Baritone Ukulele Strings

The standard baritone ukulele strings are lower than the standard ukulele tuning. They are tuned to DGBE (the same as the top four strings of a guitar). They also differ from the standard ukulele as they are not in re-entrant tuning i.e. the strings go from low to high.

That’s the information you’ll read most places. Of course, it gets more complicated than that. I get more people asking me about baritone ukulele strings than I do any other string related query. To answer the question: yes, you can tune a baritone ukulele like a standard ukulele, but you need the right strings.

You can get strings that are DGBE with the D tuned an octave higher (giving the strings the same re-entrant relationship as on a standard ukulele) and you can get strings for GCEA tuning with the G either high or low.

The only problem is that it isn’t always clear what you’re getting. So it might be worth contacting the person selling them to make sure what you get is what you want.

On eBay

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  1. Joe April 9th, 2011 10:22 pm

    You say regarding baritone strings “…you can get strings for GCEA tuning with the G either high or low” but I can’t find any with low G. Any help? Thanks.

  2. Paul Borowiak July 6th, 2011 9:05 pm

    Can I get a d string for a baritone uke that is not wound?

  3. sally December 2nd, 2011 5:24 pm

    baritone uke strings with low g – unwound . Search for linear strings.

  4. sally December 2nd, 2011 5:30 pm I bought 3 sets ( to avoid postage to UK and they work fine on my baritone – none wound )

  5. Zach September 11th, 2012 11:01 pm

    My question is can you tune a standard tenor ukulele to a baritone using the baritone strings?

  6. David January 17th, 2013 5:29 am

    Same question as Zach, 9/11/12, can one get strings to tune a tenor use to DGBE?

  7. John August 1st, 2013 3:13 am

    Most men are baritones, and most songs suitable for baritones are in Bb, which is difficult to play on a guitar with standard tuning. By increasing the(nylon)string diameter but maintaining about the same tension in each string, C chords become Bb chords and accompanying baritones is much easier. My Spanish-built guitar has become much louder with these strings and lower tuning. On another guitar re-stringing with extra high tension nylon strings but tuning one tone lower than normal resulted in much the same increase in volume and broadening of tone. What strings would do this for a baritone ukulele?

  8. phil curran October 10th, 2013 11:35 am

    Bought a baritone recently (greg bennett samick) and found the strings very poor indeed. So bought some Aquilla baritone ones in GCEA. A friend has a baritone with tenor strings that I find unpleasant to play due to the tension of strings. However the Aquilla seem much the same ie overtaut. Also the C string has a flat,dead sound to it. Not happy, will have to change.

  9. Don Aspromonte November 26th, 2013 7:32 pm

    I play a vintage Gibson Baritone Uke and have recently acquired a Boulder Creek Riptide Baritone. I have used Aquila for many years and about 1 year ago I switched to Worth strings.

    I like the Aquila strings but I find the Worth strings are much better for both of my instruments. To me, all of the Worth strings have a similar timbre and a mellow but strong sound. On the Gibson it produces a very strong sound and on the Riptide it maintains the ‘brightness’ you would expect with the solid spruce top while producing very pleasant undertones.

    Either Aquila or Worth are better on my instruments than Martin strings.

  10. Don Aspromonte November 26th, 2013 7:35 pm

    P.S., The Worth Baritone strings are not wound. I do a lot of slides when I play and this enables me to avoid the ‘rasping’ sound of the wound strings.

  11. Don Aspromonte November 26th, 2013 7:42 pm

    PPS. Worth makes both clear strings and ‘brown’ strings. Use the clear!

  12. Bob V February 20th, 2014 4:06 pm

    I use all nylon banjo strings and play slack-key baritone – DGBD. The strings have a little less sustain, but easy vibrato. DGBD – same chord chart as banjo.

  13. Steve W February 24th, 2014 8:03 pm

    After getting a baritone tuned (low)G C E A, I kept breaking the Aquila low G as supplied. Now I’ve got a set of Living Water strings from Ken Middleton: these are (non-wound) fluorocarbon which have an odd feel at first, but now they feel fine to me and so far no breakage.

  14. leroy June 13th, 2014 7:14 am

    Are the chords the same for a low G as for a high G?

  15. Andy December 16th, 2014 9:40 am

    In answer to Leroy’s question, yes.

  16. Aaron December 23rd, 2014 3:16 am

    I’ve got some of Ken Middletons’ Living Waters strings coming for my Lanakai LU21B. I wanted to try them because I replaced my Aquila strings on my tenor with Living Waters strings and the difference was much better, in my opinion. The strings were much smoother and softer; the tone was absolutely great! I’ll pass along a review when I get them.

  17. Paddy Quay February 2nd, 2015 3:15 am

    I have a Baritone ukulele & Tenor ukulele.I know
    the chords are different.Can I change the Baritone
    ukulele strings to Tenor strings?

  18. Woodshed February 2nd, 2015 7:47 am

    Paddy: Aquila make strings for gcea tuning on baritone ukuleles.

  19. Flymo February 21st, 2015 4:08 am

    Hello Paddy, Woodshed…
    We have had experience of several Tanglewood TU-5 Baritones. A lovely instrument, but the anonymous black strings fitted from new just do not work as well as the similar ones on our TU-4 Tenor.
    On these black strings traditional Baritone DGBE tuning was floppy and lacked response….
    When wound up to gCEA, the A string would break without fail, at the bridge knot. Bridge is a bit sharp-edged, so I have my suspicions. But the A-string was -very- tight indeed.
    Wound up, but 2 semitones flat from gCEA works pretty well, but my head is no longer up to dynamic transposition on the fly.
    So we tried a set of Aquila NylGut GCEA Baritone strings on one instrument, and all was well after only one A-string breakage. Might even have been my sloppy knot.
    So we got another set of these for the other TU-5. This kept breaking A-strings – until I spent 5 days winding it up slowly until pitch stable. Think it’s OK now.
    The Tanglewood bridge is very smart, but it relies on a sharp-edged slot to capture the knot. Think that may be the root of the problem, but it’s -very- hard to modify, especially with my eyesight.

    On the second one we left the original C & E black strings in place, which gives what we think is a slightly better string balance on these instruments. That’s g & A in Nylgut, C & E in the black original strings. Your mileage may vary!
    On my beloved TU-4 the black strings work so well that I have hesitated to replace them with the set of Aquila that was purchased with it in December 2014. Still hesitating on that! They suit the instrument very well, imho.

    The plan is to try a set of Aquila Red DGBE (low D) next, and see how that works.

  20. Flymo February 28th, 2015 6:48 am

    Well, we have tried the linear tuning DGBE Aquila Reds on the Baritone.
    Surprising to find two wound strings (D & G) in the bass with a pair of Red strings (B & E) for the top.

    Well, it was surprising to us after trying the Low G GCEA set on the Tanglewood TU-4 Tenor. These were all ‘Red’ strings, nothing wound. Worked wonderfully well and attracted much favourable comment.
    So the expectation was a similar set for the Baritone…
    Nope. Two wound, two Red. Oh well.

    After fitting them (more on that later) and tuning up for a fair while, some playing was attempted.
    Very good indeed! We liked them, anyway.
    After returning from the Melbourne Uke Festival benefit at The Bridge in Castlemaine, I can report that others who tried both the Tenor and Baritone made very kind comments about the tone and sound.
    Very big, very full, and well-balanced – particularly for the way I play, which is sorta son-of-fingerstyle guitar, plus strumming.

    Fitting plain Aquila Reds (especially the thinner strings) to TU-4/5 is much more successful if a piece of heavy linen thread is wrapped around the string just before the end knot, and then knotted on. This acts as a ‘soft washer’ to protect the delicate string from damage in the bridge slot, we reckon.

    Either way, no more string breakages so far…
    (fingers crossed)

  21. Flymo March 9th, 2015 10:26 pm

    The 2nd (Red) string on the Baritone parted inside the bridge yesterday whilst it was sitting quietly in its case, so the linen thread trick is not foolproof.
    Re-tied it and added more linen thread, and it has survived the night at concert pitch.
    So far so good…

  22. Flymo March 25th, 2015 11:05 am

    No further string problems despite much furious strumming, a fair bit of fingerstyle and a couple of gigs.
    Yes, I like Baritone!

  23. Flymo March 26th, 2015 5:33 am

    So far so excellent – the trick seems to be more linen thread in the wrap.
    And does it ever sound good with these Reds!

    Mentioned earlier that my head is no longer ok for dynamic transposition, so the Baritone comes out whenever the group does a song new to me. Then I can sight read the chord list, no worries.

    GCEA is five whole frets away from being easy…

  24. Paddy Quay April 12th, 2015 3:03 am

    I have a Baritone & Tenor ukulele.I know how to play the
    Tenor,but not Baritone.Can I use Tenor strings for the
    Baritone and tune to GCEA ?

  25. Flymo April 13th, 2015 3:13 am

    Hi Paddy – you _can_ tune a Baritone to GCEA, but Tenor strings would probably be a problem. They are designed to tune to this pitch at a shorter length, so winding them up on a Baritone might break the strings or pull the bridge off, worst case.
    But there are special strings that allow this to be done.
    We’ve tracked some down at Guadalupe Custom Strings ( and there’s a demo on YouTube here:-
    Still working out how to get them mail order….

  26. Flymo April 13th, 2015 3:18 am

    Typo in the web address, they are at,
    and the Uke strings are for sale at:-
    …but this does not support a destination other than the USA.
    Mainland Ukes (link below) do offer other shipping options, but they add around $50 postage to one set of strings!;jsessionid=A80A12C276AEE3CBD1058244ABA3CC5A.m1plqscsfapp02?categoryId=2

  27. Flymo June 14th, 2015 12:28 pm

    Latest on GCEA strings for a Baritone, think you can get these as a ‘Custom’ set in Fluorocarbon from Ken Middleton at Living Water strings – he’s been in the USA lately, but should be able to sort something when he’s back.
    I find his strings t be excellent.

  28. Paddy Quay October 24th, 2015 3:57 am

    Can I use 4 lower strings on guitar for
    a Baritone ukulele ?

  29. RICHARD November 24th, 2015 4:44 am

    Many thanks to the feedback and comments, You have cleared up a lot of my queries and misgivings on the alternatives available for my new acquired KALA Baritone.

  30. Rachel December 7th, 2015 9:27 am

    Can i use guitar strings on my DGBE baritone Ukulele ?

  31. steve January 18th, 2016 9:43 pm

    hi I got some new aquila nylgut gcea high g for my lovely kala baritone. but the top A broke when i put them on. So I have got a new set, this time aguila lava put the new A on and it feels so tight it might snap. i guess they should be tuned to the same picth as my other ukes, an octave down they are just to slack, please help dont what to snap another A.

  32. Wayne February 1st, 2016 10:28 am

    I recently purchased a Makala baritone Uke and absolutely love it (very easy to move my big fingers around). It was restrung with Fremont (Black) strings for GCEA with a wound low G ,it was then ‘down tuned’ to F A# D G.
    This gives a much more mellow/soft/deep sound.
    Tuned this way i can revert to normal GCEA tuning simple by putting a CAPO across the second fret…..this put the baritone into GCEA tune…without the need to ‘stretch the strings’ by re-tuning.

  33. emi March 12th, 2016 6:05 pm

    My personal opinion: re-entrant 4th is a key-feature of the uke sound … I am surprised most ukers use a low-D. I think baritone has the best of the uke and guitar together, but to keep this balance you need a re-entrant one!

  34. rich May 16th, 2016 9:54 pm

    I have a Samick baritone which I love the sound of. I found the Aquilla strings sound better than Martin strings.I pick a lot of tunes by ear but I am not a skilled strummer/player I did not want to learn a whole new set of chord patterns & I play with other people & other ukes. I have it tuned E, A, C#, F#, as this allows me to pick or strum my usual chords if solo or turn it into a standard tuned G,C,E,A, tenor by placing a capo on the 3rd fret allowing me to play with other ukes. I don’t really understand all the implications of playing like this but it definitely works for me

  35. David June 25th, 2016 8:27 pm

    After double,double checking the specs Aquila sent me a (too short) tenor set, ditto Guadalupe,C and E baritone strings, too short. Just made them fit, barely but E string buzzes. I have a Washburn Baritone, can’t find strings

  36. Lilo December 25th, 2016 9:24 pm

    Hi I’m Lilo and I play the uke for 2 years now and I absolutely love it!

    I was curious and wanted to try the GCEA strings on my Baritone. After I stringed them with some nylgut strings made by aquila (spcialised for GCEA tuning) I struggled to tune them right. The tuning was either too low and sounded awful or it didn’t pitch the next octave without me being scared of stressing the bridge too much. I’m not sure what to do next and I can’t wait cuz I’m so keen to play.

    I only stringed it yesterday maybe this might be reason?

    I’m looking forward to hear your answers.

    Thanks a lot


  37. AJ March 7th, 2017 2:37 am

    I play Baritone ukulele and have lately been disappointed in the rather lacklustre sound given off by the two wound strings in an Aquila Baritone string set. As a temporary alternative I borrowed and shortened with snips standard copper wound guitar stings of a similar width. Although the sustain and resonance I was looking for returned, the tuning had to be high and tight putting more tension on the neck than I would like. I a clear fan of wound strings (especially if any slide work is required – nylon just doesnt cut it) but havent found a satisfactory string maker for my Baritone. I have yet to explore many of the better known string labels but welcome suggestions to shortcut my quest.

  38. Fuzbat May 18th, 2017 1:07 am

    Everyone should consult a luthier when string problems arise for a new uke – the simple reason being that sound comes from changing string tensions, thus putting more or less stress on the the uke’s vibrating neck and body.

    The best way to put luck on your side is to discover the string tension at the bridge/head your instrument is designed to take (from manufacturer/uke shop). The stress on the uke bridge is a critical value as it is not unknown for bridges to pull off or necks to bend with too much tension. Dead sound can come from too little tension or uneven string quality.

    The ideal solution is to try to distribute 1/4 of total tension to each string (mine is 4kg or about 1kg per string).

    Your instrument’s vibrating length is fixed and varies between instruments: check and note head-bridge distance. For a given string length, general tension/string and a given tuning, a luthier/shop should be able to give you a diameter for each string (wound or not) that balances tension across the bridge. Get as close as possible – having a wide range of tensions is asking for trouble, so remember string diameter is essential information.

    When you keep track of the diameter your uke is expecting and your changes, it then becomes relatively easy to experiment different manufacturers, materials, and diameters with some hope of success. Put a bit of method in your effort and you’ll get the hang of it quickly.

    I am looking forward to hearing some of your results. I am looking for more brilliance…

  39. Fuzbat May 18th, 2017 12:35 pm

    Re : regarding previous note, critical manufacturer’s recommended string tension in my case should be:

    – baritone (50,7cm string length) overall bridge tension should be of the order of 29kg, or 7,25kg/string;

    – tenor, (38cm string length) should be of the order of 19kg overall tension, or 4,75kg/string.

    If you are regularly breaking nylon strings the diameter is too thick and the tension way too high; try a visibly thinner string. Also, remember that applying too much tension risks reducing string diameter through stretching and may cause intonation problems.

    The aim is to balance tone quality between strings, sound projection, and playing ease. Each set of 4 strings is just one of many compromises and shouldn’t deter you from changing just a dull second string or an unwound third one. it is your instrument after all.

  40. David Bingham May 8th, 2021 11:16 am

    I have converted a kiddies 6 string electric guitar to a baritone uke – I cut a new 4 string bridge. It works OK, makes a good sound. However, I have a problem because the strings are at such tension that they are too easy to bend when placing my fingers on the fret board so chords play out of tune. I cannot imagine anyone else has been as daft as me to try the conversion, but just in case anyone has and they have any advice on what I could do then it is worth a try, otherwise the uke will have to go back to a guitar and I will actually have to buy a real one.

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