Sep 01

How to string a ukulele?

Tag: Ukulele Set UpUkuOnline @ 6:00 pm

There’s no getting around it, the way a ukulele is strung is absolutely ridiculous. But that’s what makes it such incredible instrument.

Almost all stringed instruments go from lowest string (thickest) to highest string (thinnest). Not the ukulele. The ukulele strings sizes go like this from nearest your head to nearest the ground:

G string: Second thinnest.
C string: Fattest.
E string: Second Fattest.
A string: Thinnest.

Anyone who has experience with string instruments will find this baffling. I certainly did. When I first bought a cheap ukulele and, being a guitarist, was completely ignorant, I changed the order of the strings. Now I’m much wiser and know that this is the only way to have your strings.

The best quality ukulele strings around are Aquila and Worth.

15 Responses to “How to string a ukulele?”

  1. Ukulele Bartt says:

    It’s not really the ONLY way to string a uke. I play with a low G string on my tenors, and a high G on my sopranos. I guess folks alreay know this, but I couldn’t resist leaving a comment. I’m just a natural-born comment-leaver. As opposed to George Harrison in Yellow Submarine, who was a born lever-puller.

  2. UkuOnline says:

    Thanks, Bartt. I didn’t want to muddy the issue too much. The world of ukulele tuining and stringing can be very confusing.

  3. Left Handed Ukulele: How Do I Play and String It? | Ukulele Online says:

    [...] If you want know what order the strings should be in, I wrote about it here: how to string a ukulele. [...]

  4. andrew says:

    ringo was the lever-puller!

  5. kiki says:

    ohmygodyouhavenoideahowhandythiswas.
    THANK YOU.
    i just got a guitar-styled-strung soprano and had never played a stringer instrument and assumed that was the proper way, and i just was either 1) tuning it wrong or 2) couldn’t play right. THANK YOU.

  6. evan says:

    i have always tuned to a c major(and i arrange the strings fattest to thinnest like a guitar) if you want an example find my video on youtube evan sims (my tuning is c g e c) it helps me pick faster when i play bluegrass

  7. Violet says:

    Thank you so much for this! I made the same mistake with reorganizing the strings and then I found myself not only embarrased that I didn`t research more about it, but also in the major pickle of putting the strings back the way they were! So now I can be grateful not only for the fact that I have a ukulele story even before I began playing, but also for being able to continue to make ukulele history! Yay!

  8. Moni says:

    Thanks for this! Like Kiki, I thought I was tuning or playing incorrectly. Now the world makes sense!

  9. tony says:

    I brought a set of aquila strings, & They have Coloured Dots on, But what String goes where ?????
    Can you Help Please

  10. Floyd says:

    Being a guitar player I did the exact same thing as UkuOnline – restrung it like a guitar. When I tried tuning it to G, C, A, E (low to high) and some strings were obviously tighter than others, I realized something was amiss. Thanks for setting me straight!

  11. Floyd says:

    Correction to my previous comment: “G, C, E, A”

  12. walter says:

    i’m all mestup,i’m a bigginer and also left handed, i need to know how to count the strings,from buttomup or updown.thank you.

  13. Colin says:

    Thank you for the post! I’m new to the instrument, so this helped me. :)

  14. Jess says:

    Hi i got given this Ukulele with the strings on but whoever had it before me put the strgins in the wrong order, i have a rough idead of where they go but one of the strings is a like a silver metal and im not sure where it goes? i’m guessing its either the G or C string? Could someone please tell me? :)

  15. Jeni says:

    For the last 50 years I have used 2 thickness of fishing line! This has served me well and not had any problems. My last ‘set’ of strings has been on at least 15 years, probably nearer 20!! I will be interested to find out how my instrument sounds with proper strings on!

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