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Thread: Once again: GDAE on Concert Ukulele

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    Question Once again: GDAE on Concert Ukulele

    Dear Community!

    I know that the topic GDAE on ukulele is very well answerd - but only for Tenor/Baritone and Soprano ukulele.
    I just want GDAE on my concert ukulele.
    I know that Aquila made a fifth set for soprano GDAE and a fifth set for concert CGDA, but my wish is having a GDAE on concert ukulele.
    MY QUESTIONS:
    a)Can I put the fifth set for soprano GDAE on my concert?
    b)If I buy the fifth set for concert CGDA and throw the A string away and find a F string and shift all strings one hole and put a capo on the second fret so I had a octav GDAE. But where can I get a F string for concert ukulele?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Once again: GDAE on Concert Ukulele

    I'm guessing you want linear tuning, ie G (low) through to E (high). If so, physics is against you.

    On a concert uke with roughly a 15 inch scale, the lowest tuned string which might work is the G below middle Class. You want an octave below that! You'd need a really fat string, way fatter than the low E on a guitar. And fat strings dont intonate well (at all really) on a 15 inch scale.

    The soprano set is an octave above, which means the E string is close to the limit of what can be achieved without the string snapping. All the other strings would work on a concert, maybe the E would survive, maybe not.

    The CGDA set should tune up a tone ok, so you'd get three strings as you want. But a low G is I think impossible (see first para). However, if you'd accept a reentrant G (an octave higher) then single G strings for concerts are available.

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    Registered User Kalasinar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once again: GDAE on Concert Ukulele

    I can confirm that the fifths set for soprano would not be ideal on the concert scale. I made a backpacker uke a while back following some plans and forgot the scale was concert. I put those soprano GDAE strings on and it was too much for the E string. Realising my mistake I got the concert CGDA strings. A little disappointing not to have GDAE, but it can be quite a nice change.
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    Default Re: Once again: GDAE on Concert Ukulele

    I tried the Aquila GDAE soprano set on a concert and the E string broke before it was tuned up to pitch. A second string broke also. The set works pretty well on a soprano uke, but I didn't like the feel or tone overly much. That was when I bought a tenor guitar. I haven't played uke since. I don't think there is a good solution to the E string on a concert. Go soprano or an octave lower on a baritone.

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    Default Re: Once again: GDAE on Concert Ukulele

    Thank you, ProfChris. I have found an octave set (Gdae', i.e. one octave lower than a standard mandolin) for my mandolin.
    I thought that would be also possible for ukulele. What a pity! :-((((

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    Default Re: Once again: GDAE on Concert Ukulele

    Quote Originally Posted by greeenhorn View Post
    I have found an octave set (Gdae', i.e. one octave lower than a standard mandolin) for my mandolin
    They would be Octave Mandolin strings then? Most people use them on Octave Mandolin with a scale length of + or - 22 inches.

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    Default Re: Once again: GDAE on Concert Ukulele

    There is no way you can put strings on a mandolin to tune it an octave lower than standard. They are for an Octave Mandolin.

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    '`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`' Jacob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once again: GDAE on Concert Ukulele

    All my attempts to tune concert scale Epiphone & Risa electric ukuleles to mandolin GDAE tuning with the Aquila soprano fifths strings set were unsuccessful. The E string consistently snapped before tuning up to pitch. The ukes are now all mandola tuned CGDA with the Aquila concert fifths strings set.

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    Default Re: Once again: GDAE on Concert Ukulele

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    They would be Octave Mandolin strings then? Most people use them on Octave Mandolin with a scale length of + or - 22 inches.
    I use Pyramid mandriola strings. They have 4 low strings (Gdae') and 8 high strings (gd'a'e") for scale length 34 cm. When I buy two Pyramid mandriola string sets I can make one mandoline an octav tuned mandoline and two standard mandoline with low tension strings (~8kg).

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    Default Re: Once again: GDAE on Concert Ukulele

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob View Post
    All my attempts to tune concert scale Epiphone & Risa electric ukuleles to mandolin GDAE tuning with the Aquila soprano fifths strings set were unsuccessful. The E string consistently snapped before tuning up to pitch.
    And if you use a 20lb-test 0.018"/0.044mm monofilament flourcarbon fishing line? It won't snap that fast ....

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    Default Re: Once again: GDAE on Concert Ukulele

    Quote Originally Posted by greeenhorn View Post
    I use Pyramid mandriola strings. They have 4 low strings (Gdae') and 8 high strings (gd'a'e") for scale length 34 cm. When I buy two Pyramid mandriola string sets I can make one mandoline an octav tuned mandoline and two standard mandoline with low tension strings (~8kg).
    Difficult to comment unless we know the gauges of the strings - the Pyramid website is no help in this regard.

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    '`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`' Jacob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Once again: GDAE on Concert Ukulele

    Quote Originally Posted by greeenhorn View Post
    And if you use a 20lb-test 0.018"/0.044mm monofilament flourcarbon fishing line? It won't snap that fast ....
    Thank you. Had no idea what size line to use. May give it another try.

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    Thumbs up Re: Once again: GDAE on Concert Ukulele

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    Difficult to comment unless we know the gauges of the strings - the Pyramid website is no help in this regard.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Gauges? Do you want to know the diameter of the strings? They are at the red arrows.
    Sure the strings are thicker, but with set up of the mandolin it is easily possible to manage it.

  16. #14

    Default Re: Once again: GDAE on Concert Ukulele

    Quote Originally Posted by ProfChris View Post
    I'm guessing you want linear tuning, ie G (low) through to E (high).
    This is a good guess, but it's worth underscoring this point: if you *are* open to re-entrant tunings, that opens up possibilities not otherwise available.

    Southcoast used to make re-entrant 5ths sets in a few different configurations. Unfortunately, they no longer make the sets, but you can cop some inspiration from their archives. https://web.archive.org/web/20150503...om:80/5ths.htm

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    Default Re: Once again: GDAE on Concert Ukulele

    If you're playing alone just go cgda and don't worry about it. If playing with others, then you'd have to learn the new tuning to play in the correct key. Presently doing that on mandocello, and it's really not been bad so far...
    Chuck

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    Default Re: Once again: GDAE on Concert Ukulele

    Quote Originally Posted by CES View Post
    If you're playing alone just go cgda and don't worry about it. If playing with others, then you'd have to learn the new tuning to play in the correct key. Presently doing that on mandocello, and it's really not been bad so far...
    I have to learn/play together with my kids. So it should not be more difficult for me by CGDA. CGDA means other clef and all the notes are on another place then.

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    Default Re: Once again: GDAE on Concert Ukulele

    Southcoast used to make re-entrant 5ths sets in a few different configurations. Unfortunately, they no longer make the sets, but you can cop some inspiration from their archives. https://web.archive.org/web/20150503...om:80/5ths.htm[/QUOTE]

    This link is really interesting. They have a high E (e") in their set. What a pity that they no longer produce it...

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    Default Re: Once again: GDAE on Concert Ukulele

    I talked to Aquila (Italia) they say that a low F string would be possible but it would be expensive to create it on customize just for me. If there were many folks who want it they think about producing it...
    Why a low F? To add it to the CGDA-Set -> FCGDA -> FCGD -> capo => GDAE in octave tune.

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    Default Re: Once again: GDAE on Concert Ukulele

    Why don't you just tune it in the regular GDAE tuning (like a mandolin, not an octave below)? Seems that would be easier to put together at 15" scale, if you could find an E string thin and strong enough not to break...

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  22. #20

    Default Re: Once again: GDAE on Concert Ukulele

    I have a strumstick ukulele that I replaced the first string with a mandolin G string and tune it CGDA. I play it by myself and play all the tunes I normally play the way I normally play them. They just come out a fifth lower in sound. No big deal. There are lots of tunes that can be played one string over if I ever wanted to play with others. But if I'm going to play with others, I'll just play a real mandolin. So maybe just give CGDA a try and see if you can live with it. You might even be able to tune CGDA one step higher to DAEB which lets you at least play D tunes and A tunes one string over.

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