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View Full Version : Plectrum tuning on uke?



aarondminnick
09-01-2015, 08:36 AM
I was wondering if anyone had tried plectrum (banjo) tuning on uke: CGBD (linear). This tuning is traditionally used on long-scale 4-string plectrum banjos for jazz rhythm work. It occurred to me that this tuning would work well on concert uke, or even an octave down on baritone uke.

k0k0peli
09-01-2015, 09:41 AM
I was wondering if anyone had tried plectrum (banjo) tuning on uke: CGBD (linear). This tuning is traditionally used on long-scale 4-string plectrum banjos for jazz rhythm work. It occurred to me that this tuning would work well on concert uke, or even an octave down on baritone uke. I did exactly the latter last week, tuned my small-voiced bari down from DGBE to CGBD for an interesting (to me) 5-3-3 interval pattern. And I have the Mel Bay book of plectrum chords, and a couple books of trad etc for plectrum and tenor banjos. Haven't really gotten into that yet. And I haven't researched this, but do you know of online resources for plectrum players? I'll wager there aren't too many plectrum tabs floating around.

aarondminnick
09-01-2015, 09:57 AM
I don't much about the plectrum world -- I was just surfing around and happened on a couple of Youtube plectrum clips I enjoyed, which got me to thinkin'. Sorry I can't help you there!

aarondminnick
09-02-2015, 01:31 AM
This is a lovely, gentle rendition of the tune -- thank you, Campbell. I think I might experiment with this tuning on baritone--I really like it for 2 reasons. 1. It requires no re-stringing, unlike mandola/tenor banjo/fifts tuning (you just drop the D and E strings by a step); and 2. I really like the combination of the fifth on the bottom and the thirds on top. That combination results in a nice bass/treble balance in chording, and it also gives a lovely low C on the bottom in C and F chords.

TheCraftedCow
09-03-2015, 06:11 AM
And this also works for gCEA as fCEG ? I see Sandy Weltman does it on reentrant tuning as well.

aarondminnick
09-03-2015, 07:03 AM
And this also works for gCEA as fCEG ? I see Sandy Weltman does it on reentrant tuning as well.

Sure -- as long as the pitch relationships between strings are the same, it would work fine.

k0k0peli
09-06-2015, 09:09 PM
And this also works for gCEA as fCEG ? I see Sandy Weltman does it on reentrant tuning as well.


Sure -- as long as the pitch relationships between strings are the same, it would work fine. The chord forms will remain the same. Melodic fingering will be rather different, of course. More skills to learn... ;)

Standard linear Plectrum tuning (CGBD) is also called Standard C tuning on 5-string banjo. That's the heritage -- plectrums evolved by removing the re-entrant 5th string. Much 5-string music/tabs are easily adapted to Plectrum. A close variant is Double C tuning (CGCD) but if I head in that direction I'll just confuse myself. Tunings are oozing out of my brain. Yow.