Beginners Guide To The 5 Best Ukulele Strings

Best Ukulele Strings

Now you’ve got your nice new shiny ukulele, it’s definitely a good idea to look into suitable strings.

Strings that come with beginner uke’s are generally poor. The last thing you need is a new instrument that doesn’t stay in tune. Especially if you’re learning. It can get monotonous constantly tuning up.

You won’t believe how much quality strings improve the sound. Let’s look at the essential steps you can take before you buy strings.

 

Buying The Correct Strings For Your Ukulele

Uke strings come in many different types and lengths. It’s important to buy the correct ones for your instrument. It’s not as simple as buying a packet and cutting them to size. 

Let’s look at the factors we‘ll need to consider:

Scale Length/Overall Length

Ukulele TypeScale LengthOverall LengthTuning
Soprano13”21”G-C-E-A
Concert15″23”G-C-E-A
Tenor17”26”G-C-E-A
Baritone19”30”D-G-B-E

Most string packaging shows the sizes of the strings or the ukulele type on the front. If you follow this table above, you now know which length strings to buy.

Our Picks: The Best Ukulele Strings

 

What Are The Different Ukulele String Types?

Nylon is the most popular string type but there are others that you may want to try.

The good thing is the best ukulele strings are cheap to buy, so I would advise trying out a few sets to find your own sound. Here are the various types of strings (or Ukulele String Names):

Nylon Ukulele Strings

Nylon Polymer strings come in many different types. The overall sound differs depending on the brand.

Nylon strings do stretch over a period of time, you may need to keep tuning it in the beginning.

Humidity does not affect the tuning but a change in temperature can. Perfect for beginners and children.

Fluorocarbon Ukulele Strings

If you’re into fishing, then you may know fluorocarbon is used as a fishing line. You get a brighter sound than nylon and the temperature doesn’t affect the tuning as much. So if you play ukulele outside a lot, then I would try a pack of fluorocarbon.

Titanium Ukulele strings

Titanium Ukulele strings offer more volume and a brighter tone than nylon. They are also stronger and much more durable. Some of the best uke strings are made from titanium. Best for the intermediate players, not so much for a starter.

Wound Nylon Ukulele Strings

The inner part of the string contains nylon which is wrapped with a polymer-made winding material. Usually found on baritone or tenor ukes. 

Wound Metal Ukulele Strings

Wound metal strings are made from copper or aluminum. Typically found on the larger size uke. Can be squeaky to play when fretting the notes. 

Steel Ukulele Strings

Steel strings are rare on a uke unless it’s been built that way or set up by a professional. If you were to revert from nylon to steel, you may damage your instrument as the steel-string exerts a lot of tension on the neck.

 

Header Pic Uke Strings

 

A Quick Glance At The Pros And Cons

Nylon (+)

  • Soft on the fingers, great for kids/beginners
  • Warm sounds at a nice volume
  • Classic ukulele tone
  • Not affected by humidity and won’t deteriorate as quick as steel

Nylon ()

  • Affects tuning when there’s a change in temperature
  • Not good if you play near an air conditioning unit

Fluorocarbon (+)

  • Not affected by temperature changes, so stays in tune better
  • Can be cut to the desired length unlike wound strings
  • Clearer, louder sound

Fluorocarbon ()

  • None

Titanium (+)

  • More durable than Nylon and Fluorocarbon
  • As they’re made of metal you’ve got much less chance of snapping a string
  • Brighter and louder than the competition

Titanium ()

  • None

Steel Strings (+)

  • Offers a different tone to the standard mellow island tone
  • Much brighter tones than the competition

Steel Strings ()

  • Best used on acoustic guitars
  • Can damage smaller ukes
  • Squeaky 

Wound Nylon Strings (+)

  • Used only on larger Ukes, such as Baritone or Tenor. Produces great bass sound on the lower strings which smaller ukes cannot match

Wound Nylon Strings ()

  • Cannot cut the strings to length as they’ll fray
  • Squeaky when fretting, can be annoying after a while

Steel Strings (+)

  • These are primarily intended for larger ukes and when musicians need a boost in the lower end of the frequency range

Steel Strings ()

  • Again, can be squeaky unless you like the mousey tone
  • Not a good idea to cut to length as they unravel

Header Photo Uke Strings

The Best Ukulele Strings Review

1- Aquila Nylgut Soprano Ukulele strings (key of C) AQ-4U

Best Ukulele Strings For: Soprano Ukulele

  • Pros: Great Strings For Any Size Uke, Pro Sound, Good Mixture Of Other Tunings available, Produced By A Most Respected Names In String Production, Superior Sound To Nylon
  • Cons: None

Aquila ukulele strings a very popular in the ukulele world. They come at a very affordable price and boast elevated resistance wear under tension.

The pack I’ve reviewed here is for a ‘Soprano’, but if you have a Concert, Tenor or Baritone you can easily follow the links and choose the correct string type.

Aquila has its own ‘Nygut’ brand of strings. These strings and made from three synthetic components, the first of this kind to boast a near vintage gut string tone. They mirror the original 19th and 20th-century gut strings.

The Aquila stay in tune longer, offer more accurate fret intonation, and are very stable through moisture changes. A professional, clear, and concise sound.

The more expensive uke’s are sold with Aquila strings already fitted, this tells you a lot about the quality.

A good starting string for every player. Can’t go far wrong with Aquila.

>>Check Price On Amazon<<

2- D’Addario EJ99TLG Tenor Low G Pro-Arte Carbon Ukulele Strings

Best Ukulele Strings For: Tenor Ukulele

  • Pros: Brighter Than Aquila, Various Types Of String Type Available, Modern Tone, Covers all Uke Type Instruments
  • Cons: None

D’Addario are a huge player in the string market. They cater mostly to guitar strings, but also produce accessories and strings for orchestral instruments.

These ‘Low G Tenor’ strings are the pack I’m reviewing, but D’Addario also has this range for Soprano/Concert and Baritone.

These ‘Pro-Arte Carbon’ ukulele strings are designed for the perfect blend of tone and projection. These fluorocarbon sets are ideal for progressive ukulele players looking for a bright, modern sound. 

If you’re already a guitar player, I would suggest these are a good match for you. This particular type of string would suit an intermediate to advanced player.

They provide a bright warm sound, that sustains better than the nylon-based strings.

The Fluorocarbon string are a little better at staying in tune. 100% worth trying these if you’re still trying to find your own sound. 

Whether you’re starting out, looking for strings for your kids, or a seasoned pro, D’Addario can cater for you. 

>>Check Price On Amazon<<

3- Ernie Ball Concert/Soprano Nylon Ball End Ukulele Strings Black

Best Ukulele Strings For: Concert/Soprano

  • Pros: Great Price, Anchored Strings, Trustworthy Brand, Clear And Loud.
  • Cons: Black Strings Look A Bit Ugly

Ernie Ball strings are another brand guitarist’s will know well. I sometimes use the Slinky range of strings from Ernie Ball on my electric guitar. 

When I saw these I thought, they must be of a good standard. You kinda know what you’re going to get. 

These particular strings come in black color and instantly feel like a fluorocarbon to me.

Straight away I can tell the difference in volume and clarity compared to the ‘traditional’ nylon sound. They have a warmer, darker tone to them.

On the packet, they advertise a ‘Ball End Nylon’. The strings basically have a small plastic washer at the end. This acts as an anchor and works brilliantly if you have a pin bridge (like an acoustic guitar).

You can still fit the strings in the traditional figure 8 technique (just snip the ball off). I like this anchor feature as it’s very much like the guitar-based strings, it’s also easy for a complete beginner to string a ukulele. 

>>Check Price On Amazon<<

4- Martin Nylon Ukulele Strings – Standard (.0191 – .0216)

Another Top Set For: Concert/Soprano

  • Pros: Value For Money, Mellow And True, Longer Resonance, Reliable Brand, Better For Staying In Tune
  • Cons: None

If you haven’t heard of Martin & Co, they produce outstanding acoustic guitars. Naturally, they’d turn their hand to strings and eventually ukulele strings.

Martin uke strings are capable of being drawn out or stretched to improve tuning and consistent true tone. 

Once again these strings are made of Fluorocarbon, so you’re guaranteed a rich amplified tone. The strings allow less elongation and therefore resist tone loss from stretching. 

Martin Fluorocarbon strings are denser and thinner than traditional nylon. This results in a more powerful tone. 

Players looking for a warmer tone and softer touch strings should check the martin range out.

>>Check Price On Amazon<<

5- 2 Sets of Nylon Ukulele Strings with 4 Felt Picks, Strings are White, Picks are Yellow, Gray, Black, Red

More For: Concert/Soprano

  • Pros: Strings Are Labelled, 2 Packs For The Price Of 1, Felt Picks Included, Great For Kids,
  • Cons: Not As Reliable, Lower Quality Sound

 

Chengu is not a household ukulele name, in fact, they make all types of random products from China.

The reason I’ve added these strings into the review is; there will be a lot of you out there who’ve just purchased a lower-priced uke, you may need some replacement strings.

Your toddler may want to give the ukulele a go, but you don’t want to pay too much at this time.

These nylon strings are a better replacement than the ones that come on the uke from the factory. The fact that you get two packs for such a lower price is an absolute winner.

This basic pack is fine for someone who is finding out if they want to pursue playing. They are nylon and soft in touch, so your kids can bash away, and if a string breaks, you have plenty of spare.

Although the quality is lower than the rest of the reviewed strings, the Chengu option is very popular, and a safe bet for beginners.

>>>Check Price On Amazon<<

Uke Couldn’t Do Better: The Winner

The Best Ukulele Strings

D’Addario Fluorocarbon

D’Addario Ukulele Strings are my clear winner. Simply because they provide strings for all ukuleles/alternative tuning and the whole spectrum of sound.

From classical warm beach sounds to clear resonated concert tone.

They’re a brand that you can trust. They cover the soft thin Soprano ukulele strings for children right up to the pro player. The price is also pretty competitive with the rest of the competition.

>>Simply click on your instrument below to check the price on amazon<<

Did you know?

All Ukulele strings were produced from ‘gut’. Sheep’s small intestines!

Whilst a sheep eats, the lining of the intestine expands and shrinks after digestion. This is what makes natural sheep gut strings so desirable to manufacturers.

Yuk, unless you’re learning Ba-hemian Rhapsody (sorry!)

 

Changing Your Ukulele Strings, You Can Do It

If you decide you love playing the Uke, I think it’d be best you learned how to change the strings. Don’t panic, it’s pretty easy with a bit of practice. 

  1. Start by unwinding the tuning peg so the string loosens. 
  2. Gently pull it back through the hole on the headstock and it’ll become loose at the bridge.
  3. Remove the string gently, not too fast or pulling too hard.
  4. Go back and repeat the process on the next string until all strings are off.
  5. Post the correct string through the hole leaving around 3 inches UNDER the bridge.
  6. Wrap the shortest piece UNDER the string, then OVER, then THROUGH the loop TWICE
  7. Don’t panic! Take it really slow
  8. Push your finger on the string at the very bottom of the string and then pull the longest end tight. (slowly) 
  9. Now you can let go. Take the other end of the string and post it through the correct peg from the RIGHT side of the peg.
  10. Hold the posted part of the string with your left hand whilst using that hand to wind the peg anti-clockwise. Leave slack on both sides of the hole. 
  11. With your right hand gently hold the string at the lower side of the hole and wind until you feel the tension. Do not over tighten
  12. Use a decent clip on tuner to tune to pitch. 

Here’s a really helpful video of a technique you can follow:

 

Bottom Line

I hope you’ve learnt something from our best ukulele strings review and can go away with a little more confidence.

At the end of the day, tone is something only you can judge. It’s your instrument, get yourself a few packets and see for yourself. There are plenty of decent strings on the market today. 

The cost is super low and by far the best way to find out what suits YOU. 

Happy Playing!

Best Tablet For Musicians 2021. A Complete Guide To The Best 5

Best Tablet Header

After spending years squinting at my smartphone screen, trying to read what chord comes next in Wonderwall while finding my laptop awkwardly bulky and outdated, I decided to dive into the technological marvel that is, the tablet. After a thorough search, I feel I’ve found the best tablet for musicians! 

Why Choose A Tablet?

Tablets have been around for years now. Combining some of the performance perks of your laptop, with the user friendliness and portability of your smartphone. But, we’re not just interested in browsing Facebook or Netflix on a swanky slab of tech. Tablets offer musicians a portable device that delivers on microphone quality, for those moments of inspiration. A great camera to show off those skills, a screen big enough to read sheet music (or tabs) from. Of course, we require the ability to record and edit demo’s of our latest symphonies wherever we are. All this as well as fitting snugly into an instrument case.

Since the release of the first generation iPad in 2010, tablets have become immensely popular. Partly due to how easy they are to use! No need to download heaps of applications and fumble about with settings. They’re usually ready to go straight out of the box! As we have a specific use in mind for our ‘musical tablets’, there are applications we will need to download. Compared to having to buy extra hardware for a laptop, or having to delete a load of photos on our phones to free up enough storage space. This is hardly a burden.

SIDE NOTE: If you’re after a portable device to plug a whole bunch of recording studio tech into, then a laptop is about as portable as you’re going to get. Tablets are built for capturing spur of the moment ideas, browsing any form of media musicians need. Not for producing professional quality records!

Quick Glance: 5 Best Tablets For Musicians:

Apple, Android, Or Windows!?

The age old question that has been bugging us for… well, only a few years, but which is going to be more effective for musicians? Apple is definitely made with musicians (and all creative types for that matter) in mind. An impressive library of high quality apps designed for any music enthusiast. From the bedroom guitarist to the professional studio musician. The ipad comes with an impressive microphone and camera quality, which all comes at a cost. Android on the other hand offers a wider range of tablets with far more screen size and customization options. Let’s not forget being able to easily swap out batteries! Android tablets also have an impressive amount of apps specifically for musicians. The guts of these devices pack all the necessary punches to run them efficiently. Windows tablets are essentially laptops, with more portability, running on Windows 10. This allows for seamless multitasking, with little to no performance issues. Apple binds you to one app store! With Windows tablets, you can download software just like you would on your laptop or computer, and many devices have USB ports built in.

10 Advantages Of Using A Tablet For Music 

  • Light and portable, just slip it in your guitar bag
  • More affordable than a laptop
  • More and more places have WiFi these days, so jump on
  • Lots of apps support the needs of the musician
  • Record your live gig and post it straight after on social media
  • The perfect traveling musician’s friend. Read, write, call home, watch a movie
  • Mix your bands tracks whilst on the move
  • Record and listen back. Get the band to perfect that song in rehearsals before the show
  • Write ideas and produce on the spot with sheet music apps
  • Tablets are generally becoming as powerful and useful as your laptop. Endless possibilities

Getting The Best Out Of Your Tablet: 3 Essential Tips For Musicians

  1. Can you remember the days of writing down lyrics on paper? Or scribbling out the notes for your bass player? Well, not anymore. Apps now possess the power, discard all that time wasting looking for a pen and paper. Sheet music apps are now available, you can compose as you go, or simply email your rhythm guitarist the chord charts. Lyrics are just a ‘copy and paste’ away. I’ve seen live singers using the automatic scroll technique on a tablet to look at the lyrics coming up. Save trees, buy a tablet, get some apps. 

  1. Make use of the recording functions on today’s apps. Multi tracking, mixing, using a synthesizer on a song (even though you don’t have a keyboard player). Use a metronome to quickly throw in a guitar solo. You can even use a 2k tweed fender amp tone from the 50s, simply by using an app amp modeler.   

  1. As you know, to be the best you can be on your instrument, you need to rehearse every day. Quickly, stick on the song you’re learning via a music app, and study your parts. One push of a button and you’re on Youtube. You need to finish that Slash solo before Saturday’s show, let’s get that lesson up, (good luck with that btw!)

Best Tablet For Musicians: Review

Fire 7 Tablet (7″ display, 16 GB)

Outrageously Inexpensive Android/Best Budget Tablet For Music

  • Pros: Hugely Popular, Low Price, Suitably Adequate, Rugged (Child Proof), One Of The Cheapest On The Market, Old But Gold
  • Cons: Spec Is Older

 

Now, you may look at the price of this and think…err what’s the catch? but wait. We are reviewing tablets that are suitable for musicians, at various budgets.

Although the specifications are old, if you’re working on a tight budget, then this is suitable for us musicians to get out of it what we need. You can access the app store and find your way to guitar chord apps. Jam along and learn your scales or access tons of complete beginner apps. If you’re looking to record live band footage for your website or take professional pics for your album cover, then this isn’t for you. The Fire 7 does the basics very well at a price which is unimaginable in today’s market.

Comes in 16GB and 32GB and four subtle colors. It’s built like a tank and is compact enough to be carried around and survive the bumps of a guitar case. We’re really impressed with the Fire 7. If you’re looking to catch those songwriting ideas and use various apps to assist playing, then the Fire 7 is a perfect match for you.

>>Check Price On Amazon<<

Here a really thorough video of the Fire 7

SAMSUNG Galaxy Tab A (2019,Wi-Fi) SM-T510 32GB 10.1″ Wi-Fi

Solid Android

  • Pros: Superb Budget Deal, Accessories Can Be Added, Most Frequent Updated Tablet, Large Screen, Major Player in the Tablet World
  • Cons: 2GB Ram Pretty Low, Not Ideal For Multitasking

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A is a great alternative to the iPad (and cheaper). As its an android, you’ll be spoilt for choice for apps that are very helpful for music. The processing efficiency is rather good considering the price, easily good enough for what musicians will need it for.

The camera supports 5 Mpx front-facing and 8 Mpx rear. A Full HD resolution 1920×1200 pixel screen. 32GB storage may not be enough over time, maybe consider an SD card. The 2GB of ram is fine for what musicians require, not so good if you’re looking to multitask between 3 or so different apps. This is standard around these priced tablets.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A, can take on the competition around this price and hold its own. The Major plus points are the 10.1″ screen, the ability to access 100s of useful apps on Google Play, and of course, the very friendly price. I’ve had Samsung phones for the last 5 years. I love them. They just make so much more (common) sense than Apple.

>>Check Price On Amazon<<

Here’s an in depth video of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A

Fire HD 10 Tablet (32 GB, Black, With Special Offers) + Amazon Standing Case (Charcoal Black) + Nupro Screen Protector (2-pack) + 15W USB-C Charger

Best Mid Price Android

 

  • Pros: Family Friendly, Robust, Value For Money, Faster Charging, Frequent Updates,
  • Cons: 2GB Ram Pretty Low, Not Ideal For Multitasking

Another Fire Tablet i hear you say. Well, they are huge sellers at such good prices. They need to be considered for what we can do with our musical needs. With 10.1″ 1080p full HD display and 30% quicker due to the new 2.0 GHz octa-core processor update. This alone will see you through most activities. Slim design with built-in stand for hands-free viewing in landscape or portrait orientation, handy for reading chords or recording a video. Fast and smooth, image and sound quality updated from the older spec. Amazon updates are more frequent on the mid range tablets than any other brand (fact). This keeps the apps up to date and the system running to full potential. A large clear screen, dependable battery life, and practical design. This particular review is the tablet with accessories, i thought having a proper stand is essential for the musician. You can take the accessories off and it’s even cheaper. Without a doubt the best tablet for music in the mid-price range. A colossal seller for a reason!

>>Check Price On Amazon<<

Check out this clip to see what you’re getting with the Fire HD

Apple iPad (10.2-inch, Wi-Fi, 128GB) – Space Gray (Latest Model)

Best IOS

  • Pros: Wifi & Cellular Options, Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor, Adequate Starter Tablet for Cubasis Type Mixing Apps, Able To Multitask At Speed, Affordable, Stereo
  • Cons: Slightly Older Model Accessories Won’t Work With It

The first Apple product on my list. As they sit on the more expensive side of tablets, i haven’t put many in. I think in today’s world, a musician needs a tablet simply for when they’re out and about or recording in your bedroom/studio. In this case, i wouldn’t suggest an all-conquering top of the range iPad. I personally don’t think you need to spend a fortune on an iPad, although a lot of the cost is down to the brand name.

This Apple ipad (128GB) on the contrary, is more suited to the songwriting/mixing/producing musician. If you’re looking to record an album for a management company etc, you wouldn’t do it on a tablet. If you’re looking to use the tablet for songwriting, mixing your ideas with a Cubasis type app, then you would definitely require an iPad like this. Superb facetime (cellular function required) and camera capabilities, if you’re away from home. It’s definitely a step up from the previous tablets but only as it covers more requirements. If you like the idea of adding the smart keyboard, i would definitely recommend it. It’s slick and really useful. A professional tool in all areas. If you have a higher starter budget, and you require a tablet for mixing music, then look no further than the iPad.

>>Check Price On Amazon<<

Get a better look at the iPad with this helpful video

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 10.5″,  128GB Wifi Tablet Cloud Blue – SM-T860NZBAXAR

High End Android/Best Samsung Tablet

  • Pros: Brutally Efficient, HDR Resolution, Stand Is Far More Usable Than Ipad, Most Powerful Tab On The Market
  • Cons: Keyboard On The Small Side

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 sits at the very top of the tablet league. Its efficient way to multitask is outstanding; Thanks to the speed of the fast mobile processor, rapidly switch between apps and tasks or immerse yourself in mixing your band’s music on some pretty high powered music apps. A 6GB of ram and 128GB internal memory makes this a tool that can easily store music videos, album pictures, and demo mixing.

The S6 is also available with 256GB/8GB of Ram, just in case you want to record the next 25 years of touring! I’ve added the keyboard version of the S6, as it’s handy if you’re going to be mixing down tracks. The keyboard is easily attached or detached. Click the link attached below to remove the keyboard off/change the color or add more internal memory etc etc.

All in all, this is the crème de la crème tablet. And in my opinion, is better than the Ipad Air. If you are looking for a tablet that can do everything, this is it.

>>Check Price On Amazon<<

Check this review out of the Samsung S6

Winner

I’ve based my decision on ‘the best value for money’ vs ‘the requirements of a musician’. Obviously, everybody’s situation is different, so i hope you can now choose the best tablet that suits your musical requirements and budget.

My clear winner for the Best Tablet For Musicians Is:

Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet

(32 GB, Black, With Special Offers) + Amazon Standing Case (Charcoal Black) + Nupro Screen Protector (2-pack) + 15W USB-C Charger

It’s not the most expensive, nor does it work as efficiently in all areas as the competition. Yet, it’s perfect for what a musician needs it for: YouTube, Chord Apps, Video Recording, Audio, Pictures, Performance, Storage, Mixing, Sheet Music Apps, and Songwriting. A major plus is the huge range of Google Play apps.

All at an affordable price.

>>Check Price On Amazon<<

 

Author: Jimmy Embleton-Smith