How To Change The Strings Of A Ukulele

Basics :

This guide will show you how to change the strings on the ukulele.

Why should you change the strings ?

  You only get a good sound from your ukulele with proper strings. Unsuitable stringing will lead to inferior intonation.

When should you change the strings ?

  • If you just bought a new ukulele with inferior strings. Esp. the cheap instruments are often stringed with fishing lines or something like that.
  • If a string is broken. If the other strings are ok you might only change the broken one. If the strings are old you should buy a new set of strings.
  • If the strings are widely used. After some time the tone looses it's brightness. Just slide with your fingertip over the string. If you feel any irregularities on the surface it's time to change. You see it best over the metal strips along the fretboard. Synthetic strings show rough spots, winded strings will unwind and might harm your frets. The time of change depends on your playing style and how often you play.
  • If you want to try other strings. Even if you like the strings on your ukulele, you might try other brands or materials.

What kind of strings should you put on ?


Scale & Tuning

You need strings with the right scale. So whatever the size of your ukulele is - from soprano to baritone - choose the right size. Some producers provide strings that fit for different scales ( like some Worth strings ). If you play a baritone ukulele, you can use the upper 4 strings of a set of guitar strings (of course the nylon strings of classical guitar, no steel strings from a western guitar ). Remember also to choose the correct tuning. Most people will start off with standard reentrant tuning in C6 ( G C E A ). Some ( e.g. Canadians ) prefer D6 tuning ( A D F# B ). If you want to play solo ukulele you might try a low 4th string ( like low G tuning ).


Most ukuleles are stringed with nylons when they are produced. A special kind of nylon strings is Nylgut. These strings shall imitate gut strings. You can also find carbon strings. You have to try for yourself which material will meet your requirements. Never put steel strings on a acoustic ukulele. This will damage your instrument.


There are many different producers for ukulele strings.  You have to find yourself which product is best for you. Some players even use fishing lines. Uke4u recommends  Fluocarbon strings from Martin or Worth ( same as RISA ).

What you need:

If you want to change the strings of your ukulele make sure you have the right equipment. Use a stringwinder to rest your wrist. If you don't have suitable pliers, you can also cut the strings with a nail clipper. Any tuner will do the job. you can also use a tuning fork, but electric tuners are easier to use. You can also use our ukulele app tuner. Please take a look at our guide " How to tune a ukulele ". In addition you can use cleaner and polisher agents to maintain the wood. The graphite of a pencil can be useful for smooth sliding of the strings.

1. Loosen the strings

Loosen all the strings by unwinding the tuning pegs with the stringwinder. Remove the strings from the machine heads and from the bridge.

2. Clean the fretboard

Clean the fretboard with the cloth and bit of water. You can also use cleaning agents and polisher ( only those for instruments, not for furniture ).

3a. Slottet bridge

14 If your ukulele has a slotted bridge, tie a knot at the end of the string. Leave about half an inch ( 1,3 cm ) at the knotted end. Feed the knot into the hole in the bridge and put the strings into the slot. Pull on the long end of the string until the knot the knot fits tight.

3a. Slottet bridge (Knot)

3b. Tie-bar bridge

If your ukulele has a tie-bar bridge, pass the string through the hole.

3b. Tie-bar bridge (Knot)

5 Loop the string behind the end of string that leads into the hole. Loop the string two times over the top of the tie-bar. Pull the string on the long end until the knot is tight.

4. Shorten the string

Shorten the end of the string and leave about half an inch ( 1,3 cm ).

5. Pull the string

Pull the string over the fretboard through the hole in the tuning peg at the headstock. Loop the string back and pull it into the hole of the tuning peg. This first wind has to be over on top. Put the string into the slot of the nut and pull it tight. Optional: Take a sharpened pencil and draw in the slots of the saddle, where you put the strings in. Through the graphite the strings can slide better when the tuning pegs are used.

6. Turn the tuning pegs

Take the string winder and turn the tuning pegs. You have to wind the 4th and 3th string to the left side, the 2nd and 1st to the right. Put the finger of your other hand onto the headstock and push the string down. Guide it to spiral downward.

 7. Tune the string

Take a tuner and tune the string.

 8. It should look like this

There should be around 3 windings under the hole of the tuning peg.

9. Shorten the string

Shorten the end of the string and leave about half an inch ( 1,3 cm ).

10. Put on all the strings

Put on all the strings.

11. Pull the strings

Pull every string for a few times like this and tune it afterwards. The strings will hold the tune after a few days.


  1. sudarma hendradi

    I play Suprano Ukulele, but I like Baritone Sound, but it has different tuning.

    can I used Suprano String installed in Baritone, so I will play bariitone with the same chord as Suprano.

    thank you

    • admin

      no, this won’t work ( different size ).

      cheers FriendlyFred


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