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View Full Version : Is ukulele a fifth or a fourth up from guitar?



lambchop
06-17-2010, 10:17 AM
When transposing from guitar to ukulele, is it correct to say the ukulele is tuned a fifth up from guirtar, as the G string, for example, is a fifth higher than the C on the ukulele. Consequently, we could then say the ukulele, as a C, is a fourth down from guitar. I think my working is right, but I just want to double check. Maybe I have it backwards. Is there a better way to phrase this comparison (for transposing purposes)?

Thanks in advance for the help,
Mike

Chris Tarman
06-17-2010, 10:21 AM
It's a 4th higher, I believe.

JT_Ukes
06-17-2010, 10:29 AM
When transposing from guitar to ukulele, is it correct to say the ukulele is tuned a fifth up from guirtar, as the G string, for example, is a fifth higher than the C on the ukulele. Consequently, we could then say the ukulele, as a C, is a fourth down from guitar. I think my working is right, but I just want to double check. Maybe I have it backwards. Is there a better way to phrase this comparison (for transposing purposes)?

Thanks in advance for the help,
Mike

A C is a C is a C

am I wrong or isn't transposing used when you need to play a song in a particular key to fit the singer? or when you want to make it easier to play phisically.

Written music is the same for guitar and for Ukulele. The tabs will be different,(4 vs 6 strings with the notes on different frets) but the sheet music, and thus the notes (ie C# D Bb etc ) would be the same.


May just be a termiology problem here.

JT

ichadwick
06-17-2010, 10:38 AM
It's a fourth, but that translates to five frets higher, too.

So: Guitar: E string: E F G A is four whole notes, but it's five frets because there's a fret between F and G and between G and A.

SailingUke
06-17-2010, 10:39 AM
JT is absolutely right. The notes & keys are the same on guitar and ukulele.
In fact they are the same on every musical instrument. C is C with no flats or sharps in the scale.
A ukulele is tuned higher, but C is C, D is D, etc.
The chord shapes are in fact the same as well (minus the guitars 5 & 6 strings) A guitar C shape will give you an F chord on the Uke (GCEA tuning).
That seems to be where the confusion starts, but if you are reading guitar tab/chords or playing with someone else a C is a C period.

Dougf
06-17-2010, 11:43 AM
My answer given my interpretation of the question: If you put a capo on the fifth fret of a guitar (a fourth) and remove (or not play) the two top strings (E & A), then the fingering and true pitch of the chords will be the same as on a uke. Assuming the uke is standard C tuning.

Chris Tarman
06-17-2010, 11:50 AM
My answer given my interpretation of the question: If you put a capo on the fifth fret of a guitar (a fourth) and remove (or not play) the two top strings (E & A), then the fingering and true pitch of the chords will be the same as on a uke. Assuming the uke is standard C tuning.

Agreed, except for one small point. The E and A strings are the BOTTOM 2 strings of a guitar! I know they're "top" in the sense that they are furthest from the ground, but they are the LOWEST.

Dougf
06-17-2010, 12:00 PM
Agreed, except for one small point. The E and A strings are the BOTTOM 2 strings of a guitar! I know they're "top" in the sense that they are furthest from the ground, but they are the LOWEST.

I know, I always think of them as the "BOTTOM" strings too, but I've often seem them referred to as the "TOP".

lambchop
06-17-2010, 02:49 PM
A C is a C is a C

am I wrong or isn't transposing used when you need to play a song in a particular key to fit the singer? or when you want to make it easier to play phisically.

Written music is the same for guitar and for Ukulele. The tabs will be different,(4 vs 6 strings with the notes on different frets) but the sheet music, and thus the notes (ie C# D Bb etc ) would be the same.


May just be a termiology problem here.

JT

Yes, I used the term wrong. I know the C is the C thing, but what I meant was the difference in pitch, and I may be using that wrong, too. The reason I wanted to know this is that there is a great guitar chord namer online that I want to use to find ukulele chords. Not in the traiditonal way, to see where I put my fingers to sound a certain chord, but to see the name of a pattern I am using on the board (putting the fingers down and playing a chord, but don't know what it is called). Thus, if it is a C chord on the guitar fretboard, it is going to be a F on ukulele in open position, which would be the fourth up (which is also confusing, because, yes, it is five frets up, or, rather, two and one-half steps, which is the interval between the first and fourth of the scale).

Thanks for the quick confirmation on this. Oh, and by the way, there are transposing instuments, such as the clarinet and others, that are transpiosing instruments. I once played a horn part on bass and had to bring every thing down three half steps in order to make it sound write. A C is a C is a C, tis' true, but some instruments have to transpose their written sheets to get there.

All the best,
Mike

PS, if my spelling and typing errors are worse than usual, I just got bifocals - never had them before and this is a real pain getting used to them, especially when shifting from screen to keyboard.

JT_Ukes
06-17-2010, 03:04 PM
PS, if my spelling and typing errors are worse than usual, I just got bifocals - never had them before and this is a real pain getting used to them, especially when shifting from screen to keyboard.

Yeah.. getting old stinks don't it?

(damn kids on my lawn again...)

:)

JT

SailingUke
06-17-2010, 03:49 PM
Yeah.. getting old stinks don't it?

(damn kids on my lawn again...)

:)

JT
Sure as heck beats the alternative though !!

Chris Tarman
06-17-2010, 04:40 PM
Yeah.. getting old stinks don't it?

(damn kids on my lawn again...)

:)

JT

Oh man, tell me about it! I got bifocals over a year ago and I am STILL not totally used to them!