Best Ukulele Strings – 2021 Top Picks

| Last Updated: December 27, 2021

It seems quite impossible to have a Ukulele and not to purchase strings at least once.

Yes, we know that changing strings might be boring and all that tuning up may sound complicated, but once you enroll, you’ll see it’s just like riding a bike - once you learn it, it will be impossible to forget it.

Ukulele String Basics

Let’s first check some basic facts about the Ukulele strings such as tuning, string order, and composition material. 

How Many Strings Does a Ukulele Have?

All Standard Ukulele models come with four strings. Some unique models may provide you with 8 strings.

What Notes Are the 4 Strings on a Ukulele?

If tuned to the standard scale, the notes are GCEA starting from the top string. 

All Ukuleles except for Baritone has standard tuning. The baritone has a bit lower tuning so it comes with a DGBE setup.

What is the Order of the Strings on a Ukulele?

Unlike acoustic guitars that come with the linear tuning, Ukulele has a different, reentrant tuning. To put it simply, the top and the bottom strings are the highest notes (G and A) while the middle strings are lower. This tuning is also known as the “high G” setup.

However, Tenor Ukulele may also come with linear tuning, too and in this case, the string on the top will be the lowest one and that’s why such tuning is called “low G”. Same tuning can be applied on a baritone ukulele as well.

What Are Ukulele Strings Made of?

Most Ukulele Strings are made of various nylon polymers. Those variations bear a bit of tone traits that make a difference between string brands. Unlike acoustic guitar strings, they are not wounded, as their bridge isn’t made to withstand such tension. 

However, some Tenor and Baritone Ukulele may handle a couple of steel wound strings designed especially for Ukulele instruments. 

When to Change Ukulele Strings 

Unfortunately, besides given you advice that it’s completely normal to change strings once or twice a year, there is no strict answer to this question. The actual lifespan is based on several factors:

  1. How often and how long you play - the lifespan of the string won’t last the same for someone who plays 2-3 times a week and someone who plays it everyday for four and more hours. Also, they may last a lot longer if the player is a kid than a grown-up six-feet two guy.

  2. How good frets are - if they aren’t sanded down properly, they may significantly shorten the lifespan of your strings and even cut your fingers.

  3. How good the actual strings are - premium strings will last much longer than a “no name” stock string from a budget model.

Based on these answers you may change your strings once or twice a year and here are some hints when it’s the right time to do it:

1. Does your Ukulele sound a way different? Does the tone sound plain and boring compared to before?

2. Has the tune started to drop off more frequently than before?

3. Can you notice any dents or unusual flat spots on your strings?

Types of Ukulele Strings 

Ukulele strings can define the sound of your Ukulele a lot. Cheap strings can degrade it, while you won’t believe how good your Ukulele can sound with premium strings. Also, different Ukulele Strings provide different tension and sonic traits.

Nylon Strings

These are the most usual strings on the market and they are usually combined with other material which eventually leads to different sound characteristics.  But, they need time to break-in 

Fluorocarbon Strings

Fluorocarbon is just a fancy word for the fishing line. This should tell you a lot about the durability of these strings, while the sound is just a tad brighter than nylon models.

Wound Metal Strings

Most of the time, such strings come as a combination of Tenor and Baritone Ukuleles. Only the lowest two strings are made from winding materials such as aluminum or copper and sometimes they generate a bit different sound than the rest of the strings.

Wound Nylon Strings

If you need something stronger and fuller, perhaps wound nylon strings are a bit more balanced than Wound Metal strings. Instead of them, Wound Nylon strings wind various polymers to strengthen those lowest strings.

Are All Ukulele Strings Plastic?

As a matter of fact, it’s very hard to find plastic ukulele strings. But, nylon and fluorocarbon strings could be considered as “plastic” because they are often combined with other artificial materials.

Can Ukuleles Have Metal Strings?

Yes, there are special Ukulele metal strings that can be used on Ukulele. But, unlike a guitar, you shouldn’t replace the strings on your own looking at the gauge numbers only. The Ukulele bridge is not so durable as the one found in acoustic guitars and you will probably break it if you use it on your own. 

But, let’s break down Ukulele string models and tell you a bit more:

Comparison of the Best Ukulele Strings

  • Best Tenor Ukulele Strings
  • Brighten the natural tuning with 37.1 tension
  • Made for both beginners and professionals
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  • Best Concert Ukulele Strings
  • Similar diameter, different material density
  • Absorbs less moisture
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  • Best Soprano Ukulele Strings
  • Great tuning stability and intonation
  • Requires less time to break in
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  • Titanium fibers inside
  • Translucent purple hue design
  • Designed for beginners
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  • Best Flourocarbon Ukulele Strings
  • Improved playing feel and harmonic output
  • Made for professional performance
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Review of the Best Ukulele Strings 

While most of these brands come in all Ukulele sizes, there is not a single string pack that excels for all models. That’s why we have decided that there won’t be any best overall this time:

Best Tenor Ukulele Strings:
Martin Premium Polygut Ukulele Strings

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  • Increased sustain length
  • Improved performance and playability
  • Made for both beginners and professionals
  • Brighten the natural tuning with 37.1 tension
  • High-quality Strings made of graphite gray polygut


  • Baritone strings model not available

What Recent Buyers Report

Players who have tried their fluorocarbon strings series say that this pack is definitely a step up regarding durability, sound, and playability. They tend to say that these strings bring another life to your instrument and they mostly plan to remain with these strings.

Why it Stands Out to Us

These graphite gray polygut strings will generate the authentic sound of your instrument, and if you haven’t bought top quality strings before, you may even be surprised how your Ukulele sounds with such strings and how much sustain and clarity you actually have in that tonewood. 

But even if we disregard the sound differences, these strings will still be a leap jump in all aspects from factory strings. Their performance and playability is so well balanced out that even a complete beginner will handle it in the same way just like a professional.

Bottom Line

Martin is known in the Ukulele industry as a brand that makes wonderful premium instruments. It’s somewhat safe to say that their Polygut strings follow the same philosophy and deliver you the best possible sound at a reasonable price.

Best Concert Ukulele Strings:
Aquila AQ-86 Red Nylgut - Low G

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  • Absorbs less moisture
  • Strong and bright sound
  • Similar diameter, different material density
  • Composite strings with wound Low G setup
  • More responsive design across the fretboard


  • Takes a little bit longer to break in 

What Recent Buyers Report

They are reported quite often described to completely change the sound of the Ukulele in a good way. Even budget ukuleles had such a huge sound change thanks to these strings.

However, some users didn’t like the metallic sound whenever they slide on the G string.

Why it Stands Out to Us

These composite strings have a very special visual design - each one from the package is about the same in size, but with a different density. This approach leaves the gauge unchanged while simply changing the weight of each string so that the lowest G string is wound and painted in red. 

Such a feature is unique in the world of Ukulele strings and it provides you with a uniform feel and better fretboard action during play so regardless of what string you’re playing. And because the strings are thicker your instrument will maintain intonation better than before.

Bottom Line

Red Nylgut is not your typical strings and they can be a hit and miss. But, if you like the playing feel it produces, you probably won’t want to play any other strings at all, especially with the Low G string provided.

Best Soprano Ukulele Strings:
Aquila AQ-100 Super Nylgut - High G

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  • Requires less time to break in
  • Super-smooth playing surface
  • The best strings Aquila made so far
  • Great tuning stability and intonation
  • Reinforced and much more durable design


  • Baritone Ukulele strings not available

What Recent Buyers Report

Users report that these strings are smoother and longer-lasting than any other Aquila set. Those who tried several models from other brands pick these strings as their favorite for soprano ukulele, especially for entry-level models.

And, frankly, we couldn’t find any negative reports about these specific strings.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Aquila promotes them as their best Ukulele strings, and we could agree with them.

AQ-100 Super Nylgut is the upgraded version of Aquila Nylgut strings and they come with a natural pearl color and improved sound performance. They are also so smooth and polished that it may feel like you’re playing on a wax.

The biggest upgrade from the regular Nylgut model seems to be much faster tuning and break-in period due to its less stretchy nature. These strings are also reinforced so it will endure sharp edges and fret marks for a much longer time.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for the finest Aquila Ukulele strings on the market, Super Nylgut is your choice. They sound so good that many Ukulele brands include them as a part of their factory bundle just to make their instrument stand out from the first day.

Best for the Money:
D’Addario Titanium Strings

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  • Designed for beginners
  • Translucent purple hue design
  • Modern bright and percussive tone
  • Made in the USA for the best quality control
  • Budget string pack with titanium fibers inside


  • Advanced playing techniques may not sound the best

What Recent Buyers Report

Players have reported that these seem to are very long strings which may come in handy if you’re not good with tying end knots. Tension seems low in general, but it seems to hold well and it will work better for strumming patterns than fingerpicking.

Why it Stands Out to Us

While there might be better strings on the market but this one also sounds way better than factory presets at a really friendly price. 

Titanium is D’Addario’s budget line for strings. These are typical nylon strings blended with the Titanium fiber. This fiber creates a translucent purple hue and provides you with a smooth playing feel that produces a more percussive, brighter, and louder sound. Such material combination will sound wonderful on any modern recording, especially if used with the pick. 

And best of all, these strings are not imported. They are made in the USA and have passed strict quality control before entering the market.

Bottom Line

If you have several Ukuleles, these strings may save you a lot of cash. For a newbie or a budget Ukulele, they will do fine and because of its price, they will come in handy as an emergency spare set, too.

Best Fluorocarbon Ukulele Strings:
Martin Fluorocarbon Strings

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  • Excellent tuning stability 
  • Available for all Ukulele models
  • Made for professional performance
  • One of the most famous Ukulele strings 
  • Improved playing feel and harmonic output


  • Soprano/Concert strings could be a bit longer

What Recent Buyers Report

Users find this model to be affordable, especially with the quality it provides. 

However, Concert Ukulele players complain that the length of those strings could be a bit longer, but Baritone players tend to comment on those strings as the best and most comfortable they have ever played.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Fluorocarbon strings are high-quality models made from a special polymer that’s been used for a fishing line and it’s very similar to gut strings. Therefore, the sound they produce is very distinctive - at first clear and bright but in general very warm and enhanced with improved harmonic output and much shorter break-in time.

They also provide additional tuning stability to your instrument with improved playing feel and will be a bit easier to your fingers.

Martin Fluorocarbon M series are available for all Ukulele models, M600 for Soprano and concert ukulele, M620 for Tenor, and M630 for Baritone Ukulele.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for professional strings that will really improve the sound of your Ukulele, Martin Fluorocarbon strings are probably one of the best choices for you. They sound so good that your Laminate Ukulele can match the sound of a solid wood one.

Best Nylon Ukulele Strings:
Ernie Ball P02326 Soprano / Concert Black Nylon

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  • Warm and punchy tone
  • Unique Black Nylon design
  • Ideal for Concert or Soprano Ukuleles
  • Ball ends provided at the end of the strings
  • Comes in .028, .032, .040, .028 string gauges 


  • Ball ends could be secured a little bit better

What Recent Buyers Report

It was really hard to find a bad review for this product as all guys and girls are praising the ball end solution. There are plenty of players that really loved the fact they don’t have to learn how to tie a reliable knot over the bridge.

Why it Stands Out to Us

These Ukulele strings are made from 100% nylon monofilament. Black resin generates a much warmer tone with percussive attack compared to the traditional clear resin while delivering a standard string gauge of .028, .032, .040, and .028. 

They also come with the ball end construction for a much more time-saving oriented string setup - all you have to do is to pull the strings through the bridge system and pull the ball end up to the bridge. Such a system improves the break-in period by up to 20% when compared to the traditional setup. 

Bottom Line

Ernie Ball strings sound professional, look outstanding, and makes string setup much easier. So, if you’re searching for tricks that could improve your stage presence, perhaps these black nylon Ukulele strings may help you to stand out.

Best Ukulele Strings for Kids:
Aquila New Nylgut AQ-138 Kids Soprano

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  • Prone to environmental changes
  • Every string is colored differently
  • Increased accuracy of fret intonation
  • Excellent feel and a warm sweet tone
  • Better sound with new Nylgut string technology 


  • Not designed for professional use

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers recommend this as a wonderful set for beginners strings and they even recommend it in case you’re still playing on factory provided strings. They really love the design solution as you can call the strings by color instead of note name and they would gladly recommend it to other learners.

Why it Stands Out to Us

New Nylgut strings provide a much warmer tone and provide an excellent playing feel very similar to that of genuine gut strings.

These strings are made for kids of all ages. Aquila is aware that visual memorizing may come really handy for some children and that’s why you’re going to really appreciate having all four strings dyed in different colors. 

Apart from having a color, all strings are gauged accurately to provide increased accuracy of fret intonation and due to its composite materials it will be less prone to moisture and therefore, your kids tuning will be even more stable.

Bottom Line

AQ-138 Ukulele strings give you a chance to make your kids learn Ukulele strings with an alternative visual approach. It sounds warm, and this interactive method might be just what you need to keep your kids inspired.

Best Bass Ukulele Strings:
Aquila 68U Thundergut White

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  • Provides better playing feel
  • Unprecedented tuning stability
  • Very dense and elastic plastic strings
  • Excellent sound when played on speakers
  • Don’t require pre-stretching upon installation


  • Might be too sticky for some players

What Recent Buyers Report

The reports are a bit biased here. While some players report that those strings aren’t so sticky as the one provided in factory setup, others wished if their Bass Ukuleles came with such strings preinstalled.

At least they agree that they sound excellent when played through the bass amp.

Why it Stands Out to Us

These strings are quite different from the regular rubber bass strings. They are made of very dense and elastic plastic which trades a bit different playing experience for more precise tuning. Due to the different materials, they don’t have to be stretched before installing on the pegs.

The sound may even resemble classical guitar strings a little bit so it’s not that easy to play the strings over the fret by the accident. The intonation is much better and the whole instrument stays in tune longer. They also seem to be a bit louder when played acoustically.

Bottom Line

Just like on the regular bass guitar, Bass Ukulele strings seem to be very durable and sound full and round. We could bet that you will even forget when was the last time you have changed those Thundergut strings.

Best Baritone Ukulele Strings:
Aquila New Nylgut NQ-21 Low D

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  • Absorbs less moisture
  • Excellent feel and a sweet tone
  • Increased accuracy of fret intonation
  • Made from three different synthetic components
  • Better sound than traditional nylon or polyvinyl strings


  • More prone to flat out if frets are sharp

What Recent Buyers Report

These strings are reported as brighter than typical strings and that the playing seems to be a bit easier than with other packs and they especially put the focus on the sound difference between metal and nylon strings. Unlike the other packs, the sound difference isn’t so noticeable with these strings.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Aquila New Nylgut AQ-21 strings were made from three different synthetic components that were blended together to provide a better tune. Such technology eliminates metallic overtones found in wound strings while maintaining the original playing feel of the genuine gut, especially with the fingerpicking style. 

Combined with the low-D setup these strings will make your Baritone produce a much more sweet and warm tone than traditional nylon or polyvinyl string would without compromising the sound clarity. And while this is a composite material, it handles environmental moisture much better and provides you with better intonation and tuning accuracy. 

Bottom Line

If you would like to bring your Baritone tone closer to the Spruce tonewood, these strings may create that crispiness to your tone. Combined with the low-D setup and comes with two wound strings, we have to recommend you to try it out.

Best 8-String Ukulele Strings:
D'Addario Nyltech 8-String Tenor

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  • Nyltech material strings
  • String gauges from .018 to .036
  • Made in collaboration with Aquila
  • Warm overtones and gut-like sound
  • Optimized for 8-string tenor ukuleles


  • Be careful with high C string tension

What Recent Buyers Report

They would gladly recommend anyone to try this unique D’Addario set. They also report that those strings could fit on Concert Ukuleles, too.

But, please watch out for the high C string. It’s much thinner than any Ukulele string you have played before and it might be more prone to break.

Why it Stands Out to Us

First of all, it’s very rare to find factory 8-strings packs on the market.

Playability seems to be more than decent while the intonation and tuning stability is way better when compared to other ukulele strings. This is especially noticeable in its behavior during the first couple of days.

These strings deliver a warm but punchy tone. D'Addario did a partnership with the Aquilla’s so the EJ88T model comes with Nyltech material sound is pretty much gut-like and its tuning is optimized for the standard GCEA tuning with string gauges of double .024, .030, .030, and .036, .018, .028, .024 dual sets.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking to experiment with your Tenor Ukulele, installing an 8-string setup might be a very interesting experience for you. D’Addario 8-string pack is not that easy to find so you may bookmark it for later.

How to Break in Ukulele Strings

Unless you didn’t know, Ukulele strings require some time to break in nicely and while it may get really annoying to get notes out of tune so quickly, it’s quite normal. Here are some tips on how you can shorten the “break-in” time for your strings.

  1. First, tune all of your strings half the step up and repeat this process between every step.

  2. Then, “play basketball” with your Ukulele. Let the instrument hang by your holding on a single Ukulele string doing small hand gestures for about ten seconds per string, very similar to tapping the ball.

  3. Now, you can do the opposite - bend the strings up by placing the two fingers beneath the strings and place the thumb on the specific string. While you move your fingers up, move the thumb down and go across the whole string up to the headstock. Try to hold the palm of your hand as much as possible on the bridge during this step. As you move towards the neck, use for elbow instead.

  4. Once you’re done, with all the steps, re-tune your Ukulele, it should be much more in tune than before.

If you would like to see a tutorial presenting all four steps, please go to the link placed below:

How to Choose Ukulele Strings 

If you were expecting to tell you which strings are the best, we have to disappoint you again as there is no such thing. But, follow those advices and pick the winner for yourself:

Know Your Ukulele Model

All strings are designed for specific Ukulele. If you have a tenor ukulele, Concert strings won’t match because of the length. But, you can put Tenor strings on a Concert. You may get a bit more tension and darker sound which might be a good thing sometimes.

Anyway, be careful and if you need a low G setup, always try to find the exact packaging containing such strings in the description.

Let the Tonewood Lead You

Mahogany can sound nice and warm. But, it can be a little bit darker as well, especially on the bigger Ukulele models. That’s why the Titanium string may be the right choice.

On the other hand, Ebony or Spruce wood already has a lot of brightness, so perhaps some premium nylon strings would be a better call.


Generally, it's a rule of thumb to pick brighter strings for recording sessions. Such sound can always be turned down to sound less bright, but doing it the opposite way is something that you should avoid.

How to String a Ukulele

Changing strings might seem complicated at the beginning but it’s a quite basic and routined job that you will probably learn in two or three takes.

  1. First, make sure that the tension of the string matches the size of the Ukulele. 

  2. Thread one side of the string through the tie block towards the neck while leaving three to four inches on the other end.

  3. Now, you’ll need to tie the string across the tie block - loop the end of the string under, over, and back through the loop you have just created. Repeat this once again and pinch the end of the string against the tie block and pull the rest of the string tight. 

  4. Next, thread the string through the correct peg and start winding counter-clockwise for the G and the C string and clockwise for E and A. Try to wind the loose end underneath the coil to prevent slipping. 

  5. Once you start feeling the tension, tune the string up to pitch using a tuner and remove the rest of the string with scissors or a clipper to prevent any buzzing.

If you need a video tutorial for this process with a large version of how to tie a knot, please click on the link provided below:


We hope you realize by now that the Ukulele strings are a very important part of the sound of your Ukulele and that it’s worth investing in a proper package. And the better the strings are, the less often you’ll have to change or re-tune them.

People Also Ask

Now that we have shown you all the Ukulele strings you may need, let’s check some trivia and see why Ukulele first string isn’t the thickest one, also go a little bit more technical about their lifespan, tension and remind you about some basic Ukulele playing techniques:

Why Are Ukulele Strings Out of Order?

Ukulele derives from the Portuguese guitars which have been using Baroque guitar tuning or also known as re-entrant. Back in the old days, it wasn’t that easy to make thick strings for lower octave notes while having an octave higher would be too thin and it would break much easier.

What is a Low G String on Ukulele?

Low G string on Ukulele is a string tuned in a note G, but an octave lower. It is installed instead of the top string. Both setups have their own pros and cons, but if you have a bigger Ukulele such as Tenor, we would advise you to at least try out low G strings.

Do Ukulele Strings Break Easily?

Unlike guitar strings, standard nylon Ukulele strings don't break so often. But, those wound strings share the nature of their guitar counterparts so they may last a little bit less. The bigger concern for such strings is that there is a higher chance of pulling the bridge up from the body, though.

How to Fingerpick Ukulele

The general rule of thumb (pun intended) is that you’re pulling the strings down with the thumb and up with the other fingers. By default, every string should have one finger allocated, but, for some chords, it’s completely fine to move the thumb to the C-string. Your little finger can rest on the body and provide you more stability.

How to Tighten Ukulele Strings

Turn the headstock pegs counterclockwise. Tightening the Ukulele Strings will result in raising a pitch on that specific string so you may check with the tuner if that’s what you need. If not, turn the pegs clockwise to loosen strings up.

How Long Do Ukulele Strings Last?

Unlike guitar strings, Ukulele Strings tend to last much longer, so, based on how often you play your instrument you should replace it once or twice a year. It’s completely fine to prolong this period if you play just occasionally.

It’s safe to compare those strings to the bass guitar strings’ lifespan.

Are Ukulele Strings Different Sizes?

Yes, Ukulele strings come often in different sizes so they can match the specific Ukulele model. Some may support a couple of models, Soprano and Concert for example, but most of the time you will have to find Ukulele strings based exactly on what model you have with you.

Should Ukulele Strings Be Tight?

While we can’t describe how tight they exactly should be, it’s safe to say that you shouldn’t try to overdo it. If they feel tight and they are in tune, you probably have just the correct string tension. 

Also, bear in mind that it’s quite normal to have a different tension in lower and upper strings.

How Hard Do You Press Down on Ukulele Strings?

Specific notes that you want to play are generated based on the strength of your strumming hand and the fret wire you’re holding. Once the string makes contact with the fret, there is no need to press any further.

Always remember that pressing strings too hard may bend your note out of tune.

I'm a 35-year-old rock-oriented professional musician from Belgrade, Serbia with 20 years of field experience in various areas of the music industry. After graduating from elementary music school I joined my first band Alogia in 2001 which had incredible initial success with the debut album and became one of the greatest Balkan heavy metal acts ever. We have recorded several studio and live albums and played as an opening act for Whitesnake, Apocalyptica, and Paul Di’Anno. Meanwhile, I got a chance to collaborate with Roland Planet shop and get familiar with various music equipment for more than a decade. For the last eight years, I have done live audio mixing for numerous bands and other live and studio events, including some TV audio mixing for national television broadcast as well. Currently, I’m playing keyboards for one of the most authentic Serbian music rock legends - Dr. Nele Karajlić, also known for his work with Zabranjeno Pušenje and No Smoking Orchestra.