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View Full Version : Too soon for Low-G?



armchair_spaceman
05-15-2013, 09:16 PM
Newb question...I've only been at this about 6 weeks but I've had a lot of time on my hands so making what I think is some good progress learning a few chords and trying out some songs, as well as doing Uncle Rod's boot camp stuff. I also like to try to sing along a bit and my voice is at the deeper end. Seems some of the songs I'm mucking about with might work for me better pitched a little lower. My Uke is a Kala Spruce/Mahogany tenor (KA_STE_C).

My question is...would there be any disadvantage to my learning, technical or otherwise, in going to Low G this early on?

PhilUSAFRet
05-15-2013, 11:31 PM
You need to learn to chord songs in a lower key. If you get a low g and play all of your songs in C, you will not have accomplished anything.

jop
05-15-2013, 11:36 PM
Changing to low g won't change the pitch of the song. If you want to sing in a lower pitch, you need to transpose the chords (eg. g to d, d to a, c to g and so on).

I might add that, as long as you are strumming chords, low g is neither harder nor easier than high g - in fact you probably wouldn't notice any difference.

OldePhart
05-16-2013, 03:38 AM
What the others have said, plus two other things. One, you usually don't want an instrument that is centered in the same octave that your voice is. I have a fairly deep singing voice and I find that it sounds better when I sing with a tenor or soprano uke than when I sing with a baritone uke - even when playing in the same key.

Two - while there is nothing inherently wrong with a low G it is the reentrant tuning that gives the uke much of it's charm. I personally think it's better for a beginner to develop an appreciation for the "real" uke tuning before they move on to make it "a little guitar." :)

John

wayfarer75
05-16-2013, 04:38 AM
I just experimented with low G for a little while, but I removed the strings last night and went back to high G. I feel like it doesn't suit the ukulele. I only have one solid koa concert and one laminate soprano, and it was the concert I strung low G. I found that I like my bright sparkling koa uke better in high G. I would like to get another concert or a tenor (if I think I can deal with the scale) and have that one strung low G. And I would, frankly, think of that low G uke as a mini guitar and not a uke.

Personally, I like the low G for playing solos, not so much for accompanying my singing. I didn't like just strumming with low G. But it never hurts to give it a try and see what you think. It's just a few $$ for strings.

~dave~~wave~
05-16-2013, 11:11 AM
My question is...would there be any disadvantage to my learning, technical or otherwise, in going to Low G this early on?

With all due respect to the "little guitar" naysayers, here's something to consider.

There's value in being able to pick out single note melodies on the uke, especially if you sing.

A re-entrant uke can't sound a note below middle C, but look at a Daily Uke book and notice how many melody lines go below the staff. That's where us grown-up boys sing.

On a re-entrant uke, you must transpose up an octave to hear the proper intervals on anything written below middle C.
I don't see that as beginner friendly or singer friendly.

When I'm trying to learn the vocal to a song, I always reach for a low g uke to hear the melody in the correct octave.

SailingUke
05-16-2013, 11:51 AM
Like the others have said, just experiment and see what you like.
The high/low g is a conspiracy to make us all buy another ukulele.
My personal taste I like the high g for strumming and the low g for solos (because of the notes below middle c)
I also find many of the jazz/swing tunes sound better to me with a low g.

BlueLatitude
05-16-2013, 11:55 AM
I like the extra notes with the Low G. And my favorite tune books (the ones by Pekelo and Daniel Ho) use Low G tuning.

armchair_spaceman
05-17-2013, 02:01 PM
Thanks everyone, a mix of views and some good food for thought there. Reckon I'll have a go at both approaches :)

igorthebarbarian
05-17-2013, 09:59 PM
This just sounds like a reason to buy another uke and keep it strung in Low-G. Give in to the inevitable UAS.

ChaosToo
05-17-2013, 11:14 PM
My tenor is strung low G and I love the sound it makes. I guess it comes down to personal taste, but as others have said, it doesn't really transpose the tune, just gives it a fuller lower register ...... :D

AirCanuck
05-18-2013, 06:35 AM
Hehe great question, there is a low G string sitting in my case, laughing at me while I practice, he mocks me, he dares me, but I resist. And am also new enough to be intimidated by a re-string for now!

hibiscus
05-18-2013, 02:18 PM
This has been an interesting thread! (Go for one of each:-)

wayfarer75
05-18-2013, 02:36 PM
This just sounds like a reason to buy another uke and keep it strung in Low-G. Give in to the inevitable UAS.

An excellent reason.

PereBourik
05-18-2013, 02:40 PM
Hehe great question, there is a low G string sitting in my case, laughing at me while I practice, he mocks me, he dares me, but I resist. And am also new enough to be intimidated by a re-string for now!

C'mon. If you can do UU, you can do a restring. There are plenty of Youtube videos to show you how. First time has a learning curve, sure. But knowing how to change strings separates players from the rest.

7warriorlion
05-18-2013, 02:43 PM
This might be interesting:
http://beginnersuke.tumblr.com/post/29554593564/a-couple-more-visual-aids-on-low-g-versus
http://beginnersuke.tumblr.com/post/29554575202/i-think-this-really-illustrates-nicely-the
http://beginnersuke.tumblr.com/post/29554378467/range-comparison-re-entrant-ukulele-tuning-high

SweetWaterBlue
05-18-2013, 03:25 PM
James Hill (and most other Canadians that started playing in grade school under the Chalmers Doane method) seemed to do OK with it. Much easier to teach beginners IMO.

armchair_spaceman
05-18-2013, 08:16 PM
This just sounds like a reason to buy another uke and keep it strung in Low-G. Give in to the inevitable UAS.

Hehehehe I was waiting for that, now I feel like I have permission ;)

7warriorlion
05-19-2013, 03:43 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7eX7r_JOp8
Uke got mail Ep 14: Low G or High G... THAT is the question

redpaul1
05-20-2013, 12:31 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7eX7r_JOp8
Uke got mail Ep 14: Low G or High G... THAT is the question
Just wonderin' what the video was of :)

ichadwick
05-20-2013, 01:15 PM
My question is...would there be any disadvantage to my learning, technical or otherwise, in going to Low G this early on?
There is no difference between high and low g aside from the octave difference in the note itself. Chord are all the same. Low G may give you opportunity to play some lower-note runs. The song remains the same.

neversnow
05-22-2013, 01:32 AM
This just sounds like a reason to buy another uke and keep it strung in Low-G. Give in to the inevitable UAS.

I never thought there need to be a reason :) one in every size, then ........

armchair_spaceman
06-05-2013, 03:52 AM
OK so I've satisfied my curiosity, at least for the rime being. I tried Low G (living water strings) on my spruce top Kala tenor and I didn't care for it, at least not on that uke. The spruce top is a little bit guitar-like in tone anyway(which is part of why I like it) but to my ears the Low-G took it too far that way. Might try it again sometime on another uke, when the inevitable UAS kicks in.