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View Full Version : Guitar or uke? How is this tuned?



LindsayOfSaturn
08-13-2009, 12:05 PM
Just looking at this Mahalo "Guitar Uke"

http://www.amazon.com/Mahalo-UNG-30RD-Painted-Uke-Guitar-Red/dp/B001SN7R7C/ref=sr_1_68?ie=UTF8&s=musical-instruments&qid=1250200659&sr=1-68

I want a really cheap beater travel guitar. But I cant help but wonder is this a guitar or a 6 stringed uke? It looks to be strung and spaced like a guitar. Does anyone know how this is tuned?

gp-ak
08-13-2009, 12:16 PM
Its both! Guitaralele.

Probably tuned ADGCEA.

LindsayOfSaturn
08-13-2009, 12:19 PM
could one tune it as a guitar with its current strings? Or could you outfit it with nylon guitar strings?

SamWise
08-13-2009, 12:25 PM
Well, the tuning above is the same as a guitar, but a 4th above. Tuning it to EADGBE would result in insanely slack strings, I'd imagine.

Citrus
08-13-2009, 12:27 PM
I'd venture to guess yes on both accounts. Classical guitars already use nylon strings on occasion and strings are pretty flexible as far as tuning, if not switch out strings probably isn't a huge deal. Keep in mind both that tuning them too much one way or the other can make the string too sloppy or too tight, and that I don't own a guitarlele so you might wanna get feedback from somebody who does.

LindsayOfSaturn
08-14-2009, 11:07 AM
I guess my main question is: is this an instrument that uses standard guitar chords, but simply sounds like a capo'ed guitar?

ukulelearp
08-14-2009, 11:25 AM
I guess my main question is: is this an instrument that uses standard guitar chords, but simply sounds like a capo'ed guitar?

As far as I know, yes. If people here are right about the tuning, it should sound like a guitar capo'd at the fifth fret. That's the way the guitaleles I've played sound. I have also seen people use different strings to tune them like a regular guitar.

WhenDogsSing
08-14-2009, 11:38 AM
I have a Mele Guitarlele that comes from the factory with strings tuned to EADGBE. After I received the instrument, I took a set of strings that I had also purchased from Mele and discarded the low bass E string. I then took the other 5 strings and installed each one a notch to the left (A string in the E string position, D string in the A string position, etc) and ended up with an ADGCE setup. For the high A, I used some 50 pound test monofilament fishing line. So, it ended up tuned ADGCEA.

The higher tuning seems to bring a better sound out of the instrument. It has a 20" scale length.

I also have a Kala U-Tar that came from the factory with strings tuned to ADGCEA. It has a 20-1/8" scale. This instrument is probably more like the Mahalo you are looking at.

There is a Mexican instrument called a "Requinto" that is a 1/2 size instrument tuned to ADGCEA. Strings for a requinto can be used on either the Mele guitarlele or the Kala U-Tar. They would also work on the Mahala you are looking at.

Chord patterns are the same as a guitar on the Mele Guitarlele and Kala U-Tar. If you are playing an instrument tuned to ADGCEA, playing a D chord will actually be a G chord in EADGBE tuning.

In response to your main question, yes, the instrument uses standard guitar chords and, as SamWise pointed out, tuning it down to EADGBE will result in overly slack strings. When tuned to ADGCEA, playing a D chord will actually be a G chord.

It won't sound exactly like a capoed guitar because of the body size of the instrument. The Mele Guitarlele has a baritone ukulele body and the Kala has a tenor ukulele body...the Mele has a much fuller sound than the Kala and accordingly, a guitar body, being larger, should have a fuller sound.

Hope this long winded diatribe helped...:D

Ahnko Honu
08-14-2009, 11:54 AM
I want to one day get the new KALA Guitalele and keep it tuned to ADGCEA like a Mexican Requinto in honor of the original Paniolo the vaqueros from Hispanole.

experimentjon
08-14-2009, 07:13 PM
I have a Mele Guitarlele that comes from the factory with strings tuned to EADGBE. After I received the instrument, I took a set of strings that I had also purchased from Mele and discarded the low bass E string. I then took the other 5 strings and installed each one a notch to the left (A string in the E string position, D string in the A string position, etc) and ended up with an ADGCE setup. For the high A, I used some 50 pound test monofilament fishing line. So, it ended up tuned ADGCEA.


I've got my Mele tuned EADGBE with light gauge classical guitar strings. It doesn't sound that good IMO tuned like this, but I don't really want to tune it ADGCEA, because I wanted it tuned like a guitar. But most other guitarleles that I've seen come ADGCEA, and maybe you could get it to a slack EADGBE if you used light classical strings...maaaybe.

Lori
08-14-2009, 07:36 PM
Have you seen this one? Luna with markers.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130257439322&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_3682wt_977

When Dogs Sing– How do they compare... the Mele and the Kala?

–Lori

LindsayOfSaturn
08-15-2009, 10:18 PM
I really want one of those for my friends to sign but that's just too much cash for me right now.

WhenDogsSing
08-16-2009, 03:28 AM
Have you seen this one? Luna with markers.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130257439322&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_3682wt_977

When Dogs Sing– How do they compare... the Mele and the Kala?

–Lori

The Mele guitarlele has a baritone body while the Kala U-Tar has a tenor body. The Mele is all solid while the Kala has a solid top with laminate back and sides. Scale length on the Mele is 20" and the Kala scale length is
20-1/8".

The Mele has a fuller sound than the Kala and, in my opinion, is by far the better instrument. But, the Mele costs $700. as opposed to $300. for the Kala. In this comparison, you pretty much get what you pay for. The Kala is a nice instrument but I prefer the Mele.

The Kala is a little unbalanced towards the headstock end with the 20-1/8" scale neck on the tenor body. Kala should shorten the scale length to the 17"-18" range. The longer scale length on the Kala tenor body also makes the instrument feel more like a travel classical guitar than a guitarlele, if that makes sense. The geometry of the instrument just isn't quite right.

One concern with the Kala is whether or not the neck will pull up over time. Mele puts a non-adjustable rod in their guitarleles. I don't think that the Kala U-Tar has any neck reinforcement but I don't know for sure.

Both instruments play very well after I tweaked the setup. The Mele plays a little easier because the neck is slightly wider. But the Kala has that nice thin neck we all love.

Hope this helps...:D

Skrik
08-16-2009, 05:52 AM
There is, of course, the Yamaha G1 Guitalele, tuned to ADGCEA, which can sound this good:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9Oinl2kltc

WhenDogsSing
08-16-2009, 06:34 AM
There is, of course, the Yamaha G1 Guitalele, tuned to ADGCEA, which can sound this good:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9Oinl2kltc

Bravo...That's good stuff...Thanks...:D

Lori
08-16-2009, 06:51 AM
The Mele guitarlele has a baritone body while the Kala U-Tar has a tenor body. The Mele is all solid while the Kala has a solid top with laminate back and sides. Scale length on the Mele is 20" and the Kala scale length is
20-1/8".

The Mele has a fuller sound than the Kala and, in my opinion, is by far the better instrument. But, the Mele costs $700. as opposed to $300. for the Kala. In this comparison, you pretty much get what you pay for. The Kala is a nice instrument but I prefer the Mele.

The Kala is a little unbalanced towards the headstock end with the 20-1/8" scale neck on the tenor body. Kala should shorten the scale length to the 17"-18" range. The longer scale length on the Kala tenor body also makes the instrument feel more like a travel classical guitar than a guitarlele, if that makes sense. The geometry of the instrument just isn't quite right.

One concern with the Kala is whether or not the neck will pull up over time. Mele puts a non-adjustable rod in their guitarleles. I don't think that the Kala U-Tar has any neck reinforcement but I don't know for sure.

Both instruments play very well after I tweaked the setup. The Mele plays a little easier because the neck is slightly wider. But the Kala has that nice thin neck we all love.

Hope this helps...:D
Thanks w-d-sings. I am seriously thinking of getting the Mele, especially after your video on it. I hope to see one in person at their place in Maui in a month or two. Now the question... Mahogany or Koa? Hopefully they will have both so I can play them in person. I know you have the mahogany one, and the koa is more expensive. Has anyone tried both?

–Lori

SamWise
08-16-2009, 09:34 AM
My word, that guy is awesome, and now I want a guitalele more than ever!

Sretnev
08-17-2009, 05:08 AM
That Mahalo does not look like one, but Mexican Mariachi groups often have an instrument called a requinto, which looks like a 2/3rds sized classical, and in tuned (usually) a step and a half higher than a guitar (G, up from E)...it is usually the flashier "Lead player" on the requinto, and there are some really well made ones of these around..