How to Tune a Ukulele

how to tune a ukulele

Before 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.

Standard ukulele tuning

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. 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:  AYou need to note that the G string is referred to as the fourth string . If you are good at listening to sounds, then you can tune your ukulele by ear. Watch the video below or visit our Ukulele tuning tutorials  page.


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.

Low G ukulele tuning:  Same as the standard ukulele tuning  g, C, E, A  but g-string is tuned down an octave.

Baritone Ukulele Tuning: D, G, B, E. Guitar players will 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#.

High D Baritone Ukulele Tuning:  Same as Baritone tuning D, G, B, E, but D string an octave higher.

Slide Ukulele Tuning:   Slide tuning is G, C, E, A#.  When strummed open, you will hear C7 chord.

Half step down/up and Full step down/up tunings

Half  Step Down Ukulele Tuning  from Standard ukulele tuning.  Just drop the pitch of each string down to the next note so your strings become F#BD#G#.

Full Step Down Ukulele Tuning   ( a full step down from standard ukulele tuning. ) Just drop the pitch of each string a whole step lower so your strings become FA#DG.

Half step up ukulele tuning  In order to tune your ukulele half step up from Standard GCEA ukulele tuning,  just change the pitch of each string up to the next note so your strings become G#–C#–F–A#

Full step up ukulele tuning  In order to tune your ukulele full step up from Standard ukulele tuning,  just change the pitch of each string a whole step higher so they become  (A D F# B) .

See all ukulele tunings in our TUNING  TUTORIALS section.

Many people who play ukulele play guitar. When you learn how to tune a ukulele, please 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 Low G.


How To Tune A Ukulele Fast And Easy

The easiest way to tune your ukulele is to use our  free online ukulele tuner.

Online ukulele tuner

online ukulele tuner app

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Digital Ukulele Tuner

Using an electronic tuner is by far the most accurate way to tune your ukulele.  To read more about different elctronic tuners or buy one  Visit our Digital tuners page