How to String a Ukulele: A Guide For Beginners

By Monica | News

Jun 15
How to String a Ukulele

Learning how to string a ukulele is pretty necessary. Just like guitars, the strings in ukuleles get worn out eventually. Sooner or later, you will have to replace them. Depending on the frequency and force that you use, you might have to restring your instrument every two weeks or so. Doing this will ensure that your ukulele will always be in its top shape (and sound).

Don't worry a thing here. You see, stringing your ukulele is not difficult. In fact, if you have experience already in stringing a guitar, you are quite fine already. You just have to make some minor adjustments, and you are good to go!

But for the sake of consistency and appropriateness, I do encourage that you check out this tutorial of mine. The method that I have written here is the one that is applied by pros. You might still learn a thing or two here.So if there's nothing more to beat here, so let's start the whole process now.


How to String a Ukulele

Before we begin, let me remind you that it is necessary that you know if your ukulele is using a tie-bar bridge or standard bridge. It would also be beneficial to determine if the instrument is slotted-head or not. Knowing all these stuff can lessen the complication every time you change the strings of your ukulele.

Step 1:

The first thing that you need to do is to loosen the strings, just like in guitars. You can do this by maneuvering the tuning pegs to the direction in where you can unfurl the strings. There is no direct way of knowing which direction will loosen the string. It all does depend on how the current strings were attached and the variety of tuning pegs that are used in the ukulele. At some point, you need to do small experiments to gauge the direction.

Of course, if the pitch of the string gets higher or louder, then it is pretty evident that you are going in the wrong way. You can also know if the string is beginning to lose its hold if the stiff tension is gone and things get wobbly. Most probably, all the strings are tuned in the similar direction. Therefore, if one string loosens in a particular direction, then you should go on the same route with the other strings.

Step 2:

Once all of the strings are loose and flexible, you can pull already them out from the tuning peg. You can remove them from the device by pulling them off. But always practice caution and moderation. You don't need to force the strings to be pulled out. If they are still stiff and clingy the tuning pegs, there's a good chance that they are not that loose yet.

You have to continue unfurling your strings until such time you can effortlessly pull them. On the other hand, if you force your way, some components and hardware of the ukulele might get damaged.

Step 3:

Standard Bridge

For ukuleles with a standard bridge, you need to remove both of the ends of the strings. At first, you might think that this is a ridiculous procedure, considering the strings are susceptible from being stuck and tangled in the bridge. But if you really encountered trouble during the process, you can always use nose pliers or tweezers so that you can clutch the knotted end of the string.

Always be careful when you are using any of those tools that I have mentioned. You can't have a pair of clumsy hands if you are working them on your ukulele. Otherwise, they might scratch the surface of the instrument. That's not something that you want, right?

Tie-Bar Bridge

Follow this method if your ukulele has a tie-bar bridge. Hold the knot that locks the string. Next, pull it so that you can remove the string by passing it through the loop. Just like standard bridges, the process might come complicated in the beginning. But don't worry. You can get the hang of it eventually.

Step 4:

Standard Bridge

This is the continuation of the instructions that I have given earlier for standard bridge ukuleles. Once the old strings are gone, you can bring your new pack to the scene. The first string that you are going to use is the G-string. You have to make a knot on its end. Make sure that you can leave at least 1.5 cm or half an inch of the string at one end of the knot. After this, you can drag the remaining part of the string going to the head of the instrument. Slip it to the hole of the tuning peg so that you can attach it firmly.

Tie-Bar Bridge

This is the continuation of the instructions that I have given earlier for tie-bard bridge ukuleles. Just like the process I mentioned above, you need to start with the G-string first. You need to thread it on the bridge by going to the side that is the nearest to the sound hole of the instrument.

Next, grab the end of the string that you have trod to the hole. You need to loop it to the back of the string end and lead it to the hole. Loop the string that goes through the top portion of the tie-bar of your ukulele twice. After that, you can already pull the end of the string to the direction of the head. You have to slip the string to the metal pin hole of the first tuning peg of the ukulele.

Step 5:

You need to pull the string tightly and guide it to the first notch of the nut. Once done, you can already start turning the tuning peg until such time you can tighten them. Most of the commercial strings today have a downward wound. Therefore, if you are tightening the strings, make sure that you can guide it downward and spiral. It would make the nearer the ukulele headstock.

Step 6:

Just repeat the procedures that I have listed in Step 4 and Step 5 for the remaining strings. Always check the right bridge and tuning peg placements before you start working with the strings.

Check out  video tutorial :


Now that you know how to string a ukulele already, it would not be difficult for you anymore to do these things by yourself. You can already change worn out strings with new ones whenever it is necessary. And the best part of this is that you don't have to embarrass yourself from asking somehow to do it for you. Feels great, right?

If you have some questions, feel free to drop them in the comment section below!


About the Author

Hi everyone! Im Monica and I am an avid lover of guitars and everything in-between. My current profession is not really music-related. It is quite discouraging but I just don't want to drop my zeal--especially not to guitars! I created GuitarTrance.Com so that I can keep up with my hobby. Of course, I want to engage with the community as well! Hope we can all get along!