View Full Version : Tuning down?

07-06-2011, 11:32 PM
I was working on a song today and it seemed a bit too high and I was not really digging the uke tone with the song. I tuned down a half-step and it went so much better. I really enjoyed the tone of the uke.

Do many of you tune your ukes down, if so, a half or full step?

07-07-2011, 02:28 AM
you could transpose the chords too right?

07-07-2011, 02:36 AM
I could, but it also changes the tone of the uke.

Ken Middleton
07-07-2011, 03:12 AM
I could, but it also changes the tone of the uke.

I think you may have it the wrong way round. Detuning the uke certainly changes the tone. If you just use different chords and keep the tuning the same, the tone doesn't change at all.

07-07-2011, 03:52 AM
I meant the detuning changes the tone, I guess I was conserving my words.

Ken Middleton
07-07-2011, 03:58 AM
I meant the detuning changes the tone, I guess I was conserving my words.

Sorry, I obviously misread it. I agree though. You can make a song much more singable if you detune by a step.

07-07-2011, 06:04 AM
I have experimented with this a bit. My Anuenue Long neck Soprano sounds great a half step down, and my new Cordoba Concert sounds great a full step down. I am using Southcoast heavy high re entrant strings on the Cordoba, and martin Flourocarbons on the Anuenue. I can capo the concert at the second fret to get regular Uke tuning when i need it. I have since passed on the long neck to my daughter, and put it back up to C tuning. several songs work better for my voice in B flat tuning, which is one step down. Also, I like the tension better. Plus, my wife can capo her baritone at the third fret, and match my Concert tuning when that works or us. Loing necks, low tunings, and capos offer a lot of possibilities! Most of this I owe to info on Southcoast Ukes web site about strings and tunings, and some of his discussions here. I like the mellower sound of the B flat tuning for some of my classical transcriptions, but the bright C tuning is only a capo away!

take care,


07-07-2011, 08:11 AM
I have a baritone in A tuning also and have been putting some of the sopranos down a half step. I have one tenor down a full step as well. I prefer the tension there as I am currently having some big arthritis issues in my hands as well as CTS, and stopping working at all my jobs is not an option. Also I have been fooling with a couple of short scale electrics, and they are so sensitive I am getting used to how gently they need to be played, so the acoustics seem a bit harder now to my old fingers.

07-07-2011, 08:16 AM
I have changed the tuning for a couple of songs. Some songs I tune all the strings down 1/2 step. For one song I play the only tuning change is with the G string. It gets tuned to A.

If you like to sing and your voice doesn't work well with the key the song is written in, transpose to another key. Sometimes it helps with the fingerings too.

07-07-2011, 10:29 AM
I've tuned down a full step if I want to videotape a song I've known how to play for a while, but I can't quite hit the high notes. If you do more than just strum, it can be easier than re-learning the whole arrangement in another key. I did this with a video of XTC's "Senses Working Overtime" some months back.

07-07-2011, 12:04 PM
I have my concert neck ceegar box ukulele tuned to f Bb D G to play Everyone Says I Love You. It sounds great.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
07-07-2011, 12:55 PM
My performance violin-shaped Tangi concert-scale soprano is tuned a half step down
as I sing in a lower register.

I enjoy it and it's easier on my voice for those 1 to 2 hr gigs!

keep uke'in',

07-07-2011, 01:24 PM
I"ve played around with the frequency of my A string. While A4 is 440Hz, my tuner lets me adjust what I call the A4 frequency (from 430-450 Hz) I have used 430 Hz with nice results of a deeper tone. This is less than a half step, as a G# is 415 Hz.

Here's my Compass Rose with the 10 Hz lower tuning (http://chirb.it/y1E5zz)

07-07-2011, 05:50 PM
I played my first tenor tuned to Bb for a couple of years. I really liked the tone, but I got tired of transposing and a capo on a uke just didn't do it for me. I ended up going back to C.