Hi all,

Im in the closing stages of my first real build, and a niggling doubt I've had is that I don't know what strings I'm going to use. My best idea is to " suck it and see" which isn't very precise, any other ideas?

scale length is 20 inches, and i would like it strung GCEA preferably, like a baritone uke, otherwise DGBE.

Obviously baritone uke strings would work, but I'm building it to take steel strings.

any ideas?

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Baritone Uke is currently my go-to, play around the house instrument. I'm in the process of building several CBG's based on it... complete with the 20 inch scale length (though I might stretch it to 22 to avoid some finger crowded chords). I had the same thoughts and reservations about steel strings, myself. 

But note: Bari Uke is typically DGBE - like a guitar minus the 2 bass-iest strings. The GCEA tuning is for those other, smaller ukuleles. Maybe you swapped 'em in your post.

Very interested in this thread... Share the BUke love!


If you capo a six string as close as you can to a distance from the bridge equal to your scale you can see what strings are the closet to your desired tuning. If you don't have either of these holler back and I can check later on.

right On Kigar, that's my preferred method as well.

You can use a 16, 11,09, 09 steel strings on a baritone and still tune GCEA.

Thanks for your replies, Kigar's method sounds good, I also found formulae for calculating courtesy if D'Addario, on this site.

I have an acoustic guitar, a chromatic tuner and whilst I don't own a capo, I'll just have to use my fingers!  The strings suggested by Gary herget, doesn't sound right, two 09s unless it's a typo.

Why GCEA? I'm coming from a soprano uke player, so chords will stay the same, but be able to take those closed chords all the way up the neck.

I will take some pictures and post soon,

Cheers from Somerset, England where we had the hottest April day since 1949 today, but was snowing three weeks ago.

For GCEA I would guess it is lower (smaller diameter) strings as those are the notes of a guitar with a capo at the fifth fret.

The two 09's is not a typo. They work for the E and A. I've used them on every Baritone I've made with a mag pup. Might sound wonky but works great.


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