How to Tune a Ukulele

how to tune a ukuleleBefore you start any ukulele play session, it is important that your ukulele is fully tuned up, therefore you need to know how to tune a ukulele.  This will ensure that your music sounds brilliant.  Honestly, most of the time people complain that they do not enjoy playing the ukulele. It is down to the fact that it is not tuned properly. Thankfully, getting that instrument into tune is not that difficult. You just need to have a bit of knowledge about what you are doing.

There are four common ukulele sizes.  Smallest to largest, they are soprano (standard), concerttenor and baritone.  Most soprano, concert, and tenor ukuleles will be tuned to standard ukulele tuning or reentrant ukulele tuning. 

 

Standard Ukulele tuning

 

For the purposes of this article, I am going to assume that you are carrying out a standard ukulele tuning. This is a C  or High G ukulele tuning.  So, how to tune a Ukulele in C ? If you are new to the instrument, then this is the route that you will always end up going down as it is the easiest tuning to master.  This will be the order of the strings when you hold the instrument as if you were playing it. This is from top to bottom:  

You need to note that the G string is referred to as the fourth string. This means the first string is the one at the bottom. If you are good at listening to sounds, then you can tune your ukulele to the piano. Although, honestly, your piano will need to be in tune too.

There are other ways in which you can do this. Now, many of the people who play ukulele play guitar. It is important to note that the strings are not in tone order. In most cases, the G note is going to be higher pitched than the C and E. This is because it helps to keep the movement on the fretboard down to the absolute minimum. Basically, you get a more even tone like this. Some people will drop down the G tone, but this is not that common. If you are new to the instrument, then don’t worry about using a drop G.

 

Alternate ukulele tunings

You do not need to know what these are right now (if you are new), but it is probably worth thinking about them ‘just in case’ you continue to learn the instrument. These tunings are always taken from the top string down to the bottom while you are holding the ukulele.

Baritone Ukulele Tuning : D, G, B, E. Guitar players will probably note that this tuning is similar to the last four strings on the guitar.
Slack-key tuning : G, C, E, G
English Tuning : A, D F#, B. You may also find that this type of tuning is referred to as D tuning.
Canadian tuning : low A, D F#, B. This is the same as the English tuning, but you put the A lower than the D and F#.

 

How to tune a ukulele – fast and easy

The easiest way to tune a ukulele will be to use an electronic tuner.  They are not that expensive, and they are accurate. Or you can use our  free online ukulele tuner.

Online ukulele tuner

online ukulele tuner app


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