Ukulele Strings

Curt's String Recommendations

Here are a few ukulele string sets to try out. These are sets that have a good reputation among ukulele players. I personally like the full line of Ko`olau strings and naturally, the custom set of Thomastik-Infeld (below) strings I've put together.

Curt's Personal Ukulele Strings Recommendations

It can be a challenge recommending strings for a particular brand and model of ukulele, as each uke responses differently depending on it's construction, material, weather conditions, string tensions, tunings, and the players technique. It's a seems like a never ending quest — butis well worth the effort once you find that right combinations of strings for each of your ukuleles. The hard part is to remember what strings you liked the best out of all that you tried. Take notes and even record yourself.

Be sure to try the different string materials that are used for strings: Fluorocarbon, Nylon, Nylgut, Titanium, gut, etc. Ukulele all respond differently to each. Try various tensions, often listed as soft, normal, high, etc. For a low G try wound, smoothwound, flatwound, un-wound.

NOTE Ukulele strings are basically Classical Guitar strings on a ukulele. The only difference is the packaging and the length of the strings. Ukulele (a.k.a. classical guitar strings ) strings are primarily made of materials such as nylon, fluorocarbon, and other synthetics . The Classical Guitar world has a lot longer and demanding history of figuring out what string material to use.

A Few High-end Options

2022 Update — After many, many years of using Savarez Alliance strings for strings one, two, and three. 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 Steel Flat Wound strings for the Low G and the C string on my Ko'olau CS Tenor Ukuleles. Their strings are pricey but well worth it.

TI-Classic-N

Thomastik-Infeld Classic-N Strings

Abe Lagrimas came through Funky Frets during his 2018 east coast tour for a concert and workshops, 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 his C string. It had great balance and didn't wear out as quick 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 consider Thomastik-Infeld before, I've been using their guitar strings on my guitars for decades. A bit pricey, but given that you use less of them, over time it is well worth it.

The Curt Sheller Custom Tenor Uke Set is a combination of singles from two Thomastik-Infed Classic Guitar sets. The Classic N Supernova and The Classic Guitar sets.

TI-Classic-N

C Tuning, Low G

The below custom string sets are what I'm currently using for my two Ko'olau CS Tenors in Low G, C tuning. For my Solid Koa Top, Tenor Fluke it prefers Ko'olau Golds or Ko'olau Golds Manaha strings.

$20 USD

Ko'olau CS Tenor Tenor Ukulele Set

Thomastik-Infeld String Option

Curt's custom set is available at Funky Frets Music Store, Boyertown, PA USA and on the on-line store .

  • String 1Thomastik-Infeld Classic Guitar, Carbon Nylon Hybrid Material CPK24 (.024in/62mm, 19.40lbs/8.80KG) tuned to A (A4)
  • String 1Thomastik-Infeld Classic Guitar, Carbon Nylon Hybrid Material CPK27 (.027in/69mm, 14.55lbs/6.60KG) tuned to E (E4)
  • String 3Thomastik-Infeld Classic-N Supernova 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 Supernova 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

Tension Note: This set is a higher tension, so be sure to verify with the manufacture or builder that the ukulele can handle it.

$20 USD

$20 USD

Tenor Ukulele Set

Savarez Alliance String Option

This are the strings I used prior to 2022 an are still a great option, I only switched because of my access to TI strings and my personal preference for the flat-wound option. The gauges, the material, the feel are the same for the plain strings.

  • 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

$20 USD

C Tuning, High G

This is the set that ( (Curt) currently recommend for tenor ukuleles in C Tuning with a High G. Strings are one area where different ukuleles might prefer different strings. A ukulele can be very opinionated as to the stings that it likes and brings out its best. Basically, your mileage might vary.

  • String 4Thomastik-Infeld Classic-N, Carbon Nylon Hybrid Material CPK24 (.024in/62mm, 19.40lbs/8.80KG) tuned to G (G4)

Strings one, two, and three are the same as the Low G, C Tuning sets 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

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