PDA

View Full Version : Low G/ High G?



Edgeguy
03-03-2014, 10:23 AM
A song that is written in Low G and played in High G will it be even recognizable with the High G string? I only have one good uke and it is in High G, but there are songs I want to learn that are in Low G. I have played a Low G uke in a group with High G ukes and really did not notice a difference (probably my ears). So I was wondering if the reverse is true?

janeray1940
03-03-2014, 10:27 AM
Are you talking about chord strumming, or lead/melody? The whole point of low G (as I understand it and use it) is to get several notes below middle C, which are all found on the low G string and cannot be found on a reentrant uke. So if it's for melody, if the song goes below middle C, then no, it won't work.

It's easier to go the other way - play a song arranged for reentrant on a low G uke, where you will have all the notes (but will have to get that high G on the second string, 3rd fret).

SeattleSean
03-03-2014, 11:04 AM
Agree with Janeray. If you're strumming & singing, it will sound different with a low-G than a re-entrant tuner, just because there's a lower note in there. Some people like that and some don't, but it doesn't make a difference in what songs you can play.

If you're playing melody notes, then you need to do a scan if there's any notes below C. If there are, then the song won't work, if there aren't, then you're good to go. I can think of at least a couple songs that have literally one single note in the whole song that's below middle C, and therefore you can't play on a re-entrant uke, which is a little annoying, but definitely something to be aware of.

If you don't have a low-G or for some reason you don't want to go there, you can try to transpose the song to another key where there aren't any sub- middle-C notes. Or, you can play around with substitute notes or a chord that can go there instead of the dastardly note, as there may be a clever way around it.

Good luck.

OldePhart
03-03-2014, 11:05 AM
Don't forget that if you are playing solo you can always just transpose a song up a few steps, too. If, for example, you have a song you want to play where the lowest melody note is the A below the open-C string you can just transpose the song up three half-steps. Now, your lowest note is a C and you can play it on strings 1-3 of a reentrant uke.

John

TheCraftedCow
03-04-2014, 11:03 AM
The first song played to the USA from Hawaii in 1939 was a song that really requires the low g string. If your primary uke is reentrant, there are any number of less expensive ones which can be used for the songs which require anything up to 5 half steps lower than the middle C of the piano. Depending on what style of music you play; a low g string and the A string as a g string pulled up a whole step is a "WOW" kind of sound. Some love it...and some hate it.. Put a low note to the outside no matter which way you strum---up or down.

Dougf
03-04-2014, 12:11 PM
... Depending on what style of music you play; a low g string and the A string as a g string pulled up a whole step is a "WOW" kind of sound. Some love it...and some hate it.. Put a low note to the outside no matter which way you strum---up or down.

I'm not sure I would describe it as a WOW sound, but definitely interesting. I used it out of necessity when I made this video due to my bridge pin popping out, probably from the cold. I finally tuned the A string down an octave, which meant less tension than if it had been a low-g gauge string, but I think I like the sound.

Nature Boy in the snow (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrErAF7ow18)

greenie44
03-04-2014, 12:21 PM
Depending on what style of music you play; a low g string and the A string as a g string pulled up a whole step is a "WOW" kind of sound.

Well, that certainly sounds interesting - not that I am looking for another excuse to get another uke, mind you.

I never paid much attention to this for a long time, but I ended up in a situation where I had two 4 sting tenor ukes filling the same 'spot'. I was going to sell off one of them until, as a last try, I changed it to a low G. Now that was a "wow" - both because it fit the instrument well (Kanile'a Super Tenor) and the sound was distinctly different. So I kept both of them, and I am frequently surprised by which one sounds better on a particular tune. Fun having both!

Ukejenny
03-04-2014, 04:40 PM
I really like having a ukulele with a low G as well as another one with a high G. Then, you have the best of both worlds. As far as a melody line goes, you can always just find a place to pop up an octave if it gets down below C (reentrant). It is hard for me to do, but I have some piano sheet music that I try to play on uke and the melody dips down low, I look for a spot before the dip where I can just go up an octave. Of course, I also have to find a spot to jump back down to written pitch. Much easier for me to do with a wind instrument than a ukulele at this point.

Edgeguy
03-04-2014, 04:53 PM
Great stuff everyone. When I was playing the low G uke it was mainly strumming or simple melody on the e and a strings. This explains why I did not notice much difference. I have a less expensive uke I could do low G with, but I use it out of the house and I right now only play high g songs. So I will have to try a low G further down the line.

Thanks again for helping a newbie with uke questions.