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toubisard
07-23-2009, 10:33 AM
I always used a tuning for tuning guitars. I now use one tuned to 'A' for the ukulele and then do the comparative tuning from the A string. I then check my tuning by trying the harmonics. I am doing this because I can't see the dots and on the electronic tuner in ordinary light. I think that I am getting a better more accurate tuning with the simple fork. Is any one out there using this method?

eldaddy007
07-23-2009, 05:03 PM
I'm no music theory expert, but I know that using harmonics other than the octave will lead to errors in standard tuning.

How significant this is depends on which harmonics you are using, how well intonated your instrument is (I've found that when tested with a tuner, almost all ukes have at least minor intonation problems, probably because of the short scale length), and how sensitive your ears are.

MGM
07-23-2009, 05:47 PM
li love to use tuning forks i (don't do it if you have weak teeth) put it between my teeth and listen to it in my head and match the waves of the a to the a on the ukulele

UkuEroll
07-23-2009, 08:18 PM
li love to use tuning forks i (don't do it if you have weak teeth) put it between my teeth and listen to it in my head and match the waves of the a to the a on the ukulele

If your teeth are bad you can put it on the bone behind your ear, or just get a tuner:D

toubisard
07-24-2009, 05:37 AM
I'm no music theory expert, but I know that using harmonics other than the octave will lead to errors in standard tuning.

I always aim to get a good clear harmonic on the last fret of my sopranos and at the appropriate fret on a tenor. I believe once these sound right the ukulele is well tuned.

Any other suggestions about tuning forks and where and how to hold them are welcomed.

Lori
07-24-2009, 05:57 AM
My guitar teacher would place the tuning fork on the bridge of the guitar. That way we could both hear it.

Electronic tuners are much easier though, since you can watch the meter and turn the peg at the same time. It is hard to hold the tuning fork in position, and renew the tone, while turning the tuning pegs.

Tuning forks never have a low battery though, and they are very sturdy.

–Lori

DaveVisi
07-24-2009, 05:59 AM
You're probably as close as you need to be. What eldaddy is referring to is the discrepancy at the 5th and 7th fret harmonics. I don't know exactly why either, but there is a bit of a difference. Using these derived notes as references for other strings multiply the error.

Ahnko Honu
07-24-2009, 06:42 AM
I tuna with chopsticks. not a fork. :rolleyes:

eldaddy007
07-27-2009, 05:31 AM
I found this Aldrine video on how to tune by comparing strings. Start by hitting your A fork and gently placing the ball end on the bridge or the body of your uke and adjust the A string until it sounds "perfect". Then follow the video using the A string as your reference.

http://ukuleleunderground.com/2008/12/27/uke-minutes-33-how-to-tune-your-ukulele/

By the way, using the seventh fret harmonics should not be too bad. Just avoid the fifth fret harmonic. This has to do with the inherent compromises of equal temperment. If you're into math, it's pretty interesting stuff. If not, just trust me.:cool: There are lots of Wikipedia articles on the subject.

uluapoundr
07-27-2009, 01:05 PM
I use to use a tuning fork in "A". Placing the fork on the uke after striking it gives you your note. I noticed that the ball end of the fork was leaving dimples on the soft cedar tops, so placing it on the bridge may be better. The electronic tuners are much easier and the battery lasts forever. It's still good to train your ear though. Another disadvantage with the tuning fork is that if it's noisy, it will be harder to tune your uke. Third, if the tuning fork slips from your hands, it will leave a nice dent on your uke.

clayton56
07-28-2009, 10:00 PM
one thing nice about the using the tuning fork is, when you get the string tuned right, it rings along with the tuning fork without you having to touch it. That's the final test - set the ringing tuning fork on the bridge, and remove it. If the A string is ringing, it's perfectly in tune.

Brewerpaul
07-29-2009, 12:19 AM
I'm a big tuner fan. Get one that clips on to the headstock and has a backlight. You can tune even in a noisy room where you can't hear the notes. I'd never go back to any other type. I play mandolin too and sometimes go to playing sessions in pubs where there may be 30 musicians and at least that many listeners. With a tuning fork or pitch pipe I'd be totally out of luck, but with my electronic thingie I'm up and playing in seconds.

Gee, I wonder what would happen if I pulled out my tenor uke at an Irish session....:D

DaveVisi
07-29-2009, 06:48 AM
I was about to find out. I bought my Tenor Uke with the intention of playing in an Irish Session. I restrung it with "Guitar" Aquilas so I could get into Baritone tuning. Otherwise those "D" songs would have been killer on the fingers.

Anyway, as soon as my new Tenor arrived the session disbanded :( I put the original strings back on just in time to learn that a Uke club had just formed in my area.

Life is good. :shaka: