Low G Ukulele Strings Explained

Having a ukulele with a low G string in your collection is undoubtedly going to expand your playing possibilities. You can have a low G uke without having to buy a new one either; it’s just a case of changing one of the strings.

Having a ukulele with a low G means the string closest to the top of the uke is the deepest-sounding string. This gives your playing a fuller sound. Traditionally, ukuleles have a high G, which gives it the bright sound it is known for.

If you would like to sound like one of the many amazing ukulele players who use a low G uke, keep reading this article to explore the topic in more depth.

Is It The Same As A High G

A low G ukulele has similarities to a high G in that they both produce the same note. If you were to put your tuner on the uke and pluck both a high and low G string, it would tell you that you are playing a G note.

So what’s the difference then? The low G is tuned an octave lower than a high G, producing a much lower sound. Imagine you are sitting in front of a piano. A G note played to the left is going to sound deeper than a G played to your right.

The second difference is the thickness of the strings. Thicker strings produce deeper notes that tend to ring out longer.

A quick visual check will tell you if a ukulele has a low or high G string. If it’s thicker than the C string below it, it’s going to be a low G.

high g low g ukulele comparison

Can I Use The Same String?

The short answer is no. In fact, let’s make that a capital NO! If you try to tune your high G ukulele string to a low G, it’s going to sound terrible. It will be like playing the ukulele with shoelaces. It won’t be able to hold any kind of tension and almost certainly won’t stay in tune for any length of time.

It’s also not going to be the correct thickness to produce the lovely low notes we are looking for. DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME TRYING THIS.

So, Which One Is Best?

Ultimately, it all boils down to opinion and preference. The traditional sound of a ukulele really leans towards using a high G. Yet, its popularity is growing at a rapid rate. The “rules” of what’s right and wrong are becoming blurred, and you can do whatever you like with it. Let’s discuss the benefits of each one.

Low G

Some of the benefits of playing a low G ukulele include:

For me, the coolest aspect of having a low G is the extra 5 low notes. It allows for much more versatility. I often find myself playing guitar riffs on the uke. It’s frustrating when I run out of low notes, meaning I have to move everything up the neck and play it higher. My fingers are in a tighter position, and it’s just harder to play.

One downside of this is that few people have low G ukuleles, so finding tabs and arrangements for them can prove difficult.

High G

Now on to the benifits of using a high G.

Learning new songs with a high G ukulele is going to be much easier. If you are following along with a YouTube tutorial, chances are they are using a high G ukulele. You can follow along with them, and it’s going to sound exactly like your uke does.

How Do They Sound

We know the difference and the benefits of both; now the important part: what does a low G sound like compared to a high G? The following videos are examples of me using both of them. I’m playing a Kala Exotic Tenor for the low G and a Kala Comfort Edge for the high G.

Low G

Chords played with a low G ukulele.

Fingerpicking with a low G ukulele.

High G

Chords played with a high G ukulele.

Fingerpicking with a high G ukulele.

Low G Strings

There are a plethora of low G strings to choose from online. I have compiled a list from Amazon based on their reviews.

My personal recommendation for low G strings is Living Water. They are made from pure fluorocarbon and sound great on any ukulele. They are made by Ken Middleton in England, but he ships worldwide.

Summary

The thing to bear in mind when deciding to change your G string is that it’s not permanent. It’s very important to try new things and new ways of playing. If you don’t like it, cool, change it back. It’s really not a big issue in the grand scheme of things.

It’s the trying that counts; that way, you can form your own opinion and get a greater perspective of it. However, this could be a great opportunity to tell your partner that you require ANOTHER ukulele!

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