Cliff Edwards / Ukulele Ike

zac987

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What size uke did Ukelele Ike use, and what tuning did he have it in? I've always loved the deeper sound his uke has.
 
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zac987

zac987

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Thank you very much! What would each string be tuned as?
 
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janeray1940

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Good question, and I don't know the answer! I did find a comment on this page that states Bb6 tuning is F-Bb-D-G.

Music theory is kind of my weak spot, but that looks right to me: in other words, tuning to Bb means you bring it down a full step from C.
 

southcoastukes

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What size uke did Ukelele Ike use, and what tuning did he have it in? I've always loved the deeper sound his uke has.

Sounds like you're talking about the solo recordings he did. For those he did use what he called a Tenor - today it would be a Concert. Maybe your ears are better than mine -but it sounds like B flat or A tuning (they're pretty close).

A set of our Heavy Gauge strings gives B flat on a modern concert, and our Heavy Gauge page also talks about stringing as it relates to Cliff's playing style:

http://www.southcoastukes.com/stringuide_files/hvuke.htm

Tuning charts, BTW, are found here:

http://www.southcoastukes.com/stringuide_files/tunings.htm
 
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Ukuleleblues

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I have one of his old books and a lot of the songs are in Bb tuning.
 

southcoastukes

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By the way, while we are on the subject of these lower tunings, let me point out one more thing.

I think sometimes people get a little worried when they see a name like "Heavy Gauge" ukulele strings - they worry that these may put an undue strain on their instrument.

It's true that if you put on a set of these and tuned them, for example to key of C tuning on a standard concert, you would, indeed, have a very tight set of strings.

That is not their purpose. They are designed for lower tunings. Normal strings would be too loose to tune down - tension would be unplayably low.

These "Heavy Gauges" (ours or anybody's), when played at these lower tunings, have nearly the same tensions as a typical concert set designed for C tuning.

http://www.southcoastukes.com/stringuide_files/hvuke.htm
 
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zac987

zac987

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Thank you very much! I'll make sure to put in an order for your strings :)
 

drbekken

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Check out the video HANG ON TO ME on youtube. There Edwards is playing a larger uke of some sort. I tired to figure out whether it was a tenor (as it is called today) or a concert. Anyway, it's a GREAT clip.
 

southcoastukes

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Check out the video HANG ON TO ME on youtube. There Edwards is playing a larger uke of some sort. I tired to figure out whether it was a tenor (as it is called today) or a concert. Anyway, it's a GREAT clip.

Yes it is!


That one appears to be a Tenor. At different points he was pictured with a every size but Baritone - most of them Martin Mahogany.

I remember one photo, however, of what was said to be his favorite, a koa "Tenor" (concert size). Did a quick search and couldn't find it.
 

tim_mantis

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I've listened to this clip over and over, and I'm sure the string nearest the floor seems to be tuned down an octave. Not the string nearest to the sky as in low G/linear tuning: the one that's usually tuned higher than all the others!

When he plays the chords that should have that string playing the highest note, I can't hear it at all - but can hear the right note an octave down.

Am I just hearing things, or is this an artefact of the strings and low tuning?