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Doc_J
08-14-2015, 12:01 PM
While trying to rationalize how many uke I own, I looked at what tuning I have. Seems I have 5 tunings on my ukes. I try to keep a uke tuned in what key it sounds best to me.


reentrant c
reentrant b
linear c
linear b
linear b-flat



And I don't even have a baritone. But I do have baritone tuning [dgbe] strings for a tenor scale, just haven't found the right uke to put them on.

Now mix that with size, wood, strings and you can see that a person could easily justify a serious number of ukes. :D

kypfer
08-14-2015, 12:13 PM
... mix that with size, wood, strings and you can see that a person could easily justify a serious number ukes.

Oh yes !!

Linear C (low-G) on a concert and a soprano pineapple - (had the strings, so bought an instrument to put them on!!)

Re-entrant C (high-G) on soprano, tenor and banjolele.

Re-entrant D on a soprano that just sounded "flat" (as in unresponsive) in C tuning.

5th's, GDAE, but an octave, apart on soprano pineapple and baritone.

That's most bases covered for me. I've got 4 guitars, including jumbo steel-string, 3/4-size nylon string and jumbo 12-string that can fill in any gaps in the above, then variously banjo/balalaika/mandolin/mandola/travel guitar (and a dulcimer in the post) for when I need a change ... then there's always the woodwind ... easily justify a serious number of instruments ;)

k0k0peli
08-14-2015, 12:32 PM
My current array of 'uke-like objects breaks down like this:

g-C-E-a --------- Varsity banjo-uke, Harmonia concert, Alvarez tenor
a-D-F#-A -------- Kohala soprano
g-cC-E-Aa ------- Kala 6-string tenor
fF-a#A#-DD-gg --- O.Schmidt 8-string tenor
gG-cCc-eEe-aa --- Martin timple
GGG-CCC-EEE-aaa - Paracho cuatro-menor
G-D-a-e --------- Kohala soprano (linear 5ths)
a#-F-C-g -------- Ohana soprano (flipped strings, recumbent 5ths)
C-G-B-D --------- Harmonia baritone (plectrum banjo tuning)

I know I need more 'ukes -- concert & tenor in 5ths, concert & tenor resonators, a 3-string in CEA, something in GCEa and GcEa and aDF#b, etc. I need to add a room to the house.

SteveZ
08-14-2015, 01:11 PM
C-G-D-A in some fashion on all.

The sopranos and concerts are C4-G3-D4-A4
The banjo ukes are C3-G3-D4-A4
The six-string is C3-G3-G4-D4-A4-A3
The eight-string is C3-C3-G3-G3-D4-D4-A4-A4
The baritone is C3-G3-D4-A4

Hippie Dribble
08-14-2015, 01:43 PM
I play reentrant, linear and open tunings from D - A, depending on the piece and/or the vocal line.

I don't own a baritone at the moment, but when I do, I tune that with the same principles in mind.

BigMamaJ40
08-14-2015, 03:34 PM
In and out of...

k0k0peli
08-14-2015, 03:41 PM
In and out of... A recent thread at Mandolin Cafe asked about members using alternate tunings. One moderator responded that we ALL play alternate tunings because only three mandos in the world are actually in tune and Dave 'Dawg' Grisman owns two of them. It's probably the same with 'ukes, and The Jake holds the key. ;)

Nickie
08-14-2015, 04:28 PM
Interesting....I never knew you guys were so fickle....LOL, JK!
I only have re-entrant C6 for now. I do have one tuned to linear C6, but I rarely play it....well, pretty much never. It makes no sense to me....yet.
I tried D on a soprano I had and really had fun, but I sold the soprano.

UkerDanno
08-14-2015, 04:49 PM
one, high G...

Camsuke
08-14-2015, 07:21 PM
I've started learning CGBD or Plectrum tuning, as per Sandy Weltman.
It's a nice alternative to regular tunings.


https://youtu.be/gFII1CfsibY

Ukejenny
08-15-2015, 04:40 AM
TWO!

High g and Low G ;)

Jim Hanks
08-15-2015, 08:20 AM
Maybe an easier way to understand is to talk about two common tunings, so called linear and re-entrant. They are different because the intervals between the strings are different. Once you have set up the intervals, you can use a capo or tune down to get maybe 6 or 7 useful variations of the tuning.
I was gonna be a smart aleck and say two, but Bill1 said it more tactfully. :-)

Having said that I have ukes strung in reentrant C (Coco SC#1), Bb(Ohana and Iriguchi), and G(Goldtone) and linear C(KPK SLN), A(Brueko), and G(Bluestar). The Ohana is the only redundant one so it is for sale. :p

k0k0peli
08-15-2015, 10:50 AM
The Ohana is the only redundant one so it is for sale. :p So string it in 5ths. The Aquila 31U set is cheap. For fun (and economy), string it in crazy re-entrant 5ths, fast and easy -- merely reverse the strings and tune the bottom two up a half-step, a#FCg. Or give it a balalaika or dulcimer tuning. Or try GcEa / GcEg for a new re-entrant experience. Or GceA for a Venezuelan cuatro flavor. Or if you have a bunch of extra high-g strings lying about uselessly, apply four of those and go bagpipes. How can any 'uke be redundant? :confused:

Rllink
08-15-2015, 12:05 PM
All of my ukuleles, three of them now, are all tuned high G re-entrant C6 tuning. Maybe when I master that tuning, I might change, but I still have a lot of ground to explore before then. One of the reasons that I chose the ukulele was the re-entrant tuning, and all the challenges that go with it. I'm still being challenged. I don't see myself going to linear tuning ever. If that is what I wanted to play, I would play a guitar.

hammer40
08-15-2015, 12:25 PM
All my tenors are high G (GCEA) C6, with the baritone uke in a Bb (flat) tuning.

Fleapluckin_Flapper
08-15-2015, 12:43 PM
So far just C re-entrant and D re-entrant tunings. Relearning uke in D as I know a guy who plays cuatro in the same tuning,and his teacher isn't teaching him anything but songs. So I'm going to be teaching him how to read TAB,moveable chord forms,and then music.

NewKid
08-15-2015, 03:58 PM
I'm having fun experimenting with fifths tuning, CDGA using the Aquila 31U concert strings on my tenor. All new chord shapes and a very warm and rich sound.

My other ukes are tuned:

soprano - reentrant C
two tenors - linear C
baritone - linear Bb

bnolsen
08-15-2015, 04:04 PM
baritone uke strung linear DGBE, everything else (including sopranino with worth CH's) strung reentrant GCEA. So I'm boring :-p

k0k0peli
08-15-2015, 04:07 PM
The main reason to look at only two common tunings is not to be a smarty pants. The main reason is so that you realise that you only need to learn two tunings, which is a lot easier than thinking you need to learn 10 tunings. I don't see it as *needing* to learn 10 tunings but as having fun with different tunings. Maybe I'm prejudiced; I've played with dulcimer-guitar-banjo-dobro-mando tunings for a half-century. A few more tunings are merely more games for me.

No, a newcomer to guitar-type instruments (including 'ukuleles) should stick to one tuning (standard high-g reentrant on most 'ukes) until they're comfortable with the fingerings. That might take some time. Then spread your wings and try something new.

One trick is to associate certain songs and tunings. On guitar, some songs sound best with the low E dropped to D, and I only play those that way. Some Hawai'ian songs are best with a uke's top string slacked down to gCEg; only play those suchly. I find some songs / arrangements are best on a 4-string re-entrant 'uke in gCEa or brightened to aDF#b or in open aC#Ea and I don't play those on other instruments because they just don't ring right.

No need to rush into a maze of tunings. Slow and easy; step by step; do it till it's internalized, then move along. No hih-hu.

Booli
08-15-2015, 09:10 PM
I know I need more 'ukes -- concert & tenor in 5ths...

HA HA- for me I'll be doing tenor and bari in 5ths tunings, and dont forget you need both GDAE and CGDA, and with the right strings I might explore BEAD as well.

itsme
08-15-2015, 09:40 PM
Just the basics... high G, low G, and standard baritone (DGBE).

consitter
08-15-2015, 10:02 PM
Just the basics... high G, low G, and standard baritone (DGBE).

I'm even more basic...most of the time, I'm OUT of tune.

I can make cats sing. :)

k0k0peli
08-16-2015, 06:42 AM
HA HA- for me I'll be doing tenor and bari in 5ths tunings, and dont forget you need both GDAE and CGDA, and with the right strings I might explore BEAD as well. I've already got BEADG covered with my Puerto Rican cuatro. Or I'll sometimes squeeze the bari up to DGCF, same intervals. Don't need a bari in 5ths -- I have a mandola for that.

I thought about the various possible *types* of stringings and tunings. (Retuning is not a big deal; restringing is.) I came up with this list:

* Linear intervals, 3rds or 4ths or 5ths
* Mixed intervals eg guitar, Irish mando
* Open-chords, 1-3-5, eg dobro
* Drone intervals, 5-1-5 or 1-1-5 or 1-1-4, eg dulcimer
* Sawmill / power chords, I+V (or I-IV?)
* choice: linear or re-entrant; left or right

Aha! I bet you haven't tuned to straight 3rds yet!


I can make cats sing. :) I've mentioned Petrushka the supercat (RIP) who would jump onto my knee whilst I played 5-string banjo, position herself next to the banjo head, and howl along with the overtones. I learned to wear thick padding to accommodate her claws.

southcoastukes
08-16-2015, 08:35 AM
I've started learning CGBD or Plectrum tuning, as per Sandy Weltman.
It's a nice alternative to regular tunings.

That was beautifully done, Cam! For those who didn't see the link, here's the video:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFII1CfsibY&feature=youtu.be

We've offered a set for that tuning, but to play it in the original tuning of c g b d' you'd need a longer scale; or in other words on a Baritone you'd need to tune up.

Plectrum tuning, to me, offers perhaps the most beautiful repertoire ever written for a plucked 4-string instrument. We've got an article on our Tips page that illustrates the history. It comes from Plectrum Banjo (we've got a Rob MacKillop piece posted on that page), but as you can see from Cam's playing, it translates perfectly to the Guitar family - finger style or picked.

Cam, you may be interested in this. The English music house, Clifford Essex, has been the source for traditional sheet music for Plectrum playing. One of the most prolific composers was a fellow named Emile Grimshaw. While they've had some individual Grimshaw songs for Plectrum available, and his "Classic" 5 string method books, his Plectrum Method was something you could only obtain if you were lucky enough to find a vintage copy. I could never find one, but almost two years ago, Clifford Essex told me they were almost finished with a revised issue. Last time I checked, late spring, they still hadn't come out with it.

After your post, I checked again, and here it is!:

http://cliffordessex.net/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=1103

For me, this book puts a forgotten world of a gorgeous classical (part romantic-part ragtime?) instrumental music back in play.

Booli
08-16-2015, 09:46 AM
I don't see it as *needing* to learn 10 tunings but as having fun with different tunings.

I agree. Different tunings give me new inspiration due to my reaction to the sound of the new tuning. E.G., recently tuned a baritone to re-entrant CFAD, and that is still being explored, and is like a whole other dimension in sound to me when compared the linear G6 DGBE on a baritone. I'm using Worth Clear (CF) strings which are the same gauges as their baritone set, save for the 4th string which is re-entrant...:)

Camsuke
08-16-2015, 11:34 AM
That was beautifully done, Cam! For those who didn't see the link, here's the video:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFII1CfsibY&feature=youtu.be

We've offered a set for that tuning, but to play it in the original tuning of c g b d' you'd need a longer scale; or in other words on a Baritone you'd need to tune up.

Plectrum tuning, to me, offers perhaps the most beautiful repertoire ever written for a plucked 4-string instrument. We've got an article on our Tips page that illustrates the history. It comes from Plectrum Banjo (we've got a Rob MacKillop piece posted on that page), but as you can see from Cam's playing, it translates perfectly to the Guitar family - finger style or picked.

Cam, you may be interested in this. The English music house, Clifford Essex, has been the source for traditional sheet music for Plectrum playing. One of the most prolific composers was a fellow named Emile Grimshaw. While they've had some individual Grimshaw songs for Plectrum available, and his "Classic" 5 string method books, his Plectrum Method was something you could only obtain if you were lucky enough to find a vintage copy. I could never find one, but almost two years ago, Clifford Essex told me they were almost finished with a revised issue. Last time I checked, late spring, they still hadn't come out with it.

After your post, I checked again, and here it is!:

http://cliffordessex.net/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=1103

For me, this book puts a forgotten world of a gorgeous classical (part romantic-part ragtime?) instrumental music back in play.

Thanks very much for your kind comments Dirk, they are most appreciated. Thanks also for the link to the Clifford Essex publication, I will definitely look forward to checking it out!

Camsuke
08-16-2015, 01:21 PM
Thanks for the link Ubulele, very useful information.
Here's a tab for tenor in F C E G tuning.
http://www.sandyweltmanmusic.com/yesterday-tenor.pdf

Ukulele Eddie
08-16-2015, 04:46 PM
Two. Re-entrant and linear C. Will broaden my horizons in time!

CulpRJ
08-17-2015, 10:46 AM
Between my wife and I, we have:
C6 - GCEA
D6 - ADF#B
G6 - DGBE
F6 - CFAD
D - DADF#
A6 - EAC#F#

k0k0peli
08-25-2015, 07:10 AM
Different tunings give me new inspiration due to my reaction to the sound of the new tuning. E.G., recently tuned a baritone to re-entrant CFAD, and that is still being explored, and is like a whole other dimension in sound to me when compared the linear G6 DGBE on a baritone. I'll go further. Retuning makes it a new instrument. Restringing is more so. All the GCEA variants on my 4- and 6- and 8- and 10- and 12-string tenors mean they chord the same for strumming but demand very different fingerpicking techniques. A slight tweak from re-entrant gCEa (standard) to gCEg (slack) or gCFa# (fourths) or various modal tunings brings on new challenges, new chord forms. The axe may *look* the same but it ain't -- it is a new instrument.

I doubt that I'll ever have two 'ukes of the same size strung and tuned the same. Too boring. Why bother?