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J47403
05-23-2009, 07:47 AM
I am totally baffled. I bought a Mel Bay book entitled "Fun with the Ukulele."

On the page about tuning it says, "The tuning can be easily memorized by this little phrase, "My Dog Has Fleas." This is supposedly with the gCEA tuning.

Great my ukulele has 4 strings and there are 4 words. First word "My." There is no "M" note nor is there a "Y" note.

Take the next word "Dog." Well there are "D" notes. On the 4th string the D note is on the 8th fret. The 3rd string D is on the 3rd fret. The 2nd string the D is on the 10th fret. The 1st string the D is on the 5th fret.

Looking at this none of the D notes is not particularly easy to remember regarding tuning. I asked my wife about it who has years of piano training as a kid and she is clueless as well.

Was hoping someone could fill me in, about how "My Dog has Fleas" relates to Ukulele Tuning

Thank you,
J47403

UkuEroll
05-23-2009, 07:53 AM
Just say it as you Pluck the strings, from top to bottom. You begin to associate it sound with the strings.

puremarkska
05-23-2009, 08:26 AM
Haha, hope this video clears everything up for you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaBYokXwnzI

As for memorizing the notes, I always remembered "Good Cooks Eat A lot" for GCEA (although my younger students came up with a ton of other more interesting variations)!

shooots.

puremarkska
05-23-2009, 08:32 AM
Damn, I just realized that the video is actually tuned ADF#B (Canadian Tuning) instead of GCEA! But it works if you play it a step down as well. :p

Uncle-Taco
05-23-2009, 08:36 AM
Haha, hope this video clears everything up for you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaBYokXwnzI

As for memorizing the notes, I always remembered "Good Cooks Eat A lot" for GCEA (although my younger students came up with a ton of other more interesting variations)!

shooots.

Awww! Cute!
(But the synthesized ukulele is pretty satanic.:mad:)

Ukulele JJ
05-23-2009, 11:46 AM
Just say it as you Pluck the strings, from top to bottom. You begin to associate it sound with the strings.

Right. It's not a way to remember the names of the notes. It's a way to remember the relative pitches of those notes. The words don't really mean anything--they're just the traditional lyrics to the melody G-C-E-A. (I have no idea why.)

This guy (http://ezfolk.com/audio/bands/2/index.php#) wrote an odd little song called "My Dog Has Fleas", with that as the melody. Might help get the pitches in your head if you listen to it a few times.

JJ

UkuEroll
05-23-2009, 11:52 AM
Right. It's not a way to remember the names of the notes. It's a way to remember the relative pitches of those notes. The words don't really mean anything--they're just the traditional lyrics to the melody G-C-E-A. (I have no idea why.)

This guy (http://ezfolk.com/audio/bands/2/index.php#) wrote an odd little song called "My Dog Has Fleas", with that as the melody. Might help get the pitches in your head if you listen to it a few times.

JJ

So just to confirm to myself, was I right in what I said, I was a bit worried after I posted it, didn't want to give out the wrong info.

Ukulele JJ
05-23-2009, 12:04 PM
So just to confirm to myself, was I right in what I said, I was a bit worried after I posted it, didn't want to give out the wrong info.

Heck I give out the wrong info all the time. You get used to it after awhile. :p

(But yeah, you were 100% right as far as I know. It's not a mnemonic for the note names. Just a way to learn the "tuning melody".)

JJ

pithaya9
05-23-2009, 04:15 PM
I use Good Cooks Eat A lot for GCEA tuning :cool:

ichadwick
05-25-2009, 12:55 AM
It's really no different from calling notes do-re-mi-fa and so on. Just something you learn.

My dog has fleas follows the inflection of the words as they are spoken, with the high sound of the long 'i' in my followed by the lower pitch created by the 'd' sound and rising from there. Do if a few times while plucking the notes and you will soon say that phrase in a similar rise-fall-rise-rise patetrn.

It's not exact pitch; just a mnemonic approach.

J47403
05-27-2009, 10:35 AM
Thanks much for taking the time to respond.

Have a Great Day,
J47403

NukeDOC
05-27-2009, 10:41 AM
am i the only one that thinks that on a general level, the whole "my dog has fleas" thing is completely ridiculous?

so you dont have a tuner. and you dont have access to the internet to find an "online ukulele tuner" (google it. it works.). and youre completely tone deaf. now youre screwed.

i wish whoever started that my dog has fleas thing just said spend the extra 5-20 bucks and get a tuner. and tune it.

hell even a pitch pipe is more consistent than a novice trying to get the notes right vocally while trying to tune the ukulele.

ok off my soapbox now. been a helluva day. hahaha

ichadwick
05-29-2009, 11:59 AM
am i the only one that thinks that on a general level, the whole "my dog has fleas" thing is completely ridiculous?
No more so than "Every good boy deserves fudge" as a mnemonic.

ukeatan
05-29-2009, 12:05 PM
No more so than "Every good boy deserves fudge" as a mnemonic.

But at least that stands for EGBDF...

although semantically you're right, they're both quite silly :p