Craig Brandau – Ukulele Strings

Craig Brandau CD - TenderlyCraig Brandau CD - Try to RememberCraig Brandau’s CD’s “Tenderly” and “Try to Remember” are some of our favorites here at Strings By Mail. He has opened our minds to the amazing possibilities of great instrumental jazz ukulele.
Jazz Chord Solos for Tenor UkuleleWe are also proud to carry his Hal Leonard published book “Jazz Chord Solos For Tenor Ukulele” with CD, and are very lucky that he is willing to share his expertise regarding Ukulele Strings here on our Blog.

Ukulele Strings

by Craig Brandau

Craig Brandau with Ukulele- pic 1Throughout my evolution as a ukulele player, I have played and owned many ukuleles of different sizes, makes and woods.  I have also experimented with numerous sets of strings by various makers.  String choice, like other aspects of the ukulele, is extremely subjective and my choices may not work for you.  However beginners should note that the strings you choose can make a huge difference in sound and playability. About four years ago I discovered Savarez Alliance Guitar Strings.  I find them to be a true step ahead of the others in clarity and playability.  At first I pieced my own sets together, using the regular tension Alliance treble sets with a “D” string for the low G. Though there are ways to get around using a wound low G, I like the bottom end and oomph wound string provides.  I have since changed and am using a Savarez Polished “D” (Corum Series) that squeaks a bit less (this is especially helpful in the recording studio) and use them on all of my ukuleles, including my Flukes and Fleas. Craig Brandau with Ukulele 2 A few months ago, Strings By Mail, began offering my custom “Low G” set, allowing me to easily recommend my exact string set to others. Although I almost exclusively use a low G tuning (I cherish the five notes below middle C this tuning allows), I do have a couple of ukuleles strung with the traditional re-entrant tuning. In this case, I just use a Savarez Alliance “E” (A for ukulele players) string and tune it to G above middle C. This custom “High G” set is also available from Strings By Mail. I hope others find this blog entry of helpful. Please feel free to contact me via my website,, if you have any questions.

One thought on “Craig Brandau – Ukulele Strings

  1. Hi Craig, it makes sense to use classical guitar strings on a tenor uke since it’s pitched like a guitar capoed at the 5th fret. When I was first getting into use, about 8 years ago, I got a deal of several sets of red La Bella Flamenco strings.Unhappy with the brands of string available at local music shops, I tried the La Bella reds on both my Aria classical gigging guitar and my Bushman tenor ukulele. Worked great for both!

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