View Full Version : D vs C tuning KoAloha soprano

08-08-2015, 02:55 PM
Was considering changing up to D and did a little experiment yesterday, comparing. Made a video.


08-09-2015, 12:51 PM
I agree with what you say in your video. The D tuning is brighter. The difference is much more obvious when you were strumming than when you were playing your chord melody. I agree with you, the D tuning sounds better on that uke.

I have one soprano in D tuning and the others in C tuning I would have all but one in D tuning but there are reasons why I keep them in C tuning - in some cases because they are for lending to newcomers to my uke group. I tried retuning the one in D tuning back to C recently and I didn't like the result so it went back to D pretty quickly.

I like D tuning on soprano ukes but with the larger ukes, the string tension is getting too high for my taste.

08-09-2015, 03:37 PM
If you really don't care about the actual key you're playing in, I don't see any reason not to tune the Uke up (or down) to the pitch you find most suitable any particular instrument. But, if you're interested in keeping tunes in a particular key, or if you're playing with others and need to play in specific keys, then it's much easier (for me) to just default to Island Tuning, GCEA. And, keeping all my Ukes in that tuning means I only have to remember one set of chord fingerings. Of course, you could default to D or any other tuning and just use those fingerings.

08-09-2015, 03:50 PM
I recorded a set of Southcoast strings for Dirk a while back in D tuning on a Lichty tenor, as an example for his readers. It's not a common tuning on a tenor, but it shows you that experimenting with tunings on all instruments can be interesting and often rewarding.

08-09-2015, 04:50 PM
It was from reading Dirk's page on tuning that I was inspired to play around with this. His idea about finding the perfect tuning for each particular instrument was fascinating. I prefer the D tuning for strumming, but I liked playing in C for the fingerstyle. Which was not exactly the intended effect, because I was actually trying to improve the sound for chord melody stuff. The KoAloha is so bright anyway, perhaps it doesn't need too much help in that department. I need to work on my technique to tone down some of those highs!

I have been listening to James Hill, and he gets a sweet, warm sound while strumming. I believe he is tuned linear D and uses a tenor.

By the way, great playing Craig!

08-09-2015, 08:03 PM
C tuning seems boomier.... Definitely more defined when in the open/1st positions (which is where I usually play). I like D tuning too. C is definitely easier on the fingers though. Thanks for posting / nice playing!

08-10-2015, 04:34 AM
That's a great observation (and thank you for the kind words). The open C on the third string of this uke is extremely resonant/boomy, almost as if it was designed to pop at exactly that frequency. It's a somewhat strange feature, but kind of fun to have when you want that big C chord!

Christon Abike
08-10-2015, 07:16 AM
I'm a D soprano guy for many reasons, not least because they just sound better. I use d'addario j65s which are purposely for D and they are sweet on my Bruko. It's about time a revolution occurred in the ukulele world and people started tuning their instruments according to body size and resonance, a la the violin family.

Tuning up and learning to transpose on the fly is also a very good way to stretch yourself musically and all those C chords give you a lot of barre chord practice.

08-10-2015, 12:19 PM
Every time I hear D tuning, I think, "that sounds great!"

Maybe it's getting time I did something about that...

08-11-2015, 05:20 AM
I made a similar c tuning d tuning comparison video a while ago.
I love the way it sounds. It took me some effort to learn to play it in the right key, but it's worth it.