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View Full Version : Tenor tuning - do you prefer hi or low g?



Lend27
10-10-2013, 02:38 PM
I don't have alot of uke experience, and have never tried low g tuning, although I do play guitar.
Do you prefer low g or standard high g tuning?
I don't think I would like a wound low g.
Who sells unwound low g sets, and is it recommended on a tenor?

Thanks
Len

Steveperrywriter
10-10-2013, 02:49 PM
Low G, especially if you play blues. Lot of makers offer non-wound low-G. Try Living Water, Worth's.

Steve

kvehe
10-10-2013, 02:54 PM
Low G for me

Tim Mullins
10-10-2013, 03:10 PM
To me, the thing that defines a ukulele is the high-g reentrant tuning. It gives you those close-voiced chords that you can't get any other way. It also opens up a set of effects playing fingerstyle that you can't get otherwise. Its differences and limitations are also its strengths.

drjond56
10-10-2013, 03:20 PM
I use low G for playing fingerstyle, which is 90% of what I do on the uke. I use high G if I am strumming along with singers for some reason. I have two tenors, so I keep one in each tuning.

wendellfiddler
10-10-2013, 03:23 PM
To me, the thing that defines a ukulele is the high-g reentrant tuning. It gives you those close-voiced chords that you can't get any other way. It also opens up a set of effects playing fingerstyle that you can't get otherwise. Its differences and limitations are also its strengths.

I agree. There are some songs that the low G is really great for - for example Cry me a River or It don't mean a thing if it ....... But that's because the bass line in the chord melody line in each of them is so strong. But for the vast majority of music, I kind of find low G to be a bit washed out sounding - guitar like but not really enough so. So I enjoy playing the uke that sounds like a uke. And the high G is really cool for finger picking melody- like melodic 5 string banjo.

Duk

Patrick Madsen
10-10-2013, 03:23 PM
Same as DRjond. I play mostly in Linear (low) G for fingerpickin and jazz

Strumdaddy
10-10-2013, 04:32 PM
To me, the thing that defines a ukulele is the high-g reentrant tuning. It gives you those close-voiced chords that you can't get any other way. It also opens up a set of effects playing fingerstyle that you can't get otherwise. Its differences and limitations are also its strengths - Tim Mullins

Me too! I love re-entrant tuning - it's so...... UKEY! I wouldn't even attempt to justify it, or convince you. I came to the realisation that it was my natural element after years of trials of low G on all size ukes (most recently - after really holding out, on baritone too)
Try both tunings, and give them both a fair go ( I mean live with them for a long time) Play all sorts of music, in all sorts of climatic conditions, and wearing many different out-fits. Find your tuning Grasshopper

trowacat
10-10-2013, 05:25 PM
I have yet to dry a low g on a uke but after this thread im thinking of giving it a try since it seems a lot of people like it!

hent
10-10-2013, 05:47 PM
Like most of us I have one low g strung ukulele and I like it. But most of the time I find myself liking the standard hi g tuning. To me the sound really gives me the ukulele feel and sound. If you have a couple of ukes you can use one for low g and see how you like it.

Newportlocal
10-10-2013, 05:47 PM
I prefer Low G, but both are good and have their place.

Currently, I am using the ML-SW from here.
http://www.southcoastukes.com/linear.htm
Since you said you wanted unwound PhD makes a set I have used a lot.
You can buy them from the UU merchandise store.
http://ukeunderground.bigcartel.com/product/phd-tenor-low-g-pack
Or Living Water strings from Ken. He is a great guy.
http://www.kenmiddleton.co.uk/Pages/LWS.aspx
Worth strings are also very popular.
Good luck on your journey.

vanflynn
10-10-2013, 05:55 PM
Sopranos and concerts - gotta be high G.

For tenor - depends if you're pickin or strumin. Low G for pickin only, otherwise just go play a guitar

(Quickly ducking now :) )

Raygf
10-10-2013, 10:48 PM
I prefer reentrant tuning on tenor, but I currently have 2 tenors low G. My favorite way to play low G is the Southcoast GCEA strings for baritone.

Lend27
10-11-2013, 04:29 AM
Would I have to recut the nut to try a low G?

Len

cigarfan
10-11-2013, 04:42 AM
The nut slot may or may not need work. Depends on the uke and the size of the lowG string you pick. An unwound string will most likely work with no modification but a wound string may require slot widening. Although some have suggested a nailfile, I would take it to a luthier for the work. They will make sure your intonation remains intact.

Sporin
10-11-2013, 04:59 AM
I prefer my Islander Tenor in Low g. Though I've tried many and go back and forth often, I think I generally prefer UNwound as well (currently using Worth Brown's and very pleased with the tone.,)

I tried low g on my Kala concert and didn't like it though. On that uke, I prefer reentrant tuning (high g) and really like D'addario Jstrings.

wrestlingmatt51
10-11-2013, 05:01 AM
It just depends on the style of playing, but with what I play, I usually use a Low G

Osprey
10-11-2013, 05:06 AM
Another reason for a 2nd tenor. One for reentrant tuning and one for low G.

Hmmm

cdkrugjr
10-11-2013, 06:58 AM
Another reason for a 2nd tenor. One for reentrant tuning and one for low G.

Hmmm

I was sure I needed three baritones. One tuned G linear (stock), one tuned Cuatro C (1st string reentrant) and Linear C (Tenor low-G) . . .

SailingUke
10-11-2013, 07:28 AM
The nut slot may or may not need work. Depends on the uke and the size of the lowG string you pick. An unwound string will most likely work with no modification but a wound string may require slot widening. Although some have suggested a nailfile, I would take it to a luthier for the work. They will make sure your intonation remains intact.

I believe you may have this backwards. A wound string is smaller diameter than an unwound low g.
I like the La Bella flat wound polished low g.
High g and low g are both good, so yes at least two ukes !!

Hammond
10-11-2013, 07:39 AM
From time to time I change preference, now I prefer linear tuning.

Five Ways
10-11-2013, 08:07 AM
For me mainly high g but I have one of my older tenors an ohana with low g.

wendellfiddler
10-11-2013, 08:13 AM
The nut slot may or may not need work. Depends on the uke and the size of the lowG string you pick. An unwound string will most likely work with no modification but a wound string may require slot widening. Although some have suggested a nailfile, I would take it to a luthier for the work. They will make sure your intonation remains intact.

No, no, no. wound strings are smaller diameter than low plain strings. The weight of the winding enables the string to play the lower pitch without increased diameter. The opposite of this poster's statement is true. If you use unwound low G's you very likely will have to increase the width of the nut, but with a wound string (e.g., Aquila low G wound) you may not have to change it

Duk

BIGDB
10-11-2013, 08:39 AM
I only use high g. Most of the songs that I play or want to learn how to play are played in high g.

DaveY
10-11-2013, 08:43 AM
I agree that high-g gives the uke the ukey sound. But . . . I have a concert for the ukey sound, and my tenor is in low-G because I like (and use) the extra notes, and also know that I'll never play guitar, anyway. (I also plug in, sometimes through a multi-effects pedal, so I'm about as impure as can be.) I have Fremont Blacklines (with an unwound low G) on an Islander tenor, and did not need to modify the nut slot.

pekelo
10-11-2013, 10:23 AM
I've got several ukes & always keep at least one in a hi-G
but the others including a martin tenor are in lo-G
I wrote my uke books (& CD recording) for mostly lo-G but have added notes up front
for the hi-G options
pekelo
www.pekelosbooks.com

HBolte
10-11-2013, 10:25 AM
The music that you play/want to play should dictate your string choice.

GASguy
10-11-2013, 10:38 AM
I really like both high G or reentrant and low G or linear tuning on tenors.

I love high G on my Kaneli'a ukuleles and I love my low G Compass Rose ukes; you can have your cake and eat it too!

JulianUker
10-11-2013, 12:32 PM
Another vote for low-G. Soprano and Concert are high -G

Doc_J
10-11-2013, 01:32 PM
Linear on most tenors. Reentrant on sopranos and concerts, and some tenors.

Dan Uke
10-11-2013, 02:06 PM
I personally think if you want that "uke" sound...go for a soprano uke.

southcoastukes
10-11-2013, 03:26 PM
My personal preference (and not truly answering the question):

Ukulele reentrant B flat on a standard Tenor (Ukulele reentrant A or G if you've got a longer scale model), and Linear or Open D tuning on a standard Tenor (linear or open C if you've got a long scale).

As many have said - it's good to have two!

Bao
10-11-2013, 03:50 PM
Though I mostly create high G instrumentals, I'd like to dabble in low G once in a while which is why I strung one of my tenors like that

Hochapeafarm
10-11-2013, 04:12 PM
Hi, Len ~

Funny timing seeing your thread -- I just bought my first set of Low G strings for my Martin tenor; I purchased PhD Low G strings from the UU Merch web site. I, personally, prefer Low G by far, hands-down, to High G. (I'd put that all in caps, but I know folks don't like shouting, i.e., using caps -- but, that's how excited I am about the Low G sound). I loooooove it! :cool:

Re: the other part of your question about unwound Low G...I didn't want a wound Low G string, and that is one reason why I went with the PhD Low G set as it came with an unwound Low G. (I don't know if they make a wound one or not.)

I am super thrilled with these new strings. I must say that I also really liked the original Martin M620s that came on my uke, but I had to go back to a Low G after having been bitten by the Low G bug when I used to have a KoAloha tenor that came strung with Low G (although you can request High G, too, if you want that).

itsme
10-11-2013, 04:26 PM
I like both. Currently I have six tenors, two are in low G.

Flyinby
10-11-2013, 08:09 PM
I have several tenors, only one in low G. I like the low G for picking some tunes, but most of the time I'll go up an octave instead. Even my baritone, which is normal baritone tuning now, will eventually get a new set of strings for GCEA tuning, possibly with high G. For strumming, I don't really care for the low G sound because I may as well use a guitar. Re-entrant tuning to me gives the uke its unique sound, regardless of soprano, concert, or tenor.

marymac
10-11-2013, 08:45 PM
Low g exclusively. The only uke I have in high g is a concert I use for occasional mangling of John King songs.