PDA

View Full Version : I Can Never Tune My Ukulele



moon.abby
08-10-2011, 09:55 AM
I've only had my ukulele for a few months and I can never tune it so that it sounds clear and sweet like it should. I've tried online tuners and youtube videos, but I just can't get it right. Honestly, I'm not even sure how I know it's tuned correctly... Any suggestions?

painterbob
08-10-2011, 10:05 AM
I suggest getting a clip-on tuner like the Snark. I think they're about $11 on Amazon. It clips on the headstock and measures the vibrations of the notes and seems very accurate.

moon.abby
08-10-2011, 10:08 AM
Thank you! That's very helpful. I'll look at those tonight.

Trinimon
08-10-2011, 10:09 AM
Pickup a $15-$20 clip-on digital tuner and save yourself some headaches.

Something like this little Snark:
http://www.amazon.com/Snark-Instrument-Clip--Chromatic-Tuner/dp/B003VWKPHC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1313006840&sr=8-1

Or this Kala clip-on tuner:
http://www.amazon.com/KALA-Kala-KC02-Clip-on-Tuner/dp/B003YVRBQI/ref=sr_1_1?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1313006911&sr=1-1

NB: I type too slow! Painterbob beat me to it. lol

moon.abby
08-10-2011, 10:14 AM
Ha! Well if you were both thinking the same thing at the same time, then I trust that you're both right. :)

Shastastan
08-10-2011, 10:26 AM
I suggest getting a clip-on tuner like the Snark. I think they're about $11 on Amazon. It clips on the headstock and measures the vibrations of the notes and seems very accurate.

Mega dittos to that. It's fast and takes the guess work out.

Trinimon
08-10-2011, 10:36 AM
LOL, or we're both soo wrong. :P

If your uke was purchased new, you may find yourself using this little tuner pretty frequently until your stings have stretched out. Even when I stretched my strings when I was tuning up my uke, I found that I was still retuning it fairly frequently until it started staying in tune a few days later.

Have a look here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpQPB4Cd_mk

RyanMFT
08-10-2011, 10:57 AM
OK, bottom line is you need a clip on tuner, as stated above. Snark is fine, I like the ones from Kala, I have a couple from other companies as well. Even people who claim to have "perfect pitch" are usually off a bit so stop making yourself nuts and treat yourself to a tuner!

Noobulele
08-10-2011, 11:36 AM
You can also download an app that makes your smartphone a Chromatic Tuner

olgoat52
08-10-2011, 11:39 AM
Even with the clip on tuners, you have to be in the right octave. So in the beginning the online tuners will still be helpful in getting you close then finish off with the clip on tuner.

poppy
08-10-2011, 01:29 PM
http://www.buy.com/prod/snark-clip-on-chromatic-guitar-bass-tuner-blue/q/loc/101/218249592.html?sellerid=16616284

this is in the uke talk section free shipping 9.25

PhilUSAFRet
08-10-2011, 01:40 PM
Depending on the uke, some factory strings could be very dull and incapable of producing pleasant tones.

moon.abby
08-10-2011, 01:45 PM
Thank you all for your suggestions. I'll probably buy the one you suggested, Poppy!

Fatoy
08-11-2011, 01:01 AM
Search for and download APTuner. It's intended for guitars, but if you create a new note-set (G4, C4, E4, A4) for your ukulele then you ought to be able to get it perfectly tuned.

It's freeware, although the developer apparently still solicits donations even though the latest version was released some three years ago. It'll solve your "how do I know if I'm in tune" issue to about as fine a degree as possible.

Note that you'll need a microphone attached to (or built into) your computer.

kissing
08-11-2011, 01:09 AM
lol what ukulele is it?

souljam
08-11-2011, 03:20 AM
I would suggest one with a piezo option. This picks up on the vibrations rather than the sounds. I feel like these have less interference from other noises and lead to better tuning. I have the korg AW-2G. It's more expensive. I got mine for around $30, but I think it's worth it.

marymac
08-11-2011, 06:51 PM
I would suggest one with a piezo option. This picks up on the vibrations rather than the sounds. I feel like these have less interference from other noises and lead to better tuning. I have the korg AW-2G. It's more expensive. I got mine for around $30, but I think it's worth it.

The Snarks work by detecting vibrations. The red ones have a switch so you can choose between vibration and mic. On ukes I use vibe but for instruments that I can't clip on it's handy to be able to switch to mic. And the Snarks pick up a tone faster than any of the other tuners I've tried.

chiefnoda
08-11-2011, 07:07 PM
Hi moon.abby

Aside fro everyone's suggestion to get an electric tuner, you should look for someone. Where are you from? There are a bunch of ukulele societies and meet-ups. Or even a music store. I do not want to discard the possibility that something is wrong with your ukulele. Examples can be a fret is lifting; a really bad string; a loose tuning peg; a wrong-gauge string. An experienced ukulele player should be able to spot such problems. Or, maybe a good guitar teacher. Or a nice person in a store. Once you know your ukulele is OK, then you can focus on tuning your ukulele properly. Tell us where you are located - maybe there's some UU member nearby. You'll never know, but having a real person is the first place I would start.

Happy Pickin
Chief

bobbitybobman
08-12-2011, 07:32 AM
A clip on tuner is a must (brands listed are fine, I personally have an Intelli M900, going for 15 bucks on Amazon. It's absolutely perfect). If you don't have perfect pitch, there's little chance you'll hit it dead on by ear.

Chiefnoda's advice is sound. My first ukulele had strings set up really high so that the notes sounded weird, especially as the frets got higher. A few minutes with a knowledgeable ukulele owner and changes in few things (string, saddle bar, etc) got mine sounding better.

phil8715
08-12-2011, 10:50 AM
I had loads of problems tuning my Uke too. I bought a clip on electronic tuner and still had problems. I thought there was something wrong with the Uke. But as it turns out my tuner has a U for Uke as a setting. I took it back to the store complete with tuner and he showed me how to turn it, and as it turned out I should have set the tuner to C setting for chromamtic.

Since then I've been able to tune it and it now sounds like a Uke and not a dull out of tune piece of wood.

Ted4
08-12-2011, 10:50 AM
A clip on tuner is ESSENTIAL. You can't beat science.

moon.abby
08-13-2011, 07:56 AM
Thank you to everyone who suggested a clip on tuner! I ordered a Snark one and it came in the mail. It's pretty awesome, I'm not gonna lie.

marymac
08-13-2011, 06:03 PM
Thank you to everyone who suggested a clip on tuner! I ordered a Snark one and it came in the mail. It's pretty awesome, I'm not gonna lie.

But were you able to tune your uke with it?

Ron98GT
08-13-2011, 06:56 PM
Yeah, can you tune it now & keep it in tune?

Whiskat
08-15-2011, 04:56 AM
I see that there is a lot of people recommending a clip on tuner here. I'm really in no position of sharing my opinion, I'm still a beginner on stringed instruments, but wouldn't buying a clip on tuner deprive you of learning how to tune by ear? I mean, if you already know how to do it, it's probably great, but isn't the tuning an important part of learning to play?

I really don't know since I never used any sort of tuners when I started, and I still dont't (I just think it's faster and easier to do it by ear), but I would like to hear your opinions on the topic.

Trinimon
08-15-2011, 05:11 AM
I think if you have some background in music and isn't tone deaf, sure, maybe you can tune it by ear a lot faster. I find that the tuner takes a lot of guess work out of tuning the uke more so for those with zero music background (like myself). Doesn't take very long at all.

One instructor was showing us how we can sort of train our ears to tuning our ukes without a tuner. He says to tune one string like the G string, turn off the tuner and with keeping the "My Dog Has Fleas" tone, roughly guess/tune the other strings. Once you think you have it done, turn on the tuner and see how close you came. He claims that after doing this for a few weeks, you'd be surprised how close you can get.

Derry
08-15-2011, 12:53 PM
until you obtain one of the clip on units here is a good location to do it on the web,,

http://www.get-tuned.com/online_ukulele_tuner.php


Derry

marymac
08-15-2011, 06:31 PM
moooon.abbyyyyyy - hows your uke? Have you been able to tune your uke now that you have your Snark? Is it staying in tune?