View Full Version : Out of tuned?

04-18-2011, 03:11 PM
I've been playing my uke (Kala KA-C) for a long time. I've always tuned it once a couple of months. But every time I take it somewhere with my friends, they always say its out of tuned... I'm starting to think that my uke ears are gone... What do I do?

04-18-2011, 03:38 PM
I've always tuned it once a couple of months.
Are you serious? I tune mine at least once per practice session before I start, which is usually daily. When you change strings, new ones need almost constant tuning for a while til they stretch in. If you've been playing a long time and have never changed strings, they can get "off" sounding when they're too old and worn out.

Do you have an electronic tuner? If not, I suggest you get one. For many of us, they're more accurate than our ears. Clip-ons are great. I have the Eno ET-3000 they sell in the UU store.

04-18-2011, 03:54 PM
Are you serious?

That was my reaction too! I'm inclined to believe that the OP's last name is Pinoy before I'll believe he tunes only every couple months :)

I tune mine daily. Sometimes multiple times. Going from one location to another, even a five minute drive, sometimes changes things enough that I'm out of tune when I get there.

04-18-2011, 03:58 PM
Reminds me of the story about the double bassist who shows up late for a rehearsal and is obviously out of tune. The conductor asks him pointedly and sarcastically if he'd like a few minutes to tune and he replies, "why, aren't we doing it in the same key as last year?"

Seriously, though, I can see where if one hasn't yet developed a very good pitch sense one could go for a few weeks thinking one was in tune (after the strings had settled) because some string sets stretch pretty evenly and the uke may not go badly out of tune with itself for a couple of weeks, at least. Of course, as soon as one plays with others they are going to discover that they are A) out of tune with the other instruments that have been recently tuned to concert pitch and B) others may have a better ear for pitch and hear how even how ones uke has gone out of pitch with itself.

And then...I think we've all seen youtube videos that make us cringe and quickly hit the link for some other video because the tuning is so awful. I've seen some instruments (not just ukes) that were so far out of tune with themselves that you wonder why the person has any interest in playing music if their ear for pitch is so poor that they can play an entire song on an instrument that is not even close to being in tune with itself.

About a year ago we had a young lady singing and playing electric guitar in our band. She was borrowing one of my amps and about a half hour into rehearsal one day she says, "I can't make this amp sound good." I was on the other side of the stage with the drums and another electric guitar between us so I couldn't really hear her but I went over to see why she couldn't make the amp sound good (it was a pretty decent modeling amp). I'm tweaking knobs and I tell her to strum the guitar. She does. I say, "no, I mean strum a chord, G or something." She says I am. Whereupon I took the guitar and proceeded to tune the A string back to A from A sharp... LOL



mm stan
04-18-2011, 04:08 PM
Aloha DPinoy,
Let use the analogy of a cars engine....when you have it just tuned, and slowly it goes out of tune in so small incriments, for a non mechanical person will not even notice it..until it get really bad..
It's the same with the ukulele..you get used to it and don't even notice, and when you tune it, you will immediately do. A quick way to check, is to strum a chord, fret, or play a song and you will know instantly
if it's off..

04-18-2011, 04:31 PM
Ok. Thanks. I guess i just need to tune it more often. I do have an electronic tuner. I have the KORG Chromatic Tuner CA-30 and I have it at 440Hz. My friend is in Hawaii right now and I told her to get me some items that's listed on the UU Store. The Tuner and the strings for concert uke. So hopefully when she gets back i'll be happy.

04-18-2011, 04:52 PM
If you have an Iphone, get the Cleartune app. Best $4 I've ever spent.