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johnnysmash
11-18-2018, 04:17 AM
The old tuning that one sees on all or most old sheet music was A D F# B. What happened to it? Is it a good or bad tuning? Any information, history, comments, please.

MutinousDoug
11-18-2018, 04:43 AM
I like that tuning on my soprano Makala; not so much on my concert Fluke.

Jim Hanks
11-18-2018, 04:43 AM
It's all good. :)
It's just a set up from standard. I had it on a super concert for awhile but decided that uke sounded better back down in C. For a soprano or super soprano, I think it'd be great

Bill Sheehan
11-18-2018, 05:24 AM
Hi Johnny, I have found the higher aDF#B tuning very desirable for the little "sopranino" or "pocket" sized ukes, as the strings on those ukes can otherwise feel a little "squiggly" (in gCEA) with their relatively shorter scale lengths. Now, for regular size sopranos, I've found that some sound really good in gCEA, but that others really come to life and take on a nice "bark" when cranked up "two frets worth" to aDF#B, so with regular size sopranos it's a matter of personal taste and experimentation. On concert scale ukes I have found that gCEA affords just the right amount of tension. On tenor scale, I tend to go in the opposite direction, cranking "two frets downward" to f Bb D G, which seems to provide a comfortable, not-too-tight tension for the longer tenor scale (note that this would be with a set of strings specifically designated for tenor, such as Martin M-620's; I use Martin M-600's for the sopranino, soprano, and concert scales).

CeeJay
11-18-2018, 07:26 AM
ADF#B tuning was used for the A G and D keys, Bb Eb G C for the Keys with the Flats, the many Flats so that the best chord shapes could be used for the uke to be strummed and ring true as most were soprano sized.Concert sized Banjo Ukuleles came about in the 1920s and were seized upon by Music Hall players for the projection and volume. George Formby had many and kept batches in different tuning for different songs. GCEA became the standard in the 90s when they started playing them like small guitars ,only on bigger ukes and they didn't strum them so much

Jim Hanks
11-18-2018, 08:41 AM
On tenor scale, I tend to go in the opposite direction, cranking "two frets downward" to f Bb D G, which seems to provide a comfortable, not-too-tight tension for the longer tenor scale (note that this would be with a set of strings specifically designated for tenor, such as Martin M-620's; I use Martin M-600's for the sopranino, soprano, and concert scales).
I also trend towards Bb tenor but just FYI, the M-600s will work for that too. It is a little lower tension and a little lighter gauge than is ideal but it does work. I found that out when that was the only thing available at Guitar Center and I needed a change quick. I didn't think it would work but it worked well enough that I haven't bothered to change again.

Bill Sheehan
11-18-2018, 09:39 AM
Thanks, Jim, good to know that and may try it sometime just to see how it works out!
CeeJay, that's interesting to know that an even slightly higher tuning (Bb Eb G C) was often utilized to accommodate those......... rascal flats.

Tootler
11-18-2018, 09:43 AM
I use it on my 6 string tenor quite a lot by putting a capo on the second fret. I like the brighter sound it gives for some songs and also sometimes the different chord voicings while retaining the ring of open strings.

Bill Sheehan
11-18-2018, 03:57 PM
Observations well-taken, Bill1 !! Thanks !!

johnnysmash
11-18-2018, 07:39 PM
Everyone cranks up the strings to play ADF#B while I crank down 5 half tones to play ADF#B. Let me explain because this is what led me to start this thread. I have on my Kala Baritone Ukulele classical guitar strings A D G B tuned D G B E. I usually play with the strings tuned down 2 or three half steps anyway. I like the mellow warm tone and sustain that comes with less tension on the strings not to mention easier on the fingers. So playing around with the ukulele and laughing to myself about maybe the strings would fall off of my ukulele if I lower them more, I lower them to a total of 5 half steps lower than my D G B E tuning. To my surprise the strings did not fall off, LOL, Ha they sound better than ever. More mellow, more warmth, and a lot more sustain. At this point I still did not know that this ADF#B was once a popular tuning. I am still new to ukuleles. So then I was looking through some old music I have and found that many of the sheet music pages had used this ADF#B and I then wondered where it went because all I hear as a new one to ukulele's is GCEA and DGBE and about reentrant tuning.