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Old 09-27-2013, 01:09 PM   #1
popguitarist
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Default Charango strings

My Peruvian (or other) guitarcollagues!
Iīve got a corgeous charango, and one string is broken. The strings are definitely not guitar strings, and the guys at local music stores havenīt even heard of charango. Are there some other strings I could successfully try to use for my instrument? Ukulele could go close, I guess?
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:56 PM   #2
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Describe the instrument to us, how many strings, how long the course is.. that type of thing. You might be able to adapt uke strings but we have to honestly know what a Charango is.

If the uke strings would work, get the longest as in Tenor or long neck Soprano. If the sizes are similar, they might work. After I posted this, I went looking. Juststrings.com Sells Charango string sets, 10 strings... $7.10 plus shipping. Check them out.
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Last edited by Parralax view; 09-27-2013 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:50 PM   #3
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According to Wikipedia, a charango has "four to fifteen metal, gut, or nylon strings." If it's about the size of a ukulele (again, this is Wikipedia talking), I don't see why you couldn't use uke strings. Or classical guitar strings, for that matter, if you cut a bunch of the end off...seems a waste though.
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:00 PM   #4
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Default using ukulele strings for charango

I have a charango with nylon strings, and it looks like the gauges of 7 of the 10 strings match very closely to the gauges of the strings on my soprano ukulele. The remaining three strings are thinner, perhaps .5 or .6 millimeters in diameter. Nylon fishing line of the appropriate diameter would probably work.

In order to make a set of charango strings, it looks like one would need four sets of soprano ukulele strings, plus the three thinner strings, because four of the charango strings appear to be the same gauge. The G uke string only a little thinner than the E, so one could probably get away with using G uke strings for the 3rd and 4th charango strings, and then one would only need two sets of soprano uke strings.

Starting from the 1st pair of strings (highest-pitched), and using G, C, E, A to refer to the strings from a set for soprano ukulele, here is how my charango is strung:

1st string: .5 or .6 mm (estimated)
2nd string: .5 or .6 mm (estimated)

3rd string: E (or substitute G)
4th string: E (or substitute G)

5th string: C
6th string: .5 or .6 mm (estimated)

7th string: A
8th string: A

9th string: E
10th string: E

It's possible that my charango isn't strung in a standard way, so don't take this for the last word.

I'm sure you can order sets of charango strings, too.

Good luck!
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Old 04-05-2014, 11:06 PM   #5
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Yeah, the Charango is a ukulele, but with 10 strings, and obvious other differences. Ukulele strings would definitely be a good bet. That's what I'd go with. I've been wanting to buy a charango lately, cool piece, really.
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Old 04-22-2014, 02:35 AM   #6
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What a beautiful instrument:



Haha, sorry I'm not more helpful. Thank you for bringing up the instrument.
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:21 PM   #7
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Hey, thanks for your input.
Yes, ukulele strings definitely is the (quite obvious) answer! One local guy came up with the idea as well, and it works.
If itīs ok, Iīll post the song I played after nailing the chords first

youtube will find it with: Alku Kahdestaan

Comments are most welcome!
onehourmethod (at) gmail.com
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Old 11-26-2014, 11:10 PM   #8
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The charango is typically tuned much higher that the uke at the treble side, so you risk damaging it with uke strings and charango tuning, or the high strings might break. Here's some info on gauges:

http://www.fernandezmusic.com/Charan...d_Methods.html

The charango is also popular in Colombia, where I lived for a couple of years. I'm not sure if it is put into the uke family, because it doesn't use re-entrant tuning.
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Old 11-27-2014, 12:04 AM   #9
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Aquila now offers sets of Charango strings in addition to standard ukulele strings in all the uke sizes.... just a thought.
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Old 11-27-2014, 07:32 AM   #10
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Embarrassed to admit, but I kind of grew to the sound and feeling of not having all the double strings in place, and now Iīm a bit too happy without them...

Good to know about tension issues, I definitely canīt afford to damage the instrument.
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