~Tuesday 11th of December 2018~
Welcome to UkuGuides!
UkuGuides offers you tons of guides and resources to learn playing the ukulele, how to take care of your beloved instrument and much more. Some guides are directed to newer ukulele players, while others are for advanced players. At the top you can find maintenance guides. After that we go to the moment before your first ukulele (green booklets) until you are an advanced ukulele player (orange booklets). At the end you can find some more theoretical guides. UkuGuides is constantly being updated and new guides are added frequently. Can't find the answer you were looking for? Request a guide by clicking here!
How To Properly Tune Your Ukulele
So you already now all the ukulele parts and you know how to restring an ukulele, now you want to tune your ukulele. How in the world do you do that? Well, this guide will teach you how, since it is the most crucial part in playing wonderful music. The open strings of the ukulele are as follows:
• G: the 4th string (most to the left on the fretboard)
• C: the 3rd string
• E: the 2nd string
• A: the 1st string
Using an electronic tuner is by far the easiest and most accurate way to tune your ukulele. You can find many of these tuners online and also in your local music shop. They aren’t that expensive and will make your life a lot easier. When buying one, make sure to buy one that is made to tune ukuleles or a chromatic tuner (tune different notes). Tuning your ukulele with an electronic tuner is pretty straight forward. You put the tuner on your lap of clip it on the headstock and pluck the strings. It will then show the note you are playing. Use the tuning pegs to get the desired note.
Standard Ukulele Tuning Method
This is also known as “relative” tuning, why? Well, because you will tune the four strings relative to each other. This is a perfect method if you are playing on your own and you want to have all your strings sound good together, but it isn’t that accurate. This will cause issues though if you are playing with other people. I will guide you through the steps.
1. You will use the first string (A) as a reference to tune the other three strings, this is why this method isn’t that accurate. You won’t notice it if you play alone though, but you will if you play along with songs or friends.
2. Place your finger just behind the fifth fret on the E string (second string). That’s an A note. Now when you pick the first string (A), it should sound the same. You can adjust the the second string with the tuning pegs on the headstock until they sound the same.
3. Place your finger just behind the fourth fret on the C string (third string). That’s an E note. Now when you pick the second string (E), it should sound the same. You can adjust the the third string with the tuning pegs on the headstock until they sound the same.
4a. Most ukulele come standard with a High G string. Place your finger just behind the second fret on the G string (fourth string). That’s an A note. Now when you pick the first string (A), it should sound the same. You can adjust the the fourth string with the tuning pegs on the headstock until they sound the same.
4b. If you’ve chosen to use a Low G string on your ukulele you can use this method. Place your finger just behind the fifth fret on the G string (fourth string). That’s a C note. Now when you pick the third string (A), it should sound the same. You can adjust the the fourth string with the tuning pegs on the headstock until they sound the same.
This might take some practice to train your ear, but it’s an easy way to quickly tune your ukulele. If you know your notes on the fretboard you could also come up with other combinations.
You can also use a piano to tune your ukulele. You can see the keys af the piano above, match the notes of the piano with that of your ukulele by ear, this can also take some practice. As you can see G C E A = sol do mi la.
Can’t get it in tune?
If you have an older ukulele or a brand new one that hasn’t been setup properly it can occur that you can’t seem to get your ukulele in tune at all. This can probably get resolved by simply tightening the screws of the machine heads a little bit. Another reason can be that the strings aren’t put on correctly, take a look at the “change ukulele strings” guide to see how it’s done correctly.