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pdxuke
03-03-2013, 03:51 PM
I recently bought a Martin Tenor c 40s and had it strung with Martin strings and tuned to C. It just sounded...well, blah.

I just put the light cuatro set on from Southcoast and tuned it to Eb. Magic!

Jazzy, warm, humming!

My Martin tenor has found its voice.

Anybody else have a tenor tuned to Eb?

mm stan
03-03-2013, 04:11 PM
My old kamaka tenor gold label...E, A, C#, F# talk about alternate tunings..he he

kapahulu50
03-03-2013, 05:04 PM
My old kamaka tenor gold label...E, A, C#, F# talk about alternate tunings..he he

Tuned down or up?

Dan Uke
03-03-2013, 05:25 PM
I recently bought a Martin Tenor c 40s and had it strung with Martin strings and tuned to C. It just sounded...well, blah.

I just put the light cuatro set on from Southcoast and tuned it to Eb. Magic!

Jazzy, warm, humming!

My Martin tenor has found its voice.

Anybody else have a tenor tuned to Eb?

That is unique...I understand Stan's as it's bari tuning one step higher but can't figure out where your's

pdxuke
03-03-2013, 06:16 PM
That is unique...I understand Stan's as it's bari tuning one step higher but can't figure out where your's

17" Scale cuatro tuning via Southcoast strings
http://www.southcoastukes.com/cuatro.htm

southcoastukes
03-04-2013, 08:48 AM
That is unique...I understand Stan's as it's bari tuning one step higher but can't figure out where your's

Daniel, he's saying b flat e flat' g' c' . That's a "low reentrant" or Cuatro e flat tuning.

The "high reentrant" or Ukulele version - b flat' e flat' g' c'' - was one the the three early Soprano tunings, along with D, and C. A step up from "Ukulele Standard" D tuning, like all of the flat keys, it was popular with jazz players. You'll still find old jazz sheet music written for E flat Ukulele.

You can still use it on the Soprano in it's high reentrant form. In it's linear form - b flat e flat' g' c'' - we recommend it for Concert Ukuleles, and when you then drop the 1st string an octave as well, like Thom's set-up, it becomes a very nice fit for Tenor Ukuleles.

At least I thought it would. As we don't have standard Tenors, we had tested it on one of our longneck concerts. At the time, I had thought it really had the depth to be great on a standard Tenor. Thanks to Thom for the feedback!

On the subject of beautiful and neglected voices for the Tenor, another couple are Linear D - a d' f#' b' - and high reentrant b flat - f' b flat d' g' . I like Stan's too, in the high reentrant form.

iDavid
03-04-2013, 04:29 PM
Timimg is a strange thing. I just tuned my Kanilea tenor to high reentrant b flat - f' b flat d' g' last night after reading about it at Southcoast Strings. Man, what a difference. I want to try it with a linear set next.

pdxuke
03-04-2013, 05:29 PM
Timimg is a strange thing. I just tuned my Kanilea tenor to high reentrant b flat - f' b flat d' g' last night after reading about it at Southcoast Strings. Man, what a difference. I want to try it with a linear set next.

This alternate tuning thing is all very exciting to me. :-)

southcoastukes
03-04-2013, 05:31 PM
Timimg is a strange thing. I just tuned my Kanilea tenor to high reentrant b flat - f' b flat d' g' last night after reading about it at Southcoast Strings. Man, what a difference. I want to try it with a linear set next.

Hello David,

Usually a G note is about as low as you even want to try on a Tenor. Even that can be problematic sometimes. The linear B flat tuning drops your 4th string below that. We usually recommend linear B flat for a Baritone.

It's a good rule of thumb that if you use a high reentrant key on one size instrument, when you go to a linear tuning in the same key, move up at least one body size.

Dan Uke
03-04-2013, 05:46 PM
Hello David,

Usually a G note is about as low as you even want to try on a Tenor. Even that can be problematic sometimes. The linear B flat tuning drops your 4th string below that. We usually recommend linear B flat for a Baritone.

It's a good rule of thumb that if you use a high reentrant key on one size instrument, when you go to a linear tuning in the same key, move up at least one body size.

Dirk, I just tuned my bari to B flat w/ Round Wound and I don't know if I like it...sounds too much like a tenor still.

southcoastukes
03-04-2013, 06:03 PM
Dirk, I just tuned my bari to B flat w/ Round Wound and I don't know if I like it...sounds too much like a tenor still.

Daniel, it seems you pretty much play linear tunings. It's true that linear B flat on a Baritone is only one step lower than linear C on a Tenor. Of course you should also have a bit more sustain. That linear C is as low as you would ever want to go on your Tenor, while there is room on a Baritone to keep full resonance and go on down another step to A, so that's one way to "differentiate" them a bit more.

Just the one step from C to B flat makes a lot of difference to some folks, however - both in terms of sound, and as an advantage to those of us with somewhat limited vocal range.

For those who really like to play both linear and reentrant, however, B flat is a very handy key for "Big Ukers". Use the reentrant on your Tenor, and the Linear on your Baritone. Both are rich and fully resonant tunings. Both use very responsive strings. Plus you can capo at the 2nd fret on either instrument if you need or want to get back to C tuning on occasion.

Dan Uke
03-04-2013, 06:18 PM
Daniel, it seems you pretty much play linear tunings. It's true that linear B flat on a Baritone is only one step lower than linear C on a Tenor. Of course you should also have a bit more sustain. That linear C is as low as you would ever want to go on your Tenor, while there is room on a Baritone to keep full resonance and go on down another step to A, so that's one way to "differentiate" them a bit more.

Just the one step from C to B flat makes a lot of difference to some folks, however - both in terms of sound, and as an advantage to those of us with somewhat limited vocal range.

For those who really like to play both linear and reentrant, however, B flat is a very handy key for "Big Ukers". Use the reentrant on your Tenor, and the Linear on your Baritone. Both are rich and fully resonant tunings. Both use very responsive strings. Plus you can capo at the 2nd fret on either instrument if you need or want to get back to C tuning on occasion.

Your right, you know I love your linear strings so I might try one half lower to A. I wanted a drastic difference in sound w/ bari and tenor but can't expect much with one step...your strings sound good on all my ukes

southcoastukes
03-04-2013, 06:20 PM
Your right, you know I love your linear strings so I might try one half lower to A. I wanted a drastic difference in sound w/ bari and tenor but can't expect much with one step...your strings sound good on all my ukes

Thanks for the kind words, Daniel -

You can tune the MLs down to get an idea of the sound, but if you like that pitch, I'd recommend the HL-RWs for a bit more tension.

And to get back on point, you (or someone who also likes reentrant ukuleles) could then also use the tuning Stan suggested, and have both your Tenor (reentrant) and your Baritone (linear) tuned to A. The gauges get a bit heavier, but in the case of the Baritone, are still better than what you get with standard strings. To capo back to C tuning, however, you would also use up more fretboard when tuned to A.

High reentrant A tuning on the Tenor has it's low note at a, and this is actually a safer place to be with your low note than with the g note you have with linear C.

didgeridoo2
03-04-2013, 06:44 PM
What about a tenor with an 18" scale and larger than normal body, Dirk? Could linear Bb tuning work?

mm stan
03-04-2013, 07:07 PM
Tuned down or up?

Tuned down brah....way down...

southcoastukes
03-04-2013, 07:23 PM
What about a tenor with an 18" scale and larger than normal body, Dirk? Could linear Bb tuning work?

The 18" scale would give you lighter strings in a linear B flat than you would need on 17" (you could use our Mediums at a moderate tension), but mainly it's the size of the body. I couldn't say if your body would have enough "volume" for that note or not without having it in hand.

Halfway in between Tenor & Baritone, likely you'd be all right?

iDavid
03-04-2013, 07:50 PM
I was thinking of getting a 16 inch scale concert. What tuning would you recommend for that?

southcoastukes
03-04-2013, 08:36 PM
I was thinking of getting a 16 inch scale concert. What tuning would you recommend for that?

Well, I won't answer that one directly - don't want to hijack the Tenor thread. Drop me an e-mail, David.

When it comes to scale, one thing to remember is that it only affects the strings. A longer scale means that for any given range of notes, you will either get a higher tension or use lighter gauges. Whether that's good or bad depends on what tuning you're looking for and what sort of tension you (and your instrument) prefer.

When it comes to selecting that range of notes, in other words, selecting your tuning, we've got a guide for that in our "Guide". You need to look at the lowest note of the tuning in relation to the body resonance. That's why things change, for example, when going from high reentrant to linear tunings. Your low note is different.

On page 2 of the "Tunings" section on the website, we give Kawika Hurd's typical resonances for each of the Ukulele bodies, a tuning chart that covers an entire octave (in high reentrant, low reentrant and linear) and an explantion of how to tie that info together and come up with a resonant tuning.