Bouzouki Strings

Strings for the Irish Bouzouki

There are many possibilities when it’s time to string a bouzouki. On the next lines, I will explain the different options that we have when it comes to Irish bouzouki strings.

Octave Mandolin, unison or octave strings?

Unison Setup

On the unison approach to the bouzouki setup, the string pairs are the same thickness. This leads to a powerful and big body sound, perfect for chords and rhythm.

Normally, unison is the standard setup for Caroline Lacombe Bouzoukis. We mount D’Addario strings by default but sometimes we use GHS and Elixir strings.

The strings gauges for short-scale bouzouki from top to bottom are:

The gauges we use for long-scale bouzoukis from top to bottom are:

If you compare the gauges, the long-scale bouzouki has thinner calibers.

Octave Setup

Here, instead of having the same thickness, the 3rd and 4th pairs are one octave apart from each other. Have you ever heard a 12 string acoustic guitar? Well, it’s the same idea. Some players like this setup as it adds brightness when you play lots of melodies.

If you are interested in this setup, we mount it on demand when you order your Caroline Lacombe bouzouki.

Best bouzouki strings – D’Addario j81

If you want strings specifically made for bouzouki on octave setup the J81 set by D’Addarío is a very interesting option

This 8 string Irish Bouzouki set is designed to bring out the distinct characteristics found in the traditional Irish music repertoire. Each wound string starts with high-quality phosphor bronze precision-wound onto high carbon steel cores and paired with tin-coated plain steel strings for a warm and balanced sound.

Using Acoustic Guitar strings for Irish Bouzouki

We usually don’t have many options when it comes to Irish bouzouki strings, the offer for strings specifically designed for the zouk is very limited in contrast with the thousands of brands, materials, and quality of the strings for acoustic guitar.

We made our tests, and good acoustic guitar strings sound awesome on the bouzouki if you choose the correct gauges and material, by using this you will not have to worry anymore about breaking a string and having to order online as any regular music shop will have strings available at any moment.

However, this option requires that your tailpiece accepts ball-end strings instead of the loop ones, let’s talk about this.

Tailpieces for Bouzouki

After lots of tests, I decided to make my own brass bouzouki tailpieces, they are prepared for ball-end strings so you can use regular acoustic guitar strings as described above.

I like to add wooden decorations on the tailpieces and they are fully customizable.
If you would like to have your own design there, just talk to me about it and we’ll study your case. This commissioned custom bouzouki tailpiece features a Jera rune from the old Futhark runic alphabet.