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chunky monkey
`Olu`olu

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2017 :  10:02:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
OK gang, after playing slack key guitar for 15 years, I've gone off the tracks and bought a ukulele. Actually, my kids gave it to me (some of it anyway) for my 70th birthday. So, here I am asking for advice. It's a Martin all-solid wood Tenor Koa(Mexico made) and I put a low G string on it and tuned #1 down to G. Wow, I can still play all of the songs that I already know (I just pretend I'm in Taro Patch with a capo on the fifth fret).

1. My request is for string advice; I know it's a personal thing. I bought a set of Aquilas to get the low G, but I left the remaining stock strings on it. Any other good options?
2. I watched a few of Mark Nelson's Slack Ukulele videos on youtube and I guess I'm doing everything right.
3. Will I ever need to NOT play Slack Uke? I've found everything that I know (chords, vamps, etc) somewhere on the neck. I don't play with a group, so I don't have to adapt to anyone.
4. Anything else?

Thanks in advance.

Eynowd
Akahai

Australia
71 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2017 :  11:27:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've got Worth Brown Low G strings on my Kala Tenor uke, and I'm really happy with them. They're flourocarbon (like heavy fishing line) and the Low G is unwound. I'd recommend them.

A friend of mine bought a Kala uke and it was fitted with a wound Low G, and it started wearing out very quickly.

If you're happy playing slack key, then stick with it. I'm finding that conforming to other people's expectations is a sure way to drive yourself nuts :)


Geoff - g'day from Canberra, Australia.
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sirduke58
`Olu`olu

USA
954 Posts

Posted - 08/22/2017 :  12:49:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A good friend of mines tunes his baritone uke to D-F#-A-C#. I guess this would be some kind of "D Wahine" varition. Your "resolve" would be an "add on" to the 1st string/1st fret. He plays some pretty cool stuff on it. For a tenor I think the equivalent would be G-B-D-F#. Only reason I know is because I tuned my guitar to the D Wahine variation & put a capo at the 5th fret. I don't know if you can't tune a uke tenor to this though. If I'm not mistaken it would put you in the key of G.

You could also tune that bottom string up a half step to make it a true D on your baritone (Key of G on the tenor) Cool thing to know in this tuning is that strings 2-3-4 have the same intervals as Taropatch G's strings 1-2-3 So in theory: Whatever you play on the 1-2-3 treble strings in taropatch, you can also play it if you elevate one string to the 2-3-4 strings.

Another option to consider is dropping your C string (on the tenor) 1/2 step to similate a G Wahine tuning up to the key of C. I'm sure Led uses this when he plays "Wheeha Swing" on the ukulele. Ledward also has awesome renditions of "Opihi moemoe" and "Ku'uipo onaona" on the ukulele. (Taropatch C)

Hope these suggestions open up some fun avenues for you guys.

Hoof Hearted?...Was it you Stu Pedaso?
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Earl
Lokahi

USA
240 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2017 :  04:51:15 AM  Show Profile  Visit Earl's Homepage  Reply with Quote
My ukulele all wear Aquila white or Aquila reds these days, and are low G. I've tried the Worth fluorocarbon strings a couple of times. They work well but are pretty slippery. It was necessary to use an extra loop when tying them on the bridge. Otherwise they would pull out the knot as I tuned up to pitch.

The bright slack-key melody part with GCEG tuning is lovely, but I miss the bass lines from taro patch guitar, which is why I don't go there often. If I were playing along with a bass player....

I have actually used the GCEG tuning working with a few students with arthritic hands who could not easily make the standard ukulele chord "grips". They play nearly everything as a barre, but at least they CAN play.
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wdf
Ha`aha`a

USA
1128 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2017 :  06:55:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ha, Terry! Now you're one of those `ukulele players you used to complain about...:-) :-)

Dusty
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chunky monkey
`Olu`olu

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 09/07/2017 :  6:15:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yeah Dusty,
It's not quite like that. It's just OK, a novelty for me; something new to learn; something to do while I'm watching TV. Can't get used to the fret marker on #10 instead of 9; what's with that anyway? Interesting, when I put it down and pick up a guitar I feel like a kid playing a big instrument. Fortunately, the guitar sounds soooo good in comparison.
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wdf
Ha`aha`a

USA
1128 Posts

Posted - 09/08/2017 :  05:42:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Terry, listen to Led playing `ukulele...

Dusty
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Earl
Lokahi

USA
240 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2017 :  06:20:02 AM  Show Profile  Visit Earl's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I've often wondered about the fret marker on 10 for ukulele and 9 for guitar. There must be some rational reason, but it eludes me.
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jkwasnik
Aloha

USA
17 Posts

Posted - 09/10/2017 :  12:30:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit jkwasnik's Homepage  Reply with Quote
To Chunky Monkey & Earl --

Yes ... I came to ukulele after playing slack key, so GCEG was natural. Just have to discipline the thumb that wants to do slack-key-style bass. My low-G tenor uses D'Addario Pro-Arté Carbon strings.

Re the fretboard dot: no idea why, especially since the Portuguese cavaquinho, the uke's ancestor, does a dot at fret 9. But note that gypsy guitars do the dot at the 10th, too.

John Kwasnik
Sacramento, CA
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chunky monkey
`Olu`olu

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 09/11/2017 :  04:34:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dusty,
If I compared myself to Led, I'd have quit long ago. Someone once said Led could play slack key with boxing gloves on. Maybe I need to get a better Ukulele. Yeah, that's it. I knew there was something wrong.
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thumbstruck
Ha`aha`a

USA
1921 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2017 :  04:12:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I came to ukulele late. A customer gave me an old Martin keiki (soprano) from about 1961. Three kanaka up here asked me if they could have'm when I maki. Small, but good sound. I used it when I had a broken ankle, easier to pick up than the guitar with a cast on. Too much fun!
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wdf
Ha`aha`a

USA
1128 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2017 :  05:31:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Terry, I didn't mean you should compare yourself to Led. I just meant for you to listen to how the `ukulele can sound like a serious instrument. Herb has this ability also, as you know.

Dusty
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chunky monkey
`Olu`olu

USA
900 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2017 :  2:38:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dusty, no sweat;
email me your snail mail address (although I might have it), I have something for you
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