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View Full Version : Can any uke be tuned to G# tuning?



raecarter
12-07-2010, 12:29 AM
Hi the reason I ask is that my mainland tenor is always tuned to A# tuning so down two half steps on all strings. If I'm gigging and want to do some songs 4 half steps down to G# tuning it'll take ages and I may lose the crowd. Obviously my strings are loose in that tuning but will it be the same looseness on all the different sized Ukuleles? Thanks in advance

Ken Middleton
12-07-2010, 04:01 AM
Hi the reason I ask is that my mainland tenor is always tuned to A# tuning so down two half steps on all strings. If I'm gigging and want to do some songs 4 half steps down to G# tuning it'll take ages and I may lose the crowd. Obviously my strings are loose in that tuning but will it be the same looseness on all the different sized Ukuleles? Thanks in advance

Tuning a tenor down to Bb (A#) is no problem. Some makes of strings will be floppier than others, but most should sound fine.

Concert strings are shorter and thinner than tenor strings and yet are tuned to the same pitch. So, concert strings are slacker than tenor strings in regular tuning. Tune them down a full step and they will be just a bit too floppy (IMO).

Soprano strings are thinner and shorter still and yet are tuned to exactly the same pitch as tenor strings (in standard tuning). They are already floppy in ordinary C tuning. They won't really sound great if you take them lower. In fact, soprano strings really come to life if you tune them up to D tuning.

Ukeffect
12-07-2010, 04:32 AM
Gee, Ken is absoulutely correct (of course!) My solution would be to have a second uke tuned the way you want it...then you just have to swap out ukes...may the UAS be with you my son! Thus endeth the sermon!:2cents:

mm stan
12-07-2010, 04:39 AM
Aloha Reacarter,
I agree with Ken on the on which types of strings you use.....different gauges(thickness and hardness too)
On my 50's Kamaka Gold Label Tenor I have it down to E+10/+20, A+10, C#-10, F#+10 with Hilo strings...
Let me say this, it won't work on all tenors because every ukulele has a dfferent voice, and I did it with
this one for compensation purposes...but give it a try see how it works for you!! Good Luck and let us
know how it turns out!! MM Stan..
Try this one too..F#-30, B-20/-30, D#-40, G#-30/-40 might work better for you.....:)

Jnobianchi
12-07-2010, 04:41 AM
Yep. This is the practical reason why you collect ukes; so that you can gig with a few different tunings. That, and because you greedily want more than one. :D

Ken Middleton
12-07-2010, 04:47 AM
Hi the reason I ask is that my mainland tenor is always tuned to A# tuning so down two half steps on all strings. If I'm gigging and want to do some songs 4 half steps down to G# tuning it'll take ages and I may lose the crowd. ...

In my opinion, G# tuning is too low using standard tenor strings (even Aquilas). Here's an idea. Tune down to F Bb D G. if you want to play some songs using higher tuning, use a capo e.g. a capo on the 2nd fret would give you standard C tuning, on 3rd would be C# tuning, etc. Someone may tell you that you can't get a reliable capo that fits all sopranos, concerts and tenors. Well you can, or soon will be able to. I have been testing Shubb's new ukulele capo. It is specifically for the ukulele (not for a mandolin or banjo) and it will be avialble sometime after NAMM in January. Like other Shubb capos it is made from brass and has an easy to use action.

raecarter
12-07-2010, 08:10 AM
In my opinion, G# tuning is too low using standard tenor strings (even Aquilas). Here's an idea. Tune down to F Bb D G. if you want to play some songs using higher tuning, use a capo e.g. a capo on the 2nd fret would give you standard C tuning, on 3rd would be C# tuning, etc. Someone may tell you that you can't get a reliable capo that fits all sopranos, concerts and tenors. Well you can, or soon will be able to. I have been testing Shubb's new ukulele capo. It is specifically for the ukulele (not for a mandolin or banjo) and it will be avialble sometime after NAMM in January. Like other Shubb capos it is made from brass and has an easy to use action.

Thank you all for your advice. My mainland tenor is already down F Bb D G but need one too go the same again? Should I get a Baritone then and tune up one?

KamakOzzie
12-07-2010, 09:59 AM
Aquila (and maybe others) makes a DGBE set for tenors. I would think they could be tuned 1/2 step up for G#.

Bill

SailingUke
12-07-2010, 10:10 AM
Aquila (and maybe others) makes a DGBE set for tenors. I would think they could be tuned 1/2 step up for G#.

Bill

Aquila does have DGBE tenors, the G is a wound. They are a little wimpy, so a half step up would probably make them feel better.

southcoastukes
12-07-2010, 10:53 AM
We make a set that should work for you. You can see the recommendations here:

http://www.southcoastukes.com/stringuide_files/hvuke.htm

There are no wound strings. Since our usual recommendation on a 17" scale is for key of A, the two tunings you are looking for would be 1/2 step up & 1/2 step down respectively. You should be able to get away with that.

Ukulele JJ
12-07-2010, 11:41 AM
Hi the reason I ask is that my mainland tenor is always tuned to A# tuning so down two half steps on all strings. If I'm gigging and want to do some songs 4 half steps down to G# tuning it'll take ages and I may lose the crowd. Obviously my strings are loose in that tuning but will it be the same looseness on all the different sized Ukuleles? Thanks in advance

I might be missing the point here, but... couldn't you just transpose the chords of the song down a whole step and just play those new chords in the tuning you were already in?

JJ

raecarter
12-07-2010, 09:39 PM
We make a set that should work for you. You can see the recommendations here:

http://www.southcoastukes.com/stringuide_files/hvuke.htm

There are no wound strings. Since our usual recommendation on a 17" scale is for key of A, the two tunings you are looking for would be 1/2 step up & 1/2 step down respectively. You should be able to get away with that.

Hi sorry for the late reply I've been on nights at work. Are there different types of strings you do or just one set? Could I tune them down to F a# d g and also down to D# G # C F and they should be okay on my tenor?

raecarter
12-07-2010, 09:44 PM
I might be missing the point here, but... couldn't you just transpose the chords of the song down a whole step and just play those new chords in the tuning you were already in?

JJ

I do also do this but sometimes a certain chord works better with hammer ons like a g as opposed to a f for example

Hippie Dribble
12-07-2010, 09:56 PM
In my opinion, G# tuning is too low using standard tenor strings (even Aquilas). Here's an idea. Tune down to F Bb D G. if you want to play some songs using higher tuning, use a capo e.g. a capo on the 2nd fret would give you standard C tuning, on 3rd would be C# tuning, etc. Someone may tell you that you can't get a reliable capo that fits all sopranos, concerts and tenors. Well you can, or soon will be able to. I have been testing Shubb's new ukulele capo. It is specifically for the ukulele (not for a mandolin or banjo) and it will be avialble sometime after NAMM in January. Like other Shubb capos it is made from brass and has an easy to use action.

thanks for the info about the new Shubb capo Ken. I'll be investing in a couple of those. Til then, may I humbly suggest using the lil' Jim Dunlop capo, available at FMM very cheaply, and wide and flexible enough to fit scales soprano-tenor.

Teek
12-08-2010, 12:00 AM
I do F A# D G on an old beater bari that wears Worth Brown tenor strings and it just sings, I love it. Just clear sweet notes and great sustain and it is very soothing to noodle around with.

southcoastukes
12-08-2010, 04:56 AM
Hi sorry for the late reply I've been on nights at work. Are there different types of strings you do or just one set? Could I tune them down to F a# d g and also down to D# G # C F and they should be okay on my tenor?

Hello Rae,

We make a lot of strings, but the Heavy Gauge are what I would recommend for your situation. The strings should be fine on your tenor. Even though they are a bit beefier than the norm, 1/2 step up is not that great an increase in tension.

They will work for both your tunings. We are using a bit different terminolgy, but are talking about the same things.

I imagine you have an electronic tuner that shows all the 1/2 steps in "sharps" as opposed to "flats". The third strings on the two tunings you refer to could also be called out as B flat (instead of A#) and A flat (instead of G#). These are the common names for these two tunings. Any given ukulele tuning takes its name from the third string. G "C" E A, for example, is key of C tuning. Take a look at our "Tunings" page. That may clear it up a bit.

http://www.southcoastukes.com/stringuide_files/tunings.htm

As I mentioned above:


Since our usual recommendation on a 17" scale is for key of A, the two tunings you are looking for would be 1/2 step up & 1/2 step down respectively. You should be able to get away with that.

raecarter
12-08-2010, 05:20 AM
Hello Rae,

We make a lot of strings, but these are what I would recommend for your situation. The strings should be fine on your tenor. Even though they are a bit heavier than the norm, 1/2 step up is not that great an increase in tension.

They will work for both your tunings. We are using a bit different terminolgy, but are talking about the same things.

I imagine you have an electronic tuner that shows all the 1/2 steps in "sharps" as opposed to "flats". The third strings on the two tunings you refer to could also be called out as B flat (instead of A#) and A flat (instead of G#). These are the common names for these two tunings. Any given ukulele tuning takes its name from the third string. G "C" E A, for example, is key of C tuning. Take a look at our "Tunings" page. That may clear it up a bit.

http://www.southcoastukes.com/stringuide_files/tunings.htm

As I mentioned above:

Thanks i do have those tuners and that's why. I've bookmarked your page and will get some soon thank you