There are many options when it comes to ukulele strings. They are as unique and individual as you and your ukulele are. There is a lot of personal preference that goes into choosing new strings, so let’s take a look at your options.
When to Make the Switch
Some people think you should never change ukulele strings, but there are some instances when you may want to. First, a string may break and you have to replace it. Instead of just replacing that one string, it is best to replace all of them. The strings may be old or worn down, too. You will know when you need to change strings because your ukulele may be difficult to tune and won’t stay in tune. By changing the strings, you’ll get a nice, new sound that is brighter and more clear.
Read more: How To Chuck On The Ukulele
Types of Strings
Strings are made of all different materials. There are nylon strings, fluorocarbon strings, steel strings, wound nylon, and wound metal strings.
Nylon strings have a nice warm tone to them and are humidity resistant. Fluorocarbon strings are very common and have a brighter tone. They tend to stay in tune better than nylon strings and are very clear. Even though steel strings work better on guitars, they can still be useful on a ukulele. I had a baritone ukulele with steel strings and it sounded very rich and full. Baritone ukuleles also sound good with wound nylon strings. These are strings that have a nylon core but are wrapped with a polymer material. Last but not least, wound metal strings have a metal core and are very bright.
Check out this video by Terry Carter on the best ukulele strings. He reviews Nylagut, fluorocarbon, and nylon. Nylagut replicates the original strings that were made of sheep intestines. (Gasp!) They have a mellow sound and good projection. He explains that sometimes you just need to experiment with different strings, too.
Titanium strings are a personal favorite. They have a brighter tone with very nice projection. I love how they feel for fingerpicking. You can watch this video by Terry Carter about titanium strings vs. fluorocarbon strings. Both are made by D’Addario.
Low G and High G
When I first started playing the ukulele, I heard a lot of talk about Low G and High G ukuleles. It wasn’t until I searched for information online that I understood what they were. Low G ukuleles have a different string for the G string. It is an octave lower than the rest of the strings, too. Low G sounds very deep and low with some bass. Low G strings work best on tenor ukuleles, but they can be put on concert sizes as well.
High G ukuleles are the most common. The G string is an octave higher than the rest of the strings. It sounds very “ukuleley” and Hawaiian. Check out this video on the differences between High G and Low G ukulele. You can listen to samples of each ukulele, too. You should quickly be able to identify the differences. If you like this sound, I recommend trying a low G string.
Top Ukulele String Brands
There are many, many makers of ukulele strings. Over time, you will find which you prefer. Aquila makes Nylagut strings which are found on many ukuleles you can buy. D’Addario is the oldest string maker and makes many different nylon strings, and titanium strings, which are made with a monofilament.
Worth strings are growing in popularity. They are made in brown and clear fluorocarbon and are loved by many ukulele players. The brown strings have a warmer sound while the clear has a brighter sound. The Terry Carter Music store has a great selection of Worth strings, including this set for the Low G ukulele.
Other top ukulele brands include Pepe Romero, Ernie Ball, and Martin. You can find all these at the Terry Carter Music Store and if you have any questions, they are always happy to help you find just the right strings for your ukulele.
The ukulele strings that you buy will depend on your personal preference and your ukulele. Sometimes, you just have to experiment. You can get more opinions and feedback on ukulele strings in the Community Forum on ukelikethepros.com. You can also check out the great membership packages, available in monthly and yearly subscriptions. Have fun experimenting with all the string options you have at your fingertips!