Aquila Strings makes gut strings, as well as strings out of a synthetic alternative, called Nygut, which allow players to recreate the sound of ukuleles from the earliest years of the 20th Century. These strings are ideal for those who value tone above all other things. Up until the early-mid 20th Century, gut was the preferred material from which ukulele strings were made. These strings, popularly called “catgut”—though their manufacture never involved cats in any way—were renowned for their rich timber, which could easily encompass bell-like high tones and very dark lows.
Aquila Strings manufactures strings for the most accomplished of musicians. Their lines include strings for all of the major orchestral instruments, and they’re notable for creating strings that allow players to accurately reproduce historical pieces. Their products are particularly praised by those who play in Baroque ensembles and other historic groups that endeavor to recreate the original sound of ancient music as closely as possible. For ukulele players, this enables them to recreate the joyous sounds of ukuleles heard on recordings from the early 20th Century, as well as the capability of coaxing from their instruments the most refined range of sounds for modern compositions.
Nygut strings imitate the sound of gut strings very closely, but allow the player to avoid some of the issues that make gut strings inconvenient. The Nygut strings made by Aquila, because of their modern materials, aren’t as subject to going out of tune due to temperature or humidity changes. They also tune up a bit easier the first time they’re put on the instrument. Both types of strings, however, oftentimes benefit from a bit of stretching when they’re put on the instrument. This is done by pulling the string horizontally—away from the instrument---and tuning it again. The process is repeated over and over until the string maintains its proper tuning. This can sometimes take a few times to complete on gut strings.
If you’re using Aquila Strings gut string options, be sure to check your nut and bridge before putting on a set. Gut strings are very delicate and can be cut by sharp surfaces or abrasive surfaces that may develop on your instrument. While such hazards won’t even phase nylon strings, gut strings are very susceptible to damage from them. A fine grit sandpaper can be used to smooth away any rough surfaces that have developed with play.
These strings are a concert-grade product. They are professional-quality and will deliver tone subtle enough to showcase the most delicate finger work on the fretboard and the most advanced strumming techniques. Nygut strings offer the sound of gut strings in a long-lasting product that is far easier to manage than gut. For purists, however, there is no substitute for gut strings. The choice of historical musicians and ensembles all over the world, these authentic strings allow you to hear the ukulele as it was heard by audiences 100 years, or more, in the past.
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You can learn to play the ukulele by watching these ukulele video lessons.
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