View Full Version : New Guitalele Player

11-07-2011, 11:30 PM
Recently, I had some urge to learn a string instrument and picked up a guitalele. Thought this would be a perfect travel instrument and provide a nice introduction for other instruments like guitar and ukulele.

That being said, for the last week (Yea, that is how long I've been playing... but my fingers are already numb so I am making progress!), I've mostly only played ukulele Hawaiian music... ignoring the base strings (Strumming and trying to ignore 2 strings is DAMN hard).

That being said, I did purchase a guitar solo book (30 Easy Spanish Guitar Solos) and started playing the ukulele based on the tabs. Then I remembered that the guitalele is tuned differently then a guitar.

When playing guitar music... am I suppose to transpose the sheet music? In another thread, one member said "Regular guitar tabs work on the guitalele too" and another said "Just remember you will be playing in a different key, but the shapes are all the same".

By playing the tabs as if they were tuned ADGCEA... will it sound correct? Am I butchering good music? What exactly is meant by a different key? But... to me, simply following the tabs on the guitalele seems like you are playing it more than just another key... when you think you are playing an A, you are actually playing a D.

Sorry if my question isn't clear or if it is laugh-out-load stupid... but I would appreciate some help.


Ambient Doughnut
11-07-2011, 11:42 PM
Although your guitalele is tuned higher than a regular guitar the RELATIVE tuning of the strings is the same. ie if you're playing from tablature it will sound fine just a 4th (or 5 frets) higher.

This isn't a problem unless you're trying to play along with someone else!

11-08-2011, 06:29 AM
Congratulations on the guitalele. Playing in different keys is like changing the note you start a song on. The melody follows the same pattern, just starts on a different note. It is interesting how certain keys are more suitable to the feeling of a song. So, you will notice subtle differences. I have listened to the same song in several different keys, and one will sound darker, and another brighter because of the key. Key becomes important when you are singing, since each person has a limited singing range. Many times in uke groups, the key that the song is in is great for uke chords, but the vocal goes too high or too low for me to comfortably sing. Yet, I wouldn't want to only play in one key because that would get boring.


11-08-2011, 07:28 AM
Question about strumming.

Right now, I am in love with thumb picks. Just seem to have better control and can make songs much louder. But I am having a difficult time with upwards strums. The best picks I've found are fred kelly slick picks (light), but it still sounds choppy and often the pick catches the string (Not to mention, I often hit the base strings but I am improving on that). Plus, the only way I can make upwards strum sound half-decent is by removing my hand from the guitalele... I've always heard it is good to have your hand "anchor" to the instrument as a reference point, as that helps control.

Am I causing myself more grief than is worth by trying to learn up-strumming with thumb picks? Is there a better way? As long as I know that with a lot of practice my up-strums will sound good... I am happy. But I am a bit worried I am doing things improperly.