Student of Guitar

The Complete Guide to Guitalele Strings [2022 Edition]

Table of Contents

If you want to know which guitalele strings are best for your situation, this post is for you!

Basically, the best strings for your guitalele depend on the type of guitalele you have and which tuning you are using.

I’ve created a simple tool to help you choose the best strings below.

Guitalele String Selector


But I’ll discuss these string options in greater detail below.

Strings for Standard Guilele Tuning: ADGCEa

In this video, I have my guitalele strung with the D’Addario classical guitar strings that I recommend in the below section and throughout this post for guitaleles with bridge pins for use in standard guitalele tuning: ADGCEa

Like I mention in my guitalele tuning post, standard tuning for the guitalele is in the same intervals as a guitar but pitched up a 4th from A to A as if you were capoing the guitar on the 5th fret: ADGCEa.

If you are using this tuning and your guitalele has bridge pins, I recommend these strings.

If your guitalele doesn’t have bridge pins, I recommend Aquila’s strings made specifically for the guitalele with this tuning.

Guitarlele Strings for High G Tuning: ADgCEa

In this video, I’m using the D’Addario strings recommended above but with the G string substituted for a G string from this ukulele string set.

I recommend substituting a lighter gauge G string for the G string in your standard guitalele tuning set when you try out high G guitalele tuning. 

Otherwise, if you try to tune the standard G string up an octave, you may break the string, and you will put unnecessary tension on the instrument. 

Ukuleles have light gauge G and A strings that make for great substitute G strings for high G tuning.

On the ukulele, the G string is typically the same gauge as the A string.

So you can either buy a single G or A string or you can take the G or A string from a ukulele string set. 

Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a single G or A string. 

(It’s actually common to find a single low G string for those who want to tune their ukulele more like a guitar with a low G).  

And if you do find a single G or A string, it’s usually not much less expensive (or not less expensive at all) than a full set of ukulele strings.  

That’s why I typically recommend taking a G or A string from a ukulele string set. 

Plus, if you buy a full set of ukulele strings, you will get two high G strings (the G and the A string because they are the same gauge).

Again, the ukulele string you use depends on whether your guitalele has bridge pins. 

If your guitalele has bridge pins, I recommend this set for the high G tuning – it’s what I use in the above video.

If your guitalele doesn’t have bridge pins, I recommend using a G or A string from this set for high G tuning.

Guitalele Strings for High E/Octave Tuning: eadgbe

Aquila is the only manufacturer I know of that makes strings specifically for this guitalele tuning.

For this reason, I recommend them.

That said, Aquila doesn’t make ball-end strings.

So if your guitalele has bridge pins, you’ll need to use a work around to install loop or tie end strings.

Guitarlele Strings for Standard Guitar Tuning: EADGBe

If you want your instrument to function more like a travel guitar, you can tune your instrument just like a guitar with standard guitar tuning.

If you decide to go this route, I recommend these strings for a guitalele with bridge pins and these for one without.

Conclusion

I hope this post has helped you find the best strings for your situation.

Let me know if you have any further questions in the comments!

14 Responses

  1. You didn’t really recommend any strings for standard guitar tuning.

    1. Hi James,

      Sorry about that. It does look like I was missing some hyperlinks in the main text of the article. But I have added them now! These are the strings I recommend for standard tuning if your guitalele has bridge pins, and these are the strings I recommend if your guitalele doesn’t.

      1. Ruth Murray says:

        Hi Harrison. Regarding travel guitar tuning for the non pin strings – the strings you recommend in your main text are not the same as in the Q&A. Confused. Ruth UK

        1. Hi Ruth!

          I’m not seeing the disparity but I’m probably just missing it. Can you tell me what you mean by travel guitar tuning?

          1. Ruth Murray says:

            You wrote:
            “If you want your instrument to function more like a travel guitar, you can tune your instrument just like a guitar with standard guitar tuning.”

            Then what strings do I buy for my guitarlele if I don’t have pegs and I want to play guitar chords., hope that makes sense. Ruth

          2. Hi Ruth!

            I’d check out these strings if you want to tune it to standard guitar tuning (EADGBE) and your guitalele doesn’t have bridge pins.

      2. Hi , do you have recommendation on the steel strings for standard e tuning on the guitalele? And for the d’addario nylon strings, which tension is your most recommended for no truss rod?

        Thank you.

        1. Hi there,

          In my article about this, I talk about how steel strings on a guitalele is most likely against manufacturer recommendations and you absolutely shouldn’t do so unless your guitalele has a truss rod. But even if your guitalele does have a truss rod, it likely won’t sound quite right with steel strings because the instrument wasn’t designed for them. That said, if you’re going to put steel strings a guitalele, I’d recommend putting extra light strings on like these. In fact, I’ve put these exact strings on my Caramel guitalele. Regardless, if you really want to have a steel string instrument tuned A to A, then you may be looking for a piccolo guitar which is exactly that! It’s the steel string version of a guitalele.

  2. Hey Harrison, great article! 😀
    What do you think about using extra hard tension guitar strings on a stantard tuning guitalele?

    1. Hi Jorge!

      In general, I wouldn’t recommend it. I talk about the possibility of putting steel strings (which I assume you’re referring to) on a guitalele in this article. And the short answer is that I only recommend putting extra light steel strings on a guitalele regardless of tuning (and that’s only if your instrument has a truss rod). Hard tension strings will put more stress on your instrument and guitaleles just aren’t designed to withstand that sort of tension.

  3. Jon Norris says:

    For standard guitar tuning AND standard guitalele tuning you recommend the same strings?

    1. Hi Jon,

      If your guitalele has bridge pins then yes, I recommend the same set of strings for standard guitar and guitalele tuning. The unfortunate reality is that very few manufacturers make strings specifically for standard guitalele tuning (A to A). In fact, the only ones I know of are Aquila’s and they have loop ends that are not designed to work with bridge pins. I’m keeping my eye out for ball-end guitalele strings!

  4. streetartist says:

    Hi
    Do you know the gauge of nylon strings which can be used on a guitarlele – for standard guitar tuning EBDGAE
    Can normal light gauge nylon strings suit?
    Or a mix and match of Uke & Guitar strings?

    1. Hi!

      Standard light gauge nylon strings work just fine on a guitalele when using standard guitar tuning.

      If your guitalele doesn’t have bridge pins, I recommend these.

      If it does, I recommend these.

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