View Full Version : C G E A tunning for Tenor Ukulele

05-21-2018, 04:39 AM
Is it possible or done to tune one's tenor ukulele C G E A?

Bill Sheehan
05-21-2018, 05:05 AM
To clarify, Johnny, you're talking about reversing the "traditional" order (note-wise) of the fourth and third strings, is that correct? Just off the top of my head, I have not heard of anyone doing that, but then again, I suppose it could simply be viewed as an "alternate tuning" where, once you're in it, you just work out things that sound pleasing to the ear. Acoustic guitarists Ed Gerhard and Will Ackerman, for instance, utilize a ton of really unusual tunings for certain of their songs. I had the pleasure of meeting Ed several years ago, and I remember him saying that certain of his compositions "exist" or "live" only in certain very specific tunings, and I think that's true. I remember years ago trying really hard to learn a tune that I thought was so pretty (by listening to it little by little on the CD player), but I was using standard tuning, and it just wasn't working; but when I eventually found out that it had been recorded in an altered tuning, then suddenly it came to life and I was able to capture it. So... those are just a few thoughts...

Jim Hanks
05-21-2018, 06:41 AM
sure, it's possible, but why? :confused:

Did you mean CGDA, i.e. fifths tuning?

05-21-2018, 07:07 AM
C6 tuning or CGDA 5ths tuning, either one. My old head goes crazy with the high g. I put on a guitar string and the G still bothers me on the bottom. I may get use to it, however, I think the 4th string should be the lowest tone. I like chord melodies and fingerpicking melodies and IMO they do not sound right with that G on the bottom. Strumming today with the Low G it did not sound too bad. Even with a sore thumb I can finger most chords with no problem on Tenor. I have not tried barrs. On my Baritone I play all of the 21 main chords, Major, Minor, 7th. I do not use any barr chords on Baritone except when I barr three or four strings on the same fret and no other fingers used, othrwise, I just alter the chord a little or play another chord.

05-21-2018, 10:40 AM
I don't have much experience with alternate tunings, but I guess the first question is whether your baritone is "standard" (d3-e4) tuning, the same as the top 4 strings of a guitar, or mandola tuning (c3-a4), or ????

If the baritone is standard d3-e4, then tuning a tenor (g3-a4) to low G produces the same tuning only higher, so to speak. Anything you can play on your baritone you can play on your tenor. It all comes down to how the play chord shapes and scales between the two.


Jim Hanks
05-21-2018, 01:46 PM
I'm still confused what you're really after. So you want a linear tuning but don't like low G GCEA? If you just swap the bottom two strings, you won't have a linear tuning and none of your chord shapes work of course. You could arrange the strings CEGA and it would then be linear, but again, the fretboard would be arranged really different.

If you want a linear tuning starting with C on the 4th and where your usual chord shapes still work, that's actually CFAD, which is quite high pitched for tenor scale but the Southcoast XLL set claims it is possible with a little higher than normal tension.

Mr. Sweetie
05-21-2018, 04:08 PM
Low G may be what you need. I got used to high G quickly but understand some do not. I have one ukulele with a low G and it sounds like it's a setup you would enjoy.

My old head goes crazy with the high g...

I think the 4th string should be the lowest tone. Get

05-24-2018, 02:34 PM
I think what you're after is still GCEA, but the G string to be a "low G"

Search for Low G strings. They either come in sets, or separately.
You can use a classical guitar's D string as a low G string on ukes too.

05-25-2018, 04:30 PM
Is there a web site with a function that calculates the proper string diameter to use for any type of string material and scale length, for any tuning/frequency you'd like? Something that lets you choose arbitrary scale lengths and tunings, so you can experiment with anything.