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JJFN
03-22-2017, 12:47 PM
My trigger finger has expanded from my middle finger left hand to my ring finger left hand. So until I see my hand doctor, I changed to a Bb tuning. A nice mellow sound and a lot easier to fret. I will probably continue to tune my Koaloha Tenor at this setting. Anybody else use the Bb tuning?

Bill Sheehan
03-22-2017, 01:21 PM
Hi JJ, I have found that the lower Bb tuning worked really well on a tenor-scale Fluke. Just seemed to get a really nice silky tone out of it that way. I also tried the Bb tuning on the Ohana model that has a tenor-scale neck married to a soprano body, but it didn't work as well with that particular uke. But overall, I think the Bb tuning is worth at least taking for a test drive on any tenor!

Ukulele Eddie
03-22-2017, 01:37 PM
All my tenors are tuned Bb. Also am using Bb on my new 16" concert and it sounds wonderful.

EDW
03-22-2017, 01:39 PM
Bb tuning on a tenor sounds and works great.

Doc_J
03-22-2017, 02:21 PM
All the time, A tuning also. Whatever suits the individual ukulele, that's the way I tune, there are no rules.

I agree with Campbell . Choose the tuning best for the individual uke. I keep tenors in C, B and Bb.

ralphk
03-22-2017, 02:22 PM
I have a 19" scale baritone set at Bb and it is very nice for my voice.

Jim Hanks
03-22-2017, 03:04 PM
Yup: https://jimhanks.wordpress.com/2016/08/26/why-b-flat-for-tenor-uke/

Mivo
03-23-2017, 02:53 AM
My tenor is currently tuned in re-entrant Bb, too. I'm undecided yet whether I prefer it to low-G, but I do like the lower tension better. I think it's also louder. I'll likely leave the tenor in Bb.

Doug W
03-23-2017, 04:15 AM
My trigger finger has expanded from my middle finger left hand to my ring finger left hand.

JJFN,

I am not a doctor, but with trigger finger, aren't you supposed to give your hand a rest until it is treated?

Pirate Jim
03-23-2017, 06:30 AM
JJFN,

I am not a doctor, but with trigger finger, aren't you supposed to give your hand a rest until it is treated?

Having suffered from trigger finger myself, I can say that resting it is easier said than done! It is also not always effective so it's pretty tough to just give up your main hobby indefinitely, easier psychologically to find a workaround.

JJFN
03-23-2017, 08:19 AM
Quote Originally Posted by JJFN View Post
My trigger finger has expanded from my middle finger left hand to my ring finger left hand.
Having suffered from trigger finger myself, I can say that resting it is easier said than done! It is also not always effective so it's pretty tough to just give up your main hobby indefinitely, easier psychologically to find a workaround.

I've cut back on my playing and increased my ibuprofen. As Pirate Jim said, easier said than done. Thanx everyone for the advice.

rubykey
03-23-2017, 12:24 PM
I'm confused. So those of you who are in Bb tuning do you play with other people? Do you use chord charts or tabulatura and just play as the key that it's written in but you're really playing in Bb tuning. So your F shape would be an Eb? Are you using that tuning as a permanent reverse Capo? Do you transpose songs?

I think of the keys of F & Bb as the most natural to ukulele. Bb is the first closed position chord. My voice often prefers those keys, or G minor which is relative minor to Bb. I like to play with other people who don't play ukulele. Guitar players often can't play in the key of F and B flat makes their eyes roll back in their head. But I usually stick to my key anyway. If I were to tune into Bb my head would really spin with transposing. Are any of you doing that -- transposing?

I tried Bb tuning on my concert and it didn't do anything for it. Sounds like some of you do it to reduce tenor tension which I don't have. I just have tension:rolleyes:

Jim Hanks
03-23-2017, 02:26 PM
@rubykey - All the above :) see the link to post #8. Bb tuning gives a lot of options, even for playing with others. You do have to worry about transposing but I try to do it "ahead of time" so that while playing I am not transposing in my head - if that make sense

uku0729
03-23-2017, 04:11 PM
I've been playing for two years and when I first started, all my tenors were tuned in Bb. It is a great sound but eventually I went back to C because it's a little more difficult to keep chords in tune. I play fingerstyle and alone so the key change doesn't affect me. On the finger pain problem, I've been having that problem with my right hand middle and ring finger. I took a few days rest, cut back on the time spent playing when I did start playing again and bought a wrist brace for carpal tunnel and one week later I feel much better. Still not 100% but a vast improvement.

rubykey
03-24-2017, 08:18 AM
@rubykey - All the above :) see the link to post #8. Bb tuning gives a lot of options, even for playing with others. You do have to worry about transposing but I try to do it "ahead of time" so that while playing I am not transposing in my head - if that make sense

Thanks Jim that was great! All of my questions answered in your blog post.
But since I don't play tenor now I want to find high tension strings for a concert and tune them down. Just to play with all those options. And also to justify having so many instruments:music: :music: :music:

Tof
03-24-2017, 09:24 AM
If you like to keep a tension similar to C tuning I tried a combination Tomastik-Infeld CF35 CF30 with the 2 first strings of the Oasis treble high tension set (guitar), and it sounds and feel great on a 17" scale. I guess it would be ok on a concert as well.

Jim Hanks
03-24-2017, 02:18 PM
I want to find high tension strings for a concert and tune them down.
I'd recommend Southcoast LHU-NW for a medium tension concert Bb: http://southcoastukes.com/uku-nw.htm
Or HMU-NW if you wanted a bit lower tension

redpaul1
03-25-2017, 03:36 PM
@rubykey - All the above :) see the link to post #8. Bb tuning gives a lot of options, even for playing with others. You do have to worry about transposing but I try to do it "ahead of time" so that while playing I am not transposing in my head - if that make sense


Thanks Jim that was great! All of my questions answered in your blog post.
But since I don't play tenor now I want to find high tension strings for a concert and tune them down. Just to play with all those options. And also to justify having so many instruments:music: :music: :music:

I always keep a (mando) capo with my Bb-tuned tenor, in case anyone not used to Bb-tuning wants/needs to borrow it. Yes, you lose two frets by tuning to Bb and capo-ing at the 2nd (to return to C-tuning); but you're never going to run out of frets on a tenor uke, are you? :-)

Jim Hanks
03-25-2017, 04:31 PM
I always keep a (mando) capo with my Bb-tuned tenor

I agree a capo is a must have if you're going to play with others or with recordings. Being able to capo at the 2nd for C tuning or capo at 1st for "minus one"use (e.g. for key of E or B with guitarists) gives a lot of options to find a comfy key.

redpaul1
03-25-2017, 11:26 PM
I agree a capo is a must have if you're going to play with others or with recordings. Being able to capo at the 2nd for C tuning or capo at 1st for "minus one"use (e.g. for key of E or B with guitarists) gives a lot of options to find a comfy key.

Yes. :agree: Generally speaking, I just transpose on the fly, regardless of who or what I'm playing with (I often find myself at multi-instrument acoustic jam sessions, where the tunes flow so thick and fast you don't have time to be fiddling [fiddling? ha! see what I did there?!] about with a capo between numbers); but, as you rightly say, a 1st-fret capo on a Bb-tuned uke is very convenient for songs in the keys of E or B.

And (in my experience, YMMV, of course), gCEA on a Bb-tuned tenor capoed to C still sounds better than a tenor tuned to C at the nut.

Tootler
03-26-2017, 10:31 PM
I have my tenors tuned re-entrant dGBE and use appropriate strings for them. One reason was the high tension of GCEA on a tenor. One exception is my recently acquired 6 string and it really rings out and I've not found the tension to bad. Maybe I'm just getting adapted more.

I've recently re-tuned by concert down to Bb and find I prefer the sound and like the lower tension. Capo 2 brings it back to GCEA should I want to so no problem. I use the Planet Waves NS mini ukulele capos. They are excellent; well made and unobtrusive. It's the only one I've found that doesn't interfere with my left hand at all. Paul has a point; capoing sometimes sounds better than re-tuning. I'd not thought about capo 1 to make playing in E or B easier partly because I so rarely sing in those keys so rarely have need for them. Tuning down to A makes playing in E easy too, btw.

A bit off topic but E is not a particularly easy key on guitar (B7 is OK but B brings the same problems as E on a GCEA tuned uke) Quite a few guitarists I know capo 2 to play in E using D shapes.

Mivo
03-27-2017, 12:19 AM
Since high tension seems to be something that comes up for a lot of us frequently, it's probably worthwhile to mention that lower tension strings do exist. I just picked up some of the new aNueNue Black Water fluorocarbon strings that reportedly have lower tension (they are thinner), so this might be an alternative to tuning down if the main reason for doing so is the tension. I do really like the sound of Bb tuning on my tenor, though. Well, sometimes at least. It does take away some of the chirpiness that I often cherish. :)

hollisdwyer
03-27-2017, 01:55 AM
I am tuning my 20.25 inch scale length Hoffmann Bari to b flat using Southcoast HML-WB: Heavy Medium Gauge Linear Set w/ wound basses and absolutely love them no matter if I'm playing finger style by myself or if using a capo on the 2nd fret to transpose the B flat tuning to C6 when I play with others.
My perfect situation for my Bari would be to find a resource that will help me transpose my groups songbook into b flat tuned Bari chord diagrams. I have a line on a computer program that is supposed to do that but it only works on Windows computers and I have a Mac.

southcoastukes
03-27-2017, 05:30 PM
All the time, A tuning also. Whatever suits the individual ukulele, that's the way I tune, there are no rules.

Lots of good posts on this thread. And as Cam says - whatever sounds best, but also consider how you want to play. For most folks, B flat is great, as you can capo to C tuning without losing much fretboard. Tune to A and you lose two more frets if you capo to C, but it was also pointed out that B flat is not a friendly Key if you're playing with guitar players.

Many years ago I corresponded a bit with a fellow named Alex Richter, the author of "The Ukulele Handbook" (hope he's still around). It was a simple chord book, but unique in that it included complete chords for a lot of tunings that weren't in common use. I questioned him a bit about A tuning, one that I had never heard of being used before. He said he included it because he mostly played with a bunch of guitarists, and A tuning was very easy to transpose with in that setting.

So don't overlook A tuning either. I'd recommend the Ukulele reentrant form on a Tenor body, but it's a great sound in Linear form on a Baritone.

joewe
03-28-2017, 04:27 AM
I play pretty much exclusively with Bb tuning now, mainly because I play a jazz with horn players and Bb is a common key. It's amazing how many old jazz standards make more sense on a Bb tuned uke. Also, I play linear Bb (low F) on a baritone and re-entrant Bb on my tenor. At that tuning, I find both sizes are within their native range, and I don't have to transpose when I switch sizes or switch between linear/re-entrant.

Cornfield
03-28-2017, 01:02 PM
Tune however you want. My hands are messed up with an obscure disease. I'm now playing lap steel Ike and harmonicas. .

JJFN
03-28-2017, 02:45 PM
Tune however you want. My hands are messed up with an obscure disease. I'm now playing lap steel Ike and harmonicas. .

Sorry to hear that John, hope this condition clears up. Good Luck

southcoastukes
03-28-2017, 03:03 PM
Small correction: in A tuning, you lose only one more fret than in Bb tuning (you would capo at the 3rd fret for C tuning)...

True Dat!..........

anthonyg
03-28-2017, 06:36 PM
I play my tenors mostly in A tuning. As I'm a one man band it doesn't matter that much however what I have found is that many guitarists that I'm covering such as Gordon Lightfoot and others often play with a capo on the 2nd fret. What they are doing is playing in the key of E but using Key of D chord shapes. In A tuning I'm already in the right key to play D shape chords for the key of E.

The key of E is common so this works for many songs. For songs in the key of D you play C chords and for the key of A you play G chords.

The Key of G isn't so easy yet I find that I don't like singing in the key of G and I usually transpose them down to E. Again, very easy on an A tuned ukulele.

Anthony

Cornfield
03-29-2017, 03:41 AM
I play my tenors mostly in A tuning. As I'm a one man band it doesn't matter that much however what I have found is that many guitarists that I'm covering such as Gordon Lightfoot and others often play with a capo on the 2nd fret. What they are doing is playing in the key of E but using Key of D chord shapes. In A tuning I'm already in the right key to play D shape chords for the key of E.

The key of E is common so this works for many songs. For songs in the key of D you play C chords and for the key of A you play G chords.

The Key of G isn't so easy yet I find that I don't like singing in the key of G and I usually transpose them down to E. Again, very easy on an A tuned ukulele.

Anthony

On guitar, I would capo the first five strings on the second fret and play with D shapes. This would give me the low E string when I wanted it and a full sound on the higher strings.

Tootler
03-29-2017, 11:31 AM
On guitar, I would capo the first five strings on the second fret and play with D shapes. This would give me the low E string when I wanted it and a full sound on the higher strings.

My guitar playing friends describe it as a way of getting Drop D without retuning. Strictly Drop E but I'm sure you get the idea.