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View Full Version : Tuning up to A-D-F#-B?



SailQwest
11-04-2008, 10:40 AM
There is a song that Rich and I are working on that I have to sing in a key that makes playing it a real pain in the a$$ for me.

I'm thinking about tuning one of my ukuleles up a couple of steps to A-D-F#-B. Will this put too much pressure on the bridge?

This tuning might solve a couple of my other "song key" dilemmas as well...

deach
11-04-2008, 10:43 AM
what if you used a capo?

mctrmt
11-04-2008, 11:11 AM
I am a proponent of the ADF#B tuning (apparently I was born in the twenties).

But a capo would make it easy to go back and forth.

SailQwest
11-04-2008, 11:37 AM
I have a capo but when I use it, picking a lead becomes a lot more difficult.

My main concern is whether it will be bad for the ukulele to tune it up.

Lanark
11-04-2008, 12:24 PM
It shouldn't add all that much of a strain on a uke, you're only tuning up a single step. At worst you might have to tighten down your tuners a bit to hold the key. (which I had to do recently before decided the instrument sounded better in G)

I've been keeping my Kelii soprano tuned to A for a change of pace and for pretty much the same reason. G & C are just not good keys for me. A & D are much more rock and roll and fit my range.

(And as far as I'm concerned capos are for sissies....:D)

SinisterDom
11-04-2008, 12:52 PM
I've tuned both my Soprano and Concert to ADF#B, it didn't hurt a thing. No soundboard or bridge raising or strain. I really hated the sound though.

SamWise
11-04-2008, 12:57 PM
The higher tuning is a traditional one, at least on soprano. It should be no problem at all.

Ukuleleblues
11-04-2008, 01:26 PM
There is a song that Rich and I are working on that I have to sing in a key that makes playing it a real pain in the a$$ for me.

I'm thinking about tuning one of my ukuleles up a couple of steps to A-D-F#-B. Will this put too much pressure on the bridge?

This tuning might solve a couple of my other "song key" dilemmas as well...

I ran into the same thing with my voice, for the fun of it I tuned up to D and liked they way a lot of songs I already knew sounded. Ends up all I play now are ADF#B ukes High and Low A.

I've had NO problems with the ukes, bridges, tops crowning, broken strings, etc. I've tuned some pretty old ukes to D, probably were originally tuned that way. I was originall worried about it, but it was unfounded.
I tried a capo but they really suck on short scale instruments, both from a sound and playability standpoint. The best capo I've found is the kaiser clip-on mandolin capo. I use it on a 20" scale Bari only.

It's my understanding D tuning came about during Vaudeville to get more projection. (someone will probably correct me on that) I like the projection and the sound, but I play alot of upbeat stuff, no wrist/razor blade bummer songs for me. It's an East coast thing, D on the East, C on the West. I don't think there are any violent Tupac/Biggy riavalries out there over it though, but keep it quiet to be safe.

Problem is I learned all the chord names on a C tuned uke. I had to relearn the names when I play with others. Also my wife plays both C and D so I am constantly have to say things like, it's really a D but use C fingering. The other day there were three of us playing different tuned ukes, two of the folks were playing tunings they never played before and I had to tell them in the tuning they were familar with what chords to play, even though in that tuning that was not the real chord name. It starts to make me nuts after awhile.

Good luck with the East Coast sound!

SailQwest
11-04-2008, 01:59 PM
Thanks for all of the info. Since the concensus is that no damage will occur, I think I'm going to do it.

I have a kyser mandolin capo, and I use it occasionally when we jam with other people. But when we are learning a song we are planning to play for others, I much prefer to learn it in a key that doesn't require a capo.

This also will give me more reason to get this particular ukulele out a bit more often to play. (It's my first really nice one.)

As far as different tunings on instruments, we are pretty used to this since Rich and I have our ukes tuned differently already, but we switch ukuleles back and forth some. I have a tendency to think of chord progressions from a 1-4-5 perspective, rather than G-C-D (as an example). This also make it easier for me to transpose on the fly.

Guting
11-04-2008, 02:06 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuZsrTTr7wY

listen @ 3:16, thats like another step up adf#b, had it like that for a couple days playing songs that range from simple picking to beast strumming.