How to tune a Ukulele (1)

Almost everyone has a Ukulele tuner available because they have a phone, and an ability to download apps. But there are also other methods.

Before you can enjoy your Ukulele to play great Ukulele songs or just Ukulele chord progressions, you need to know how to tune a Ukulele. So – how do you tune a ukulele?

A Ukulele tuner

The easiest way to do this is with the help of a tuner. You can buy a tuner in music stores. There are several types of tuners, but the most common type today is a Clip-on tuner that you simply clip onto your Ukulele when you want to tune it. (#Ad)

The prices are around 10$ and up. It’s a very practical way to do it.

If you have an electric acoustic ukulele, it is often supplied with a tuner together with the controls for the sound. This is a great help in keeping the ukulele in tune.

ukulele-tuner-in-electric-acoustic-ukulele-2

Ukulele tuner app for your smart phone

Downloading a tuner app to your smartphone is the most affordable way. Normally you can find a free version for iOS, Android and Windows. They are usually very good and easy to use. You always have your phone with you and then you also always have the tuner with you. Free versions of the Ukulele tuning app often come with some ads.

Ukulele tuner. Lumia 640XL with Tuner app, ukulele, guitar
Microsoft phone with Tuner app
Ukulele tuner. Tuner on iPhone for Baritone, ukulele, guitar
Tuner app for iPhone for all Ukuleles and Guitars

Android:

There are several good tuners for Android, but you should try Pocket Ukulele Tuner. It’s easy to use and our choice at the moment, but maybe there’s a better app out there in the jungle.

With this app, you simply set the Ukulele setting on top, and tune the strings according to the app. (If you have a normal tuning, set C tuning (standard) (gCEA). Most tuners work this way. So it’s not a complicated operation.

Of course, you can also tune the ukulele by using your ears and hearing. This is not for everyone, we think. (Read the article Baritone Ukulele Tuning.)

Need some help?

A bit deeper information if you don’t have a standard tuning:

Ukulele types and tuning

Before you start you need to know what kind of Ukulele you have (Read the article: Ukulele Types).

If you have a:

  • Sopranissimo or Sopranino (piccolo or pocket): D5-G4-B4-E5 or C5-F4-A4-D5
  • Standard or Soprano Ukulele: the most popular tuning is C-tuning: G4 C4 E4 A4. The re-entrant tuning is when the G string is an octave higher.
  • Standard or Soprano Ukulele: another normal tuning is the D-tuning: A4 D4 F#4 B4. This is one step higher than the first. Some thinks the D-tuning bring out a sweeter tone in small Ukuleles. (We find the standard C tuned Ukulele easier for beginners.) This tuning was normal during the Hawaiian music boom early in the 20th century, but it is still often used today. It is also called English Tuning.
  • Concert or Super Soprano Ukulele: A4-D4-F#4-B4 or G4-C4-E4-A4 that is most common
  • Tenor Ukuleles: A4-D4-F#4-B4, G4-C4-E4-A4 (most common), G3-C4-E4-A4
  • Baritone Ukulele: D3-G3-B3-E4 this is called G-tuning
  • Bass Ukulele: E2-A2-D3-G3
  • Contrabass Ukulele: E1-A1-D2-G2
(The numbers indicates in which scale you find the note on a piano.)

Other tunings.

Concert and Tenor Ukuleles can also have a “Canadian tuning”. The name comes from its use in the school system in Canada. This is a D-tuning with a low 4th. A3 D4 F#4 B4. Read the Ukulele history.

Sopranino, Soprano and Concert Ukuleles have most often re-entrant tuning, while the “lower pitched” instruments as Tenor, Baritone and Bass usually have linear tuning, where the strings are tuned from low to high pitch.

Hawaiian Ukuleles can also be tuned to open tunings, like the Hawaiian slack key style. Slack-key Tuning (G, C, E, G). If you strum the strings as open strings it is a C major chord. The top G string can be tuned either to the G above middle C or down one octave (re-entrant or linear tuning)

So, start your Tuner and tune your Ukulele 🙂

For detailed explanation for tuning all kinds of Ukuleles also read the article about Baritone Ukulele Tuning.