How to tune a Ukulele (1)
Almost everybody has a Ukulele tuner available because they have a phone, and a possibility to download apps. But there are also other methods.
Before you can enjoy your Ukulele to play good Ukulele songs or just Ukulele chords progressions, you need to know how to tune your Ukulele. So – how to tune a Ukulele?
A Ukulele tuner
The simplest way to do this is with help from a Tuner. You can by a Tuner in music shops. It is several types of tuners, but the most common type today is a Clip-on tuner that you just clip on to your Ukulele for tuning. The prices are about 10$ and up. It is a very convenient way to do it.
If you have an electric acoustic Ukulele, it is often supplied with a tuner along with the controls for the sound. This is great help to keep the Ukulele tuned.
A Ukulele tuner app for your smart phone
To download a tuner app to your smartphone is the most inexpensive way. Normally you can find a free version for iOS, Android and Windows. They are normally very good and easy to use. You always have with you your phone and then you also always have your tuner. Free versions of Ukulele tuning app often come with some advertisements.
There are several good tuners for Android, but you should try Pocket Ukulele Tuner. It is easy to use and our choice at the moment, but maybe it is a better app out there in the jungle.
With this app you just set your Ukulele tuning at the top, and tun the strings according to the app. (If you have a normal tuning, set C-tuning (standard)(gCEA). Most tuners work this way. So, it is not any complicated operation.
You can of course also tune your Ukulele by using your ears and hearing. This is not for everybody, we think. (Read the article Baritone Ukulele Tuning.
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 (See 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.)
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. Se 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 the 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.