Using a Classical Guitar String Sets on Ukulele

All about ukulele strings - links, information, brands, types of string material, changing strings, and string miscellaneous string resources.

Using a Classical Guitar String Set on Ukulele

A ukulele is constructed basically like a small guitar, typically a classical guitar. As such, a lot of the same concerns and information, technique and resources can be used for the ukulele.

Most ukulele strings are classical guitar stings cut the ukulele lengths, depending on the size of the ukulele. Special string formulations are now being use to draw on and enhance specific ukulele characteristics. But - pretty music classical guitar strings.

You can use any string you want as long as there is an available string and the ukulele construction can supports it.

Ukulele's are constructed to support the following approximate strings tensions ( 4 string versions )

  • Soprano: 30lbs
  • Concert: 30lbs
  • Tenor: 40lbs
  • Baritone: 50lbs

Consult the specific manufacture or builder for specifics of your particular instrument.

Here are a few links and resources for some great information on classical strings:

(source: FleaMarketMusic.com) Any classical guitar strings will work. You'd only use the D G B and E strings. As far as I know, there aren't any unwound classical D strings.

  • Use the classical guitar D string for the uke G when using a low G tuning.
  • Use the classical G string for the uke C.
  • Use the classical B string for the uke E.
  • Use the classical E string for the uke A.

Any gauge of string would work depending on how much tension you like on your strings. One of my favorite brands is Savarez. I've used Savarez Alliance strings (red package) on my tenor ukulele for over 10 years now and keep coming back to them. Another favorite brand among players is D'Addarrio strings. Check out the Ukulele Strings section of the site for more information on these and many other brands of ukulele strings.

Thomastik-Infeld Classical 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. He 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 combinationis 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. ( We have them available at Funky Frets, Boyertown, PA USA or right here. If not we are not offended if you them from Amazon. )

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

C Tuning, Low G

This is the set that I'm currently using for all my Tenor ukuleles. Two Ko'olau CS Cedar TOP / Rosewood Back and Sides Tenors.

  • String 1 - Savarez Alliance 541R - KF Plain Treble Standard Tension .024, 541R tuned to A (A4)
  • String 2 - Savarez Alliance 542R - KF Plain Treble Standard Tension .027, 542R tuned to E (E4)
  • String 3 - Thomastik-Infeld CF27 - 3rd string .027 Chrome Steel Flat tuned to C (C4) a.k.a., Middle C
  • String 4 - Thomastik-Infeld CF30 - 4th string .030 Chrome Steel Flat tuned to Low G (G3)

C Tuning, High G

This is the set that I'm currently using for on a Lanikai Malibu, Makau Series All Koa Tenor.

  • String 4 - Savarez Alliance 541R - 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.

  • String 1 - Savarez Alliance 541R - KF Plain Treble Standard Tension .024, 541R tuned to A (A4)
  • String 2 - Savarez Alliance 542R - KF Plain Treble Standard Tension .027, 542R tuned to E (E4)
  • String 3 - Thomastik-Infeld CF27 - 3rd string .027 Chrome Steel Flat tuned to C (C4) a.k.a., Middle C

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