For those who have an experience playing a guitar without trying the ukulele, more often than not, they are surprised with how the strings are arranged. Why? Because ukulele strings aren’t set up the same like how a bass guitar would be. In fact, the order of the strings for the most common tuning called C Standard is G C E and A with G actually being higher than C. Surprise guitar players!
However, what purpose does that serve? A lot! In fact, being in that tuning gives the ukulele its usual bright feel when playing songs on it. Ever noticed that most songs played on an ukulele is usually cheery rather than dark or moody? Blame it on the high G string. However, if you’re more of a guitar player and not too keen with playing the ukulele the common way it is played, you can always opt for a low G string. That’s completely possible and with it, there will be a huge change on how you can play the songs on an ukulele with a myriad of new possibilities.
First, let’s talk about the advantages of low G string. One of the easiest to state here is the extended range. You get to tap on to 5 additional lower notes. To some, that would mean a lot especially for expanding your melodic playing or soloing. This is pretty handy for guitar players too as you’ll be able to properly play more songs intended for guitar if you’re used to it. It’s not to say that it impossible with a standard C tuning ukulele, but hitting the correct octave makes a lot of difference.
Another advantage you get with Low G is the chords you play with the ukulele will sound fuller. Darker, even. Now this is, in fact, a subjective improvement. It depends on how you visualize your music. Without the high G, you lose some brightness to your chord playing, which may not be great sounding for certain songs intended to be played on an ukulele with high G.
Still, for complete beginners, the question is, is Low G for you? You really can’t say that you can’t be you also can’t go wrong with high G. It all depends on how you’d like your playing to sound like. Both are equally just as good, but make sure to just use the best quality strings, because strings usually make up 50% of the overall sound quality while the other half, to one’s fingers!