How to Put Strings on a Ukulele

How to Put Strings on a Ukulele

Inexpensive and easy to pick up, the ukulele is a wonderful instrument that you can learn to play with little to no musical background. But, like any other stringed instrument, sooner or later you'll need to change the strings. While putting new strings on a ukulele can take a little practice to get right, after getting the hang of it you might find you look forward to the task.

Part 1 of 2:
Removing Old Strings

1
Unwind each string from its tuning peg at the top of the ukulele. Turn the 2 pegs that face up when you play clockwise to unwind the string. For the strings on the 2 pegs that face down toward the floor, turn the pegs counter-clockwise. Carefully pull the strings out of the peg holes. [1] X Research source If you have a hard time getting the strings out of the tuning pegs, use nail clippers to clip them off. Just be careful not to scratch the finish of your ukulele.
2
Undo the knot at the bridge to slide the string out of the bridge hole. If you have a bridge with bridge pegs, gently pull the peg out to free the string. For a tie bar bridge, on the other hand, loosen the ends of the strings and untie the knots. [2] X Research source As with the tuning pegs, if you have difficulty undoing the knots, nail clippers to the rescue!
3
Clean your ukulele while the strings are off. There's no better time to clean your ukulele than when all the strings are off because you have complete access to the fingerboard. A lot of grime can accumulate on the surface, especially if you play frequently. Use a little lemon oil or wood polish and a soft, lint-free cloth to gently clean the surface. [3] X Research source Check your bridge as well and clean any dust or dirt that might have accumulated there.[4] X Research source
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Part 2 of 2:
Stringing Your Ukulele

1
Tie a knot at the end of each string if you have bridge pegs. For a ukulele with pegs at the bridge, the knot at the end of the string simply keeps the string from slipping past the peg. Tie the knot as close as possible to the end of the string. [5] X Research source If the knot keeps coming undone, try a double-knot. High-quality strings tend to hold a knot better than cheaper strings, so if you continue to have a problem with this, consider an upgrade.
2
Press the bridge peg in place snugly over the knot. Drop the knotted end of your string in the peg hole, then press the bridge peg back into place with your thumb. Apply gentle pressure — you don't want to accidentally crack your bridge. [6] X Research source The bridge pegs typically have a little notch so you can tell if you've got the peg in securely.
3
Knot the end of the string around the bridge if you have a tie bar bridge. Insert your new string through the bridge hole and pull about 2 to 3 inches (5.1 to 7.6 cm) of the string through. Make a knot in the string and pull the shorter end of the string towards the bottom of the ukulele. Wrap that shorter end around the loop one more time, then pull the string tight to secure it. [7] X Research source Repeat this process with each of the other 3 strings. Once you have all the strings in place, you can tuck the tail ends under the strings so they don't poke you while you play.[8] X Research source
4
Feed the other end of the string through its tuning peg hole. Once you have the bridge end of the string secure, pull it up to the top of the ukulele and slide it through the hole in the tuning peg that corresponds with that string. While turning the peg, loop it once over the top of the end of the string sticking out, then twice underneath. This should secure the string in the hole so you can tighten it the rest of the way. [9] X Research source It helps to give your tuning pegs a turn so the holes are lined up with the string. Then, you can just slide the string right in.
5
Tighten each string up and tune it to pitch. Turn each of the 2 tuning pegs that face up when you're playing counter-clockwise to tighten the strings. For the other 2 pegs, turn them clockwise. Tighten just enough that the string has tension, then use your tuner to bring them to the right pitch. [10] X Research source With new strings, you might find that you have to adjust them more often to keep them in tune. After some time playing, the strings will stretch and stay in tune longer.
Advertisement

Part 1 of 2:
Removing Old Strings

1
Unwind each string from its tuning peg at the top of the ukulele. Turn the 2 pegs that face up when you play clockwise to unwind the string. For the strings on the 2 pegs that face down toward the floor, turn the pegs counter-clockwise. Carefully pull the strings out of the peg holes. [1] X Research source If you have a hard time getting the strings out of the tuning pegs, use nail clippers to clip them off. Just be careful not to scratch the finish of your ukulele.
2
Undo the knot at the bridge to slide the string out of the bridge hole. If you have a bridge with bridge pegs, gently pull the peg out to free the string. For a tie bar bridge, on the other hand, loosen the ends of the strings and untie the knots. [2] X Research source As with the tuning pegs, if you have difficulty undoing the knots, nail clippers to the rescue!
3
Clean your ukulele while the strings are off. There's no better time to clean your ukulele than when all the strings are off because you have complete access to the fingerboard. A lot of grime can accumulate on the surface, especially if you play frequently. Use a little lemon oil or wood polish and a soft, lint-free cloth to gently clean the surface. [3] X Research source Check your bridge as well and clean any dust or dirt that might have accumulated there.[4] X Research source
Advertisement

Part 2 of 2:
Stringing Your Ukulele

1
Tie a knot at the end of each string if you have bridge pegs. For a ukulele with pegs at the bridge, the knot at the end of the string simply keeps the string from slipping past the peg. Tie the knot as close as possible to the end of the string. [5] X Research source If the knot keeps coming undone, try a double-knot. High-quality strings tend to hold a knot better than cheaper strings, so if you continue to have a problem with this, consider an upgrade.
2
Press the bridge peg in place snugly over the knot. Drop the knotted end of your string in the peg hole, then press the bridge peg back into place with your thumb. Apply gentle pressure — you don't want to accidentally crack your bridge. [6] X Research source The bridge pegs typically have a little notch so you can tell if you've got the peg in securely.
3
Knot the end of the string around the bridge if you have a tie bar bridge. Insert your new string through the bridge hole and pull about 2 to 3 inches (5.1 to 7.6 cm) of the string through. Make a knot in the string and pull the shorter end of the string towards the bottom of the ukulele. Wrap that shorter end around the loop one more time, then pull the string tight to secure it. [7] X Research source Repeat this process with each of the other 3 strings. Once you have all the strings in place, you can tuck the tail ends under the strings so they don't poke you while you play.[8] X Research source
4
Feed the other end of the string through its tuning peg hole. Once you have the bridge end of the string secure, pull it up to the top of the ukulele and slide it through the hole in the tuning peg that corresponds with that string. While turning the peg, loop it once over the top of the end of the string sticking out, then twice underneath. This should secure the string in the hole so you can tighten it the rest of the way. [9] X Research source It helps to give your tuning pegs a turn so the holes are lined up with the string. Then, you can just slide the string right in.
5
Tighten each string up and tune it to pitch. Turn each of the 2 tuning pegs that face up when you're playing counter-clockwise to tighten the strings. For the other 2 pegs, turn them clockwise. Tighten just enough that the string has tension, then use your tuner to bring them to the right pitch. [10] X Research source With new strings, you might find that you have to adjust them more often to keep them in tune. After some time playing, the strings will stretch and stay in tune longer.
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