PDA

View Full Version : Tenor Tuning Question



VegasGeorge
08-22-2014, 01:02 PM
I feel sort of stupid asking this question. But in years past I always had strings marked "DGBE" for my Tenor Uke and that's the way I tuned it. Now I read that "GCEA" tuning is popular for Tenors, and I see string sets for sale marked that way. Is the tuned pitch he same as the "GCEA" on the Soprano and Concert, or is it an octave lower? Thanks!

drbekken
08-22-2014, 01:27 PM
Same as the others....sometimes the G may be low (one octave down from the usual re-entrant tuning.)

VegasGeorge
08-22-2014, 03:54 PM
Thanks for the quick reply, drbekken! That helps me in deciding what I want to do with my old Tenor. I've got my eye on a new one, but wasn't too keen on going back to the "DGBE" tuning. Of course, I could always just restring my old one, but hey, there's always something magical about the shinny new one, eh?

kohanmike
08-22-2014, 04:03 PM
I've only been playing ukulele for a year, and I only buy tenor size, 16 have come and gone, and they have all had GCEA tuning (high G).

thenewb
08-22-2014, 04:44 PM
I tune my tenor to A (e' a c'# f'#, reentrant tuning). The strings are a not as tight as in the standard C tuning (g'c'e'a'), but my uke resonates more A tuning. Another popular is the B flat reentrant tuning (f' bflat d' g'). I also prefer the B flat tuning to the standard C tuning.

There's more than one way to tune the tenor.

kohanmike
08-22-2014, 06:18 PM
I tune my tenor to A (e' a c'# f'#, reentrant tuning). The strings are a not as tight as in the standard C tuning (g'c'e'a'), but my uke resonates more A tuning. Another popular is the B flat reentrant tuning (f' bflat d' g'). I also prefer the B flat tuning to the standard C tuning. There's more than one way to tune the tenor.

With A tuning, how do you finger chords? Can show a few diagrams? I have a uke that doesn't resonate well and I'm thinking A tuning might help.

Dan Uke
08-22-2014, 06:25 PM
With A tuning, how do you finger chords? Can show a few diagrams? I have a uke that doesn't resonate well and I'm thinking A tuning might help.

If you want to play a C chord, then you finger it like a D# chord. You have to think of the difference between the C and the note you tune the 3rd string. In this case it's 3 semi-tones. In order to do it, your mind and fingers has to be quick to transpose on the fly or you write the new chord on the sheet music.

Jim Hanks
08-22-2014, 06:31 PM
If you want to play a C chord, play a C chord. It'll sound like an A chord, but let everyone else adjust to you. :cool:

igorthebarbarian
08-22-2014, 06:33 PM
I like the Bb tuning too on my tenor. I don't worry about transposing either.



I tune my tenor to A (e' a c'# f'#, reentrant tuning). The strings are a not as tight as in the standard C tuning (g'c'e'a'), but my uke resonates more A tuning. Another popular is the B flat reentrant tuning (f' bflat d' g'). I also prefer the B flat tuning to the standard C tuning.

There's more than one way to tune the tenor.

Dan Uke
08-22-2014, 06:33 PM
If you want to play a C chord, play a C chord. It'll sound like an A chord, but let everyone else adjust to you. :cool:

Best answer...you better be the leader of the group or start a new one. ;)

If you play by yourself, it really doesn't matter.

thenewb
08-22-2014, 07:21 PM
With A tuning, how do you finger chords? Can show a few diagrams? I have a uke that doesn't resonate well and I'm thinking A tuning might help.

I don't have the diagram. I just use the standard chord diagram and move it down by three semitones (two semitones for the B flat tuning). For example, a C chord is now an A chord, B flat chord is now a G chord...etc

To be honest, whenever I play I treat it as if I am playing with the standard C tuning. For example when I fret the open C chord (0003), it sounds like an A chord. But to my mind it's always a "C" ;). I just open any ukulele book and play as it is. I know it sounds a different, but my tenor uke resonates better with A or B flat tuning.

Do keep in mind that lower tuning usually means lower tension on the strings.

Tootler
08-23-2014, 02:11 AM
I tune my tenor to A (e' a c'# f'#, reentrant tuning). The strings are a not as tight as in the standard C tuning (g'c'e'a'), but my uke resonates more A tuning. Another popular is the B flat reentrant tuning (f' bflat d' g'). I also prefer the B flat tuning to the standard C tuning.

There's more than one way to tune the tenor.

I tune mine to A as well and I agree about it resonating more. I like the tone better. Larger body, lower pitch. while the strings are slacker it's not by too much so it plays just fine.

As to how you play chords, you are a minor third (three semitones) lower so you need to transpose your chords.

use C fingering and you are playing in A
use G fingering and you are playing in E. Apart from the fact that I find all the alternative fingerings for E on a C-tuned uke awkward, playing in E on an A-tuned tenor sounds much better to me.
to play in C you need to use Eb shapes.

Bb tuning is also useful but if you are tuned in A, capo 1 will give you Bb tuning. Also capo 3 will give standard GCEA, useful if you have your A-tuned tenor at a uke group meeting and you don't want to transpose on the fly.

VegasGeorge
08-23-2014, 02:18 AM
I take it that you members who are "tuning down" your Tenors to A or Bb are using a CGEA set of strings, right? So, is anyone here still using the older GCEA Tenor string sets?

Tootler
08-23-2014, 02:40 AM
I take it that you members who are "tuning down" your Tenors to A or Bb are using a CGEA set of strings, right? So, is anyone here still using the older GCEA Tenor string sets?

I'm just using the standard GCEA reentrant set that came on the uke. Tension is quite high on a GCEA tuned tenor so the tension is still reasonable, not much lower than my soprano flea.

Jim Hanks
08-23-2014, 03:43 AM
To be honest, whenever I play I treat it as if I am playing with the standard C tuning. For example when I fret the open C chord (0003), it sounds like an A chord. But to my mind it's always a "C" ;). I just open any ukulele book and play as it is. I know it sounds a different, but my tenor uke resonates better with A or B flat tuning.
:agree: This.