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Ukulele Blue
10-01-2009, 07:36 AM
Recently starting playing a Kala KA-S soprano uke.

Couple of queries - can anyone help?

- Can I put a low G on the soprano, presume it won't do any damage due to slightly higher gauge? Will the low g sound ok?

- I have noticed that the relationship between the C and E string, in terms of how accurately they are tuned can significantly affect the sound of chords - due to the dominant contribution to the overall sound that these 2 strings provide when strumming. Sometimes, if the C string is slightly out - it can make the chord sound awful, is this to be expected or is it more pronounced due to the soprano size uke.

Thanks in anticipation,

David

Tsani
10-01-2009, 07:56 AM
Can I put a low G on the soprano\

Don't do it, bro! Don't do it!

The whole point of the soprano is the high G sound. If you want to play low G get a tenor, or better yet just go baritone and you can have the same tuning as a guitar, DGBE.

A ukulele is not a small guitar. It is a different instrument and that high G is part of its uniqueness. I know that there are a lot uke players out there that like to play low G - and that is cool - but if you are a new uke player you owe it to yourself to at least try to play the uke as it was meant to be played, and that is high G.

In my estimate, the larger your uke - concert or tenor - the more appropriate it is to go low G, but the soprano is really built and meant for high G.

Try it out!

gp-ak
10-01-2009, 08:00 AM
Yes you can.
Sound like you.

Rainhill
10-01-2009, 08:08 AM
\

Don't do it, bro! Don't do it!

The whole point of the soprano is the high G sound. If you want to play low G get a tenor, or better yet just go baritone and you can have the same tuning as a guitar, DGBE.

A ukulele is not a small guitar. It is a different instrument and that high G is part of its uniqueness. I know that there are a lot uke players out there that like to play low G - and that is cool - but if you are a new uke player you owe it to yourself to at least try to play the uke as it was meant to be played, and that is high G.

In my estimate, the larger your uke - concert or tenor - the more appropriate it is to go low G, but the soprano is really built and meant for high G.

Try it out!

I see what you're saying Tsani, but in the same context, wouldnt that mean that you really shouldnt tune a sopranino down to GCEA?

I'm no expert, most of my knowledge is from off here, so I'm kinda ready to get shot down on this one, just trying to learn within interesting discussion. My thought process stemmed from this post sopranino review (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showpost.php?p=106145&postcount=3) in the sopranino review. I just thought, if larger is lower, then shouldnt smaller really be higher?

Discuss :)

Ukulele Blue
10-01-2009, 08:19 AM
What about a different tuning - can I use a D tuning for the soprano or will this make my tuning problems worse.

Are there any other types of soprano tunings e.g. to get an overall lower tone?

Thanks

David

gp-ak
10-01-2009, 08:22 AM
D tuning would be going up a step, it shouldn't make tuning noticeably harder.
You could try tuning lower with higher tension strings, low G would be the simplest route to take, I think.

leftovermagic84
10-01-2009, 08:40 AM
You can totally tune a soprano to a low g. Do what you like and have fun. You don't owe anybody anything, so if you don't like high G, play low g.

Ahnko Honu
10-01-2009, 09:02 AM
I have a bunch of sopranos all tuned to high G and never considered any other tuning BUT my last UAS purchase was a FLEA tuned to low g with Worth clears and WOW what a great sound. I've been playing my FLEA almost exclusively ever since I got it. I'm not going to rush off and restring all my sopranos to low g but I may do it to a concert I have. My tenor always was a low g. I may even low g my baritone. You can buy one unwound low g Worth clear string from MGM for $2.99 if you want to try. ;)

thejumpingflea
10-01-2009, 09:06 AM
I prefer many sopranos tuned down to the low G. Something about that sound is awesome. I prefer tenors high G. Maybe I am just backwards in what I like in a uke. ;)

It's a personal call, but YES you can tune it down! You just need a special 'Low G' string.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
10-01-2009, 09:09 AM
I think a lot of this has to do with the "sound" you want when you play your uke.

You may have to experiment a bit.

Perhaps there are YouTube videos which will let you listen to the differences, or maybe you could be the one to do the experimenting and results.

Ukulele Blue
10-01-2009, 09:40 AM
Some great comments guys - much appreciated.

Cool forum.

David

ukantor
10-01-2009, 09:43 AM
Sound is a very personal thing. For me, a sopranino in 'C' tuning sounds all wrong. The strings are slack and flaccid. Also, I don't like the sound of a 'C' tuned tenor uke. A tenor sounds better to me in a lower tuning to suit the bigger body. Low G on a soprano sounds all wrong, but that's just me.

Try it, and if you like it that's fine. You will have to enlarge the groove in the nut to suit the bigger diameter string.

Ukantor.

Rainhill
10-01-2009, 10:10 PM
Sound is a very personal thing. For me, a sopranino in 'C' tuning sounds all wrong. The strings are slack and flaccid.

Ukantor.

I think that is what I meant :confused: . Its still all like another language to me :D

ricdoug
10-01-2009, 10:34 PM
I've repaired many a bridge on the ukes of locals who've "experimented" with strings and tunings. Consult with someone with a lot of experience, like MGM (Music Guy Mike). He'll sell you the right strings for the the tuning you choose. Tension is important. Ric

retrozombi
10-01-2009, 11:31 PM
You might want to try out mandolin/violin tuning (GDAE). I put an Aquilla set on my Flea, and it sounds pretty sweet. I find the chord shapes easier as well, but that could just be because I learned mandolin first.

buddhuu
10-02-2009, 12:21 AM
You might want to try out mandolin/violin tuning (GDAE). I put an Aquilla set on my Flea, and it sounds pretty sweet. I find the chord shapes easier as well, but that could just be because I learned mandolin first.

That's funny. I came to uke after mandolin and I find the uke chord shapes easier! :D

A chunked uke G is certainly less of a stretch than a mando G chop chord! LOLz.

For fingerpicking and lead solos I sort of prefer low G, but for strumming I prefer the ukey sound of re-entrant.

Ukulele Blue
10-02-2009, 08:14 AM
Thanks again for the advice guys - as a follow up question, are there certain types of song that sound better on a soprano? I have noticed for example that say, for example, Mona Lisa sounds good whilst other songs are not so good (or indeed too hard to play due to the smaller size etc)??

David

pebbleInDaPacific
10-02-2009, 08:28 AM
Thanks again for the advice guys - as a follow up question, are there certain types of song that sound better on a soprano? I have noticed for example that say, for example, Mona Lisa sounds good whilst other songs are not so good (or indeed too hard to play due to the smaller size etc)??

David

Hey David,

Let me first say that I have a soprano and a concert Uke strung with low G and another concert strung with a High G. As far as songs go, what i've read here on UU in one of the other threads and agree with after some experience is that the latest songs you hear on the top 40 radio stations, or any song that was written for a guitar will sound really nice with a low G, regardless of the size. The high G sound is better for Hawaiian music/songs, especially songs written for the uke. But if you're Jake, you pretty much make anything sound good for a high G. I mainly keep the low G strings for playing IZ songs. :D But that is the fun in exploring your ukulele, you get to experiment with your sound and find the right voice for your uke(s). Good Luck and have fun!

existence
10-02-2009, 08:58 AM
Thanks again for the advice guys - as a follow up question, are there certain types of song that sound better on a soprano? I have noticed for example that say, for example, Mona Lisa sounds good whilst other songs are not so good (or indeed too hard to play due to the smaller size etc)??

David

I think a soprano in standard high G tuning naturally lends itself to upbeat, happy tunes. Somber and mournful stuff is maybe a little trickier to pull off, but still definitely do-able. I was messing around with the Meat Puppets tune "Oh Me" on my soprano the other night, which basically goes C-D-E. The bright chiminess of these chords on uke kind of clashed with the downbeat nature of the song, until I started fingerpicking with the occasional light thumb-strum. Right hand technique has a lot to do with it...vigorous right hand strumming sounds awesome on ukulele, but doesn't work with every tune. I think knowing when to leave space and let the tune breathe is also vital.

But I do think you can just about pull off any sort of style or mood you want on soprano....sometimes you just have to experiment with different arrangements and chord voicings and so forth...

Ukulele Blue
10-02-2009, 09:50 AM
To both pebble & existance:

Gee, I am sure getting to understand how the uke really gets to you inside! More so than any other instrument I have played.

Really appreciate your comments.

David