View Full Version : What's the highest pitched tuning you can do on a uke?

10-07-2015, 10:14 AM
..and which uke would you do it on, and with which strings? (Thanks for your help!)

10-07-2015, 10:18 AM
I think it would depend on your strings and your ukulele. What might pull the bridge off of one ukulele might be fine on another. They have some strings for pocket ukuleles that will allow you to play higher notes.

Is there are pitch you are aiming for ?

10-07-2015, 10:44 AM
I've seen a few pocket ukulele reviews which tune up to E. Wondering whether that can be done on a soprano?

10-07-2015, 11:14 AM
It sounds to me like you might want to look into a capo.


10-07-2015, 12:06 PM
My mango is tuned to the key of G which means the highest note is a high E. It sounds great with the South Coast strings and is fun to play.

10-07-2015, 12:27 PM
Using Aquila's 5th's tuning strings (ie: tuned like a mandolin or violin) the top string on a soprano ukulele tunes E, an octave above the "normal" second string tuning. Working down from that, it should be easy enough to find a combination of strings to give you almost any tuning you need.

For reference, that top E Aquila measures 0.015" under tension, about the same as 15lb nylon monofilament fishing line. NB: fluorocarbon lines tend to be thicker, per weight-rating. Unfortunately I don't have a range to measure.

Assuming you're tuning in "standard" ukulele intervals, your new (re-entrant) tuning would be dGBE, like a guitar, but an octave higher. A "standard" ukulele top string will go to B no problem, your G string is already covered by the normal 4th string in a set of re-entrant ukulele strings, which just leaves the re-entrant d ... I bet a standard ukulele 2nd string would be OK tuned down two frets, else a standard 3rd string will tune up to D ... job done :)

As always, YMMV, but, in the first instance, for the cost of a set of standard strings and a scrounged length of fishing line (if you don't have any to hand yourself), it's got to be worth a try ;)

You'll not do any damage to a standard soprano ukulele with these suggestions. The overall string tension will likely be less than with a standard set of strings.

If you've got a slotted bridge and are worried about tying a big enough knot on the thin string, tie the end of the thin line together with a short length of thicker string to make a more substantial knot ;)

Good luck !

10-07-2015, 01:07 PM
Thank you! now to get my hands on a soprano guitalele - that Ohana one that sold here once but hasn't been spotted on the web since! lol

10-07-2015, 03:22 PM
I've seen a few pocket ukulele reviews which tune up to E. Wondering whether that can be done on a soprano?
I'd try nylon tenor uke strings.

10-07-2015, 03:54 PM
I would think that a truss rod neck would help. With a tailpiece bridge?

10-07-2015, 11:07 PM
Thanks for all the advice! wondering if iUke and piccolo strings might be the way forward? gets me an octave higher, like these guys?