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kissing
05-04-2009, 05:15 AM
Hi.

So, I had some sheet music for some music with chords on it.
But the instrument (ocarina) I want to play the song with is tuned in B-flat, so it won't be in tune with the chords.

I have a capo, but doesn't work, because B-flat is pitch lower than C.

So I get this idea of tuning the strings lower, so it's "G C E A" in the B-flat scale :uhoh: Now I can play the chords, and it will be in tune with the B-flat instrument reading straight off the sheets.

Am I allowed to do something dodgey as this? Or is this a common practice?

Brad Bordessa
05-04-2009, 07:24 AM
You are most definitely "allowed" to do anything you can think of to/with your 'ukulele. Check out Eddie Van Halen, he is Mr. new crazy guitar ideas.

So, the easiest way to do this would be just to work on learning the Bb scale so that you can stay in the C tuning. But tuning your 'ukulele a different way would be much more interesting.

If I'm visualising this in my head right, you should tune your stings down a whole step to F Bb D G. Now a "C" chord would be a Bb. As would the C scale. Depending on your 'ukulele's size and strings, the string tension might get really loose. If this is the case you will ether want to get some tighter strings (like Worth) or shop for a bigger instrument (the longer the string length the tighter the strings).

I wouldn't say this is common practice, but it certainly isn't "dodgey". I hope you can get it figured out.

kissing
05-04-2009, 04:35 PM
Cool thanks.

It seems to be perfectly fine on a Tenor with Aquila strings.

I'm beginning to even prefer the low, mellow sound that comes from the lower tension set up :)

seeso
05-04-2009, 09:45 PM
Ken Middleton has a video illustrating this very same concept.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8b56CZPPQ0

kissing
05-05-2009, 12:09 AM
Hehe, thanks.

Here's a quick sample of how it turned out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgT5Nl2u60w&fmt=16
Kala Tenor with Aquila strings tuned down to the B-flat scale.

deach
05-05-2009, 12:45 AM
Most of my ukes are either 1/2 or a full step tuned down. I even have one tuned FCAC.

MattHaaaaa
05-05-2009, 05:51 AM
i did a video about tuning take a look it may help

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSjMuIHK3p4&feature=channel

:shaka:

and here is the link to the tuning website

http://www.get-tuned.com/ukulele_tuner.php

kissing
05-09-2009, 12:38 AM
Hmm, regarding this topic again, I was told by a guitar player that it's not good to tune back n forth different keys for the instrument.

Is it bad to keep retuning the strings from low key to high key?

I'm especially concerned, because I was trying to tune a guitar with loose strings just now... and the steel string snapped on me :(

Ukuleleblues
05-09-2009, 02:07 AM
Hmm, regarding this topic again, I was told by a guitar player that it's not good to tune back n forth different keys for the instrument.

Is it bad to keep retuning the strings from low key to high key?

I'm especially concerned, because I was trying to tune a guitar with loose strings just now... and the steel string snapped on me :(

Sometimes on a guitar with the higher tension strings you have to readjust the truss rod in the neck when you retune but that is if you are looking for the "perfect set-up". With the much lower tension on ukes don't worry at all.

Also tuning F Bb D G is not wild, I have a couple of old uke books (Ukulele Ike) from the 20s and 30s that use that tuning. Man dem strings get loooooose, I usually play A D F# B so I end up getting my fingers stuck in them.....I might try that on a concert this weekend though. Have fun playing.

kissing
05-09-2009, 04:37 AM
Thanks for putting my mind at ease :)

Maybe I'm just not meant to use steel strings.
This other time, I found the violin I used way back in kindergarten.
Tried to play it like a ukulele, and steel snapped and whipped me xD