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1300cc
07-31-2012, 03:26 PM
i play mostly instrumental solos, is it easy to convert the notes to low g?

blender
07-31-2012, 03:42 PM
i play mostly instrumental solos, is it easy to convert the notes to low g?

I'm no expert altho that has never stopped me, however I think the answer is a qualified "yes". The reason I say a qualified yes is that *I* think it depends on what string you use and the slot space (hope that's a close-enough term) at the nut.

I'm trying out a low-g on my Boat Paddle tenor. My plan was to try out one of the new Aquila Red Series low-g strings. The Red Series low-g seems a bit thicker than a wound low-g. I'm getting buzzing due to the string being a bit thicker and touching at the first fret (it seems almost as thick as the C string). Plan B is to go to a "normal" wound low-g on the Boat Paddle and try the Aquila low-g on a Fluke tenor (assuming the thicker Red Series string fits the nut slot).

Steve

chiefnoda
07-31-2012, 03:43 PM
Hi 1300cc

Yes, I think so. ON low-G, you have all notes of high-G plus extra low notes. Sometimes, on a high0G arrangement, players do cleaver use of G and A strings to play cascading sounds which will be harder to do on low-G. Otherwise, you should be OK.

Good luck!
Chief

ukemunga
07-31-2012, 03:51 PM
This may be simplistic but the notes are the same. It's just a matter of octave. If I phrased that properly. Low, middle, high. Same note.

1300cc
07-31-2012, 05:20 PM
but when fingerpicking some songs doesnt sound good while others are ok....

chiefnoda
07-31-2012, 05:33 PM
but when fingerpicking some songs doesnt sound good while others are ok....

Well, you will at least have to hit the right note, eg., a melody note on highG string will have to be relocated elsewhere, because on low G, it will be one octave lower and sounds out of place.

It's like playing 12 string guitar......

Cheers
Chief

ukulelelearner
07-31-2012, 06:15 PM
I am also very interested in a low g string because it provides so many base notes that a high g obviously can't offer. I have arranged Beach Boys songs and am currently working on a Beatle's solo. Some of them are on my youtube and I'll be uploading some more throughout the year.

The high g has worked fine with these songs because they are higher up on the staff (especially the Beach Boys, known for their complex chords/voicings and high singing)

But I'm really interested in that low g string for songs like Can't Help Falling in Love and All of Me, which have more bass and are slower songs. Granted, you can play a low/high g for any songs that you like, but this is my prefernces.

However, I've heard of some problems with changing a high g with a low g wound string. It might be too wide in diameter for the nut slot and might have to adjust it the slot to make it wider. This would be fine, with no buzzes if done properly. However, when you change back to the high g (if you do), there will be buzzing because the thinner string will be loose in the slot (too wide for the thinner string).

Anyways good luck with this, and let me know how it goes please:)

Lori
07-31-2012, 06:44 PM
...
However, I've heard of some problems with changing a high g with a low g wound string. It might be too wide in diameter for the nut slot and might have to adjust it the slot to make it wider. This would be fine, with no buzzes if done properly. However, when you change back to the high g (if you do), there will be buzzing because the thinner string will be loose in the slot (too wide for the thinner string).

Anyways good luck with this, and let me know how it goes please:)

I have many ukes with low g tuning, and sometimes people feel they have to widen the slot for the string at the nut. Some ukes have a loose nut, which could be swapped out when you change tunings. On my Kanile'a, the nut is glued, so I just let the low g ride high on the nut, and no problem. I ended up preferring re-entrant on that uke, so I was glad I didn't change the nut.

–Lori

itsme
07-31-2012, 07:27 PM
1300cc, I'm a bit confused... are you talking about physically converting your uke or converting tabs?

1300cc
07-31-2012, 07:42 PM
1300cc, I'm a bit confused... are you talking about physically converting your uke or converting tabs?sorry, i mean converting tabs

BIGDB
07-31-2012, 09:21 PM
if your playing mostly instrumental i would stick with high g cause you have so much more higher skilled players using high g like jake james. but if you have some songs you would like to learn i would, cause i put low g on mine and got bored cause i didnt know any songs or anything. but its up to you

ukuhippo
07-31-2012, 09:56 PM
sorry, i mean converting tabs

The open G-string on a high G is the same as fretting the E-string on the 3d fret, so for example:



A-------
E-------
C-------
G-2-3-0-


on a high-G uke can be played as



A-------
E-5-6-3-
C-------
G-------


on a low-G uke. Chords on a low-G uke are played just like chords on a high-G uke, so it's just the picking that's different.

It takes a bit of work, but I could play simple tunes like that on a guitar at work after a little practise, so it can be done. It does help in understanding the fretboard better, that's for sure.

Louis0815
07-31-2012, 10:26 PM
I am also very interested in a low g string because it provides so many base notes that a high g obviously can't offer."so many" is exactly 5 half tones below C: G, G#/Ab, A, A#/Bb, B

Regarding string gauge: I don't know the exact diameter of Aquila Red, but you might be interested in Ken Middleton's Living Water Strings (http://www.kenmiddleton.co.uk/Pages/LWS.aspx) where the unwound low G (.91mm) is just a tad thicker than the C (.74mm) - I am pretty sure this will fit without "nutwork"

pulelehua
08-01-2012, 12:25 AM
if your playing mostly instrumental i would stick with high g cause you have so much more higher skilled players using high g like jake james. but if you have some songs you would like to learn i would, cause i put low g on mine and got bored cause i didnt know any songs or anything. but its up to you

James Hill often uses low-G tuning (to most stunning effect on Billie Jean). Or even low-A. Iz used low-G a lot. Herb Ohta, Jr uses low-G a lot. The top players seem to be a pretty fair mix of each.

If you have adapted to re-entrant tuning to the point that you're using the G-string to do scale work, then it will take a rethink (which is my whole reasoning for avoiding low-G). If you play scales pretty much exclusively on the C, E & A strings, you should be fine.

Be aware that if you're converting tab meant for high-G, you're half defeating the point of low-G, because that tab will not be written to take advantage of the newly available low notes, and if you play notes as written in the tab, they will likely sound "wrong" (suddenly having notes an octave different than expected is odd - Stravinsky used it amongst others; it's called octave displacement).

barefootgypsy
08-01-2012, 12:36 AM
Regarding string gauge: I don't know the exact diameter of Aquila Red, but you might be interested in Ken Middleton's Living Water Strings (http://www.kenmiddleton.co.uk/Pages/LWS.aspx) where the unwound low G (.91mm) is just a tad thicker than the C (.74mm) - I am pretty sure this will fit without "nutwork"Yes - do try these! I have a set - no problem!

1300cc
08-01-2012, 01:15 AM
The open G-string on a high G is the same as fretting the E-string on the 3d fret, so for example:



A-------
E-------
C-------
G-2-3-0-


on a high-G uke can be played as



A-------
E-5-6-3-
C-------
G-------


on a low-G uke. Chords on a low-G uke are played just like chords on a high-G uke, so it's just the picking that's different.

It takes a bit of work, but I could play simple tunes like that on a guitar at work after a little practise, so it can be done. It does help in understanding the fretboard better, that's for sure.

thanks :) i think i am getting the idea.....

SweetWaterBlue
08-01-2012, 01:28 AM
"so many" is exactly 5 half tones below C: G, G#/Ab, A, A#/Bb, B


Agreed, that "so many" is only 5 notes, but for me they seem to be an important 5. My voice range and finger picking ability is comfortably in the range that the low G and the other strings of the uke provide. I find that most melodies can easily be played below the 5th fret with a low G, but not so much without it. If you take a look at the tunes in The Daily Ukulele, which were purposely fitted to most human voices, you will see what I mean. You can easily finger pick or make chord melodies of them all with a low G, but only perhaps half or less without it.

1931jim
08-01-2012, 03:04 AM
SweetWaterBlue and myself are in harmony....."" My voice range and finger picking ability is comfortably in the range that the low G and the other strings of the uke provide."" I especially like the low G on my tenor.

Louis0815
08-01-2012, 03:30 AM
If you take a look at the tunes in The Daily Ukulele, which were purposely fitted to most human voices, you will see what I mean. You can easily finger pick or make chord melodies of them all with a low G, but only perhaps half or less without it.At least not without shifting up one octave ;)
E.g. look at "Ukulele Lady": the first note clearly is a low G but the authors indicate 2nd string 3rd fret as first note - which is a full octave higher.
http://either.grossor.net/ukulady.jpg
Sorry for the poor quality - and I hope they won't sue me for copyright infringement now...

And I fully agree on what you said - I'll be changing one of my concert ukes to low G very soon (strings are on the way from Ken already) for exactly the same reasons. But the others will stay re-entrant...

chiefnoda
08-02-2012, 12:20 PM
"so many" is exactly 5 half tones below C: G, G#/Ab, A, A#/Bb, B

Exactly, but: When I arrange a piece as solo instrumental low-G, I often use the key of C. This allows me to put in a descending bassline, as in

"You Belong To Me" and "To Make You Feel My Love" in http://chiefnoda.com/ukulele/index.html#tabsection

The choice of C major allows me to play C - G - F - G chord progression with a bass notes of C - B - A - G, and the bass C note is on C string. Thus, I can use E and A strings for the melody which works well.

If I were to do the same idea, I'd have to use E major and play the bass note of E on 2nd string. Then, however, I'm left with one string (A) to play melody. So I guess the additional 5 notes is actually (to me) the availability of 2 strings (loG) versus 1 string (hiG) for the melody..... That's my math.

Cheers
Chief

BIGDB
08-02-2012, 08:02 PM
James Hill often uses low-G tuning (to most stunning effect on Billie Jean). Or even low-A. Iz used low-G a lot. Herb Ohta, Jr uses low-G a lot. The top players seem to be a pretty fair mix of each.

If you have adapted to re-entrant tuning to the point that you're using the G-string to do scale work, then it will take a rethink (which is my whole reasoning for avoiding low-G). If you play scales pretty much exclusively on the C, E & A strings, you should be fine.

Be aware that if you're converting tab meant for high-G, you're half defeating the point of low-G, because that tab will not be written to take advantage of the newly available low notes, and if you play notes as written in the tab, they will likely sound "wrong" (suddenly having notes an octave different than expected is odd - Stravinsky used it amongst others; it's called octave displacement).

i know james uses low more but i like most of the high g songs more like assam/like a bird although one note samba with the "drums" is pretty awesome

and i never really play scales i know some basic things but in not that into that stuff thats why i stay with high g also

Ken Middleton
08-02-2012, 08:26 PM
No, James almost never uses linear (low 4th) tuning. He carries one uke around with low A tuning, but only because everyone want to hear Billy Jean. Everything else he does on re-entrant tuned instruments. He plays on stage with re-entrant high A and tunes down to C tuning for jams and most workshops.

pulelehua
08-02-2012, 10:03 PM
No, James almost never uses linear (low 4th) tuning. He carries one uke around with low A tuning, but only because everyone want to hear Billy Jean. Everything else he does on re-entrant tuned instruments. He plays on stage with re-entrant high A and tunes down to C tuning for jams and most workshops.

From James Hill's website: "I grew up playing in D6 tuning (a, d, f#, b) with a low A string like all students of the Doane ukulele method. It wasn't until my late-teens that I started to fool around with other tunings. Nowadays I travel with four ukes: one with a high 4th string and another with a low 4th string, the Beltona slide which I tune either a, d, g, b or g, c, f, a depending on the song, and the beansprout banjo which I always have in high 4th tuning.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both low 4th string tuning (a.k.a. "linear" tuning) and high 4th string tuning (a.k.a. "re-entrant" tuning); otherwise I'd just travel with one ukulele and forget about it. Re-entrant tuning is great for vocal accompaniment, jazz chording, and campanella-style playing (à la John King). Linear tuning is better for ensemble melody picking, classroom instruction, lead picking and solo arrangements that involve moving bass lines. Different tools, same tool kit."

Ken Middleton
08-02-2012, 11:13 PM
From James Hill's website: "I grew up playing in D6 tuning (a, d, f#, b) with a low A string like all students of the Doane ukulele method. It wasn't until my late-teens that I started to fool around with other tunings. Nowadays I travel with four ukes: one with a high 4th string and another with a low 4th string, the Beltona slide which I tune either a, d, g, b or g, c, f, a depending on the song, and the beansprout banjo which I always have in high 4th tuning.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both low 4th string tuning (a.k.a. "linear" tuning) and high 4th string tuning (a.k.a. "re-entrant" tuning); otherwise I'd just travel with one ukulele and forget about it. Re-entrant tuning is great for vocal accompaniment, jazz chording, and campanella-style playing (à la John King). Linear tuning is better for ensemble melody picking, classroom instruction, lead picking and solo arrangements that involve moving bass lines. Different tools, same tool kit."

I repeat, he almost never uses low G tune on stage today. I have seen him play so many times in the last few years. He favours re-entrant tuning.

pulelehua
08-03-2012, 03:25 AM
I repeat, he almost never uses low G tune on stage today. I have seen him play so many times in the last few years. He favours re-entrant tuning.

Keep your shirt on, Ken! :) Didn't mean to cause any offence. I was just quoting from the horse's mouth. Nothing in what he says contradicts you in any way. And I THINK, reading Ukulele Yes, that he DOES still use Low-A for teaching. There was an article about the benefits of Low-A/G for teaching not THAT long ago.

I was actually a bit downhearted when I tried out Billie Jean, because I am a true blue re-entrant devotee.

Ken Middleton
08-03-2012, 03:42 AM
Keep your shirt on, Ken! :) Didn't mean to cause any offence. I was just quoting from the horse's mouth. Nothing in what he says contradicts you in any way. And I THINK, reading Ukulele Yes, that he DOES still use Low-A for teaching. There was an article about the benefits of Low-A/G for teaching not THAT long ago.

I was actually a bit downhearted when I tried out Billie Jean, because I am a true blue re-entrant devotee.

Don't worry, my shirt is on. I'm not a pretty sight without it.

I actually talked at length with James just over a week ago about this very subject. He had some interesting things to say.

I think he includes the linear tuned uke as a viable alternative because he realises that some people love to use that tuning. I had to make the same decision with my own brand of strings. I personally, almost never use linear tuning, but I have produced a Concert and a Tenor low G set already for those that want to use this tuning.

didgeridoo2
08-03-2012, 04:46 AM
And I THINK, reading Ukulele Yes, that he DOES still use Low-A for teaching. There was an article about the benefits of Low-A/G for teaching not THAT long ago.

I was actually a bit downhearted when I tried out Billie Jean, because I am a true blue re-entrant devotee.
You are right about this pulelehua, we do use linear tuning in James' teaching curriculum. In fact, James was handing out Aquila red low G strings last week in Vancouver because Mimmo had sent him a bunch to try. I haven't tried it yet, because it would require widening the nut slot and I don't mind a wound string. I've been using a Savarez Corum string, lately.

katysax
08-03-2012, 06:57 AM
As someone who has played guitar a lot longer and more than ukulele, I much prefer the low G tuning for fingerstyle playing. However, I usually find it easier to read music than tabs, and I usually treat tabs as a suggested choice rather than as the required choice. Thus for me, at least, changing tabs to fit low G is rarely a problem. I'd probably be better off just to stick to one tuning, but I don't.