down and plays with various strings to make comparisons easy and apparent to the ukulele player. So… without any further ado, let’s begin!
Aquila Nylgut Strings versus D-addario Fluorocarbon Ukulele Strings
Probably the most widely used strings can be categorized into two different types of strings: nylgut and fluorocarbon. In this video, Aquila and D-addario Strings, you will be able to hear the differences because Terry Carter plays the same type of ukulele with only one differing component – the strings. Ultimately, you can decide on sound based on this video and others that break down the qualities of these strings for you.
The new nylgut strings are white and easier to use for teaching purposes because of the contrast to the standard ebony fretboard. The Aquila strings are comprised of a plastic compound and are noted for a rich, neutral sound that projects well and stays in tune longer than other strings. The D-addario fluorocarbon strings use a broad family of compounds and were originally used as fishing lines.
Probably the biggest difference between these two types of strings is the feel. The new nylgut strings feel more like plastic, and are on the thicker side. Fluorocarbon strings are not as thick and feel lighter. They are essentially easier on the hands. My preference is the fluorocarbons, although I do have ukuleles with nylgut strings that I enjoy as well. The nylgut has a less trebly sound. It is definitely warmer. Fluorocarbons are crisper and possess a nicer resonance. Based on what you intend to play or do with your ukulele, you may choose nylgut at times and fluorocarbons at other times.
Aquila Red and PHD Strings
Once you have solved the nylgut versus fluorocarbon issue when shopping for new strings, you will want to compare brands and types of strings those companies carry. Aquila has different kinds, as do most companies, and again, you need to have some background knowledge of strings and some general ideas of what your purpose is for those strings.
Aquila Red Strings are literally red in color and are made of red copper and nylgut to lessen the gauge and thickness of the strings, thus making the ukulele easier to play than plain nylgut. These strings were made to have a stronger, bolder sound. The red copper cuts down on the thickness and the duller sound that typically comes from nylgut strings.
PHD fluorocarbon strings have a warm, open sound that is not too bright and very rounded. In the video, you can differentiate the strings through the sounds of both strumming and fingerpicking. Again, the feel will be quite different. If you are looking for a nylgut sound with more of an easier play, you may try the reds. If you appreciate the play of fluorocarbons as I do, you may opt for the PHD strings. Knowing this background information and history of the strings keeps you an informed connoisseur of strings.
Read more: This is the oldest surviving ukulele brand!
Worth and Romero Creations Strings
In this section, I highlight three different strings – the Worth Clear, the Worth Brown, and the Romero Creations strings. My favorite is the Romero Creations strings. I play that ukulele the most out of all my ukuleles. If I am unable to pack more than one ukulele, I choose the one with the Romero Creations strings.
Worth Clear and Worth Brown Ukulele Strings
Both of these strings are fluorocarbons and are made in Japan. A perk is that you can make one package stretch a bit because there is enough for two sets of strings if you cut them in half. These strings have a great quality to them and are both highlighted in this video, Worth Clear versus Worth Brown Strings.
Worth strings come in medium and light, and you can get the medium ones at the #1 Music Store, terrycartermusicstore.com. The Worth Clear strings have an open, wide sound with nice projection and a sense of a bite to them. The Brown strings have a warmer sound and are not as wide and open-sounding. It has more of a mid-range, but it feels denser when played. Both types are high-quality strings, so again, it depends on what you are looking for in your strings.
Romero Creations Strings
Romero Creations strings add tonal warmth, depth, and power to the sound of your ukulele. Pepe Romero has worked with La Bella for years to test and refine these fluorocarbon, treble strings. They are most noted for their power, sustain, and clarity. I can attest to the ease of play on my ukulele as they are much easier on my hands than my nylgut strings. I do adore many of my nylgut-string ukuleles, so it depends on what you are looking for. It is good to reflect on the purpose these strings will have for you as you decide which one to choose.
If you are searching for strings, you are likely going to change the strings on your ukulele. This video, Changing Romero Strings, is good for those who buy the Romero Creations strings. These strings are typically used with through the body bridges on ukuleles made by Romero Creations. Know that you need to decide what sounds and feels the best to you since this is definitely a preference individual to each musician.
Check out all of these strings at the #1 Music Store, terrycartermusicstore.com. Good luck and happy strumming!