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Converting a cheap ukulele to steel string...

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(@saryu)
Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 49
Topic starter  

Hi all,

I have a cheap $20 Mahalo ukulele, and some old electric guitar strings. Is it possible to put the steel strings on the uke without breaking it? I am assuming that I will have to tune it down due to the increased tension, but can anyone give any advice as to how much? And which of the electric guitar strings should I use for each uke string (eg should I use the G string from my guitar as the G string on the uke?). Thanks very much!

Saryu


   
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(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5038
 

Tuned down or not, steels strings are not going to be good for your uke. Tension (mentioned), fret wear, difficulty in winding steel onto the friction pegs (viol instruments have cloth wrapping for this) are among the issues. If you really want a steel string uke, you might consider getting a four string mandolin.

-=tension & release=-


   
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(@saryu)
Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 49
Topic starter  

Hi Gnease,

Thanks very much for the advice...I'm glad I didn't just jump in and try it. I suppose I could attempt to put some material around the tuning pegs, but they are obviously only cheap pegs and will probably break, and that still won't solve the problem of fret wear. As I am on a very tight budget (ie, will not be buying a mandolin :P) I'll just stick with my uke the way she is.

Saryu.


   
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