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Ukulelerick9255
04-12-2019, 06:37 AM
I play in low G, can anyone suggest any songs that sound better especially when sung in F# B D# G# tuning? I like that tuning for fun sometimes and Iím looking for songs to sing that might especially fit that tuning best. Thanks for any help and suggestions.
PS no Tin Pan Alley songs Iím not a 5í2 eyes of blue kind of guy lol
Looking more for classic rock, folk and some contemporary stuff.

Ukulele Eddie
04-12-2019, 06:40 AM
I tune almost all of my tenors Bb (another half step from where you are) and think everything sounds better. I'm currently working on a number of songs from Fred Sokolow's Beatles for Fingerstyle Ukulele, so you might give that book a try. While it is tabbed for re-entrant, most of the songs you can make an easy accommodation for linear tuning.

Jim Hanks
04-12-2019, 07:10 AM
I think it depends on the vocal range of the singer relative to the key more than the tuning itself. I also have my tenors at Bb because I like the lower tension and the warmer tone and my vocal range is lower than most songs on the radio, so if I'm singing (not often ;-) ), that all works together for the good. But if a song is at the bottom of your vocal range, it's probably going to sound better in the higher key.

Rllink
04-12-2019, 09:53 AM
At least for me, I would try different keys rather than tuning the uke up or down to compensate. Seems a more conventional approach.

MopMan
04-12-2019, 10:17 AM
Another Bb tenor tuner here... I just find I like the sounds I get out of my ukes and strings better when tuning a bit lower.

I agree with Jim it depends on the vocal range of the singer. Some songs, tuning down to Bb makes it easier to sing for me. Other songs, Bb tuning drops it out of my range and I end up having to sing an octave higher. Really, the only way to find out what works for you and your voice is to give some songs a try.

Tootler
04-12-2019, 10:49 AM
Another Bb tenor tuner here... Other songs, Bb tuning drops it out of my range and I end up having to sing an octave higher.

This is where a capo can be handy. You can instantly "tune up" but play the same chord shapes. I quite often do that with my 6 string tenor in GCEA. Some songs I find better just up a little, so rather than play a different set of chords, I simply use a capo.

Brad Bordessa
04-12-2019, 12:46 PM
I think you're looking at it kind of wrong. An instrument CAN sound better in that tuning. As CAN your voice if you pitch down a half-step from "normal." Or not! Some ukes sound better a half-step up. Same with some voices. It all depends.

It's often a trade-off between finding a great uke key (for YOUR uke) and a great singing key (for YOUR voice). The better you can work this compromise, the better the song will sound. It's not just about a song that "works" in B6.

I wrote about this tuning a while back. Might be useful: https://liveukulele.com/tuning-down-a-half-step/.

Swamp Yankee
04-12-2019, 01:11 PM
Bb tenors here as well, but if I vary tunings with sopranos, it's up to D, not down to B.

peanuts56
04-12-2019, 04:32 PM
I tune my Kanilea Tenor down a whole step and sometimes go a half step lower than that. I noticed that the c string just didn't resonate in standard gcea tuning. I have a Kamaka Tenor and keep that in c tuning. I don't sing but do sometimes accompany a singer. I sometimes play solo finger style at church services and usually use my Kanilea for that. If I play with other musicians I'll use the Kamaka. It's also a bit easier on my hands to play in the lower tuning.

Chopped Liver
04-12-2019, 05:57 PM
I think you're looking at it kind of wrong. An instrument CAN sound better in that tuning. As CAN your voice if you pitch down a half-step from "normal." Or not! Some ukes sound better a half-step up. Same with some voices. It all depends.

It's often a trade-off between finding a great uke key (for YOUR uke) and a great singing key (for YOUR voice). The better you can work this compromise, the better the song will sound. It's not just about a song that "works" in B6.

I wrote about this tuning a while back. Might be useful: https://liveukulele.com/tuning-down-a-half-step/.

So, if I understand you right, if I tune my soprano down a half step, I can still play the chords as if playing in the "normal" tuning - as long as I am playing solo.

I like the idea of a warmer, lower sound. How much lower could I tune a soprano (or concert or tenor) before it wouldn't have enough tension to play correctly?

Jim Hanks
04-12-2019, 06:30 PM
How much lower could I tune a soprano (or concert or tenor) before it wouldn't have enough tension to play correctly?
Depends on the strings and the scale length of instrument. Most tenor strings can easily handle Bb, some can go to A. I've heard some players even go to G but I personally wouldn't. That's what baritones are for. :p

Tootler
04-12-2019, 08:54 PM
Depends on the strings and the scale length of instrument. Most tenor strings can easily handle Bb, some can go to A. I've heard some players even go to G but I personally wouldn't. That's what baritones are for. :p

Most of my tenors are in G. I like them like that. I have one left in GCEA. I mostly keep GCEA for my smaller ukes.

ripock
04-13-2019, 12:13 AM
I have two tenors and tune them to where the string tensions feel good to me. My Kamaka is tuned D# G# C F.

My custom uke is tuned C# F# Bb D#.


i just checked and my Kamaka was tuned to E A C# F#. I some point in time I increased the tension a bit.

Jarmo_S
04-13-2019, 01:52 AM
Reading someones tuning lower than C6 and I think their reason is the sound, makes me think that maybe tenor scale (I don't have one) is really better suited for something like Bb6. After all it is not that much shorter than baritone in G6. But could it be also that the stress on fingers is causing that opinion. Lighter setup could help there with the risk of buzzes.

And baritone scale is much shorter than classical guitar with same tuning. But in case of classical guitar I think the added 2 base strings decide the longer scale.

So, maybe concert is the ultimate "right" scale for C6 tuning.

Soprano in C6 feels to me quite floppy. Maybe better D6, if not overtight then.

EDIT:
It is the box size and construction of course what matters in all this besides scales I forgot to mention in my ramblings.

Ukulelerick9255
04-13-2019, 06:21 AM
I sing most songs in the key of C on a low G uke that seems to be my most comfortable key.

Ukecaster
04-13-2019, 06:45 AM
Here's a couple of threads on tuning down ukes:

https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?70343-Rentrant-Bb-tuning-on-tenor-uke

https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?129886-My-Uke-Came-ALIVE!&highlight=b+flat+tuning

I find that tenors often resonate and sound better when tuned down a bit. I usually go down to B, but also B flat on some tenors. It just sounds better to me.

Jarmo_S
04-13-2019, 07:04 AM
The problems that comes tuning lower and then playing with other people should be taken into account too!

The C6 tuning favors the keys of C/Am, the most common keys in general. If we look at the circle of fifths it is at midday. Any tuning that differs from that in many hours, will cause problems with group playing. G6 is at one a clock, so not that bad, just favors sharper keys by one. But say B6, it is at 5 a clock. No normal keys are then that easy to play without a capo then. Can be done of course with an ukulele.

The soprano D6 has a 2 hour offset, so flat keys are going to be much harder to play. And Bb6 has a also the same offset, but it is at 10 a clock, so then the sharper keys are going to be harder to play with it.

And how many tunings can a one person handle, be able to sight read notes and know the chord names? There is the problem with these tunings.

Chopped Liver
04-13-2019, 07:25 AM
Here's a couple of threads on tuning down ukes:

https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?70343-Rentrant-Bb-tuning-on-tenor-uke

https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?129886-My-Uke-Came-ALIVE!&highlight=b+flat+tuning

I find that tenors often resonate and sound better when tuned down a bit. I usually go down to B, but also B flat on some tenors. It just sounds better to me.

Thanks! That's good reading!

bellgamin
04-13-2019, 03:54 PM
My tenors sound better down 1/2 or 1 step. My baritones sound better up 1/2 or 1 step. As for those who disagree with these tunings, it's okay. This is America -- they have a right to be wrong.

Jim Hanks
04-13-2019, 04:06 PM
For linear A tuning, I use a baritone... I'm using regular baritone strings tuned up, giving higher tension, but I suspect that I should really be using tenor strings, at least for a 20" bari
Yes. I know I had the "low g" tenor strings from Living Water at A tuning on a 19" bari. Worked quite well.

bellgamin
04-13-2019, 04:51 PM
I recently acquired Pono Baritone Nui BN4-2 with a 23" scale. I want to tune it to A. Should I go with:

1) Oasis carbon GPX Oasis Bright Low G tenor Ukulele Strings (63" long)

OR

2) D'Addario Tenor guitar strings, normal tension (#1,2,3,4 strings)

OR

3) Other

???

Thanks for any & all comments,
bellgamin

dasuol
04-13-2019, 05:10 PM
... can anyone suggest any songs ...

A simple request for some song suggestions results in three pages of tuning and string opinion with no songs? Hmmm...

Anyway, I have one tenor currently tuned a half step down from when I recently learned the song Holes by Passenger. The original song is played on a guitar with a capo on the 4th fret, so it fits well with F# B D# G# tuning. I also think it sounds particularly nice with a low G (or I guess low F# in this case) string.