Changing ukulele strings can be quite a pain when you are just starting out, but restringing an instrument can give a new boost to the sound and you’ll enjoy it even more after doing it. In this guide I will try to explain as good as I possibly can how to properly restring your ukulele.
Out with old, in with the new!
A) Removing the old ukulele strings
1. Unwind the tuning key (peg or machine head) until the string is loose or even completely unwounded.
2. After the string is loose enough (or unwounded) push the string through bridge hole.
3. Now you can undo the ukulele string knot and safely remove string. Repeat this for the four strings.
x. Are you a daredevil? Some people simply clip the string when it is still winded on the ukulele. Afterwards remove the two parts of the strings (one at the headstock, other one at the bridge). Not recommended!
B) Putting new strings on the ukulele
1. Grab a new string and pull it through bridge hole. It doesn’t matter which side, but make sure to have the longest end at the headstock side and the shortest (2-3 inches or 5-7 cm at the bottom side of the ukulele (1).
2. This is the most difficult step where most people are struggling. The knot.
— Wrap the short side around the long side of the string (2).
— Then wrap it around itself twice (3 and 4).
— Hold the short side against the bridge and pull the long end very tight to make it lock in properly. This string isn’t going nowhere!
3. Now adjust the tuning pegs so that the holes align with the ukulele (holes pointing towards the top and bottom of your ukulele).
4. Put the long end of the string through the whole and pull it back 2 or 3 frets back. This will give us enough string to wind it.
5. Final step! Wrap it around the tuning head: first wrap goes on top of the string sticking out and the remaining wraps under it. Tune it correctly and clip of any excess string carefully without cutting the new string! Take it from me, it happens.
C) Keeping it in tune
Most of the times with new strings you’ll notice that you have to retune it the first few times that you play on your ukulele. You can speed up this process by stretching them in the middle, do this with care though. So stretch them a few times, re-tune and you should be good to go! If it’s an older ukulele or a brand new one with no setup at all it might be possible that you can’t get your ukulele in tune. The solution to this problem is tightening the screws of the peg heads.
When you restring your ukulele is up to your really. It depends on how much you play your ukulele and how hard. Some people change them after a few weeks, other people after months (I change them every 4-6 months). You should consider restringing your ukulele when a string breaks of course. And when replacing, do not just replace that one string, but replace all of the strings because the others are probably also worn out. When you find yourself tuning your ukulele a lot more then you used to do, then you can take this a sign to restring your ukulele. Hopefully you've enjoyed reading this guide. Any remarks, questions or suggestion? Use the contact form to let me know what they are!