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Know
08-09-2011, 05:51 PM
anyone know how to convert guitar tabs (not chords) to ukulele? there has to be a way, i just need help figuring out the method.

Uk3player78
08-09-2011, 08:21 PM
Is this any help?

http://www.ukulele-tabs.com/guitar-to-ukulele-tab-converter.html

RawrGazzawrs
08-09-2011, 08:39 PM
you could use the converter above but doesnt really work out for more complicated stuff....

ive tabbed out a song called "going home" which was originally on guitar. i realized since almost all of it was in range of an ukulele, i put on my low G string and tuned 1 whole step down. that way a 3 on the guitar would be a 0 on the corresponding string. if you leave it at standard a 5 on guitar would be an open string on ukulele. Its a little complicated depending on the range of notes of the song you want to tab out.

Know
08-09-2011, 08:53 PM
i've been trying to figure this out for the past couple of hours. online converters are pretty useless.

printed off a couple fret board layouts for ukulele and guitar. i've been going note for note but the octaves get in the way and throw me back to the start pretty much. there is no pattern i can find. i wish i knew more about music or muisc theory so i could actually get somewhere. i've found translating guitar to uke is a common problem. someone should figure this shit out because i'm having the hardest time. but i'll try all night until i get it :D

RawrGazzawrs
08-09-2011, 10:28 PM
if you have a low G then i recommend tuning down a whole step :3
any further and it might not sound very good...

sharp21
08-10-2011, 02:11 AM
if you have a low G then i recommend tuning down a whole step :3
any further and it might not sound very good...

Thats a great piece of advice!

What I do is find the lowest note in the guitar tab & if it is out of my ukes range I transpose the guitar tab up 3 steps. I do all my tabbing as text files.

So I'll copy & paste the guitar tab into a txt file, then copy & paste a blank uke staff under each line. Then using another txt file with the guitar fretboard worked out I start going through & identifying notes, then put them into the uke staff one by one. Do this with your uke handy & a recording of the song & it goes pretty quick.

You'll also learn a lot more doing it this way than by auto generating it using a program.

S.

Mel Ott
08-10-2011, 05:40 AM
i've been trying to figure this out for the past couple of hours. online converters are pretty useless.

printed off a couple fret board layouts for ukulele and guitar. i've been going note for note but the octaves get in the way and throw me back to the start pretty much. there is no pattern i can find. i wish i knew more about music or muisc theory so i could actually get somewhere. i've found translating guitar to uke is a common problem. someone should figure this shit out because i'm having the hardest time. but i'll try all night until i get it :D

To a point, it depends on what tuning your uke is in. If you're playing in D-G-B-E, the part of the tab that's on the top four strings of the guitar should be the same as on the uke.

If you're playing in G-C-E-A, you can still use the same tab for the uke (for the top four strings, of course) if you don't mind changing keys - if you use the same tab for a song that's in D on a guitar, it'll be played in G on the uke. The relationships between the notes will stay the same, though.

It gets a little more complicated if you're using high G tuning. You can still use the part of the tab that's on the top three strings of the guitar, but as you say the fact that the G string is an octave higher will make things a little strange. It's probably not a huge deal for chords, but if you have single-note lines in the guitar tab that run down to the fourth string... well, you'll be out of the uke's range. There are options: you can move the line up an octave (and still play it on the G string, so it's easy to tab out) but it'll probably sound weird. Or you can do what sharp21 suggests and transpose the whole thing so that you're not out of the uke's range anymore.

If it's important that the song be in the same key on the uke as it is in the original guitar tab, you'll have to do some transposing. That's going to be a little tricky, there's really no getting around it. However, there is a pattern that you can use to your advantage:

If you capo a guitar at the fifth fret, you have a ukulele tuning (G-C-E-A). So you can take your guitar tab and subtract 5 from whatever the fret number is; that'll give you the equivalent fret on the uke (for the top four strings)(unless you're playing reentrant; then this will only work for the guitar's top three strings). If this gives you a negative number, you move to the next lower string, using the fourth fret for "-1", the third for "-2", the second for "-3" and the first for "-4". For "-5", you play the next lower string open. HOWEVER, when you're moving from the B string of the guitar to the C string of the uke, use the third fret for "-1", the second fret for "-2", the first fret for "-3" and play the open string for "-4." The open B on the guitar would actually be played on the fourth fret of the G string on the uke (unless, again, your uke uses high-G tuning; in that case, it's not going to be available). Do this for every fret noted in the tab, and you'll have converted the guitar tab to ukulele.

The big problem with this is going to be that you'll run out of room on your ukulele fretboard, because the guitar has a bigger range (particularly if you're using reentrant tuning). There are options, but they're going to be sort of problematic. You can always move things up an octave, but won't sound like the original song (could be a good thing; could be a bad thing). That's the only way (AFAIK) to preserve parts of the tab that are played on the guitar's low E and A strings, and if you're tuned reentrant you'll need to do something similar to anything played on the guitar's D string (and the top five notes on the G string) too.

The other thing to do, which is admittedly a lot more time consuming up front, is to convert guitar tab to standard notation (or, if you can, just find the standard notation; sometimes you'll see both), then convert the standard notation into uke tab. If you do that a few times, you probably won't even need the uke tab anymore. :)

drjond56
08-11-2011, 04:40 PM
Mel gave a very thorough answer. I play a lot of ukulele and guitar--mainly fingerstyle on each. If I am playing solo uke, I just use the usual guitar tab and work around the notes which fall on strings 5 and 6 of the guitar--sometimes move them up an octave, sometimes just omit them, sometimes find acceptable alternatives. If you are going to play a low G instrument with guitarists, then one or the other of you is going to have to transpose or capo, as previously mentioned. Or, as I sometimes do, just use a baritone ukulele when in the company of guitarists.

Jon

lindydanny
08-12-2011, 03:03 AM
This is another question that makes me want to go into a long discussion about transposing... But I'm too tired today for that.

Basically, there is no real "method" like there would be a method for playing ukulele. Mostly, it is a lot of trial and error developing skills to do it. It helps if you understand how guitars are tuned. It also is a big help if you understand what a key is.

Keep working through the frustration and you'll get there.

~DB