Is there a site with a ukulele tuning guide?
March 20, 2005 2:18 PM   Subscribe

Is there a site with a ukulele tuning guide? I have seen one for guitar were you press the button and it makes the sound the sting is supposed to make when strummed. I cant seem to find one like that for my ukulele though.
posted by Suparnova to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Flea Market Music has an eTuner for the uke.
posted by greasy_skillet at 2:34 PM on March 20, 2005

Scroll down a little ways and they have .wav files to tune the uke here.
posted by rooftop secrets at 4:44 PM on March 20, 2005

Not sure of a site, but the classic uke tuning is like the top 4 strings of a guitar, with the 4th (lowest pitch) string up the octave:

D(+8ve) - G - B - E

This gives the classic "G6" Hawaiian chord sound. Unless you have a well-made uke (expensive!) it's probably wise to tune it to a pitch that isn't going to stress the instrument, keeping the same intervals as above. (e.g. B(+8ve) - E - G# - C#).

I have a 4-course 8-string uke made here in Niu Sila by a Maori-Tongan which he set up with the D strings down the octave, and also the E strings down an octave. This gives the same G6 chord but it's fatter with the E down the octave.
posted by TiredStarling at 7:33 PM on March 20, 2005

There are several uke tunings, but soprano and concert ukuleles are most commonly tuned to a C6 chord: G (+8ve) - C - E - A. On the tenor ukulele it is also common to use a low G (i.e. not raise it an octave), or to use the G6 tuning that TiredStarling suggests. The baritone uke is usually in G6 tuning. I'm guessing that TiredStarling's 8-string is a tenor. I'd love to hear it!

If you have a soprano or concert uke be careful with that G6 tuning though. It's either going to be five steps lower or seven steps higher than your uke might be expecting! Some people do tune up a bit: I know that in the old days it was not unusual to tune A (+8ve) - D - F# - B. They may have used a different string weight, but I can get my concert uke up to that without trouble, it's just tight.
posted by Songdog at 9:04 AM on March 21, 2005

Something I've never understood: How does the mnemonic "My Dog Has Fleas" help you remember C-G-E-A? Did someone at Hartz come up with this supposed memory aid?
posted by soyjoy at 10:41 AM on March 21, 2005

Hmmm. I've wondered about that too. I've Googled around a bit and found that the Victor Young Orchestra recorded a song called "My Dog Has Fleas" in 1944 (Decca, #23367). Tommy Dorsey also recorded a song by that name but I can't find the details of the original recording. I'm not familiar with either track, but I suspect that perhaps the G-C-E-A motive (in some transposition, anyway) was part of a popular song back in the day. If so I would think it must have predated 1944 since the ukulele was even more popular earlier in the twentieth century. Anyone else have any ideas?
posted by Songdog at 11:59 AM on March 21, 2005

Best answer: I tune my accoustic guitar and my lap harp using this program. Since the uke tuning apparently is similar, it should work for a uke too. Plug a microphone into your soundcard, and hit a string on your uke, and the software will tell you if the string needs to be tuned up or down. It works just like a hardware tuner.
posted by edlundart at 12:24 PM on March 21, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks everybody! I don't know much about the technical chords and such, but I'm glad it sounds right now.
posted by Suparnova at 6:24 PM on March 21, 2005

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