Learn How To String A Ukulele

Learning how to string a ukulele is not a particularly difficult process, but you will have to stretch out the strings to get them to hold their tone after you get them on the instrument. You may also want to learn some knotting techniques for the bridge. There are different ways that people do this, and learning to do it well can reduce the amount of time you spend stretching the strings out due to the knot tightening more quickly.

Instructional Video

The easiest method that I found to string a ukulele was to...

  1. Start at the bridge of the instrument. Either tie the string to the bridge or, if you have an instrument with retainer pegs, use that to hold the string in place.
  2. After you have the string in place, take the other end and run it down the fretboard to the tuning peg to which it will be attached, which will always place the string in a straight line from bridge to tuning peg. The lowest string goes on the top of the instrument, defined as the top when you’re holding it in a playing position.

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These string winders will reduce the time from stringing up your ukulele. They also come with clippers, so you don't need to carry a extra set of clippers. What a great deal!

String a Ukulele - Detail Inst.

For the purposes of these instructions, the top string is going to refer to the lowest string, which will be closest to the top of the instrument when you’re holding the ukulele in a playing position. Each successive string will be referred to as the next number in sequence.

  1. The top string is tuned to G. The string will go into the peg at the top of the headstock, closest to the player. To get the proper length, pull the string about 1 inch past the peg. You can trim the string at that point. Your string will either go through the peg via a hole through the peg or will be wrapped around the peg. Affix the string according to whichever method applies and tighten it to take up the slack.
  2. The second string is tuned to C and passes through the peg on the top of the headstock, furthest from the player. The attachment method is exactly the same, though this string will end up being a bit longer than the top string, as it has a longer path to travel.
  3. The third string is tuned to E. The string goes in the furthest peg from the player on the bottom of the headstock. The instructions for winding it are identical with the others.
  4. The fourth and highest string, tuned to A, goes into the tuning peg closest to the player on the bottom of the headstock. Follow the same instructions as above to affix the string to the peg.

Some players prefer to use the pegs for the C and E strings as their measuring guides, measuring 1 inch past those pegs to get the proper length for the other strings.

After you have all of the strings in place, go ahead and tune the instrument. You have to stretch the strings, so be prepared for this to take a while. It’s not uncommon for ukulele strings to keep stretching for around a week after they are put on the instrument, so you may have to retune more frequently during that time.

You may want to consider accessories such as string winders and electronic tuners to make this process easier. Most any stringed instrument with a fretboard will use this same stringing method, so feel free to use it on your other instruments, as well.

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