Avoid These 5 Mistakes When Replacing Ukulele Strings
The time has come to change your strings. Maybe one broke, maybe your instrument came without them. No matter the reason, there comes a time in every player’s life when they must take on the task of changing strings. There are video tutorials all over YouTube that teach you the mechanics of this skill. We would like to share a couple of pointers before you get going. Hopefully you can avoid these common mistakes!
Getting the Wrong Strings
Ukulele strings are nylon. They are soft and malleable, easy to bend and gentle on the hands. There are a variety of instruments out there though, and entirely possible to grab the wrong strings if you’re in a rush. Watch out for those banjo-ukulele strings! Or, another brand that might be metal meant for a guitar model. Remember, ukuleles only have four strings and are nylon.
Putting Them in the Wrong Order
Imagine the frustration when you go to play your ukulele and all the chords sound wrong! If you swap the places of even two strings, the sound of all your chords will be completely off. Be careful here. When you’re unpacking your strings from the packaging, keep them in the same order you found them, or, at least labeled. This diagram should help ensure you get them in the right location:
Twisting the Peg in the Wrong Direction
It’s always important to think of twisting the strings from the perspective of your playing. If you’re holding up upside down while you’re tuning, you’ll be in for an unpleasant surprise. You don’t want some strings to be on backwards. Before you twist, think “lefty loosey, righty tighty” from the angle of holding your ukulele.
Trying to Replace Them All at Once
If you try to put all your strings on at once, you may find yourself in an intricate mess. If you start on the outside with G or A strings, it is tough to attach the middle ones when the time comes. It is recommended that you start with one of the two middle strings (C or E) and work out from there.
Twisting too Tight When Tuning
When you are first tuning, your strings might be flat in pitch (too low). Sometimes you have to give them time to adjust to the tightness before you continue twisting. If you twist them too tight right from the get go, you risk breaking one. Take your time with putting strings on! You’ll be happy that you did.
Once your strings are on, check out Step 3 from “Uku Global’s Happy Helpful Guide” to learn a little more about tuning!
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