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View Full Version : fitting low G string advice on fretboard notes etc



mac1012
12-06-2015, 04:03 AM
Hi I am in process of ordering my new ukulele and toying with idea of having low g string fitted , I like the lower more lower overall sound it produces one of the problems I had with concert ukulele was pitching my voice to sing , I know is about what key your singing in but I seem to think the low G string takes the pitch a bit lower overall as its tuned to G below middle C which might be easier for my voice range which is fairly low .

also now I can read music and have some music theory understanding I want to learn the notes on the fretboard and finger pick notes to songs rather than just strumming what difference does fitting the low G string make to the standard fretboard notes ?? I have been looking for a low g fretboard diagram but to no avail unless it dosent make a difference or does it ? , I want to start learning scales so need a a diagram of the fret board

thanks mark

perep
12-06-2015, 04:18 AM
Makes a BIG diff. Mark, the low g is what you WILL need if you are learning notes on fretboard. Another little thing I learned is if you just have high g , when you get below middle c on board just strum chords in that area of notes or note.
The importand thing is to have fun & if it sounds good to your ear, go for it

mac1012
12-06-2015, 04:41 AM
thanks I think I get what your saying so is the fretboard string notes layout and diagram the same for high G and low G ???

Lori
12-06-2015, 06:44 AM
The fourth string in low G is an octave lower, so a chart giving the names of the notes (G, G#, A, Bb, B etc) will still be those notes, but an octave lower. In a song, where a melody note is being played on the fourth string high G, you will have to play that note on another string (most commonly playing the open G on the second string 3rd fret). If it is a harmony note, no need to change it, because it will probably sound fine being played an octave lower.
Tabs written for the baritone uke will be fine, since it has the same kind of relationship as a low G, but the key will be different because the traditional baritone tuning is like a 4 string guitar. Here is a good site to see some of those, along with Low G tabs (mostly they are the same I think).
https://pdfminstrel.wordpress.com/renaissance-bari-pdfs-2/
Low G is great fun.
–Lori

mac1012
12-06-2015, 07:13 AM
thanks for advice lori the thing is I don't really want to learn tabs with being able to read music I want to learn the notes on the fretboard so I can sight read songs a little better , that's why I am trying to find out if there are any fretboard diagrams with low g tuning if you get what I mean if it becomes to confusing I will stay with standard tuning lol

Lori
12-06-2015, 07:40 AM
The James Hill Ukulele method sounds like what you want. They teach reading musical notation and they use the low G tuning.
https://www.ukuleleintheclassroom.com/student_edition_C6.htm
Here is a sample from the website.
https://www.ukuleleintheclassroom.com/extras/sample_lessons_C6/Ukulele_in_the_Classroom_(Book1_Lesson5)(C6).pdf
Look at the uke 2 notation, and you will see the ledger lines go below the middle C (middle C in this notation is one ledger line below the staff).
If you order one of these books, you will get instruction geared to learning to read music and it's application to the ukulele.
I think this chart from their website should be what you were looking for.
https://www.ukuleleintheclassroom.com/extras/Notes-in-home-position/Ukulele-Notes-in-Home-Position-(C6).pdf
–Lori

Louis0815
12-07-2015, 01:14 AM
I can read music and have some music theory understanding I want to learn the notes on the fretboard
With that basic knowledge you should easily be able to make your own fretboard map:
- You know which note is on which open string (G3 C4 E4 A4)
- the rest is counting: one semitone up per fret (G string open = G, 1st fret = G#/Ab, 2nd fret = A, ...)

Jim Hanks
12-07-2015, 01:46 AM
I seem to think the low G string takes the pitch a bit lower overall as its tuned to G below middle C which might be easier for my voice range which is fairly low .

I think Lori covered it pretty well so I'll just add that this is not one of the reasons to play with a low G. The uke will still be considered tuned to C tuning with a low G so it doesn't help with transposing to a lower key from your vocal range.

Futurethink
12-07-2015, 01:55 AM
thanks I think I get what your saying so is the fretboard string notes layout and diagram the same for high G and low G ???

Yes, that's correct. The octave for string four changes, but the note names are the same.
http://liveukulele.com/fretboard-charts/

Low G tuning does extend the range of your ukulele, but only by five notes.
http://www.ukuleletricks.com/tuning-your-ukulele-to-low-g/

Louis0815
12-07-2015, 03:00 AM
And in case anybody still has doubts which note is on which fret I quickly drafted some tabs/standard notation for GCEA tuned ukulele:

re-entrant tuning (high G) (http://go.4str.in/high-g)
linear tuning (low G) (http://go.4str.in/low-g)

(And don't get confused by the natural sign (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_(music)#Natural_sign), it has to be there due to the rules of standard notation)

mac1012
12-09-2015, 07:30 PM
thanks for all taking the time to reply , lori the james hill material looks very interesting and what I am looking for the written notation on book one is very basic level but having little experience of picking notes on ukulele it will be a good building block , it reminds me of beginners books in other instruments where you build gradually adding bnotes , pity there is not more books like this readily available for ukulele , it dosent seem to be stocked in the uk so I will contact the site direct for a bit more info and ordering.

Jim I know the songs will be in the same key I guess I mean more about the harmonics suiting my voice , I didn't really explain what I meant but I will try ..... when I had concert ukulele it wasnt a case of not being able to sing high enough if it was in a high key it was more that I was sounding flat I had difficulty sometimes . when I used to play guitar I had no trouble blending the guitar and my voice whatever key I was playing in , with the low G taking the uke closer to a guitar sound I am hoping I might find it easier to adjust my voice , maybe I wont but I like the sound of low g strung ukulele and I want to play notes so as mentioned on here and on james hill site it would be good for those reasons

Louis I wont get confused by the natural sign I am used to that when I play my Flute !

mac1012
12-09-2015, 07:37 PM
I am hoping the file I have put on comes up ! found this on the internet that looks useful



86251

mac1012
12-09-2015, 07:44 PM
I am looking forward to having a go at learning the notes and picking them , as with all instruments there will be challenges , on my flute the notes kind of follow a logical order (until you get to sharps and flats and some higher register notes ) but its fairly easy to find your way around , the difficulty is in producing the embouchure and tone and breathing oh and vibrato ! I guess the uke will be challenging in different ways in building the muscle memorys and co-ordination between both hands and techniques like hammer on and pull offs etc etc

Tootler
12-10-2015, 05:05 AM
I came to ukulele from recorder so have had to make a similar adaptation. I can read music and I didn't find it too much of a problem to work out the notes and make myself a little diagram with the notes on a ukulele in GCEA tuning (attached). I have used this to learn where the notes are on the fretboard so I can work out melodies from standard notation.


...
Jim I know the songs will be in the same key I guess I mean more about the harmonics suiting my voice , I didn't really explain what I meant but I will try ..... when I had concert ukulele it wasnt a case of not being able to sing high enough if it was in a high key it was more that I was sounding flat I had difficulty sometimes . when I used to play guitar I had no trouble blending the guitar and my voice whatever key I was playing in , with the low G taking the uke closer to a guitar sound I am hoping I might find it easier to adjust my voice , maybe I wont but I like the sound of low g strung ukulele and I want to play notes so as mentioned on here and on james hill site it would be good for those reasons ...

It sounds to me that for singing, you might be happier with DGBE tuning and I suggest you either consider either getting a baritone or having a tenor tuned to DGBE. I have my tenors tune re-entrant DGBE and it works great for me. I am happy to switch between GCEA and DGBE tuning for different songs and don't have major problems with the pitch of the instrument. The G in a DGBE tuned tenor is the same as low G in linear GCEA but the overall effect is to sound lower pitched.

If you want linear DGBE (same as top 4 strings of a guitar), you really need a baritone to get the best out of that tuning. I'm happy with re-entrant DGBE on tenor as I mostly sing to strummed accompaniment but I do sometimes finger pick accompaniment for some slower songs. You can't do the bass runs you can on guitar so it's essentially playing arpeggios but it works fine.

Everyone has to find their own way but that's something of my approach for you to think about.

Croaky Keith
12-10-2015, 08:11 AM
Picture of standard GCEA fretboard with notes.
http://liveukulele.com/wp-content/uploads/Standard_C6_Fretboard.png

70sSanO
12-11-2015, 06:55 AM
when I had concert ukulele it wasnt a case of not being able to sing high enough if it was in a high key it was more that I was sounding flat I had difficulty sometimes . when I used to play guitar I had no trouble blending the guitar and my voice whatever key I was playing in , with the low G taking the uke closer to a guitar sound I am hoping I might find it easier to adjust my voice , maybe I wont but I like the sound of low g strung ukulele and I want to play notes so as mentioned on here and on james hill site it would be good for those reasons

I know exactly what you are saying. Years ago i would sing while playing the guitar. When I came to the ukulele I had a tendency to try and octave up, (even though a G chord is still a G chord), and when I couldn't I'd end up in the wrong key. I really don't sing with the ukulele so I'm not sure if I have solved it.

Lately I've been going over some Christmas songs with my wife, and I don't think I am trying to sing high. I think it may just be getting used to singing at a lower octave than the ukulele. Maybe even try easy Christmas songs like Jingle Bells so you can play high and sing low.

John