Joel Matthews
Product Expert

When was the last time you replaced your ukulele strings?

We all want to have a great sounding ukulele. You may have the most expensive instrument but without good strings, you won’t get a high quality acoustic sound that you expect from a well-built instrument.

For just a few dollars, you can actually get a set of high-quality strings, so don’t compromise the sound of your ukulele. You also need to replace the strings once you see some signs of wear and tear.

Today, we’re going to discuss a few things about ukulele strings.

What is the ideal type of string to use? When are you going to change them?

As mentioned in our buyer’s guide, you have to take note that there are 4 ukulele sizes. Each size has its own unique string tension requirements and different scale length. It is important to check the string specifications intended for your type of ukulele.

Here’s an overview of the different ukulele sizes and their unique characteristics:


Scale length

Overall length


















The majority of ukulele strings include the scale length specifications on the packaging. Before you go and buy a set of strings, you have to check the label to make sure you get the correct size and type of strings for your instrument.

When to change your ukulele strings.

Alright, so it all depends on how often you play your ukulele and how aggressive your playing style is (I have seen someone play the uke like a heavy metal band). Obviously, somebody who plays the uke more than 8 hours a day needs to replace the strings more often than someone who plays the uke just once a year.

You may need to consider changing the strings if you notice any of the following:

1. Do you have trouble keeping your ukulele in tune? If you have a brand new set of strings, it is normal that they occasionally go out of tune because of the stretching that they undergo. But when they are already stretched to their optimum, they should stay in tune most of the time. If it happens that the tuning of your ukulele keeps going off even if you regularly tune before you play, then it’s time to consider replacing the strings.

2. Another sign that the strings need replacing is when they sound dull or off. When the ukulele strings age, they slowly lost the bright sounding tone that they produce when they were new. So you have to know when the time comes that your uke no longer produces that vibrant sound. This can be subjective though since every individual has different standards in determining the quality of sound that the uke produces.

3. There are some changes in the physical appearance of the strings. Did you notice any grooves, small cuts or scratches? As you play the ukulele, the strings start to wear out from constant pressure on the frets or from stretching. It’s not easy to notice these physical changes. If you can’t find any marks, try hooking one of your fingers underneath the strings, preferably from frets 1-6 since it is the part that we frequently press when playing. Now go ahead and try to feel the texture. If you noticed some notches, then it’s a sign that the string is starting to wear out.


Most of the ukulele strings being manufactured are made of nylon polymers. However, there are a few variations. Each has its own unique sound and characteristics.

Let’s take a look at these different types of ukulele strings.

Steel Strings 

There are a few instruments like the dobro-uke, guitar-uke hybrids, and banjoleles that are designed for steel strings. Apparently, this type of string won’t let you produce the classic “twangy” sound of a ukulele.

Wound Metal Strings

Usually used on larger type of ukuleles. Manufacturers usually use copper or aluminum as a winding material. It is not advisable to cut the wound strings to length because it may force the wrapping material to separate from the core.

Wound Nylon Strings

This type of string is intended for tenor and baritone ukuleles - some prefer to use it for the two lower strings. The downside though is it produces some squeaking sound and some players find it annoying.

Titanium Strings

It is made of monofilament materials. It produces a brighter tone compared to a nylon string. It’s also more durable compared to other types of strings.


Made of polymer. It’s originally developed to be used as fishing line. If you love to go outdoors and play your ukulele, this string is the perfect choice because it is not easily affected by temperature changes.

Nylon Ukulele Strings

This is the most popular type of ukulele string. There are a few variations of nylon polymers and each produces a unique sound. Nylon strings need some stretching when new and may take some time to settle down. You may need to tune it more often when it is newly replaced. Although it is not affected by humidity, temperature changes can cause the strings to adjust from time to time.


This is subject to your personal preference. Ukes are traditionally tuned as high g-CEA or re-entrant tuning. The G string is tuned in high note just below the tune of top A string.

Now, some prefer to tune their ukulele on Low G which is an octave lower. Players who use tenor ukuleles usually tune their instruments like this.

Let’s go into detail:

If you decide to put your uke into low G, you need to replace the high G string with a thicker one. Well, the way physics works, the thicker the string means the lower the pitch. The thickness and the tension of the strings is somewhat related to how the strings sound.

By going into low G string tuning, you can achieve a greater range of notes down to five semitones. By doing this, the lowest note on the strings will now be on the G string.

Preferably, the low G tuning sounds good on tenor ukuleles. If you have a soprano or concert uke, then don’t bother trying as it may sound very odd (some have tried the low G on their concert ukes, it’s up to you though).

So what type of string should you use when you decide to go into Low G? There are a few brands that sell Low G nylon strings. Some use the 4th string of a classical guitar while others use wound strings.

Another technique that some players do is to move the high G string to the E position and move the C and E strings one position higher. The string arrangement should look like this - C, E, G, A.

Tune the strings to low G, C, E, A afterwards.


When playing the ukulele, getting that perfect tone is very subjective. I suggest you test a few options until you find a sound quality that you love.

Which set of strings should you choose?

Well, again, this is a very subjective matter to discuss. It all boils down to your preferred type of music and how you play the instrument. The good news is, ukulele strings are not that expensive. Even the high quality strings are affordable. You can definitely try each brand without breaking the bank.

If you haven’t replaced your ukulele strings in a long time and you are still unsure which one to buy, I suggest you check out the list of ukulele strings HERE.

What to try next...

Learn how to tune your ukulele strings by reading How to tune the ukulele using different tuning methods.