Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lovely Broken Doll has a question...

"Hello, I was wondering if you could answer a question for me. My daughter has only been playing Baritone Ukulele about 7 months and we seem to go through a lot of strings mostly the metal ones. Just wondered if there is a preferred brand or something we should be doing... or if I should just get used to changing strings? Love the instrument and your channel too :) Any suggestions would be much appreciated"
Now that's a good question. I haven't had too many broken strings perhaps I am not playing enough. She must be playing quite a bit so that's a good thing. I wonder what could be the problem? I have used standard low D Aguila's, Worth Medium Brown all nylon strings, and a set of Martin strings.

Do the strings appear to break at a certain place: nut (near the tuners), specific fret, or at the bridge? I guess I would try to "feel" the bari-uke to see if there are any rough spots that could be damaging the strings. I will ask a few friends and leave it open ended here and perhaps some readers can leave some ideas.


  1. This has not been my personal experience, but at least one popular string maker warns that the wound 4th string will wear out or break sooner than the others and they recommend keeping replacements of that string handy. This applies particularly to a traditional ukulele tuned GCEA is you employ a wound 4th string to tune it to low G, but I suppose it might apply to the baritone ukulele, as well, with its 2 metal and 2 nylon strings tuned DGBE.

  2. I find that the D and G strings do wear quickest of all my strings. The G string has broken the most frequently. I discovered via on-line research that the D and G strings are wound and the string within is thinner than the E string which seems one answer to a specific weak point. A friend who has this problem swears by cheaper strings for his Baritone as it reckons they can be more hardy (durable). Other online folks (Guitar tech's) mention it is common for Baritones...according to a forum post I read.
    Personally I now buy a few cheap classical guitar strings as I find them cheaper than Baritone and have seen various posts where folks use the AGBE strings and tune them DGBE as they are very similar tensions. I have done this for a while with specific problem ukes and it seems to work and as yet no problems around the use of guitar strings. That said it seems fairly usual for folks to do this if living in areas where baritone strings are a rarity. Basically I'm not sure if any of this stuff is right as I'm still absorbing loads of info and trying things out. My latest experiments involve FX pedals at the open mic!!
    All good fun though and although I find string breakage frustrating I find a back up uke helps!!

    Ukelectic Andrew

  3. Here's a possible string source, www.juststrings.com