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Gear

I always get asked what strings, ukes, etc that I use. So, here is a selection of the musical gear that I, currently use — Curt.

My Personal Ukulele Strings Recommendations

Here are a few ukulele string sets to try out first. These are sets that have a good reputation among ukulele players. I personally like the full line of Ko`olau strings.

It can be a challenge recommending strings for a particular brand and model of ukulele, as each uke responses differently depending on constructions, material, and the players technique. It's a search. but well worth it onces you find that right string for each of your ukuleles.

Note: Ukulele strings are basically Classical Guitar strings on a ukulele. The only difference is the packaging and the length of the string. Ukulele (a.k.a. classical guitar strings ) strings are primarily made of materials such as nylon, fluorocarbon, and other synthetics .

I bounce between using Thomastik Infeld , Ko`olau `Alohi Strings , and Savarez Alliance ( 540R Treble ) on my performance tenor ukuleles. Both of these sets are Fluorocarbon strings.

2022 Update — After many, many years of using Savarez Alliance strings for string one and two I've now gone full Thomastik-Infeld. I've used their strings forever on my guitars and since 2019 I've used the Classic-N CF27 and CF30 Chrome Flatwound strings for the Low G and the C string on my Ko'olau CS Tenor Ukuleles.

See below for my current / complete string setup.

TI-Classic-N

Thomastik-Infeld Classic-N Strings

Abe Lagrimas came through Funky Frets during his 2018 east coast tour and I noticed a different C string when I played his Ko'olau CS tenor, the same model I play.

Abe was using a Thomastik-Infeld CF27 - 3rd string (g) .027 Chrome Steel Flat Wound string for the his C string. It had great balance and didn't wear out at the frets as a round would string typically does. I use a low G so I got the CF27 for the C string three as well as a Thomastik-Infeld CF30 - 4th string (D) .030 Chrome Steel Flat Wound for a low G. I play a Ko'olau CS tenor as well and this string combination is great. I don't know why I didn't think of Thomastik-Infeld as I've been using their guitar strings on my American Archtop 7 string for decades. A bit pricey, but given that you use less of them in over time it is well worth it.

TI-Classic-N

Curt's Long-time Current String Set(s)

C Tuning, Low G

This is the set that I'm currently using for all my two Ko'olau CS Cedar TOP / Rosewood Back and Sides Tenors in C tuning, Low G. For my Solid Koa Top, Tenor Fluke I have it prefers nylon based strings or Aquila Super NyGut strings.

2022 Ko'olau CS Tenor Tenor Ukulele Set

  • String 1Thomastik-Infeld Classic-N, Carbon Nylon Hybrid Material CPK24 (.024in/62mm, 19.40lbs/8.80KG) tuned to A (A4)
  • String 1Thomastik-Infeld Classic-N, Carbon Nylon Hybrid Material CPK27 (.027in/69mm, 14.55lbs/6.60KG) tuned to E (E4)
  • String 3Thomastik-Infeld Classic-N CF27 Chrome Steel Flat, .027, 039 (.027in/69mm, 14.20lbs/6.50KG) tuned to C (C4) a.k.a. Middle C
  • String 4Thomastik-Infeld Classic-N CF30 Chrome Steel Flat, .030, 039 (.030in/76mm, 14.70lbs/6.50KG) tuned to G (C3) a.k.a. Low G in the Uke world

Tenor Ukulele Set — Savarez Alliance Option

  • String 1Savarez Alliance KF Plain Treble Standard Tension .024, 541R (.024in/62mm, 17.44lbs/7.9KG) tuned to A (A4)
  • String 2Savarez Alliance KF Plain Treble Standard Tension .027, 542R (.027in/62mm, 13.02lbs/5.9KG) tuned to E (E4)
  • String 3Thomastik-Infeld Classic-N CF27 Chrome Steel Flat, .027, 039 (.027in/69mm, 14.20lbs/6.50KG) tuned to C (C4) a.k.a. Middle C
  • String 4Thomastik-Infeld Classic-N CF30 Chrome Steel Flat, .030, 039 (.030in/76mm, 14.70lbs/6.50KG) tuned to G (C3) a.k.a. Low G in the Uke world

C Tuning, High G

This is the set that currently recommend for tenor ukuleles. Strings are one area where different ukuleles like different strings. A ukulele can be very opinionated as to the stings that it likes and brings out its best.

  • String 4Savarez Alliance- KF Plain Treble Standard Tension .024, 541R tuned to A (G4)

Strings one, two, and three are the same as the Low G, C Tuning set above.

Sources of Some Great Information On-line

For a ukulele string recommendation that you can pretty much find at any music store, go with Martin Ukulele strings - which are fluorocarbon and their new premium strings are a special Aquila string.

For some great information on strings checkout the Strings by Mail - String Basics page .

Note: Ukulele strings are really just strings and typically classical guitar strings, cut shorter and re-packaged as ukulele strings.

funky_frets Thomastik-Infeld-CRK124MT TI-Classic-N-Superlona Savarez_Tenor Savarez_Soprano Hannabach-Tenor Hannabach-Concert Hannabach-Soprano-1

Savarez S.A.

Benefiting from the most recent discoveries, the classical guitar strings (three trebles strings made at first of plain gut and basses strings made of copper wound on silk (later on silver plated copper wound on silk)) have evolved into the use of monofilament nylon called plain nylon for the three trebles strings and of silver plated copper wound for the three basses strings.

> These are the strings I've been using exclusively on all my ukuleles for the past 10+ years. - Curt

Thomastik Infeld

Thomastik-Infeld is an Austrian company founded in 1919, located in Vienna developing and producing strings and rosins for bowed and fretted string instruments. The company still makes “Dominant” strings, one of the earliest brands of perlon string, now considered a standard for comparison to other synthetic string sets.

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Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books!Peter Rhee

Aloha, Curt, All I can say is WOW! What you have accomplished is simply incredible! All the bestGlen Hirabayashi, The Aloha Boys

Folks, if you haven't stopped by Curt's site, do so right now! ..And get his books, they are fantastic. This guy knows his stuff and is able to pass it along too.Alan Johnson Proprietor, The 4th Peg

I can highly recommend Curt's Uke books — I have four of them and they are excellent.fatveg — Portland

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On the web since 1992 and a Mac since 1987 (Mac II) • Lets Kanakapila!!! v8.79.0 (8.0.13) • And, since Sept 2020, happily on Pop!_OS Linux and a System76 Thelio. Half the cost of the iMac and a real treat to use. I use it for ALL development work. Only wish the Affinity Suite of apps by serif where available on Linux.

This sit has ben profesionaly red. awl tpyos aree free and no aditonal chrge • I'm blaming it on “jazz” fingers. “Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

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