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View Full Version : Original tenor uke tuning help (dGBE)



hammer40
01-02-2014, 03:03 AM
I've just recently read that the original tuning for the uke was dGBE. I would like to try that on one of my (tenor) ukes, just to hear how it sounds. Can I just change the tuning with my current (Fremont black line) tenor strings or do I need to special/different strings to do it?

cdkrugjr
01-02-2014, 04:07 AM
That probably won't work terribly well. You'll probably be too slack to be playable in that tuning with "normal" strings.

Southcoast makes several reentrant sets that'll tune to G on a tenor ("Heavy Medium" w/ various winding options) and doubtless other makers do as well.

cigarfan
01-02-2014, 04:18 AM
Don't think you will have much success with tuning much beyond a full step down (FBbDG) without the strings being very floppy. I play my tenors regularly at a half step down (F#BD#G#) and they sound awesome. Much better for my singing range which isn't what it used to be.

hammer40
01-02-2014, 04:32 AM
That probably won't work terribly well. You'll probably be too slack to be playable in that tuning with "normal" strings.

Southcoast makes several reentrant sets that'll tune to G on a tenor ("Heavy Medium" w/ various winding options) and doubtless other makers do as well.


Don't think you will have much success with tuning much beyond a full step down (FBbDG) without the strings being very floppy. I play my tenors regularly at a half step down (F#BD#G#) and they sound awesome. Much better for my singing range which isn't what it used to be.


Thanks for the help. I kind f figured it would require different strings. If I may ask another question, is it just the diameter that I need to address? If so, can I just go the individual classical string route in diameters that would be sufficient to reach that tuning?

iamesperambient
01-02-2014, 05:10 AM
I've just recently read that the original tuning for the uke was dGBE. I would like to try that on one of my (tenor) ukes, just to hear how it sounds. Can I just change the tuning with my current (Fremont black line) tenor strings or do I need to special/different strings to do it?

as far as I knew low g tuning was the
original tenor tuning set up. could be wrong
though

Jon Moody
01-02-2014, 05:14 AM
Thanks for the help. I kind f figured it would require different strings. If I may ask another question, is it just the diameter that I need to address? If so, can I just go the individual classical string route in diameters that would be sufficient to reach that tuning?

Yes and no. Depending on the strings you pick out, you can have two strings of different materials with the same gauge and have different tensions when tuned to pitch.

I would base the gauges that you want off a Baritone set as a starting point, and then use the same gauge for the d as you would the E.

cigarfan
01-02-2014, 05:56 AM
Thanks for the help. I kind f figured it would require different strings. If I may ask another question, is it just the diameter that I need to address? If so, can I just go the individual classical string route in diameters that would be sufficient to reach that tuning?

Bottom line you have to be sure total string tension is not going to implode your ukulele. Total tension can be determined as a combination of scale length, string material (nylon, fluorocarbon, etc.) and string diameter but good luck in finding a single place that gives you the ability to apply all of those. I found this guys page helpful: http://danlovesguitars.com/2012/08/uke-strings-tunings-technology/

It has a nice string tension calculator about halfway down the page.

wendellfiddler
01-02-2014, 06:19 AM
Aquila makes a set for that purpose (with a high G). I forget the set number, but it isn't too hard to find. I tried them once and they worked really well. They take a little getting used to because they're thicker across the instrument, of course, but play fine and sound nice. If you try them, give the strings and yourself some time to get used to the setup as it might feel real strange at first. Lyle Ritz tunes his tenor that way.

Doug

Jon Moody
01-02-2014, 07:54 AM
Bottom line you have to be sure total string tension is not going to implode your ukulele. Total tension can be determined as a combination of scale length, string material (nylon, fluorocarbon, etc.) and string diameter but good luck in finding a single place that gives you the ability to apply all of those. I found this guys page helpful: http://danlovesguitars.com/2012/08/uke-strings-tunings-technology/

You need to know the mass per inch of the string (removing any tapers, silked ends, ball ends from it if it has any to find the full "mass"), the scale length and the frequency of pitch you're planning on tuning the string to in order to get the correct tension. That calculator you reference is very nice, but it's assuming that you already know the tension of the string at its current pitch.

To calculate string tension, you use the three pieces of information I just mentioned, and plug them into this:

UW - Unit weight (measured in lb/in)
L - Scale length of instrument
F - Frequency or Pitch of open string

T (Tension) = (UW x (2 x L x F) / 386.4

hammer40
01-02-2014, 08:51 AM
Ok, this why I don't mess with the different tunings, my heads starts to spin. I'll look into what Southcoast has available in dGBE, but other than that I think I'll just skip it.

Jon Moody
01-02-2014, 09:24 AM
Ok, this why I don't mess with the different tunings, my heads starts to spin. I'll look into what Southcoast has available in dGBE, but other than that I think I'll just skip it.

Try working at a string company. All of this info comes at you at once.

You can try this set, which I based off our baritone uke strings, and tension-wise should be fine on the smaller tenor neck. The first number is the Part #, and second is the gauge

d = 101 (.028, black nylon)
G = 103 (.029w, phosphor bronze)
B = 102 (.036, black nylon)
E = 101 (.028, black nylon)

SailQwest
01-02-2014, 09:28 AM
I'd also recommend trying some Southcoasts.

My husband and I tune our tenors dGBE. He plays re-entrant G tenors almost exclusively. I mainly play re-entrant C concerts, but I get in at least a couple of hours a week on a tenor.

We've tried lots of different strings over the years (the usual suspects). Southcoast heavy, no wound, are my current favorite.

(The Guadalupe Custom fibre cores are my absolute favorites, sound-wise, but...)

hammer40
01-02-2014, 11:07 AM
Try working at a string company. All of this info comes at you at once.

You can try this set, which I based off our baritone uke strings, and tension-wise should be fine on the smaller tenor neck. The first number is the Part #, and second is the gauge

d = 101 (.028, black nylon)
G = 103 (.029w, phosphor bronze)
B = 102 (.036, black nylon)
E = 101 (.028, black nylon)


Thanks for the help, I was hoping for a direct "use this" answer for my music theory challenged brain.



I'd also recommend trying some Southcoasts.

My husband and I tune our tenors dGBE. He plays re-entrant G tenors almost exclusively. I mainly play re-entrant C concerts, but I get in at least a couple of hours a week on a tenor.

We've tried lots of different strings over the years (the usual suspects). Southcoast heavy, no wound, are my current favorite.

(The Guadalupe Custom fibre cores are my absolute favorites, sound-wise, but...)

I'm encouraged to hear that somebody has tried, and is, using the tuning. Renews my desire to figure it all out and try it.

cigarfan
01-02-2014, 11:15 AM
Ok, this why I don't mess with the different tunings, my heads starts to spin. I'll look into what Southcoast has available in dGBE, but other than that I think I'll just skip it.

Amen to that. Smart choice!

powdrell
01-05-2014, 11:04 AM
Good timing on this thread...was searching archives for DGBE Tenor tuning......lots of good info. Couldn't find anything at local shop...so....found some Worth Extra Thick Clear Tenor Low G ...D=.0433", C=.0319", E=.0291", A=0.0224".....

Wondering if anyone has used these for DGBE Tenor tuning. How does it compare to Southcoast??

And, does Aquila make DGBE strings?.....website didn't seems to show it...maybe it's me.....local shop doesn't carry Aquila DGBE

Thanks, doug.