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View Full Version : ADF#B Tuning - I like it, what should I do?



Chap
03-24-2011, 06:48 AM
I find that I really prefer D tuning to the standard GCEA. However, the standard is the standard.

Think I should just I should just tune my "home" ukes to D, and use the C chord shapes, or should I just convert to D entirely and get my brain wrapped around the new chord shapes?

I'd have to transpose on the fly for class and the like, but that might be a good learning tool.

janeray1940
03-24-2011, 06:54 AM
I find that I really prefer D tuning to the standard GCEA. However, the standard is the standard.


I've been told the standard depends on where you are - when I posted a question about why ADF#B wasn't more common, people in the UK and Canada told me that it *was* the standard there.

I think the solution is to have more than one uke (which you clearly have!), use a C-tuned uke when playing with others, and use a D-tuned uke when playing solo - but, just play the chord shapes that you are used to on your C-tuned ukes. This is what my instructor told me to do, since I didn't want to confuse myself by learning a whole other set of chords. I have a ton of ADF#B vintage music and I just play those chord shapes on my C-tuned uke, paying no attention to what the chord names are.

SailingUke
03-24-2011, 07:51 AM
Jane is right, standard is how you define it.
A lot of folks like D tuning on sopranos for the extra punch they get.
James Hill plays D tuning on a tenor (he's Canadian).
I liken C/D tuning to the high/low G debate. As far as I am concerned it is another reason to have multiple ukuleles.
When jamming with others it is nice to be in the same tuning as you can follow others fingers easier and they can follow you.
There are times when someone plays a song I know in another key and I switch ukes or retune so I can play the shapes and patterns I know.

pdxuke
03-24-2011, 07:57 AM
I just finger everything as if it were C tuning, even if I'm tuned to D. This only is a problem if playing with others who are tuned to C, then you have to transpose. But playing by myself, I don't bother with the transposition.

ukeatan
03-24-2011, 08:23 AM
I think the solution is to have more than one uke


As far as I am concerned it is another reason to have multiple ukuleles

LOL, or you can use those knobs at the top of your uke to change the tuning--forget what they're called... (Not that I don't love a good excuse to justify my closet full of ukes :p)

As for the OP, if you learned the D-tuning chord shapes, there actually wouldn't be any transposing involved playing with C-tuned ukers, you would just be playing the same chords using different fingerings. One things to consider is that a lot of really common chords are a bit more difficult in D tuning. For example, C is 3211, F is 3331, Bb is 1343--which might be an argument for sticking with the C-tuning chord shapes and tuning down to C when playing with others.

spookefoote
03-24-2011, 08:54 AM
I didn't know there was any other tuning than A D F# B for thirty years. If you want a chart for D chords then send me a private message with an email address.

spots
03-24-2011, 09:04 AM
Tune to what you like, play, and enjoy!

pulelehua
03-24-2011, 09:14 AM
Just cos I like to be different:

Tune to D. Learn to transpose. It's good for your ear, you brain, and you will be playing ONE instrument in a given way. So, you will get to know something specific, and probably get good at it.

Just my 2p. Oh, and in my limited experience, C-tuning is VERY common in the UK.

Jnobianchi
03-24-2011, 11:09 AM
I didn't know there was any other tuning than A D F# B for thirty years. If you want a chart for D chords then send me a private message with an email address.

Me too, mate. I still struggle with the names of the chords in C tuning. I used Harry Reser's uke method, Roy Smeck's and the Ukulele Ike Songbooks - started in 1982, but those books were all from the 30s, and the publishers just kept printing them because that WAS the standard and no body famous was playing uke anyway at that time.

But - I know the chords in Eb and F tuning, and learning C - nearly four tunings and counting. It just makes you a better player and allows you to do more.

Hippie Dribble
03-24-2011, 01:39 PM
all the old time sheet music and songbooks I have right up to the 60's treat D tuning as standard. I had to learn C tuning by transposition! But this has helped my playing overall and my ability to transpose on the fly immensely.

Huna
03-24-2011, 02:19 PM
I have my Makala pineapple tuned to that D tuning but I don't know any special chords in that tuning so I just make believe it uses the same chords as the C ones. See, I need a lot more ukes now.

Ukuleleblues
03-24-2011, 03:56 PM
Thats all I play in, It just make it harder to play with the "c" crowd if you learned all you chord/fingering names in C...."what key is that?"..errrr..C...no D.