View Full Version : Anyone else here going flat?

03-16-2014, 07:51 AM
B Flat, that is. I've been on a Ukulele Ike kick lately, listening to his recordings and watching his old films to get a glimpse of him playing.

Today I tuned my Kala longneck soprano down to B Flat (F-Bb-D-G), and I kind of like the rubbery, loose feel of it. It makes for easy string bending.

Anyone else try this & like it? Hate it?

03-16-2014, 08:15 AM
Actually I've been getting rounder

03-16-2014, 08:29 AM
B Flat, ...

Anyone else try this & like it? Hate it?

Actually, I've got a good many of my ukes in B, the lower turning can bring out lots of warmth and richness, at the expense of a little clarity.

Had a Wise tenor in B-flat tuning for a while and liked it. I keep it in B.
Here is an earlier posted sound sample comparison of it in B-flat and B tuning.

03-16-2014, 09:02 AM
I have a couple of my concerts tuned to Bb. I like it.
(Gives me a good reason to have so many ukes. ;))

03-16-2014, 09:11 AM
I had a flat tire this weekend ...

03-16-2014, 09:37 AM
I've never seen this tuning for ukes, so I decided to try it out on my soprano. I really like it. I think I'll keep my soprano like this, thanks blacula, and thanks to doc for the soundcloud link.

03-16-2014, 10:58 AM
Bb is my standard tenor tuning. I play alone or with my wife, and her tenor is tuned to Bb, so no problems. More sustain, less tension, and a more pleasing resonance for me.

03-16-2014, 11:05 AM
I keep one tenor tuned down to Bb and I have one baritone strung with southcoast flat wound Bb strings. My only soprano is tuned up to D.

03-16-2014, 12:36 PM
Most of my tenors are tuned to Bb or even A. My Banjo Ukulele is a slightly long scale Concert and it can handle Bb too although generally I find that Concerts are better in B.


03-16-2014, 01:13 PM
Just on a physics note, the higher tension of GCEA does a couple of things. It transmits more energy to the top, which generally means more volume and projection. This is why vaudeville and stage performers in the 20s and 30s often tuned up to ADF#B: more presence.

Resonator ukes and banjoleles will be especially affected because of how they are built.

Tenors already have more tension than shorter scales, so would see less effect, but tuning concert or soprano down a tone may make them very soft.

03-16-2014, 02:05 PM
Currently one Bari up to Bb, and one B flat tenor trombone.

03-16-2014, 02:58 PM
Well...I have lost fifteen pounds in the last four weeks (really, twenty, but I had a pretty active day yesterday helping my daughter move so I'm going on the previous time I weighed myself a few days before).

...I'm guessing that's not what you meant but I felt like crowing about it a bit... LOL


03-16-2014, 03:33 PM
Hey that's excellent work brother. :cheers:

03-16-2014, 10:39 PM
I have a concert in Bb and both my tenors ar in A (EAC#F#) I like the lower tunings on the larger sizes. It creates a more mellow sound. OTOH, I have a soprano tuned in D which makes it brighter which also sounds better at that scale.

03-17-2014, 05:23 AM
I forgot to mention that I bought a Shubb Lite capo, so using that on the 2nd fret puts me back in C. I look at it as a twofer deal: resonant, easy to play tenor; easily converted to basically concert scale, with a nice, full sound in C.

EDIT: I failed to note that it becomes a concert scale uke with a wider nut width, effectively.

03-17-2014, 09:11 AM
I've not tried it until now. Mellow fingerstyle songs like Make You Feel My Love and Creep work really well with it.

03-17-2014, 01:34 PM
Actually I've been getting rounder

Sadly so have I .......sigh ....

But seriously....back when I was a yoof --- before I abandoned the Uke it was common practice to change your Uke up and down (and this was well before Snarks etc !! what a pain )....the three most common tunings were given on any uke chorded score at the top of the page , GCEA , ADF#B and BbEbGC which is wicked on a soprano..........however upon a return to the uke I notice that more modern uke music ...or music with uke chords does not do this ...

Would F Bb D G be a little wobbly ..on a Soprano or Concert.you say it sounds rubbery ..which may be the same....oh heck I'll just try it out ....get back to this thread after ....


03-25-2014, 03:54 AM
Glad to see that 'm not the only one gone flat. I love the feel and bendability of that Bb string, it really speaks when you dig in.

03-25-2014, 09:17 PM
Thank you for the intriguing alternative. I often play as FCFA. I shall even try that on my soprano tuned gCEa as fBbDa

03-25-2014, 11:38 PM
At a time I was looking for all possible method to dig the warmth from my tenor, I tune it down to A tuning (EADbGb). But now it is back to the C tuning (GCEA) with high tension heavier gauge strings.

Therefore, it is not so flat, so am I, getting rounder...