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hoosierhiver
01-09-2014, 07:02 AM
Some of you know that G C E A wasn't always the standard for tuning ukuleles. Back in the 20's it was A D F# B.

Today I'm wondering when G C E A became the standard. Presumably it wasn't overnight. Was it Ukulele Ike or someone else who changed history? anybody know?

SailingUke
01-09-2014, 07:23 AM
I have been told that ADF#B became a standard tuning during vaudeville days in the big halls before electronics.
The higher tuning made the sopranos louder and cut through other music.

hammer40
01-09-2014, 07:23 AM
I'm not sure how accurate this is, but it's what I've read about the beginnings of the ukulele.

Ukulele History
The original ukuleles were a combination of several instruments from the Iberian Peninsula of Europe brought to Hawaii along with sailors and plantation workers in the 1880s. The ukulele combined elements from the Cavaquinho from Portugal and the Braguinha and Raj„o from Maderia near the Canary Islands.

The Cavaquinho looks like a little guitar with four strings. The Portuguese sailors brought their cavaquinhos on their travels in the 15th and 16th centuries, spreading the instrument to other cultures, influencing the Maderia Braguinha, Brazilian Cavaquinho, and the ukulele in Hawaii. The Raj„o, also from Madeira, has 5 strings and its D-G-C-E-A tuning is thought to be the root of modern ukulele tuning. Today's Hawaiian soprano ukulele has 4 strings, just like the Braguinha, but is tuned G-C-E-A just like the Raj„o.

Jon Moody
01-09-2014, 07:28 AM
I was told that the originator of the gCEA tuning was firmly against any tuning fork or pitch pipe of any kind, stating that he had perfect pitch and could tune his instrument to itself quite easily.

(This is meant entirely in jest, poking fun at some previously heated posts. Meant in fun. Again, meant in fun)

della-belle
01-09-2014, 07:29 AM
I'm sorry if this is a silly question but is it possible to tune a soprano up to the A D F# B with the regular GCEA strings or would that put too much tension on them? It's something I've been wanting to try but I'm wary of snapped strings or putting pressure on the neck.

Jon Moody
01-09-2014, 07:35 AM
I'm sorry if this is a silly question but is it possible to tune a soprano up to the A D F# B with the regular GCEA strings or would that put too much tension on them? It's something I've been wanting to try but I'm wary of snapped strings or putting pressure on the neck.

Depends on your strings. If it's a nylon set, I doubt you'll have any issue at all. If it's a fluorocarbon set, I'd tread a bit more lightly.

BlueSockMonkey
01-09-2014, 07:38 AM
I have been told that ADF#B became a standard tuning during vaudeville days in the big halls before electronics.
The higher tuning made the sopranos louder and cut through other music.

I've heard a similar suggestion that use of the higher tuning was due to the crude capabilities of early phonograph recordings. As recording techniques improved, maybe people reverted to 19th century standards--the earliest documented tuning for the ukulele, from an 1894 instruction manual, is gCEA.

Based on a cursory glance at the chord charts for higher tuning, gCEA looks easier to me, especially for people with little fingers--so perhaps the shift back to gCEA came during the 50s.

Does anybody have a collection of old instruction books to consult?

hoosierhiver
01-09-2014, 07:42 AM
I'm sorry if this is a silly question but is it possible to tune a soprano up to the A D F# B with the regular GCEA strings or would that put too much tension on them? It's something I've been wanting to try but I'm wary of snapped strings or putting pressure on the neck.

I'd de-tune it and take off the extra tension when you are done playing it just to be safe.

della-belle
01-09-2014, 07:42 AM
Depends on your strings. If it's a nylon set, I doubt you'll have any issue at all. If it's a fluorocarbon set, I'd tread a bit more lightly.

Thanks, I have an old Mahalo floating around so I'll try it on that first I think :)

TG&Y
01-09-2014, 09:01 AM
I've wondered exactly the same thing. I have Ian's collection of vintage sheet music from the teens, 20's and 30's (that earlier teens and 20's - jeez I'm getting old) and the tunings wander all around. If nothing else, it seems those folks then might have had a lot more chord shapes under their belt than I do. I barely make my way through the mine-field of gCEA!


Some of you know that G C E A wasn't always the standard for tuning ukuleles. Back in the 20's it was A D F# B.

Today I'm wondering when G C E A became the standard. Presumably it wasn't overnight. Was it Ukulele Ike or someone else who changed history? anybody know?

janeray1940
01-09-2014, 09:04 AM
I asked a similar question here (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?31577-D-Tuning-why-did-it-fall-out-of-favor)a few years back and never really got an answer, but it was an interesting discussion nonetheless.

Captain America
01-09-2014, 10:52 AM
I like the higher sounding tuning better than gcea.

SailingUke
01-09-2014, 11:22 AM
I've wondered exactly the same thing. I have Ian's collection of vintage sheet music from the teens, 20's and 30's (that earlier teens and 20's - jeez I'm getting old) and the tunings wander all around. If nothing else, it seems those folks then might have had a lot more chord shapes under their belt than I do. I barely make my way through the mine-field of gCEA!

With GCEA and ADF#B the chord shapes are the same, but the name is different.
The higher tuning is a whole step higher.
A GCEA "C" chord shape would be a "D" in ADF#B tuning.

TG&Y
01-09-2014, 11:42 AM
Yes, you're right. I misspoke. Chord names. Although there are some real looper odd-ball chords and chord-shapes in those old music sheets!
I love my capo.


With GCEA and ADF#B the chord shapes are the same, but the name is different.
The higher tuning is a whole step higher.
A GCEA "C" chord shape would be a "D" in ADF#B tuning.

SailingUke
01-09-2014, 11:51 AM
Yes, you're right. I misspoke. Chord names. Although there are some real looper odd-ball chords and chord-shapes in those old music sheets!
I love my capo.

The way I handle this is learn where the root note of the chord is (under which finger), then I know the name of the chord when I move the shape.
Of course this method does not work when you leave the root out of the chord because of only having four strings.

OldePhart
01-09-2014, 12:10 PM
I keep my Mainland mango soprano tuned up to ADF#B with concert-gage Ko'Olau Gold strings - it's been two years now with no problems.

On the other hand, if you're looking at a very valuable uke more care might be warranted.

Edit - oh, and about a year ago I converted that uke to a string-through-body. Of course, I've got even heavier strings on my Mainland mahogany soprano without having converted the bridge (though it is tuned to C, not D).

John

Barbablanca
01-09-2014, 12:43 PM
I got a cheap soprano Uke from a LIDL supermarket a while back as a beater / beach uke, etc. Even though I'd played about twenty of them in the store to find the best of the batch, it still sounded a bit flat in GCEA, even after putting better strings on. Then I remembered that the standard Uke tuning in Germany is apparently ADF#B and I thought that as Lidl is a German company, perhaps they'd got their East Asian manufacturer to build for that. I tuned her up and found I had another instrument in my hands. :cool:

You can see and hear it on my "Aristocat's Outtake" song here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mygnlxE6USQ):

uke4ia
01-09-2014, 02:21 PM
In decades past, I used to hear the ADF#B referred to as "Island Tuning" and the GCEA as "Mainland Tuning".

Nickie
01-09-2014, 02:32 PM
Some of you know that G C E A wasn't always the standard for tuning ukuleles. Back in the 20's it was A D F# B.

Today I'm wondering when G C E A became the standard. Presumably it wasn't overnight. Was it Ukulele Ike or someone else who changed history? anybody know?

Lil Rev showed us the D tuning last week. I tuned one of my ukes to it, and quickly discovered why most of us prefer to play C tuning....the chords are harder (for me). But it's really pretty, easier to sing in D than C, for me....

OldePhart
01-09-2014, 04:32 PM
I remember reading here a year or so ago from some of our Canadian members that ADF#B is still considered "standard" at least in large parts of Canada.

Tootler
01-09-2014, 11:30 PM
I got a cheap soprano Uke from a LIDL supermarket a while back as a beater / beach uke, etc. Even though I'd played about twenty of them in the store to find the best of the batch, it still sounded a bit flat in GCEA, even after putting better strings on. Then I remembered that the standard Uke tuning in Germany is apparently ADF#B and I thought that as Lidl is a German company, perhaps they'd got their East Asian manufacturer to build for that. I tuned her up and found I had another instrument in my hands. :cool:

You can see and hear it on my "Aristocat's Outtake" song here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mygnlxE6USQ):

IIRC, the leaflet that came with the Lidl uke said it was for ADF#B tuning. That said my Lidl uke lives in the car boot so I have one to hand if I find myself with time to kill when I'm out so I leave it in GCEA.

I notice the Bruko website suggest ADF#B for their sopranos.

I have a Kala I keep tuned in D and I like it better that way. It has living water strings on and the tension seems OK.

I have a George Formby songbook and different tunings are suggested for different songs. As well as regular C and D tunings, they suggest BbEbGC (Eb tuning) for some songs.

Captain America
01-10-2014, 03:10 AM
Interesting about concert strings on a soprano: what seems to be the chief difference/improvement? You've got me very curious! :)

OldePhart
01-10-2014, 04:48 AM
Interesting about concert strings on a soprano: what seems to be the chief difference/improvement? You've got me very curious! :)

A little bit higher tension. I like higher tension and as a general rule higher tension strings seem to intonate a little better up the neck, all else being equal. You can go too far, of course, my KoAloha ukes don't like high tension at all.

John

janeray1940
01-10-2014, 05:23 AM
A little bit higher tension. I like higher tension and as a general rule higher tension strings seem to intonate a little better up the neck, all else being equal.

Seconding all of that - I tend to use concert strings on my sopranos, and tenor strings on my concert uke. I hate floppy strings!

I've tried tuning to D on both but it makes it too tricky when I'm playing with others since it means transposing on the fly (not exactly one of my strengths!).

iamesperambient
01-10-2014, 05:23 AM
Some of you know that G C E A wasn't always the standard for tuning ukuleles. Back in the 20's it was A D F# B.

Today I'm wondering when G C E A became the standard. Presumably it wasn't overnight. Was it Ukulele Ike or someone else who changed history? anybody know?

I knew in the 20's that the D tuning was the standard wasn't sure why.
When i first started to play uke 11 years ago and knew nothing about them so i bought a chord book, and it was for D tuning. I figure this was how ukes were normally tuned after about a month of studying the chord book and getting some songs down, i started to want to learn songs from the magnetic fields which i quickly found were tuned differently than i discovered C was the more common tuning for ukulele than had to transpose chords (which eventually learning how to do that helped me with learning other instruments and tunings etc). While i don't care much for D tuning i find on cheaper ukes its the only tuning that actually works with them and keeps in tune, other wise its just too high, too tight and too plinky for me.

I Ukulista
06-21-2014, 09:10 AM
I think ADF#B has always been around in South America and Spain, plus Canada and England before 1950 and GCEA came from Hawaii via the Portuguese Rajao tuned DGCEA...And that when GCEA became the main tuning in the USA it was realised that there a only pure notes on the C scale and if you capo at the second fret you can have ADF#B any way.

iamesperambient
06-21-2014, 11:26 AM
I think ADF#B has always been around in South America and Spain, plus Canada and England before 1950 and GCEA came from Hawaii via the Portuguese Rajao tuned DGCEA...And that when GCEA became the main tuning in the USA it was realised that there a only pure notes on the C scale and if you capo at the second fret you can have ADF#B any way.

I still consider 3 tunings standard C6, D6 and G6. I use all 3 of them.

CeeJay
06-21-2014, 12:46 PM
I was told that the originator of the gCEA tuning was firmly against any tuning fork or pitch pipe of any kind, stating that he had perfect pitch and could tune his instrument to itself quite easily.

(This is meant entirely in jest, poking fun at some previously heated posts. Meant in fun. Again, meant in fun)

Well knowing this place like I now do ...Good Luck with that !!



Most sheet music from about the 30's and 40's right that was published up to the 60s and even the 70s carried the tuning for each song above the first line of the stave....three most popular were GCEA ,ADF#B and BbEbGC...this meant that you could use a lot of the "easier "chord shapes to play the basic accompaniement

C D and Eb chords would be 0003 in each key ....George Formby and probably others kept a selection of Banjo ukuleles tuned in the various keys for the different songs.


You will be able to play all of the keys in GCEA tuning by just learning the chords ...like you do on a guitar ...and equally with any tuning ...once you know the name and the shape of the chord....there might be a difference in the tensions (or you could go up the neck and increase the tension that way)

PeteyHoudini
06-21-2014, 01:00 PM
I remember reading here a year or so ago from some of our Canadian members that ADF#B is still considered "standard" at least in large parts of Canada.

Yeah, that Canadian ukulele teaching icon Chalmers Doane with his lesser-known sidekick Jim-boy Hill have been advocating D6 tuning for years! ;-) hehe
http://www.ukuleleintheclassroom.com/faq.htm#D6_C6

Indeed, D6 and C6 is almost a religious divisive factor crossing all sorts of borders.

I'm Canadian and I go for C6 in the Hawaiian angle. No more need for belting out Vaudeville anymore but that 1980s documentary on Roy Smeck tugs at the heart strings! 8-)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwkD1vB9xo4

cheers!

Petey

WKerrigan
06-21-2014, 03:37 PM
I retuned by Outdoor Ukulele Soprano to ADF#B, and concluded that the instrument is more suited for this tuning than GCEA.

Ukuleleblues
06-22-2014, 03:16 AM
I was told that the originator of the gCEA tuning was firmly against any tuning fork or pitch pipe of any kind, stating that he had perfect pitch and could tune his instrument to itself quite easily.

(This is meant entirely in jest, poking fun at some previously heated posts. Meant in fun. Again, meant in fun)
Even though you are saying this in fun it reminded me of a passage in the book "your brain on music". Some folks had the ability to identify pitch perfectly while others didn't. Some people could tune a string to a perfect C while others just got close. Based on their research it appeared to be dependent on how folks brains were wired. Although the capability can be learned, some folks have it right out the "box".

Ukejenny
06-22-2014, 05:18 AM
Even though you are saying this in fun it reminded me of a passage in the book "your brain on music". Some folks had the ability to identify pitch perfectly while others didn't. Some people could tune a string to a perfect C while others just got close. Based on their research it appeared to be dependent on how folks brains were wired. Although the capability can be learned, some folks have it right out the "box".

My college theory/orchestration professor had perfect pitch and it was amazing to watch him at work.

It seems that pianists and guitarists prefer sharp keys, when it comes to some genres. Some describe sharp key signatures as more powerful, passionate, or more happy than the flat keys, which can be described as more sedate. So, the sharps would sound "brighter" while the other keys would sound "darker". It has always intrigued me why certain minors sound so much sadder than other minors. Those subtle frequency differences really change gears in my brain, I guess.

So, if the sharp keys sound brighter and happier, that might make them preferable to a "sadder" sound.

Also, orchestras use sharps, which are better suited for the strings. This may influence how people have tried to tune other instruments. In the wind band world, instruments are naturally suited for sharps or flats.

OldePhart
06-22-2014, 09:08 AM
@Ukejenny...I've been told that one old "trick" of violin players who felt that they were being overrun by tin whistles at Irish trad sessions was to intentionally play a tad sharp. The whistles can't easily adjust, sound flat, and for most the human ear hears the "flat" instrument as the one that is "off" so people would encourage the whistle players to shut the heck up. LOL

Tin whistle and bohdran are the egg shakers of the Irish trad world...everybody thinks that they're simple instruments and "anyone can play one" - but darned few people can play them well.

John

Ukuleleblues
06-22-2014, 04:11 PM
I read somewhere that some orchestras tune to something over 440 so they sound more "brilliant and urgent"

http://music.stackexchange.com/questions/776/why-are-orchestras-tuned-differently

Ukejenny
06-22-2014, 07:02 PM
@Ukejenny...I've been told that one old "trick" of violin players who felt that they were being overrun by tin whistles at Irish trad sessions was to intentionally play a tad sharp. The whistles can't easily adjust, sound flat, and for most the human ear hears the "flat" instrument as the one that is "off" so people would encourage the whistle players to shut the heck up. LOL

Tin whistle and bohdran are the egg shakers of the Irish trad world...everybody thinks that they're simple instruments and "anyone can play one" - but darned few people can play them well.

John

It's true - I'd rather be a tad sharp than come in under pitch and sound like a sick goose (clarinet). My clarinet came with a short "northern" barrel and that kept me from being flat until I bought a special barrel that made me work to raise the pitch of some notes. It was worth it. But it makes sense, when you imagine someone singing out of tune, your mind generates a flat sound that is under pitch, right? Mine sure does.

I have a tin whistle. It is poorly made and it hurts to play - dang bagpipes are easier to wrangle.

Ukejenny
06-22-2014, 07:13 PM
I read somewhere that some orchestras tune to something over 440 so they sound more "brilliant and urgent"

http://music.stackexchange.com/questions/776/why-are-orchestras-tuned-differently

And between Europe, Great Britain and the New World, it was all over the place - 430's, 450's - differences could even exist in the same city. I don't think 440 was the magic number until around the time of the Civil War, and that was in Europe. Now you have 440 used by many and then just a wee bit higher. The last recorder I bought was a nice one and I remember the lady asking me who I would be playing with, because some recorders are pitched a bit higher and you need to match for blending.

The Big Kahuna
06-22-2014, 08:31 PM
... .... ... .... ... ... ... ....

Dude, did you spill something sticky on your keyboard?

:p

ichadwick
06-23-2014, 05:07 AM
Some of you know that G C E A wasn't always the standard for tuning ukuleles. Back in the 20's it was A D F# B.

Today I'm wondering when G C E A became the standard. Presumably it wasn't overnight. Was it Ukulele Ike or someone else who changed history? anybody know?
Well, it shared "standard" with two others (Bb Eb G C was another). I have song sheets dating from the early 1920s that have GCEA tuning.

ichadwick
06-23-2014, 05:08 AM
Does anybody have a collection of old instruction books to consult?

I have several thousand song sheets and books, mostly from 1924-34, all scanned to PDF.

CeeJay
06-23-2014, 12:01 PM
Dude, did you spill something sticky on your keyboard?

:p

What what what what what ? We'll have no stickiness on our keyboards heah !!

Ukejungle
06-23-2014, 12:06 PM
I imagine Dirk at South-coast Ukes could enlighten us all on this topic.

Ukejungle
06-23-2014, 12:17 PM
Yeah, that Canadian ukulele teaching icon Chalmers Doane with his lesser-known sidekick Jim-boy Hill have been advocating D6 tuning for years! ;-) hehe
http://www.ukuleleintheclassroom.com/faq.htm#D6_C6

Indeed, D6 and C6 is almost a religious divisive factor crossing all sorts of borders.

I'm Canadian and I go for C6 in the Hawaiian angle. No more need for belting out Vaudeville anymore but that 1980s documentary on Roy Smeck tugs at the heart strings! 8-)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwkD1vB9xo4

cheers!

Petey

I love this documentary and when Roy says, I picked up the money ($1250) and put it in the uke case (Awesome) , I think he might have needed a Tenor case to carry his Martin Soprano and all that cash. And I think this was before income taxes. Wow.

Ukuleleblues
06-23-2014, 06:43 PM
I have several thousand song sheets and books, mostly from 1924-34, all scanned to PDF.Ian, The longer I own the DVDs I bought from you the more I appreciate them!

If you all like the old stuff (like I do) this is Da Bomb!!!

http://www.ianchadwick.com/essays/musicbooks.htm

southcoastukes
06-24-2014, 11:03 AM
I'd say the rise occurred in the 1980s.

As a number of folks have mentioned, C tuning was around from the beginning. May Singhi Breen was both the person responsible for getting the publishing industry to start putting Ukulele chords on sheet music, as well as establishing D tuning as "Ukulele Standard Tuning".

Since most of the Ukuleles history revolved around the Soprano, or "Standard Ukulele", D tuning had a bunch of advantages. First, it's a natural from the standpoint of acoustics (C tuning came from the bigger-bodied Rajao/Taropatch fiddle). Second, the moderate tensions and the flexibility of gut and nylon strings allowed it to be tuned up or down without much problem.

Most just tuned where things felt good / sounded good, and that happened to be around D tuning. For those few who played in a band setting, however, tuning up to E flat, or down to C, gave you a range of tunings ideally suited to all sorts of music, from Folk to Tin Pan Alley to Bluesier Jazz. So everyone was pretty much content with D as the Standard Tuning, and C & E flat as the secondary tunings.

Then along came the Tenor. It was tuned in a reentrant G, and everyone ridiculed it as a music industry gimmick. Cliff Edwards and others moved the tuning up into the intermediate range with reentrant B flat (and maybe A tuning as well). It was much more at home there, but still the Tenor languished.

I think in a way, you could tie the rise in C tuning to the rise of the Tenor. At some point, someone figured out that while it was a bit on the high side, you could get by with reentrant C tuning on the Tenor. At that point, in many people's minds, it became a member of the Ukulele fraternity. It could be tuned like a "real" Ukulele. The Baritone was around by then, but it had taken over the "outsider" role.

On the Tenor, reentrant E flat was out of the question and reentrant D tuning was still too high. Linear D tuning would have been ideal, but linear tuning wasn't popular among "real" Ukulele players. So of the three Ukulele tunings, C tuning began to be looked on as a possibility for a "Universal Tuning" and many people began adopting the idea of the Tenor as a viable instrument - saving their disdain for the Baritone.

The publishing industry always catches on after the fact, but once they realized what was going on, they jumped all over this. Abandon the "Ukulele Standard", abandon any sort of secondary tuning: All Ukulele music henceforth in C tuning! Much simpler and more profitable. And the simplistic approach has had its good side as well. That approach has been a significant contributor to the latest rise in Ukulele popularity, so you can't say it was all bad.

And yes, Ian Chadwick's download contains the most beautiful Ukulele arrangements ever written. An incredible bargain, and worth having whether that's your style or not.

mr79
07-24-2014, 09:24 AM
I was wondering about this earlier - I saw a ukulele group playing, all different sizes from sopranino to tenor (didn't spot any baritones!). I noticed that the sound was pretty... well... like one person playing 30 times over and over.

If they had all been in different tunings (sopranos D, concert C, tenor Bb) would that have filled the sonic space differently, given a bit more colour to the song? Does everyone playing the same tuning make all ensemble groups sound like a massive reverb effect, or was that just this one group?

I was just thinking about brass bands, where each different scale and tuning of instrument fills the available space out... of course I'm probably wrong! I'm basically just learning (on a tenor), and I'm trying to decide whether to go for Bb tuning and learn it as a Bb instrument (and then learn D on a soprano when I want to play D and so on).

janeray1940
07-24-2014, 09:42 AM
If they had all been in different tunings (sopranos D, concert C, tenor Bb) would that have filled the sonic space differently, given a bit more colour to the song? Does everyone playing the same tuning make all ensemble groups sound like a massive reverb effect, or was that just this one group?


If they had been playing different tunings, they would likely have been playing all the same chords but forming them differently depending upon the tuning they used. But it still would have sounded like 30 people playing the same thing.

A true ensemble consists of multiple musicians playing different parts, e.g. melody, harmony, and chords - e.g. an orchestra. If you search YouTube for mandolin orchestra or horn orchestra, you'll see some great examples. But for some reason, "ukulele ensemble" and "ukulele orchestra" have come via popular usage to mean "a group of ukulele players strumming and singing" - even though this isn't really correct.

And you can see some examples of true ukulele ensembles here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJ4NzzkxOks&list=UU5rh_i-MPkvdnPuUVT_lFLw) and here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us0E3E17-Ds&list=UU5rh_i-MPkvdnPuUVT_lFLw). These are both groups that I play in; we're unusual in that we mostly play instrumentals.

SailingUke
07-24-2014, 10:22 AM
If they had been playing different tunings, they would likely have been playing all the same chords but forming them differently depending upon the tuning they used. But it still would have sounded like 30 people playing the same thing.

A true ensemble consists of multiple musicians playing different parts, e.g. melody, harmony, and chords - e.g. an orchestra. If you search YouTube for mandolin orchestra or horn orchestra, you'll see some great examples. But for some reason, "ukulele ensemble" and "ukulele orchestra" have come via popular usage to mean "a group of ukulele players strumming and singing" - even though this isn't really correct.

And you can see some examples of true ukulele ensembles here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJ4NzzkxOks&list=UU5rh_i-MPkvdnPuUVT_lFLw) and here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us0E3E17-Ds&list=UU5rh_i-MPkvdnPuUVT_lFLw). These are both groups that I play in; we're unusual in that we mostly play instrumentals.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain members not only play different parts, sometimes they play different songs.

mr79
07-24-2014, 10:45 AM
Ah, I see - the reason some groups all sound like they're playing identically is because they are - the songs are missing all the frilly bits that make them recognisable and interesting?

Your groups are brilliant janeray - I wish we had more like that around my part of the world!

janeray1940
07-24-2014, 10:56 AM
Ah, I see - the reason some groups all sound like they're playing identically is because they are - the songs are missing all the frilly bits that make them recognisable and interesting?

Your groups are brilliant janeray - I wish we had more like that around my part of the world!

Thanks so much! Really appreciate the kind words :)

For the most part, most uke groups I've seen keep things pretty simple in order to be all-inclusive - basically sticking with first position chords and well-known or popular songs. Sometimes there might be a leader who adds the frilly bits, but generally it's more about camaraderie and fun than being musically complex.

As SailingUke noted above, if you haven't checked out Ukulele Orchestra of GB, by all means do so. They manage to keep things both fun *and* complex :)