There are so many different types of ukulele strings out there, it can be very confusing. I’ve ended up buying the wrong type of string in the past and so have many others.
The type of string you have on your uke can make a big difference to the sound. Usually, new ukuleles will come with low quality strings. With every ukulele I’ve bought, I’ve immediately changed the strings to a quality brand.
However, you need to be careful what you buy. Here are some things to consider:
It is very important that you buy the right size of string to fit your ukulele. The thickness and length of the string differs depending on the size of ukulele.
If you have the standard, smallest size ukulele, make sure you buy soprano strings. If you have a tenor or baritone ukulele, make sure the strings are marked with that size.
Amongst most ukulele players, there is a general consensus that Aquila and Worth are the best strings around. You should definitely test out these two brands of strings to see which you prefer and provide a baseline if you want to test out other brands.
There are many other makes of ukulele string. Professional ukulelists endorse other brands. For example, Jake Shimabukuro has an endorsement deal with D’Addario and James Hill has Hilo strings on his re-entrant ukes.
Different types of tuning require different types of string. The standard ukulele tuning is gCEA with the g-string pitched between the E and A strings (known as re-entrant). If the strings you are buying don’t state a tuning, it’s fairly safe to assume that this is the tuning.
Before you buy the strings, be sure to check they are not low-G strings (unless that’s what you’re looking for). It is not possible to tune low-G ukuleles to high-G and vice versa. However, you can use low-G tuning on a high-G uke (and vice versa) with a little modification (sometimes no modification at all is needed).
You’ll sometimes see strings intended for ADF#B tuning. This is the standard ukulele tuning but two frets higher. There’s very little difference between these two tunings and string sizes, so the strings you get for this tuning will be suitable for standard tuning.
Buying a quality set of ukulele strings is a wise investment. It’s by far the cheapest way to improve the sound of your ukulele and will make playing a more pleasant experience. Just be sure to double check that the strings you are buying are correct for you ukulele.