Did you know that Portuguese immigrants in Hawaii invented the ukulele around 1879? The simple instrument’s popularity has grown worldwide since then.
Of course, proper ukulele tuning is the only way to achieve its classic sound. Are you struggling with tuning a ukulele to get the result you want?
The following guide will explain how to tune your ukulele so that it has the bright and cheerful sound it’s known for.
Ukulele Tuning Preparation
Before tuning your ukulele, make sure you understand the names of each string and how they should sound. Keep in mind that the strings stretch and you’ll need to tune the instrument every time you play it.
Turning the pegs counter-clockwise tightens the strings and turning them clockwise loosens them. Lightly stretch your ukulele’s strings to warm them up before tuning.
Wipe down the strings after you’re done playing and replace old strings if they sound dull. Try to store your ukulele in a dry place with minimal humidity. Check out these ukulele brands for differences in tuning stability.
Standard Ukulele Tuning
The standard way to tune a ukulele is to the notes G, C, E, and A. It’s been the preferred tuning style for many decades now.
You can use a chromatic tuner or even an app for ukulele tuning. If you have a piano or keyboard, you can use its middle C to tune your ukulele. Some ukulele players are advanced enough to tune their instrument by ear but this takes a lot of practice.
You can make a handful of interesting ukulele tunings by tuning every string up or down two steps. Keep in mind that your strings might break if you tune them over two steps.
Try tuning the standard G to G# or an A to create chords from the open tuning. The E chord works well with G# tuning. You could tune the C down to a B, leave the E and A how they are, or tune the A to a G# also.
Open C tuning is another simple alternative method. It involves tuning the top A down to a G. C7 tuning is similar but involves tuning the top A to a Bb.
Tuning Different Kinds of Ukuleles
Concert ukulele tuning and tenor ukulele tuning both use the notes G4, C4, E4, and A4. Baritones use D3, G3, B3, and E4 tuning.
Bass varieties of ukuleles use an E1, A1, D2, and G2 tuning setup. If you have a pocket ukulele, you’ll want to tune it to the notes C5, F4, A4, and D5.
Ready to Tune Your Ukulele?
Now you know the basics of ukulele tuning and how to maintain the instrument. Determine the type of ukulele you have and reference the correct tuning style mentioned in this guide.
Remember these tips and consider trying alternative tunings or make your own after mastering standard tuning! Check out the rest of our blog for other awesome advice and intriguing articles.