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Down Up Dick
01-10-2016, 03:34 AM
Anyone ever tune a Uke to GDAE? If so, what did you use for the high E-"E5"-the E an octave above "normal" E? Waaaaaay up dere . . .

I'd like to use my tenor banjolele for an Irish tenor banjo(lele). :old:

kypfer
01-10-2016, 06:59 AM
I've got two ukuleles tuned like this, a soprano pineapple with a set of Aquila "5th's" on it and a baritone tuned an octave lower with a "mix-&-match" set of strings.

As for tuning a tenor up there with the fiddles and mandolins ... not sure :confused:

In the first instance I'd find one of the on-line string gauge/tension calculators that can cope with nylon strings, http://stringtensionpro.com/ looks like it'll do the job, figure out what tension "normal" tenor strings are at, then jiggle things around to give you a gauge of string (fishing line) that'll tune to your high E, at an appropriate tension, over the scale length you need.

Having experimented with that, you should be able to shop around for "proper" strings if the original solution isn't totally successful.

I imagine one of the specialist string suppliers that frequent this board may well be able to give a finite answer, or even a solution "off the shelf".

Please do note, I have no relationship with D'Addario strings other than as a customer satisfied with some of their electric guitar strings :)

Down Up Dick
01-10-2016, 07:30 AM
Thanks, kypfer, I have it tuned to Hi-C GDA now, and that works okay as long as I'm playin' alone. Most of my Irish tunes stay above middle C, but, if they go lower, I can fake a few notes or transpose or just pick a different tune.

I just thought it might be a good idea to tune it correctly, if it wasn't too much trouble. :old:

Jim Hanks
01-10-2016, 09:38 AM
I haven't tried it but Southcoast has a gdae set here: http://www.southcoastukes.com/5ths.htm
Look down the page for EFS17-RW
it's not exactly what you're asking for as it is a strange reentrant variant, not linear, but would give a unique sound for strumming at least. Probably would wreak havoc on melody lines though. :p

Down Up Dick
01-10-2016, 09:50 AM
Thanks, Jim, but I don't strum this Uke much. It's mostly fingerpicking, jigs, reels, etc. :old:

Jim Hanks
01-10-2016, 10:26 AM
Yeah, it's gonna be tough to find that high E string. Southcoast has a high C string for 17" scale but you need 2 whole steps higher. That string goes to E on a soprano scale but then you have to find a low G string for soprano - also tricky but I know that's been done.

Edit: then again, you're fingerpicking chords right? Not so much melodies? If so the EFS17-RW set would still work and again you'd get some different sounding picking patterns "for free"

Down Up Dick
01-10-2016, 11:26 AM
No chords, Jim, just melody and embellishments. Maybe a few two finger chords--I dunno. :old:

kypfer
01-10-2016, 01:01 PM
Thanks, kypfer, I have it tuned to Hi-C GDA now, and that works okay as long as I'm playin' alone. Most of my Irish tunes stay above middle C, but, if they go lower, I can fake a few notes or transpose or just pick a different tune.

I just thought it might be a good idea to tune it correctly, if it wasn't too much trouble.

It shouldn't be too much trouble, it's just a case of needing a few finite measurements from yourself, specifically the scale length of the instrument in question (nut to bridge) and the gauge of one or more strings you're currently using (and at what pitch).

With these factors one can calculate the approximate string tension currently and choose appropriate string gauges to give whichever tuning you want, at similar tensions. Especially on a banjo, maintaining similar tensions will mean not having to fiddle with skin tension or bridge height ;)

Are the GDA strings you're currently using at the pitch you want for your GDAE tuning? If so, in the first instance, you just need to find some line "a bit thinner" than your A string, assuming you've got enough slack on your tuners to shift your existing strings "over one" (it's always possible to tie an extra bit of string onto the end of an existing string that's "just a little bit short" ... it may not look pretty, but it'll get the job done, for experimental purposes).

If your new E string is too tight or too slack you'll need to go thinner or thicker respectively ... I'd expect 15 or 20 pound nylon monofilament to be adequate for the job ... fluorocarbon might be different.

Good luck and keep us posted ... I've been considering an "Irish" tenor banjo for a while, but at the usual asking prices it's difficult to justify one ... a tenor banjo-ukulele may just be that bit more affordable :)

Down Up Dick
01-10-2016, 03:00 PM
Well, kypfer, you seem to be very interested in this post, and your enthusiasm has increased my interest too. So, armed with your instructions, maybe I'll delve more deeply into the problem, using your helpful hints.

I recently bought a Deering scooped 5 string banjo to use for Clawhammer, which, I'm glad to say is showing improvement. And now I have two banjos and two banjoleles, so I decided to use my tenor banjolele as a tenor banjo. But I really prefer Irish music to the usual tenor banjo fare. I've been playing Irish music for years on my flutes, whistles and harmonicas. So, that's what this all about.

As I said before, Hi-CGDA works okay for a teaching instrument. I make sure to tell myself that it's Hi-G DAE, so when I decide to buy an Irish Tenor my mind will be okay with it. I hope it works. Anyway, we'll see what happens to the EEEEE string.

I've said many times on this forum that, if I had more years, I'd like to take up the banjo and the oboe. Well maybe the oboe's next, but they're very expensive . . .
:old:

Down Up Dick
01-14-2016, 04:03 AM
Well, I decided to buy (from Just Strings) a set of Lo C GDA concert strings for my Lanakai banjolele and use IT for my tenor banjo. I'll do something else with my Gold Tone tenor banjolele. Later, I'll (maybe) buy an Irish Tenor Banjo. As long as I play solo and pretend it's Lo G DAE, it'll be fine.

So thanks for your offer of help, kypfer and Jim, I really appreciate it. :old:

Jon Moody
01-14-2016, 05:00 AM
As a thought, doesn't the Charango have the High EEEEEE string that you're looking for? Looks like if you can score a nylon string in a .018-.019 gauge, you should be able to get your ideal tuning.

Down Up Dick
01-14-2016, 05:42 AM
Well, thanks for the info, Jon, but I think I'll just use it for now with the planned set up. I've got a lot of scales to pick before I'm ready for anything else. Actually, I already know the scales, but I need to work on speed and some embellishments.

Boy, this music stuff just never stops, does it. I wonder if Jake studies and tries new stuff. :old:

Down Up Dick
01-14-2016, 06:11 AM
Ha! I just found out my Lo C GDA strings are on back order. "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley . . ." (Bobby Burns) Ahhh, well . . .
:old:

arctangent
01-14-2016, 11:29 AM
You won't be able to put any nylon string on a tenor ukulele and tune to a high E (like a mandolin or violin) - the scale length is too long and the string will either have too much tension on it and snap or (if the string is thick enough not to break) will put way too much tension on an ukulele bridge and risk pulling it off, with potentially disastrous consequences to your health, i.e. it hits you in the eye or something.

You can put CGDA strings on a tenor ukulele with good results, and you can put GDAE strings on a soprano ukulele.

kypfer
01-14-2016, 11:52 AM
You won't be able to put any nylon string on a tenor ukulele and tune to a high E (like a mandolin or violin) - the scale length is too long and the string will either have too much tension on it and snap or (if the string is thick enough not to break) will put way too much tension on an ukulele bridge and risk pulling it off, with potentially disastrous consequences to your health, i.e. it hits you in the eye or something.

You can put CGDA strings on a tenor ukulele with good results, and you can put GDAE strings on a soprano ukulele.

We're actually discussing banjo's here, so no anticipated problem with the bridge pulling off ... though your points are worth considering if anyone is thinking of tuning a wooden tenor in 5th's. Certainly a baritone will tune GDAE, but an octave lower than a mandolin. If I was considering tuning a tenor GDAE, maybe that's the octave I'd aim for.