Common Ukulele Tunings

Common and not so common ukulele tunings.

Any tuning is possible on a ukulele as long as the construction supports it and a string is available.

There are three somewhat common tunings in popular use today, C, D and G tuning - with C tuning the most popular.

Re-entrant ukulele tuning?

If coming from the guitar where the strings are tuned low to high. An instrument like the ukulele with a re-entrant tuning where the lowest note of the instrument might not be the lowest string can seem a little strange at first. This re-entrant tuning which places all the notes of a chord within one octave is part of the unique ukulele sound. This is especially for the smaller soprano and concert ukuleles.

C Tuning

Any tuning is possible on a ukulele as long as the construction supports it and a string is available.

C Tuning is the most common tuning used today.

C Tuning, High "G"

C-shape-C_tuningC Tuning - For Soprano, Concert and Tenor ukulele. The same as the higher four strings of a standard tuned guitar with a capo at the fifth fret with string four "G" one octave higher.

For setting up music notation programs like Finale and Sibelius this tuning is:
MIDI: G = G3, C = C4, E = E4, A = A4
C4 is middle C.

C Tuning, Low "G"

C-shape-C_tuningLow 'G', C Tuning - For Soprano, Concert and Tenor ukulele. Same as Key of "C" Tuning but with string four one octave lower. This is the same as placing a capo at the fifth fret of a standard tuned guitar.

For setting up music notation programs like Finale and Sibelius this tuning is:
MIDI: G = G4, C = C4, E = E4, A = A4
C4 is middle C.

D Tuning

Any tuning is possible on a ukulele as long as the construction supports it and a string is available.

D Tuning is a popular tuning in Canada and was popular is the previous two waves of ukulele popular.

All notation examples are show in concert pitch.

D Tuning, High "A"

C-shape-C_tuning"D" Tuning - For Soprano, Concert and Tenor ukulele. The same as the higher four strings of a standard tuned guitar with a capo at the seventh fret with string four "A" one octave higher.

D Tuning, Low "A"

Low 'A', D Tuning - For Soprano, Concert and Tenor ukulele. The same as the higher four strings of a standard tuned guitar with a capo at the seventh fret.

This is a very common tuning in the Canadian education system. Very suitable for a child's vocal range.

G Tuning

Any tuning is possible on a ukulele as long as the construction supports it and a string is available.

G Tuning is common on the Baritone ukulele and can also be used on a tenor ukulele with a high D string four.

All notation examples are show in concert pitch.

G Tuning

C-shape-C_tuningKey of "G" Tuning - For Baritone and Tenor ukulele. The same as the higher four strings of a standard tuned guitar. So you already know how to play the Baritone and Tenor Ukulele.

String 4 can also be tuned up one octave. A tuning that the great jazz ukulele player Lyle Ritz favors.

Any tuning is possible on a ukulele as long as the construction supports it and a string is available.

Here are the most common tunings for the Ukulele shown in concert pitch.

Here are the tuning recommendations of several prominent ukulele musicians:

Byron Yasui's recommended ukulele tunings:

  • Soprano - A D F# B
  • Concert (Alto) - G C E A
  • Tenor - F Bb D G
  • Baritone - Eb Ab C F

For more information on Byron Yasui checkout Byron's musician's listing.

Joel Eckhaus's recommended ukulele tunings:

  • Soprano - A D F# B
  • Concert (Alto) - G C E A
  • Tenor - E A C# F#
  • Baritone - D G B E

For more information on Joel Eckhaus checkout Joel's musician's listing.

Tune the Ukulele Like a Banjo

Tune string one down a whole step and you have a Banjo like tuning.

Tune Other Instruments Like a Ukulele

Here are some notes and information from various forums around the net.

  • Tenor Banjo

    Baritone uke tuning, dgbe', on a 4-string banjo - it's sometimes called "Chicago tuning".

  • Tenor Guitar

  • Cello

The three most common tunings in use today are, in order of use: C, D and G.

All three of these tunings, as well as the the tuning's recommended by Byron Yasui and Joel Eckhaus are the same "relative" tuning.

Electronic Tuners

These are one of the best modern inventions for musicians, especially beginners. I have a bunch of these and really like the clip-on tuners.

These tuners are available on-line, right here.

I have accumulated several electronic tuning devices over the years from the pitch pipe I got with my first guitar 40 plus years ago, to a tuning fork and several electronic tuners that live in my guitar case and on my ukuleles today.

I don't even have my beginner students learn to tune by ear until well into playing the guitar. I have them get an electronic tuner and ALWAYS play in tune. This trains their ear and they learn what an in-tune guitar sounds like and can then learn to tune the guitar by ear.

Recommended Tuner

These are my current favorites. I have several and they are great, durable and accurate.

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC)

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC)

8860 E. Chaparral Road, Suite 100
Scottsdale, AZ 85250
SUA
Telephone: 480.596.9690
Fax: 480.596.1384

Links

Funky Frets, Boyertown PA USA

Our family store, Funky Frets is an authorized dealer and carries the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) brand.

Listing Info click here to show or hide more info

from the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) web site

Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) is the world’s leading guitar manufacturer, and its name has become synonymous with all things rock ‘n’ roll. Iconic Fender® instruments such as the Telecaster®, Stratocaster®, Precision Bass® and Jazz Bass® guitars are known worldwide as the instruments that started the rock revolution, and they continue to be highly prized by today’s musicians and collectors.

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Kala Brand Music Company

Kala Brand Music Company

pronounced Kah’ la

P.O. Box 751149
Petaluma, California 94975-1149
USA

tel:1 877 Uke Duke

Links

Funky Frets, Boyertown PA USA

Our family store, Funky Frets is an authorized dealer and carries the Kala Brand Music Company brand.

Listing Info click here to show or hide more info

from the Kala Brand Music Company web site

Mike Upton is the founder of Kala Brand Music Company in northern California. Established in 2005, Kala builds 120-plus models of ukulele, including travel and bass variations. Kala amd Makala brand of ukuleles.

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Peterson Electro-Musical Products, Inc.

Peterson Electro-Musical Products, Inc.

11601 Mayfield Avenue
Alsip, IL 60803
USA
(708) 388-3311

Links

Listing Info click here to show or hide more info

from the Peterson Electro-Musical Products, Inc. web site

In 1948, 10 years after the invention of the strobe tuner, Chicago-based Peterson Electro-Musical Products began building instrument tuners under the direction of Dick Peterson, a pioneer of solid state electronics. The first Peterson tuner was the Model 150 in 1952. This was updated to become the Model 200 in 1959 and the design was advanced to solid state with the Model 300 in 1966.

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Pono

Pono

Ko’olau Guitar and ‘Ukulele Company
**401 N.Cane St. A-10
Wahiawa, **Hawaii
;96786
808-622-1064
fax: 808-622-1646

Links

Funky Frets, Boyertown PA USA

Our family store, Funky Frets is an authorized dealer and carries the Pono brand.

Listing Info click here to show or hide more info

from the Pono web site

Pono instruments are professionally designed and handcrafted by the Ko’olau Guitar and ‘Ukulele Company on the Island of Java, with final adjustments and set-up on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii.

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Snark Tuners

Snark Tuners

Evets Corporation
2390-C Las Posas Rd #136
Camarillo, CA 93012
USA

Links

Funky Frets, Boyertown PA USA

Our family store, Funky Frets is an authorized dealer and carries the Snark Tuners brand.

Listing Info click here to show or hide more info

from the Snark Tuners web site

Transpose Feature, Fast and Deadly Accurate, Stay Put Clip. Musicians like Snark because.... the tune is TIGHTER ...so they sound BETTER! Snark is FAST, FLAWLESS, and FUN to use.

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Additional Tuners

Boss (Roland Corporation U.S.)

Boss (Roland Corporation U.S.)

Roland Corporation U.S.
5100 S. Eastern Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90040-2938
USA
Phone: 323.890.3700
Fax: 323.890.3701

P.O. Box 910921
Los Angeles, CA 90091-0921

Links

Listing Info click here to show or hide more info

from the Boss (Roland Corporation U.S.) web site

Known around the world as the company that put the “stomp” in “stompbox,” BOSS is the division of Roland Corporation most easily recognized for its legendary line of colorful guitar and bass effects pedals. But beyond these killer pedals, BOSS has pushed the envelope for over 30 years with innovative multi-effects, rhythm machines, personal digital studios and other easy-to-use instruments for musicians of all types. Put simply, BOSS gives you the great-sounding tools you need to spend less time tweaking and more time playing.

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Eleca International Inc.

Eleca International Inc.

No. 12, the 5th Jiang Jun Road
Dong-Xi Lake District
Wuhan, China
430023
Tel: 027-59508018

USA: Eleca Amplification 
Eleca International Inc.
21088 Commerce Pointe Dr.
Walnut, CA 91789
TEL: 909-468-1382

Links

Listing Info click here to show or hide more info

from the Eleca International Inc. web site

Wuhan Eleca Electronics CO., LTD was established in December 1995. It’s a Sino-US joint venture, as well as export-oriented enterprise and high-tech enterprise. The company focuses on international trade at the beginning of establishment. Business administration is in line with international standards.

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Korg

Korg

Korg USA
316 South Service Rd
Melville, NY 11747
USA

Links

Listing Info click here to show or hide more info

from the Korg web site

Korg is recognized as one of the most innovative manufacturers of electronic musical instruments and accessories in the world. With its headquarters based in Tokyo, Japan, Korg maintains a network of distributors operating in countries around the world. In the early 1960s, Korg founder Tsutomu Katoh was a nightclub proprietor. A popular Japanese accordionist and engineer named Tadashi Osanai performed regularly at Mr. Katoh’s club, and one evening, Mr. Katoh told Osanai it would be nice to have a rhythm machine to keep the beat. Mr. Osanai was sure he could build a rhythm machine himself, and convinced Mr. Katoh to finance his efforts.

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Meisel Stringed Instruments

Meisel Stringed Instruments

P.O. Box 90
Springfield, New Jersey 07081-0090
USA
Tel:1- 973 379-5000, Fax:1- 973 379-5020
Dealers: 1-800 MEISEL M (634-7356)

Links

Listing Info click here to show or hide more info

from the Meisel Stringed Instruments web site

Meisel traces its roots back centuries. In 1659, before there was a Beethoven or a Paganini, the Meisel name first appeared on a handcrafted European violin. Although much has changed since then, Meisel still symbolizes quality, craftsmanship and unsurpassed value for students and professional musicians alike.

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On Board Research

On Board Research

OnBoard Research Corporation
1321 Valwood Pkwy
STE 440
Carrollton, Texas 75006
USA

Links

Listing Info click here to show or hide more info

from the On Board Research web site

Makers of the The Intellitouch Tuner. Intellitouch_PT10.pngIntellitouch where the first to introduce an afforadable clip-on tuner. We are world-class designers and manufacturers of innovative musical accessories for musicians of all levels. OnBoard Research has been providing innovations in music technology since 1995, when OnBoard Research invented the original clip-on tuner and named it “The Intellitouch Tuner”. Intellitouch Tuners tune musical instruments by using vibration rather than sound, making them fast, easy and accurate - even in noisy environments.

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Planet Waves

Planet Waves

J. D’Addario & Company, Inc.
595 Smith Street
East Farmingdale, NY 11735
USA
tel: 516-439-3300
fax: 516-439-3333

Links

Listing Info click here to show or hide more info

from the Planet Waves web site

In 1994, Howard and Robert Silagy started a small guitar strap company in Hicksville, N.Y. Their approach to business was simple: make attractive, durable straps using high-quality materials and people will buy them. Over the next four years, the company grew, with sales skyrocketing because of the growing popularity of Planet Waves colorful, attractive designs and the line’s thick, heavy-duty leather tabs.

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Sabine

Sabine

13301 US Highway 441 
Alachua, Florida 32615-8544
Phone:(386) 418-2000
Fax: (386) 418-2001

Links

Listing Info click here to show or hide more info

from the Sabine web site

A graduate of the University of Florida’s School of Engineering, Sabine founder and CEO Doran Oster built the company based on innovation and quality. “Some people go into business distributing other people’s products, or making products that are similar to everyone else’s product, but cheaper,” Oster said. ”That’s what I call a ‘me too’ product. We don’t have the resources to do things cheaper than our international competitors. A Sabine product has to be something new or something substantially better than what’s on the market.”

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Seiko

Seiko

Seiko Holdings Corporation
SEAVANS North
1-2-1, Shibaura, Minato-ku
Tokyo, Japan 105-8459
TEL +81-3-6401-2111

Links

Listing Info click here to show or hide more info

from the Seiko web site

Since its founding in 1881, Seiko Holdings Corporation has introduced one revolutionary product after another, including the first wrist watch in Japan in 1913 and the first quartz watch in the world in 1969. We now operate in a broad range of fields, from watches, clocks, shutters for cameras and electronic devices, and eyeglasses to sports products.

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Sonic Research

Sonic Research

Manufacturing, Sales, and Distribution:
4607 Lakeview Canyon Rd. Suite 305
Westlake Village, California 91361
USA
(800) 811-0272
Toll Free: (800) 811-0272
Fax: (888) 820-6007 Corporate Headquarters:
Sonic Research Inc.
711 S. Carson Street Suite 6
Carson City, Nevada 89701
USA
(775) 883-4831

Links

Listing Info click here to show or hide more info

from the Sonic Research web site

The Turbo Tuner - True Strobe Tuners from Sonic Research - The LED ring on the Turbo Tuner is a true stroboscope. The LEDs are driven directly by the analog input signal and electronically strobed, showing the actual stroboscopic effect between the input signal and internally generated frequency reference. This gives instant response and extreme accuracy.

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Online Tuners

Here are some online tuning resources.

  • OnlineTuningFork.com

    The tuning fork was invented in 1711 by British musician John Shore, Sergeant Trumpeter to the court, who had parts specifically written for him by both George Frideric Handel and Henry Purcell. ( WikipediA )

  • iPhone - Guitar Tuner

No excuse for being out of tune.

- or - just buy an electronic tuner and get tuned quick and accurate.

Recommended Tuner

These are my current favorites. I have several and they are great, durable and accurate.

TUN-Kala-KC02
$19.95

Add to CartView Cart

Kala Black Clip On Tuner

The Kala KC02 Black Clip On Tuner is extremely simple to use. Cycle the single button to: power on and then chose between chromatic, ukulele C, and ukulele D modes. Backlit screen indicates quickly and clearly when instrument is accurately tuned.

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TUN-Kala-KC02
$19.95

Add to CartView Cart

TUN-Oahu
$13.95

Add to CartView Cart

O‘ahu Chromatic Tuner

Designed for all stringed instruments. On the market there are currently a wide variety of clip-on tuners available. Ko'olau's previous Pono P5 tuner was popular, but in today’s competitive market, the great builders and designers at Ko'olau felt that pricing was too high. Their new O‘ahu Tuner is higher quality, a more compact design, and less expensive.

Besides high quality and low cost, the new O‘ahu Chromatic Tuner is simple to use, and works on all stringed instruments. It lacks some of the unnecessary “bells and whistles” of other tuners which offer optional settings and different background colors when in or out of tune, but we decided that quality and simplicity (on or off), and of course, affordability is more important.

The LCD display has one easy to see color, and when in tune, the needle points to the center, also displaying three additional lines along with three lines to display an “in tune” mode. Again, fun frills are impressive, but not really necessary. Also, the clip-on bracket is sturdy and durable.

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TUN-Oahu
$13.95

Add to CartView Cart

Learning How to Tune by Ear - This lesson talks about possible tuning methods for ukulele.

You Probably Don't Know the Notes of the Fingerboard As Well As You Think!

It is absolutely amazing the number of guitar players and ukulele players that do not know the names of the notes (each fret) on their own instruments. This is a phenomenon not found on most other instruments.

Knowing the names of the notes of the fingerboard is not the same as reading standard music notation. Each fret, on each string has at least one name and a music symbol associated with it. Just knowing at least one of the possible names of the each fret is quite liberating.

Understanding the ukulele fingerboard cuts down on the amount of material that needs to be memorized, the number of shapes that need to be memorized and will improve all aspects of you playing.

Thanks for visiting and checking out the site!

Content is always being added and updated. So check-in often. Thanks, Curt

Over 500+ lessons, 54 songs and TABS, 240+ archtop luthiers, 200+ ukulele builders, festival information, ukulele links on the web. On the web since the early 90's and growing everyday. This site just never stops growing!!!

[ UL0 ] (ukulele) TUNINGS.PHP | Updated: Saturday, 28th June, 2014 @ 03:15pm • 16 Visitors On-line