View Full Version : Huge Problems - it just doesn't sound right

uku le lama
09-11-2009, 07:32 AM
Hi everyone.

this is my first post and english isn't my native language. so sorry for any mistakes as well as if i posted this in the wrong forum. :confused:

but I really need help. i bought an uke when I was living on o'ahu HI:shaka:, some years ago. i had a pretty cool and talented teacher there. he told me i picked up fantasticly fast and I learn a lot in three month. :nana:

since I'm back home (switzerland) I try to teach myself and i try to play along some favorite songs of mine. BUT for the most tabs and chords i found online just sound damn wrong when i'm playing them...:wallbash:

so please, can anyone help me?!

uku le lama

09-11-2009, 08:05 AM
hah, despite how it's not your native tongue, you've done fine.

You have to remember that ukulele is a much different sounding instrument, so it won't always seems the same as the songs you listen to, but it's most likely that the tabs are wrong, a lot of people put out horrible tabs and chords for songs.

What I do is find the chord progressions on my own. Listen to the song you want to play, and when a chord comes up, find the root note. Then try to distinguish if it is minor, or some crazy chord.

other than that you can always check back here on ukulele underground, and someone will assisst your chord and tablature needs. Just be polite and ask ;)

09-11-2009, 08:11 AM
is everything tuned correctly? What's the condition of the strings? Are you sure you are fretting everything correctly? Is your ukulele high g or low g? That could possibly make it sound different. I am no expert at all, just thought I'd throw out those questions. Are are some extremely wise and knowledgeable people here. They'll help you.

Welcome to UU.:D

09-11-2009, 08:12 AM
Welcome to UU!!!

First, I'm going to ask if you have an electronic tuner? The next thing is how is your uke tuned. The most common tuning in this region is C tuning (GCEA). I know in other regions, D tuning is popular (ADF#B). Whether you're tuned D or C shouldn't matter much for chord progressions, but will have a big impact on TABS.

09-11-2009, 11:58 AM
First of all....welcome to UU!

Once you have determined that your tuning is correct (GCEA, using an electronic tuner), you need to consider the tabs you are using.

Either the tabs are wrong for your tuning, or you are misinterpreting the tabs. Are you absolutely sure you are reading them correctly and getting the right fingerings on the uke?

09-11-2009, 12:04 PM
Can you give us a link to the tabs/chords you've been using? We can help you from there.

09-11-2009, 12:27 PM
Yeah it probably is a difference in tunings? That would be my guess. A link to some of the tabs as requested would be great!

09-11-2009, 10:07 PM
Yes, trying to play low G TABS on a high g tuned uke will sound very "off", and vice versa, even if the uke is in tune.

Ukulele JJ
09-12-2009, 03:01 AM
Yeah, low-G vs. high-G would make a difference. But if you're playing by yourself, then it shouldn't matter much if you're tuned in C or D. The tab should still sound okay (it would just come out in a slightly different key, but it shouldn't sound "wrong").


P.S. Switzerland is one of my favorite countries to visit. :-)

09-12-2009, 04:07 AM
Get your uke in tune quick, just put "ukulele tuner" in google and you should be fine. I recently gave a uke to a friend of mine and when I called last night, it had been sitting there for a month because they couldn't remember how to tune it :D

Lots of sensible advice above, you are probably trying to pick a bassline with you high-G 4th string. But hey! This is a very open community and noone will think less of you for that ;)

edit: Sorry, I shot too quick. You are probably just having the high/low problem. The tuning story was a bit out of line. Sorry if it offended you.

09-12-2009, 06:57 AM
Hey, I love Switzerland! I'll be right over to give you a hand!:music: It might take a while though, so until then maybe you could show us a tab that didn't sound right, and we could check it for you. Maybe you are reading it up-side-down. The number on the top line should be your #1/A string (the one closest to the ground when you play).


uku le lama
09-15-2009, 01:49 AM
hi everyone.

first of all, thanks for the warm welcome. :) already feeling "home" here ;)

i think my uke ist tuned right. actually i tune it every time before i start playing with my electronic tuner (GCEA). so i guess it's in tune.
second, my strings should be ok, i have them changed about 6 month ago from a friend who professionally build guitars. so that can't be the matter too.

so i guess it's the tabs. despite the fact that I'm a bloody newbee in reading them, i got them mostly right... maybe they ones i used are wrong.

but what, if i learn and play along with youtube videos, grabbing the chords as shown, and it still sounds kinda wrong... :s

sounds weird, but i don't even know what kind of uke i own. it's bigger than dhe usuals... maybe that^s the prob?

thanx again for ur help! :)


here the link for the tabs i used. just realized now the "original tunig +2.0"... but i don't get it anyway. ;)
don't eat yellow snow.

09-15-2009, 10:58 AM
just realized now the "original tunig +2.0

Exactly. What's happening here is that the song has been lowered 2 whole steps to make it easier to play on the ukulele. If you want to play along with the original song, use these chord substitutions for your tab:

Am = C#m (6444 or 1444)
F = A (2100)
G = B (4322)
C = E (4442)
E = G# (5343)

uku le lama
09-23-2009, 08:58 PM
holy shi*

those tabs are impossible to grab.:eek:
but thanks anyway. think i'm gonna stop playing along with the song and start singing in another pitch. :p

greetings from switzerland:D

09-25-2009, 10:10 AM
If you are trying to play along with a song you may be in the wrong Key.