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Thread: why tune a uke using open strings?

  1. #11
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    My friend has a tiki bar in his back yard by his pool and he has a Waterman hanging up there that he bought because it was cheap. He can't play it. But because I don't carry a tuner around with me everywhere, and because there is always so much noise that the ap on my phone gets confused, I take it and just arbitrarily tune it off the A string, wherever that is. Sometimes I pluck the A string and it doesn't sound right, so I'll just bring it up until it sounds okay. I don't like tuning one string off the other like that, I know that some people think it is noble to do so, but it is the only way I can get it tuned while I'm sitting there at his bar. But it works fine that way. It is just in tune with itself. Just thought that I would bring that up as long as we are talking about tuning.
    Last edited by Rllink; 11-13-2017 at 06:00 AM.
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  2. #12
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    Tuning to open strings is just what people do when they haven't known a world without digital tuners. I know people who've been playing 5 years and don't know how to tune by ear. It's very sad.

    In the old days we tuned to a piano if available (it can't change) or whatever else. You just need an A and tune the others relative. I've seen and heard a band all tuning to 440 with their digital tuners despite the piano being 20 cents flat. The piano player hated it. The band sounded rubbish. Quite ridiculous.

    Once you have an A you can tune the E string directly to that (beatless 4th). Fret it at the 3rd and tune the C string an octave down. Tune the G to the C (beatless 5th). Check the G against the 3rd fret on the E string. Adjust as necessary.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dibblet View Post
    Tuning to open strings is just what people do when they haven't known a world without digital tuners. I know people who've been playing 5 years and don't know how to tune by ear. It's very sad.

    In the old days we tuned to a piano if available (it can't change) or whatever else. You just need an A and tune the others relative. I've seen and heard a band all tuning to 440 with their digital tuners despite the piano being 20 cents flat. The piano player hated it. The band sounded rubbish. Quite ridiculous.

    Once you have an A you can tune the E string directly to that (beatless 4th). Fret it at the 3rd and tune the C string an octave down. Tune the G to the C (beatless 5th). Check the G against the 3rd fret on the E string. Adjust as necessary.
    Your tuning method is a very good one. You can use other tests as you go, but this is a good starting place.
    I think, though, that the original post was actually about tuning all the ukulele's strings at the fifth fret, using an electronic tuner just as you might tuning the open strings. Not quite what your addressing here.
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  4. #14

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    I think that if you play in the first position chords, tuning the open strings makes sense. However, if you play mostly 2nd, 3rd, and 4th position chords, it makes sense to tune at the 5th and 7th frets.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevepetergal View Post
    Your tuning method is a very good one. You can use other tests as you go, but this is a good starting place.
    I think, though, that the original post was actually about tuning all the ukulele's strings at the fifth fret, using an electronic tuner just as you might tuning the open strings. Not quite what your addressing here.
    Oh yes. I should have read it properly.

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